Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Police agent provocateurs have been outed by YouTube at yesterday's protest in Montebello, Quebec. The video shows a national union president confronted and assaulted by masked men who would appear to be black bloc type anarchists. One of the men, in a ball cap with the word "Spike" on it, is shown hanging onto the bandanna over his face and forcefully shoving the labor leader as he attempted to keep order.

The Harper Index blog reports:

Stuart Trew, of the Council of Canadians, saw the video and spoke with people who were there. "You'll hear them [the real "black flag anarchist" protesters from Quebec] screaming 'Policier, policier!' [police]. Eventually Coles looks the guy in the eyes and says 'You're a police officer'."

As Trew said, "They slip behind and start nudging the police line, you can't see if they're saying anything because of their bandannas, the police let them through eventually and take them down to the ground, and appear to arrest them." Trew points out that two agitators had matching bandannas and that there was "a substantial size difference, and what looks likes an age difference" from other anarchist protesters, but admits it is almost impossible to prove they were police officers.

The protest legal aid committee, however, received no report from authorities of their arrests, lending further credence to allegations the two were not genuine protesters. "Yes, these were definitely agent provocateurs, cops, and legal folks have no record of these supposed arrests," said Peoples Global Action (PGA) spokesperson John Hollingsworth at the Indie Media Centre.

There were other reports of provocateurs on the scene. Dan Sawyer, a member of PGA, told "Our group did 'out' about three undercovers in the Black Bloc and pushed them back into the police line, and then they walked off."

"The Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union believes that the security force at Montebello were ordered to infiltrate our peaceful assembly and to provoke incidents," Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union told CBC reporters. "I think the evidence that we've shown you today reinforces the view." Coles was the union leader assaulted by the men.

Coles showed photographs of the masked men's and police officers' boots taken during the handcuffing, in which they appear to have identical tread patterns on their soles.

"Do they have any connection to the Quebec police force or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or are they part of some other security force that was at Montebello?" he asked, adding that he wants to know how the Prime Minister's Office was involved in security during the protests.

A retired Ottawa police officer who was formerly in charge of overseeing demonstrations for the force told the CBC he questions who the masked men really are, after viewing the video.

"Were they legitimate protesters? I don’t think so," said Doug Kirkland.

"Well, if they weren't police, I think they might well have been working in the best interests of police."

He added that if the situation was as it appeared, he did not approve of the tactic. "It's pretty close to baiting," he said.

The protest at the summit of Bush and Harper than many believe is selling Canada down the drain drew over one thousand demonstrators. That may not seem like many, but roadblocks minimized public access from the main highway into the village of Montebello. In addition, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)denied protest organizers the use of public buildings have erected massive barricades to keep protesters as far away as possible.

The following comes from CTV.

Union leader claims cops posed as protesters

Members of the Quebec police force went undercover as protesters to try and provoke peaceful demonstrators at the recent Montebello summit, alleges a union leader.

A video posted on YouTube from Monday's protests in Montebello, Que. shows Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) President Dave Coles in a confrontation with three masked men who appear to be protesters.

"I accused them of being police, and every time I yelled at them that they were police, you could tell by their facial expressions that they were really troubled," Coles told CTV Newsnet Wednesday.

He added that the men "weren't young kids off the streets, they were there to deliberately cause trouble, to give the police a chance to try and get rid of these young kids that were exercising their right to protest peacefully."

In the video, Coles and other protesters tell the men to take off their masks.

One of the three men is holding a rock and Coles tells him to move because their line is meant for peaceful protesters.

"These three guys are cops, everybody!" Coles can be heard shouting to the crowd as he tries to pull down their bandanas.

The three men then push their way into the police line and appear to be arrested, then taken away.

In the video, Coles claims the men were sent as provocateurs to give the police an excuse to move in on demonstrators.

"I looked him in his eye and said 'You're a cop aren't you?' and his eyes just glazed right up," Coles tells a crowd in the video.

In the press release, Coles said he plans to do whatever it takes to bring the matter to justice.

"We have proof that the three individuals who were 'arrested' after being exposed as 'agents provocateurs' were, in fact, members of the Quebec police force," Coles said in a statement Wednesday.

Photographs taken by another protester show the three men lying on the ground with the soles of their boots adorned by yellow octagons. A police officer kneeling beside the men appears to have the same imprint on his boot.

The imprint appears to be the Vibram boots logo. But earlier reports suggested it was a yellow triangle signifying Canadian Standards Association-approved footwear.

Police have confirmed that only four protesters, not the men in the video, were arrested during the summit.

"But we see very clearly in that video three (other) men being arrested . . . How do (police) account for these three people being taken in, being arrested? Where did they go?" veteran protester Jaggi Singh asked The Canadian Press Tuesday.

"I have no hesitation in saying they were police agents... and they were caught red-handed."

The RCMP and the Surete du Quebec have refused to comment on the video or whether they use such tactics.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, U.S. President George Bush and Mexican President Felipe Calderon, wrapped up the summit Tuesday.

Many activists were protesting what they perceived a lack of transparency surrounding the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) process.

The two-year-old framework is being used to pursue greater trade and security integration between the three countries.

While a group of top business executives got the chance to make a presentation to the three leaders on Tuesday, no such invitation was extended to environmental or social activists.

Critics claim the SPP is a 'super-NAFTA' that will result in stolen jobs and an erosion of freedoms.

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