This week, at the North American Leaders Summit in Montebello, Quebec, 3 undercover police officers pretended to be protesters in an attempt to provoke violent incidents. The entire series of events was captured on video, and shared via YouTube. The cops are the three goons with bandanas over their faces. None of the real protesters wore disguises. One of the cops is carrying a rock.
Agent provocateur with a rock in his right hand.
The real protesters intervene, trying to prevent violence. Somehow, they realize that the agents provocateurs are cops, and accuse them of that. The fake protesters stop dead in their tracks, and one of them can be seen leaning over and talking with one of the uniformed riot police – over the riot shield – and shortly afterward, the three “protesters” are yanked out, “arrested” and carried to the safety of the police side of the line.
Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada (and, one can only hope, future Prime Minister of Canada) wrote a description of the event on her blog (the Green website is Drupal, by the way…) Similar events allegedly happened in Seattle and Quebec City. Police either staging or allowing violence in order to justify cracking down on protesters.
This is unacceptable. I expect all police officers involved in this action to be summarily fired. And the entire chain of command, up to whoever ordered this. We can’t stand for our police forces to be instigating violence. Thankfully this didn’t happen this time. But it was damned close.
As a Canadian citizen, I demand an inquiry. I demand it to be public and open. And I expect for this to never, ever happen again. We are above this.
What scares me is this – what would have happened without YouTube to get the video out? There was video taken at Seattle and Quebec City, but it stayed on analog tape and didn’t get as widely circulated. This is why “Web 2.0” is important. Never mind personal publishing for cat blogging, and ego surfing and identity management. The reason Web 2.0 is changing the world is by putting the power back into the hands of individuals. Democracy is mass media, in action.