Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Will the Harper Government Continue to Allow Police Provocateurs to Disrupt Peaceful Protest?

In June of this year I posted about a peaceful protest against the SSP, that turned violent when three police provocateurs tried to disrupt the group with acts of violence, in attempt to justify their forced removal. Those police officers later admitted that it was indeed them involved.

In the above video we hear citizens trying to stop the masked men, telling them that it was a peaceful protest, so they should stop.

Well now the Integrated Security Unit who will be handling the 2010 Olympics, will not rule out using similar tactics, and the Reform-Conservatives refuse to step in.

According to the Council of Canadians:

"Two years after Quebec police officers were caught posing as protestors during the Montebello anti-SPP rally, three officers have been found to have “failed to respect the authority of the law by inciting persons to violence,” according to a press release today from the Canadian Energy and Paperworkers union (CEP).

“The ruling by the Comité à la déontologie policière, released yesterday, also found that the officers were disrespectful or impolite, used obscene, blasphemous or abusive language, and refused to produce identification when asked,” says the CEP release.

“This is a victory for democracy and for the democratic right to peaceful protests, but I have the same question I had two years ago,” says Dave Coles, who most will remember from the Paul Manley video as the man who unmasked one of the agents provocateurs at Montebello and repeatedly called them out as police officers.

“Who ordered them to do it? We need an independent judicial inquiry into the whole cover-up. When people show up to protest because they are concerned about an issue – and they are attacked by those who are supposed to be defending them… there is something wrong with the system."

Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit won't rule out agents provocateurs
By Travis Lupick

The RCMP-led security force for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games won't rule out the use of agents provocateurs to incite protesters to commit illegal acts.

Speaking on behalf of the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit, Cpl. Jen Allan said the ISU is charged with ensuring people's safety. “We are not in a position to detail a specific operational plan as to how we are going to fulfill that obligation,” Allan explained to the Georgia Straight in a telephone interview.

She reiterated the ISU's assurance that all Olympic security operations will be carried out “in line with Canadian laws and Canadian values”.

Robert Holmes, president of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, told the Straight he received a similar response when he raised the issue with the ISU.

Holmes recalled an incident that occurred in August 2007 at a North American leaders' summit in Montebello, Quebec. Video that was later posted on YouTube “caught” three undercover officers attempting to incite violence in order to delegitimize the peaceful protest, Holmes claimed. Quebec provincial police later admitted that three of its officers posed as protesters, but denied they were agents provocateurs.

Watch activists confront three individuals at an August 2007 protest in Montebello, Quebec. Provincial police later admitted that three of its officers did pose as protesters.

“I would hope that we don't get here the same kind of stuff that they experienced in Quebec with the G8 meeting and the Montebello conference between Bush and Harper,” Holmes said.
Back then, NDP MPs Peter Julian (Burnaby–New Westminster) and Libby Davies (Vancouver East) called for a public inquiry into the agents provocateurs allegations. The Conservative government did not act on their request.

In a July 15 interview with the Straight, Julian described the Quebec provincial police's actions as “disgraceful”, but noted that the RCMP was not involved in the controversy.

“I think there is a greatly lessened chance of this happening [in Vancouver] because of what happened in Montebello,” Julian said. “I think the RCMP is well aware that it just completely blew up in the QPP's face.”

Holmes said that the BCCLA asked the ISU “point-blank” for a guarantee that agents provocateurs would not be used during the Games. He recalled the ISU responded that all plans were confidential. “That's not comforting,” he said.

More on Harper's Police State:

1. American Journalist Gets a Glimpse of Harper's Police State

2. Media Normalizes Use of Pepper Spray and Tear Gas

3. Militarization of Our Police is a Harper Initiative

4. Harper Government Condones Police Brutality to Push Law and Order Agenda

5. Stephen Harper and Protesting the Right to Protest

6. Police Intimidation is Becoming the Norm Under Stephen Harper

7. Stephen Harper and His Police State Mentality

8. Welcome to Canada. Leave Your Civil Liberties at the Door

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