February 14, 2010
Once again, so-called “anarchists,” clad in black with their faces masked, have engaged in violent protest and property destruction, this time in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics.
“A loosely organized group of ‘thugs’ from central Canada promoting anarchy were among 200 anti-Olympic protesters who marched through downtown Vancouver Saturday, smashing plate glass windows at Hudson’s Bay and TD bank, overturning newspaper boxes and assaulting bystanders, police say. They used spray paint on cars and transit buses, tore down signs and threw about road construction barricades as they marched down the street,” reports CTV.
In 2007, Canadian cops were caught red-handed posing as anarchists during a North American Union summit in Montebello, Quebec. “Protesters are accusing police of using undercover agents to provoke violent confrontations at the North American leaders’ summit,” the Toronto Star reported. “Such accusations have been made before after similar demonstrations but this time the alleged ‘agents provocateurs’ have been caught on camera.”
Photographs released showed the supposed “anarchists” wearing the same boots as the police arresting them. “Protest organizers on Wednesday played the video for the media at a news conference in Ottawa. One of the organizers, union leader Dave Coles, explained that one reason protesters knew the men’s true identities was because they were wearing the same boots as other police officers,” CBC News reported on August 23, 2007.
“Quebec provincial police admitted Thursday that three of their officers disguised themselves as demonstrators during the protest at the North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que.” The police refused additional comment.
In Pittsburgh during the G20 in September, police agents provocateurs were exposed during a march against police brutality.
In the aftermath of “anarchist” violence during the London G20 in April, 2009, British MP Tom Brake called for an investigation into whether the police used agents provocateurs to incite violence. “When I was in the middle of the crowd, two people came over to me and said, ‘There are people over there who we believe are policemen and who have been encouraging the crowd to throw things at the police,’” Brake The Guardian on May 10.
[efoods]Following a now well established pattern, demonstrations against the 2010 Olympics were peaceful until the “anarchists” arrived. “The protest remained peaceful until about 30 minutes before the Opening Ceremonies,” The Province reports today. “Some protesters began throwing large traffic pylons, eggs, broken flagpoles, bags of vinegar and potatoes at officers. There was also pushing within the crowd.”
“According to police, some of the demonstrators are from out of province and are here to promote anarchy.”
“Police said Saturday’s event involved protesters from other parts of Canada and the United States,” Reuters added.
Canadian officials, however, were successful in preventing independent journalists from entering the country. On February 11, Chicago Indymedia reported on the detention and deportation of several journalists at the Canadian border. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security apparently worked in tandem with the Canadians to prevent the journalists from entering the country.
Canadian police went out of their way to intimidate activists prior to the Olympics. “For months now, police have been knocking on the doors of known activists and tracking them down in their neighborhoods to ‘chat’ about their Olympic protest plans,” The Vancouver Sun reported last July.
The Vancouver city council enacted bylaws providing sweeping discretionary powers to Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Manager Penny Ballem to do whatever is “warranted,” “necessary or desirable” to ensure the Olympics’ “safety and security” and “protection of commercial rights,” according to the newspaper.
The bylaws authorized police to search people, install closed circuit cameras, confiscate megaphones and “anything that makes noise,” and prohibit anyone who would “cause any disturbance or nuisance interfering with the enjoyment of entertainment on city land by other persons.”
Despite these draconian restrictions and the interrogation of activists by police, the anarchists slipped through the police state net and were allowed to destroy property as the media and police looked on.