Photos and video published today by activists at the North American Leader's Summit in Montebello, Quebec, have revealed what protesters have known for a long time: Canada's police are paid to go “undercover,” dressed as activists, in order to provoke protesters into acts of violence. Three (alleged) police officers are seen in the video posted on YouTube (below) to be inciting confrontation with union leaders and riot cops. One is holding a rock, and the three push union leaders as members of CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) shout “You're a cop! Take off your mask!”
The use of provocateurs by Canada's law enforcement agencies is not new news, but solid proof of such despicable acts of sabotage are more rare. The above gallery photo offers some concrete evidence that these three “protesters” if not cops, somehow found the same police-issued riot cop boots to wear to the summit. Watching the video makes it pretty clear as well: the three are seen standing stupidly, not sure what to do as the accusations that they are cops begin to fly, then clumsily fumble their way behind the riot cop line into the ranks of their colleagues only to be symbolically cuffed and taken away.
Thanks to the increased use of media by activists, these three cops and the Canadian government may have some answering to do, provided pressure is applied via grassroots and mainstream media exposure. Let's hope the mainstream doesn't sleep through this one, and instead jumps at a chance to expose such blatant activities by the government to win public support for the neoliberal policies that emerge from these summits, at the cost of the reputation and representation of concerned and dedicated citizens. Strike one for protesters, zero for the government.
If anyone has more documentation from this protest and would like to contribute to efforts to bring this incident to a wider public, email Kevin Skerett (CUPE).
Read the Toronto Star article here.