Provocateurs policiers? En Canada? C’est impossible.
Non. C’est bien possible:
Story from the Toronto Star:
Protesters are accusing police of using undercover agents to provoke violent confrontations at the North American leaders’ summit in Montebello, Que.
Such accusations have been made before after similar demonstrations but this time the alleged “agents provocateurs” have been caught on camera.
A video, posted on YouTube, shows three young men, their faces masked by bandannas, mingling Monday with protesters in front of a line of police in riot gear. At least one of the masked men is holding a rock in his hand.
The three are confronted by protest organizer Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. Coles makes it clear the masked men are not welcome among his group of protesters, whom he describes as mainly grandparents. He urges them to leave and find their own protest location.
Coles also demands that they put down their rocks. Other protesters begin to chime in that the three are really police agents. Several try to snatch the bandanas from their faces.
Rather than leave, the three actually start edging closer to the police line, where they appear to engage in discussions. They eventually push their way past an officer, whereupon other police shove them to the ground and handcuff them.
Late Tuesday, photographs taken by another protester surfaced, showing the trio lying prone on the ground. The photos show the soles of their boots adorned by yellow triangles. A police officer kneeling beside the men has an identical yellow triangle on the sole of his boot.
The Torontoist explains the significance of the boots:
Those triangles, by the way, almost certainly denote Canadian Standards Association—approved footwear for “light industrial work environments”——because, really, if you intend to fight cops in riot gear, you’re gonna want toe and puncture protection.
Maybe I shouldn’t write what I’m about to write, because it will help police provocateurs improve their act, but…silly cops, everyone knows that REAL anarchists (and British bobbies) wear Doc Martens!
Still, the brave union leader who blew their cover wasn’t looking at the provocs’ feet when he sniffed their scheme; he was looking at their eyes. When he accused one of them of being a cop, he says, the guy’s eyes just “glazed over”.
Intuition is such a bitch, ain’t it?
Meanwhile, here’s a little something from Starhawk explaining the hows and whys of police planting and riot provocation.
Yeah, tell me it’s not fascism.
UPDATE: CBC reports that the Quebec police admit that there were, indeed, three undercover officers attempting to infiltrate the demo. No doubt the same that were unmasked by the union protesters. (The burly builds and bullish stances of the fake anarchists were a dead giveaway–real anarchists are neither so bulky nor so swaggery.)