Sunday, 10 May 2009

Did G20 Police use Agent Provocateurs?

From The Observer:

An MP who was involved in last month's G20 protests in London is to call for an investigation into whether the police used agents provocateurs to incite the crowds.

Liberal Democrat Tom Brake says he saw what he believed to be two plain-clothes police officers go through a police cordon after presenting their ID cards.

Brake, who along with hundreds of others was corralled behind police lines near Bank tube station in the City of London on the day of the protests, says he was informed by people in the crowd that the men had been seen to throw bottles at the police and had encouraged others to do the same shortly before they passed through the cordon.


You don't need me to tell you how abhorrent an idea this is - that the police may have willingly incited violence (for what purpose?). That kind of thing can get you banned from the country, after all...

I wouldn't be surprised if indeed it does become apparent that the police used agent provocateurs. There were certainly some plain clothes policemen there on the day, as The Guardian's video evidence clearly shows. This presence in itself ought to raise questions - the use of plain clothes policemen at such an event is utterly unacceptable. In the tinder box atmosphere where the police treated innocent and militant indiscriminately, the police should be clearly marked out from protesters, but we're all now too well aware of their propensity for making identification difficult.

Let's also not forget that prior to the protests, the police were hyping up the so-called 'Summer of Rage', propagating the idea that a groundswell of violent, anarchist action was imminent in order to frighten people away from the protests and maybe even to validate their tactics ahead of the event. Therefore, if these accusations prove to be true, how can we ever again trust a word the police say?

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A union leader stops provocateurs at a protest in Quebec, Canada.

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