The day after online footage revealed the presence of police provocateurs at the Montebello SPP summit protest the Quebec police have been forced to admit that the rock wielding men initially confronted for being in the agreed 'family friendly' zone by a union leader were indeed police agents.
Note the matching boot soles
Video of the confrontation between union leader Dave Coles (president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada) appeared on youtube soon after the protest.
Initially he thinks he is dealing with anarchists who have wandered into the wrong protest zone (it was agreed to have a family friendly protest zone, the location of this video, separate from the 'direct action' one). While confronting them he notices that one of them is carrying a large rock. Despite this the reaction of the three masked men when confronted is not to retreat into the crowd but to move right up to a line of riot police. At the same moment the video shows some actual anarchists arrive and start to shout that these guys are cops and that they have been trying to provoke them into becoming aggressive.
One of the cops pushes or even punches Dave away from him, another can be seen talking to the riot police. Shortly afterwards the cops 'push' through the line of riot police before being 'arrested' on the ground and led away.
Apart from the cops behavour when confronted there were other clues to their identity. Photos of the 'arrest' show the soles of the boots that two of the 'protesters' are wearing. These are identical to the soles of the boots that the cops arresting them are wearing and on investigation turned up to be pattern only used for police boots. (#134AR Technical Lug soles - see http://www.vibram.us/ ).
Another give away is that the police only claimed four arrests on the day and four other arrests, all of known protesters, were already known of. So these three guys have vanished.
After being silent for a day the cops finally had to own up but put the remarkable spin on the story that "“The police officers were identified by demonstrators when they refused to throw projectiles." Right - pretty much exactly not what the video shows where instead the cops seems very attached to their projectiles despite the demonstrators repeated demands that they should drop them. This is a good moment to view the video.
Of course while the use of 'agent provocateurs' is hardly new - they have been observed at most summit protests - it is rare that they are exposed in quite such a clear manner. And in this case in the act of trying to not only get 'family friendly' demonstrators attacked by riot police but also of trying to stir up conflict between different demonstrators through violating the agreement about protest zones.
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