Evidence of Police Provocateurs at Montebello [Video]
[Note: It is worth noting that the trade union leader who exposed the police agents posing as militants, Dave Coles, was initially attempting to "keep protestors within boundaries set by authorities" and "direct(ing) them to stay in their designated area" (see report below) thus fulfilling the usual role of trade union bureaucrats in attempting to control dissent ensuring it stays within acceptable boundaries. While these 'militants' are almost certainly cops (or in any case, very sketchy), the point here is that Coles, at first, thought they were real militants. - Editor]
A series of articles and reports from both mainstream and alternative press follows below.
The video of this incident can be seen at the bottom of the page.
Evidence of deployment of provocateurs mounts
Did the various military and police forces in charge of “security” for the SPP Summit in Montebello this past weekend deploy agents provocateurs in order to instigate violence?
There is mounting evidence that this is the case. Many people have already seen powerful video evidence posted to the YouTube website by independent journalist Paul Manly. The five-minute clip shows a remarkable scene near one of the green zone police lines, where a set of three “provocateurs”, dressed as protesters and wielding rocks, are confronted by a group of trade unionists and young protesters, who suspect them of being police agents.
There are several very suggestive elements in that video, notably the fact that when challenged by the crowd, the obviously uncomfortable trio do not deny they are police or otherwise identify themselves and instead move slowly to the safety of the line of riot cops. Once there, and briefly exposed, there are several seconds where it is very clear that the individual closest to the SQ riot cop speaks quietly and calmly to him, out of earshot of the others. Shortly afterward, all three move past the same officer, and are then taken to ground, handcuffed, and “arrested”. At no point do they identify themselves, or deny being police.
Agents provocateurs active at Montebello?
Source: The Harper Index
Report of official cameraperson being roughed up follows videos from earlier in day of alleged police agents assaulting union leader.
MONTEBELLO, QUEBEC, August 21: Legitimate protestors at the Montebello summit talks believe they have been inflitrated and victimized by plainclothes agents of the police or security forces.
An amateur video posted on the website Youtube.com, yesterday, and entitled "Stop SPP Protest - Union Leader stops provocateurs" shows a national union president confronted and assaulted by masked men while attempting to keep protestors within boundaries set by authorities. The three men, dressed like "Black Bloc" anarchist protestors, defied Dave Coles, the President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers of Canada, who directed them to stay in their designated area. "Take your mask off, brother," and "Put the rock down," Coles said repeatedly. The video shows one of the men (the one with the apparent rock), in a ball cap with the word "Spike" on it, hanging onto the bandana over his face and forcefully shoving Coles as he attempted to keep order.
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" protestors from Quebec] screaming 'Policier, policier!' [police]. Eventually Coles looks the guy in the eyes and says 'You're a [cop], aren't you?'."
As Trew said, "They slip behind and start nudging the [SQ] police line. You can't see if they're saying anything because of their bandanas. 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 bandanas and that there was "a substantial size difference, and what looks likes an age difference" from other anarchist protestors, but admits it is almost impossible to prove they were police officers. [Subsequent pictures have shown they were also wearing identical boots to the tactical squad.]
The protest legal aid committee, however, received no report from authorities of their arrests, lending further credence to allegations the two were not genuine protestors. "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.
Around 5 pm the same day, Canadian Press reported a video camera operator had been assaulted while running the "ProtestCam" camera that provided a video feed to the conference inside the Chateau Montebello. Although witnesses report the actual assault was done by a demonstrator, Hollingsworth says the demonstrator was provoked by his girlfriend having just been struck by a rubber bullet fired by police. It is often the case, he says, that police actions "provoke people into making stupid mistakes" which "create an excuse or pretext for police to sweep the area" with tear gas and rubber bullets.
There were, however, other reports of agents provocateurs among the protestors. Dan Sawyer, a member of PGA, told HarperIndex.ca "Our group did 'out' about three undercovers in the Black Bloc and pushed them back into the police line, and then they walked off."
Protest organizers, most of whom appear to be there to protest the Security and Prosperity Partnership under discussion, worry that disorder at the protest, already constrained by extremely tight security, will discredit them. Stephen Harper, according to the CP story and on TV news, dismissed the protest as "sad".
"I've heard it's nothing," the prime minister was heard to say, when asked about the protest. "A couple hundred? It's sad."
Most reports put the figures at well above 1,000, although roadblocks have minimized public access from the main highway and into the village of Montebello. Tthe RCMP have denied protest organizers the use of public buildings and have erected massive barricades to keep protestors at bay.
By minimizing the significance, seriousness and size of the protest movement against his meeting with George W. Bush and Felipe Calderon, Stephen Harper is attempting to manage the messages coming from his summit. Whether he succeeds depends on which spectacle is seen as sadder: the protests - or the Prime Minister holding secret meetings about subsuming the Canadian military, Canadian energy, and important Canadian laws to the dictates of the US.
Police accused of using provocateurs to spark violent confrontations at summit
Source: Infoshop News
By JOAN BRYDEN
OTTAWA (CP) - 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.
Kevin Skerrett, a protester with the group Nowar-Paix, said the photos and video together present powerful evidence that the men were actually undercover police officers.
"I think the circumstantial evidence is very powerful," he said.
The three do not appear to have been arrested or charged with any offence.
Police confirm that only four protesters were arrested during the summit - two men and two women. All have been charged with obstruction and resisting arrest.
Veteran protester Jaggi Singh, who is helping to circulate the video as widely as possible, said all four of those arrested are known to organizers and are genuine protesters.
"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?" Singh said.
"I have no hesitation in saying they were police agents . . . and they were caught red-handed."
Singh, a member of the Montreal-based No One is Illegal, believes the agents were meant to provoke a confrontation and give the police an excuse to use some of their "toys," such as tear gas and rubber bullets.
"To a certain extent it's self-fulfilling logic. You provide police with this kind of equipment and they end up using it and one way to justify it is to plant some people that toss a rock or two."
Neither the RCMP nor the Surete du Quebec would comment on the video or even discuss generally whether they ever use the tactic of employing agents provocateurs.
"I cannot answer your question because I don't have the information," said Const. Kane Kramer, a spokesman for the RCMP at the summit.
A new and potentially important set of photos have now become available, posted to the CUPE website at:
In two of the photos, the soles of the boots of the three individuals (two of them viewable at photo #31, and the other at #32) all show identical yellow oval markers in the centre, and these markers just happen to be identical to those on the soles of the SQ riot cops.
Considering the combination of the Paul Manly (YouTube) video and these photos, and adding this to the fact that the police appear to be denying that these three individuals were even arrested, the evidence that this trio were paid provocateurs certainly appears overwhelming.
Following the posting of the Manly video, a reporter with the Canadian Press quickly picked up on this story, and filed an early wire story, an expanded version of which was posted to the website of the Toronto Star:
Further info on this can be seen in Stuart Trew's piece, which can be seen at: