Tuesday, August 28, 2007

SQ spooks face up to flip-flop

This is from Rabble although the author seems to be an American. I didn't realize that demonstrators typically fire on police in Florida! The author is probably correct though that there the purpose of the infiltration has nothing to do with public order but with discrediting the protest. It also provides a good opportunity to give police practice in charging, dispersing, and arresting protesters. Many in the public already associate protests with property damage, trashing, and violence against police. Make sure that this perception does not fade.

SQ spooks face up to flip flop

Rogue cops hidden among anti-SPP protesters suggest a dystopic future for North American law enforcement.

>by Keith Gottschalk
August 28, 2007

So the Sûreté du Québec (SQ) inserted three agents provocateurs in the recent protests at the Montebello Masters of the Universe Threesome in order to incite a riot.

Of course, this is nothing new for either the SQ or for the Masters of the Universe in general.

I have an Aislin cartoon from the Montreal Gazette drawn during the standoff at Oka in 1990 showing a similarly storm trooper clad SQ cop confronting a woman with groceries pushing a baby stroller. Her reply: “you guys don't embarrass very easily do you?”

Indeed, if the tap dancing both the SQ and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day are doing over this incident is any indication, embarrassment or shame is in short supply nowadays.

It seems incredible that a public official can claim with a straight face that masked men, holding rocks in menacing manner, doing their best to incite other protesters according to union leader David Coles in the Globe and Mail, were not inciting violence.

Thanks to Coles' quick action, the three stooges were unmasked before something unfortunate happened. Something unfortunate the media now tut-tutting this incident, would have blamed on the protesters.

In light of the eyewitness testimony and the fact that the whole keystone cops episode was caught on film and broadcast on YouTube all over the world, one might ask a la Groucho Marx 'who you gonna believe, the government or your own eyes?'

But it's really all for the protection of the public, right?

The Globe and Mail even quoted an 'unnamed former senior police officer' as saying “if somebody takes a gun out and shoots a police officer or the head of state, how do you identify who did it if you don't have people in the crowd? You can't afford to make that mistake.”

The only problem with that twisted logic is: (1) the protests were kept so far from the conference its doubtful if even a well designed trebuchet would have been able to reach the heads of state and, (2) in all seriousness how often do protesters at public events in Canada whip out pistols and shoot police? This is Quebec after all, not Florida.

At least in Canada there is some light and heat being shed on these tactics and of course, having video evidence helps enormously.

In the U.S., it has long been alleged, to put it mildly, that local, state and federal police agencies employed the same tactics, especially at the anti-WTO protests in Seattle in 1999 and the Miami Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) protests in 2003 which the mayor of Miami called a “model for Homeland Security.”

Space does not permit a detailed list of the police misconduct and provocations at both protests but Indymedia sites exhaustively covered the details and other Internet-based alternative websites did as well. Of course, the mainstream U.S. media parroted the official line about 'anarchists' and such, and middle America went to bed smug with the knowledge that the people clubbed, gassed and jailed were nothing but un-American troublemakers.

The intent there and at Montabello is for police to provoke any response by protesters in order to wade in with overwhelming force and violence and therefore paint any protest against the Masters of the Universe as coming from violent anarchists and communists.

I am also convinced that instructions to the various police agencies to launch these provocations come right from the top—the powerful who are, as Naomi Klein wrote, seeking to combine Canada, the United States and Mexico into one national security superstate for the benefit of the global financial elite.

After all who needs borders when everyone and their personal transactions are under surveillance?

Not that there wouldn't be the pretense of 'democracy.' After all, according to Klein's column, the protesters could be 'seen and heard' on closed circuit TV at Montabello. Perhaps the Big Three Guys watched the fun while sipping Dom Perignon and trading witty bon mots (or in President Bush's case, dirty jokes). Somewhere George Orwell has a knowing, yet rueful smile.

Provocation and reprisal used to be done in far cruder fashion such as the Haymarket Riot in Chicago. Now, protest movements are infiltrated far in advance by often clumsy cops who haven't done their homework on the movements they're trying to 'join.'

Noting all of the preparation that goes into these operations, one has to believe that there's less of a concern for public safety in these events and more of a definite plan to discredit and disrupt otherwise peaceful protests against the global elite.

So the next time you're at a protest and you see three nervous guys who look like defensemen for the Maple Leafs in ill fitting 'anarchist' garb, clutching rocks and looking for a little action, just say to yourself they're not rogue cops.

They're the future of North American law enforcement.

Keith Gottschalk has written for daily publications in the Midwest U.S. and was formerly a radio talk show host in Illinois. He frequents babble as the Américain Égalitaire.

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