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Police Agent-provocateurs In Montebello Protests  
User currently offlineACFA From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 261 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 1349 times:

A Youtube video showed a union leader exposing three men dressed as protesters as police agents, allegedly planted in the crowd to instigate the police to attack. One of the men held a rock in his hand while the union leader kept telling him to put the rock down. The three men later walk right into the riot police and are "arrested" and taken away.

Here is the video:



Now the Quebec police has admitted that they did have police agents in the crowds but that "At no time did the police of the Sûreté du Québec act as instigators or commit criminal acts". I suppose its easy for them to argue that the police were there to monitor the demonstrators, but if that is the case, then why were they holding rocks?

According to a CBC article "Police said the three were told to monitor protesters who were not peacefully demonstrating to prevent any violent incidents, but they were called out as undercover agents when they refused to throw objects." This certainly doesn't fit with the video evidence that shows the police agents holding rocks, nor does it explain why they refused to put the rocks down.

CBC News article: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/08/23/police-montebello.html

I think its pretty hard for the Quebec police to explain this one away. They were caught in the act, plain and simple. Which raises some scary prospects for the respect of the right to demonstrate, if police agencies are willing to employ undercover provocators as a strategy to discredit the demonstration.

A note here, that I was not an activist at the demonstrations in Montebello, nor do I necessarily agree with their agenda, but I think this incident raises troubling questions.

5 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWrenchBender From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1779 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1340 times:

The Sûreté du Québec have the shadiest past of all the major police departments in Canada. Poor decision making, corruption, you name it and they are associated with it. The Oka Standoff was a direct result of their bungling/heavy handed methods. But that is all in the past. Putting undercover guys in the crowd to monitor them is a gutsy call, for the very reason being portrayed by the media and the protestors, claiming they were there to instigate.
How the media and the protestors play this out will come down to public opinion. Given the history of the Sûreté, it doesn't look good.

WrenchBender



Silly Pilot, Tricks are for kids.......
User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13793 posts, RR: 63
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1325 times:

Quoting WrenchBender (Reply 1):
Putting undercover guys in the crowd to monitor them is a gutsy call, for the very reason being portrayed by the media and the protestors, claiming they were there to instigate.

All police departments do it, but they have to stay passive and watch and maybe only arrest a troublemaker, but it is definitely not their job to start a riot to give their uniformed colleagues a reason to break up the protest march.

Jan


User currently offlineACFA From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 1313 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 2):
All police departments do it, but they have to stay passive and watch and maybe only arrest a troublemaker, but it is definitely not their job to start a riot to give their uniformed colleagues a reason to break up the protest march.

Of course that is the standard line. But have you even watched the video? Why were the police holding rocks if they were not to incite a riot situation?


User currently onlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13793 posts, RR: 63
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 1309 times:

Quoting ACFA (Reply 3):
Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 2):
All police departments do it, but they have to stay passive and watch and maybe only arrest a troublemaker, but it is definitely not their job to start a riot to give their uniformed colleagues a reason to break up the protest march.

Of course that is the standard line. But have you even watched the video? Why were the police holding rocks if they were not to incite a riot situation?

This is exactly what I said. Plain clothes police in a demonstration is there to observe and to catch rioters in the act, with sufficient evidence for an arrest, but not to START riots.

Jan


User currently offlineACFA From Canada, joined Feb 2007, 261 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 1273 times:

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 4):
This is exactly what I said. Plain clothes police in a demonstration is there to observe and to catch rioters in the act, with sufficient evidence for an arrest, but not to START riots.

Maybe there was a misunderstanding in the way your post was worded, from what I got was that you were saying that the undercover police in the video were not there to start a riot. Looking at the evidence it seems questionable what exactly their role was.


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