8.24.2007

protesters gave me the rocks! why don't you believe me?

Following up on our recent discussion of the police attempting to incite violence among the peaceful demonstrations at Montebello, here's a CBC story, and some in-game commentary. All emphasis mine.
Quebec provincial police are standing behind three officers who went undercover during protests at the recent Montebello summit, saying the men weren't there to provoke demonstrators.

"At no time did the officers in question engage in provocation or incite anyone to commit violent acts," Insp. Marcel Savard told a news conference in Montreal on Friday.

The police admitted Thursday afternoon that three masked men caught on video Monday afternoon pushing toward a line of riot police, despite protesters' efforts to stop them, were the force's officers.

The protesters were demonstrating against an agreement called the Security and Prosperity Partnership that was being discussed by U.S. President George Bush, Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Montebello Monday and Tuesday.

Savard acknowledged that one of the officers was given a rock by protesters but did not use it. [Was given a rock by protesters??? Say wha?]

"One of the extremists gave the rock to one of our police officers and he had a choice to make," Savard said. "He was asked by extremists to throw the rock at the police, but never had any intention of using it."

Protester Dave Coles on Friday refuted Savard's allegations.

"I would testify in a court of law that these guys were lying. They were pushing me around. They had rocks," said Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union.

"They were trying to incite violence. They were trying to get others to throw rocks at the store. It's just a fabrication."

The police admission came after several days of accusations from the protesters and denials from police that the three men were agents trying to provoke a confrontation between protesters and police.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day continued to dismiss calls for a public inquiry on Friday, saying the RCMP has a formal complaints process.

"The thing that was interesting in this particular incident, three people in question were spotted by protesters because were not engaging in violence," Day said.

"They were being encouraged to throw rocks and they were not throwing rocks, it was the protesters who were throwing the rocks. That's the irony of this."
[Can somebody please give Mr Day a dictionary, so he can look up the meaning of irony?? The protesters were throwing rocks? What protesters were throwing rocks? If they were, why weren't they arrested? Why did the huge phalanx of police in full riot gear just allow protesters to throw rocks? Why is there no mention of rock-throwing in any media account, Mr Day? Knowing how the media jumps on the slightest bit of agitation at any demonstration, why did not one media report on this rock throwing? What's that? BECAUSE IT DIDN'T HAPPEN?]

On Friday, politicians and protesters alike were still demanding answers about the incident.

Quebec Opposition public security critic Sylvie Roy, ADQ MNA for Lotbinière, said in an interview that the province's Public Security Minister Jacques Dupuis has to answer for the police actions.

Coles, who tried to hold the masked men back, said he is considering pressing charges against the undercover officer who pushed him.

"Criminal acts were committed. They were shoving me and others," he said Friday. "We want an arm's-length independent inquiry of what's going on here."

A video posted on YouTube Tuesday showed three burly men dressed in black with bandanas over their faces pushing past Coles and other protesters in a designated protest area. One man was carrying a rock.

In the video, the protesters told the men to leave and put down the rock, and accused them of being agents provocateurs. The men broke through the police line and were handcuffed by police.

The video has been viewed 190,000 times since it was posted online on Tuesday.

The police later admitted the men were its officers, but said they were there to maintain order and were not trying to incite violence. [Did you see the video? Did it look like the men were maintaining order???]

After the police denied that the three men were indeed undercover cops, why should we believe anything they say? Especially when the whole incident was recorded on videotape?

But from the Taking Solace Where You Find It Department, I will add that it's heartening what a big story this is in the mainstream Canadian media. It would be nothing in the US. Not a small story - a non-story.

8 comments:

redsock said...

Very Bush Administrationesque of the Quebec police and Day.

Denying the existence of what everyone and his blind brother can see on videotape.

M@ said...

It's quite simple. The protesters gave these undercover police officers (and only the undercover police officers) rocks, and then demanded the undercover police officers drop the rocks when the camera was on them.

Anything other than that is a crazy moonbat conspiracy theory and can safely be dismissed from the discussion.

(I think I've got the government's tone about right there, but I realise I've forgotten to work a "support the troops" in there.)

L-girl said...

It's quite simple.

Oh silly me.

but I realise I've forgotten to work a "support the troops" in there.

After all, it's a "Red Friday". [gag]

I hear there's a large military recruitment presence at The Ex. War resisters were talking about trying to maintain a counter-presence, to whatever extent that is possible. They'll have a contingent in the Labour Day parade, which I understand ends at The Ex.

We're going next week with our out-of-town guests, so I'll get a look for myself. (More on that in its own thread, of course.)

Scott M. said...

There's definately a recruitment contingent, but more than that a military "awareness" campaign. The vast, vast majority of people are going in there for the interactive exibits (and it's quite the thing to see this year).

Unfortunately I won't be able to make it this year, but if you would be able to peek your head in and let us know what you find, it would be great.

L-girl said...

Sorry. I would never do that. I am opposed to the idea of war as entertainment.

I also suspect that "awareness" is a euphemism for raising support for the war in Afghanistan. No thanks.

Scott M. said...

But if you're concerned with their tactics, wouldn't it be good to know what their tactics are? "Know thy enemy".

L-girl said...

Some people do that. I don't. I don't want enemies. I want peace.

L-girl said...

Good post from the Globe and Mail's Adam Radwanski. When that hotbed of radicalism the Globe & Mail is calling the govt out on its lies, the govt should maybe reconsider its position.