Hours after an “Anonymous” posting on YouTube, the hacktivist group made good on their threat to crash the official city and police department website of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when demands to lift the city’s homeless bans were not met, according to EyesOnNews late Monday.
In their trademark computer generated voice, an individual – wearing a Guy Fawkes mask – promised to crash the FortLauderdale.gov and related websites if the city did not rescind the homeless sleeping and feeding ordinances recently enacted.
Over the last several weeks, the city of Fort Lauderdale has gained international attention after police cited 90 year-old Arnold Abbott and two pastors for feeding the homeless on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
The Anonymous spokesperson detailed several demands of “Operation Lift the Bans,” and directed Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler to end the ordinances within 24 hours or face a shutdown of governmental websites.
The shutdown was promised in retaliation to the perceived mistreatment of Abbott, who has openly defied several new ordinances directed at feeding the homeless on public property.
“You are a disgrace, Mayor John Seiler,” stated the video – calling the mayor by his given name – rather than by Jack which he is commonly known by in South Florida. “So therefore we have a list of demands and if not met, then we shall shut down the main site of Fort Lauderdale.”
The masked man mispronounced Mayor John P Seiler as “Seeler.”
Each of the demands made in the Anonymous YouTube video referenced the homeless ordinances recently enacted in Fort Lauderdale. From the panhandling law – to the feeding in public places ordinance – they were specifically detailed by ordinance number.
“You have 24 hours or less depending on if this reaches you Mayor John Seiler. 24 hours to comply with these demands or the site will be shut down and other sites belonging to Fort Lauderdale,” the masked figured stated. The related website was apparently that of the Fort Lauderdale Police Department at FLPD.gov.
Anonymous waited just over 13 hours before crashing the City of Fort Lauderdale website and that of its police department rather than the 24 hours promised in the video.
“Their whole mission is to disrupt public safety and governmental interests. It has nothing to do with the homeless,” indicated a high level police source not authorized to speak for the record. “Anonymous is nothing but an anarchist group that operates on ideas rather than directives.”
The video concluded:
“Operation Lift the Bans engaged. We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive – we do not forget. You should have expected us, Mayor John Seiler.”