While both the FBI and Dept. of Homeland Security (who released the bulletin), as well as the White House and top NYPD officials, have said there are no “credible” or “specific” threats, New York Congressman Peter King told local media the public “might notice increased security” on May 1st. He went on to say, “Obviously if police or anyone questions you or asks you questions, understand why it’s being done.” The same day, DHS Secretary Napolitano told a Senate hearing that her agency was helping coordinate local policing efforts:
During a Senate hearing Wednesday morning, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said DHS efforts "to get information, tools and resources out of Washington, D.C., and into the hands of state and local officials and first responders" have "led to significant advances" in protecting the homeland.
Meanwhile in Chicago, the Sun Times reports the head of the NATO Host Committee was “blindsided by the federal government’s decision to create a militarized ’Red Zone’ in the Loop [downtown Chicago]” weeks before the NATO summit, which is expecting massive protests from a coalition of Occupy, peace, labor, and immigration activists. The paper goes on to say (emphasis added):
The image of federal agents on downtown streets far from McCormick Place — in battle gear, weapons slung — three weeks before the summit is certain to have a chilling effect on those who live and work in the Loop. It also calls into question Host Committee Executive Director Lori Healey’s oft-repeated message that Chicago will remain “open for business” during the summit. [...]
The Federal Protective Service will deploy additional personnel beginning May 1, bringing in more people from out of town and outfitting them in “battle dress uniform.” They will be carrying “non-lethal” long guns — bean bag weapons — in a show of force that at the same time will allow people to move in and out of the zone freely, federal employees were told.
Just months after Obama signed the NDAA “indefinite detention” legislation into law, federal officials’ intentions to drastically increase security for May 1st conveniently coincide with the May Day General Strike in over 120 cities across the U.S. President Obama has already deported more immigrants than the Bush Administration; failed to close Guantanamo; does not meet the needs of the veteran returning from combat; continues to prosecute whistle-blower Pfc. Manning for taking an ethical stand by exposing horrendous U.S. war crimes; frequently invokes “state secrets” to carry out unaccountable, covert spying on U.S. residents; and continues the widespread use of unilateral drone strikes and targeted political assassinations. In response to the U.S. government’s escalating repression, thinly-veiled Islamophobia, and attempts to militarize our cities and borders while scapegoating immigrants, OccupyWallSt.org hereby issues our own warning: A Solidarity Warning to the 1% and their beneficiaries and bodyguards in government. The 99% will not be intimidated or divided. We will stand together and protect one another. We will not be terrorized. We will not be afraid.