Thursday, 19 July 2007

Agent Provocateurs

Back here I blogged about the protests at the G8 summit in Germany and mentioned how clashes between protesters and police started after undercover policemen tried to grab a couple of the protesters.

At this blog, histologion links to a whole series of articles about police provocateurs who disguise themselves as protesters and then spark off clashes or otherwise try and derail protest marches. It seems to have become a pretty common tactic in the last 5 or 6 years. For example there is this incident about which more is written here:

But something was funny about four members of the black-clad contingent. One of them, possibly the leader of the little group, wore a jacket with the red logo of a music group called "Slip-Knot," popular with globalization opponents. This was unusual, since the others avoided any details which would make them easily identifiable on police videos. And then, as the line of cops took up position nearby, ready to end the blockade, it was these four who started picking up stones from between the railroad tracks and lobbing them over towards the police and shouting, "Get the bulls"! Then one of the other protesters took a good look at the young man with the logo before he had a chance to pull up his bandana mask.

SlipKnot"That's the same fellow who arrested me during a demonstration in Bremen last year!" he cried, and he and his friends made a grab for the four. Two of the four made it to police lines, one disappeared, but they caught the one with the red logo, presumably the leader. They did not treat him exactly gently, it must be admitted, but one of the group organizers took hold of the man, sheltering him from the crowd, and dragged him over and delivered him to the police line -- and safety.

Although this episode ended the stone throwing, the police started up with their water cannon anyway, excuse or no excuse.

The police claim that their undercover agents are only there to observe and do not participate in or provoke any violence.


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