Clashes at Montebello, took place on schedule?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Reports indicate that police "provocateurs" infiltrated groups of protesters to give reason for riot police to respond. According to a press release regarding an incident involving Communications, Energy and Paperworkers president David Coles and three supposed undercover police.

David Coles was leading a peaceful protest in the "green zone" marked off for protesters. The You Tube video of the incident, Coles can be seen trying to stop three protesters dressed as "black bloc" members with bandannas over their faces from reaching a line of police officers. Mr. Coles attempts to get the the individuals to leave the area claiming that "this is a place for grandmothers and grandfathers" and commands one of the individuals to put down a rock.

The three individuals s force their way to the police line. Once there, they speak to one of the officers and several protesters then identify the individuals as police. A minute later the three force their way through the police line and are then arrested. Another item being considered as evidence that the three were police provocateurs is that the three supposed protesters were wearing the same boots as the police that arrest the three.

The revelations coming forward about the police infiltrations is bringing other questions forward. Several protesters from Guelph have stated that at one point, a group were standing a listening to a speech when the police began firing tear gas and that they were firing so widely that one group of police fired a tear gas canister over protesters and over another line of police into a cemetery. Another You Tube video seems to show a group of youths being pushed back into a cloud of tear gas by a line of police.

Police agencies claim that it is necessary to send undercover officers into groups of protesters to protect police and protesters alike. However, protesters point to police infiltrators as the cause of most conflict at demonstrations. There is also assertions that these undercover officers are sent in to cause a problem so as to justify the deployment of so many police officers at such events.

The question that remains is, if undercover police are being used to instigate trouble so as to justify their overtime, how long can such action be tolerated?

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  1. Posted by: ryan on Aug 29, 2007 @ 12:33pm

    @ Jonathon, first of all, I agree that initially one shouldn't jump to conclusions. Even though it was true.

    But when someone says no comment, using this case as an example, it means "we are either sure it was police officers or unsure, but we definitely can't say they were NOT police officers. Also we know exactly what their motives for being there were, or we are not sure what their motives were. If we can calculate a safe legal standpoint in the meantime, we will disclose what their motives were, if they were officers"

    They 'arrested' these men, they would know for certain within five minutes if they were officers or not, and they would swear a blue streak up and down to high heaven that the police were innocent of any wrong doing or ill intent. This was not the case, and goes far beyond a mere pair of boots as condemning evidence.

  2. Posted by: Bob Przybyla on Aug 31, 2007 @ 2:16pm


    When I wrote up the article, there had not yet been an official acknowledgment that the individuals had indeed been police. When I went to add the information using the comments, it had already been posted by luke.

    Lastly, the issue with boots is important because protesters always point out police "infiltrators" and "provocateurs" however this instance had a sort of confirmation that the police and the "protesters" were wearing the same boots and that it had been captured in video and in pictures.

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