November 3, 2011
Leaders of the self-described leaderless Occupy Wall Street Movement in Oakland, California, have told NBC Bay Area that “anarchists” not associated with the group are responsible for last night’s violence. Black-clad troublemakers attacked banks and also trashed a Whole Foods Store (see video below).
In response, Oakland police suited up in riot gear attacked the OWS main encampment and fired tear gas and projectiles at marchers. “Groggy people in tents could be heard telling police to go deal with troublemakers instead,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
The march in support of a call for a general strike in opposition to “economic inequality” was nonviolent. Marchers “attempted to redirect and dissuade” around 60 or 50 so-called anarchists who were “black-garbed with kerchiefs covering their faces.”
The vandalism in Oakland follows an established pattern. On numerous occasions, police have used agents provocateurs to discredit and destroy political movements. In 2009, so-called anarchists attacked banks during the G20 summit in London.
“The black bloc anarchist assault on the Royal Bank of Scotland building yesterday certainly had an air of being stage-managed. The target was announced in advance, the authorities knew that the building was a prime target, and yet it was the only one in the street not boarded up. A cafe across the street was boarded up and yet the RBS building was left completely vulnerable to attack,” Paul Joseph Watson wrote on April 2, 2009.
Police participation in vandalism was revealed in 2007 during G20 protests at Montebello Quebec when a union leader caught and outed three masked undercover Quebec Provincial Police operatives dressed as anarchists. A photograph of the undercover police wearing combat boots identical to those of the security police arresting them later appeared.
Earlier this year, documents filed by the Joint Intelligence Group formed by the RCMP-led ISU (Integrated Security Unit) revealed that various police services contributed at least 12 undercover officers to take part in covert surveillance of potential “criminal extremists” at the protest in a bid to “detect… and disrupt” any threats during the summit, according to CBC News.
In 2009, a video revealed police agents provocateurs mingling with protesters at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh.
Anarchists are responsible for other acts of violence during protests, including the torching of a Strasbourg hotel during an anti-NATO march in 2009 and a deadly bank fire during anti-austerity protests in Greece last year.
In October, members of the OWS in Denver reported the presence of agents provocateurs at protests and attending group meetings.