The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued a bulletin drawing attention to the hactivist group Anonymous’ plans for nationwide protests against the police shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
The group has called for a “National Day of Rage” on Thursday to span 38 major U.S. cities.
The Threat Management Division of the Federal Protective Service issued the bulletin.
“Currently there is no indication that protests are expected to become violent. However, recent protests in Ferguson have resulted in violence, property damage and subsequent arrests,” the bulletin reads.
Brown was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9. Wilson reportedly claims Brown assaulted and charged after him. Some witnesses claim that Brown was surrendering when Wilson fired.
“Current civil unrest associated with the incident in Ferguson, MO, presents the potential for civil disobedience directed toward identifiable law enforcement personnel, marked law enforcement equipment and government facilities associated with law enforcement during the identified protest times and dates,” it continues.
One complaint made by protesters, the media and Anonymous is that police in Ferguson have not only failed to provide transparency to the events surrounding the shooting but that they have also dealt harshly with the demonstrations by using tear gas, rubber bullets, military vehicles and curfews to keep the crowds at bay.
In its bulletin, the Federal Protective Service went to great lengths to remind agencies to respect peaceful demonstrators’ rights.
“FPS personnel are reminded the Department of Homeland Security does not consider non-violent civil disobedience tactics to constitute criminal activities. Absent a specific actionable threat, you should refer to the list of suspicious activity indicators in identifying and mitigating threats,” the bulletin reads.
“We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us, once again,” the hacker collective threatened in a video it posted Tuesday.
Besides generating outrage, mostly on Twitter, the group has also tried to play sleuth in its attempt to determine the name of the officer who shot Brown. Darren Wilson was named as the shooter last Friday. But prior to that, Anonymous published the names of at least two other people not involved in the case.
“It is unacceptable for an officer to be named and then let go. St. Louis County identified Darren Wilson as Mike Brown’s murderer, yet he has not been charged or prosecuted. In addition, reports say that if he is charged it won’t happen for another few months. This is not justice,” they continued.
“The truth is we cannot sit still and watch as protesters and journalists are arrested and shot at simply for raising their voices in unison and demanding that justice be served.”
“Aug. 21 is our day to rise up. Our presence will continue unless our demands are met,” the group threatened in their video.