Quebec Cops Admit Placing Provocateurs Among Striking Workers

You probably saw this video already. If not, it’s definitely worth taking a look at. The thing that gets me is the sheepish reaction of the undercover provocateurs when they’re accused of being cops. And then, of course, the odd response of the riot police when the agents flee behind their line: At first, they take the guys down, but then, almost instantly, the majority of the riot cops turn their attention back to the real protesters.

It really doesn’t feel like anything other than what the union protesters are claiming: These are undercover cops. And yeah, as it turns out, they were: Quebec police admit they went undercover at Montebello protest.

Police said the three were told to monitor protesters who were not peacefully demonstrating to prevent any violent incidents, but they were called out as undercover agents when they refused to throw objects.

Hm. Really? Granted, we don’t see what came before the footage shown in the YouTube video, but in the video the union organizer repeatedly demands that the cop holding the rock should put the rock down. I think the union version of what happened comes much closer to passing the smell test than the police version.

19 Responses to “Quebec Cops Admit Placing Provocateurs Among Striking Workers”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    The Sûreté du Québec (Quebec Police) have a fairly poor reputation to start with, this is a little icing on the cake.

    A retired acquanance of mine who has become engaged in social issues over the past few years recently sent this to our Prime Minister (Mr. Harper) and the Public Safety Minister (Mr. Day):

    Dear Sirs:

    I am disgusted, but not surprised, that police agents provocateurs attempted to discredit the peaceful demonstrations at the North American summit last week.

    I was at the Seattle WTO meeting in 1999 as an accredited observer, and I followed the events there closely. Although that event is always referred to in the media as “the battle of Seattle” and the epitome of violence, the only violence on the part of the hundreds of thousands of demonstrators was the trashing of a small coffee shop and the breaking of a few store windows by a few “anarchists” who were unknown to any of the legitimate demonstrators. At the time, there was much speculation that they were either agents provocateurs or local hoodlums trying to cause trouble, but there was no proof.

    In Seattle, violence on the part of the demonstrators was so hard to find that for hours the TV stations showed a small newspaper vending machine smoldering in a vacant intersection, presumably as a symbol of the non-existent “violence”. On the other hand, the police violence was extraordinary. A large contingent of police went to Capitol Hill, a mixed residential and commercial area, and for hours fired tear gas at anyone who moved on the street. They made life miserable for the hundreds of people living in the area. They used so much tear gas there and downtown that they had to send out for more gas from other parts of the USA.

    Ever since then, demonstrators have been categorized as violent and as justifying the massive ranks of Darth Vader clad riot police who are always deployed against them. However, demonstrator violence has been very hard to find despite the rough treatment by the police.

    I am glad that police provocateurs have at last been unmasked, and I sincerely hope that this revelation will cause police all over the world to rethink their practice of provoking violence to discredit peaceful demonstrations. The dozens of peaceful demonstrations against war and the global corporate agenda have often involved hundreds of thousands of people, but all the peaceful demonstrations together have done less total damage than the average soccer riot.

    I hope that in the future peaceful demonstrations will be treated by the government and the media as what they are – the peaceful assembly of large numbers of concerned citizens expressing legitimate and widely held points of view. Peaceful demonstrators deserve to be praised and heeded, not falsely portrayed as agents of violent irrationality.

    signed by the sender

  2. enkidu Says:

    Just back from Canada, where I made a point of drinking up as many unusual Canadian beers as possible. Caught this story when I was up n over there. When I reported it (somewhat skeptically I must admit) to a room full of 40 to 50 somethings (including my wife’s father – ok one 70s) and was met with some skepticism. To now have the authorities admit they sent provocateurs in to discredit a peaceful protest is sickening.

    Why does power corrupt so utterly?

    And can you imagine how many billions of dollars have been spent on making public opinion here in the US? Hey where is that guy from the Rendon Group? (who – being a typical Rethuggle™ Very Serious Person actually had his login as trg7349 (a string of numbers anyway) Talk about lazy and stupid…

  3. enkidu Says:



  4. NorthernLite Says:

    I have been following this very closely since it happend. What a disgrace. There is a lot of momentum gathering up here for a public inquiry into this fiasco.

  5. shcb Says:

    When I watch this video, early on I see 5 or 6 guys other than the cops dressed like the cops, masks, black outfits, jeans, and the union organizer seems to know one of them. He also seems to know which three are out of place. If this was going to be nothing more than a peaceful demonstration, why the masks? I don’t have a dog in this fight, don’t really care one way or the other, but this kind of gets into our on and off discussion of the evolution of the media, this is another aspect of that media. An amateur, completely biased, armed with nothing more than the cell phone that came with his calling plan with access to nearly every man woman and child on the earth in less than a second without an editor. Could be good, could be bad, but it is a new wrinkle.

  6. NorthernLite Says:

    The really interesting thing about this, and one of the things that got them busted, was if you look closely at the “protestors” boots, they are the exact same as the police officers only they have spray paint on them.

    The whole thing is a shame. And what it did (in this country at least) was take attention away from the very serious concerns people have about the secrecy of the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP).

  7. shcb Says:


    Really! You would think the police could at least go to the shoe store. I’m really not taking the cops side here, even though that is my instinct. I just think discerning information in the coming years is going to take more vigilance. But maybe it always has.

    What is the SPP?

  8. knarlyknight Says:


    Don’t bother yourself about the SPP. Something like 3 or 5 years ago it was a completely debunked conspiracy theory promulgated on the gullible by liberals and professors at the , something about our leaders conspiring to integrate Canada, USA and Mexico through administrative and security measures so that labour, investment, & capital could flow freely and environmental or health standards could be better harmonized.

    The conspiracy was that there would be no national debates, there would be no big formal agreement, just on-going business and regulatory alignments behind the scenes that would slowly bring the working structures of the three countries into line before the meddling masses could figure it out and start demonstrating or otherwise raise opposition to the scheme.

    The conspiracy theorists would refer to it as the NAFTA on steroids.

    There used to be lots of conspiracy stories about secret high level meetings on the issue, but since it was debunked years ago I no longer pay any attention to it. I do wonder, however, why there is so much fuss about it now. Seems like the mainstream press has discovered this old story and they seem to think there must be something to it. Well, if so, it’s probably close to being a fait accomplis by now.

    I have heard that Mexican truckers can now enter the southern USA more freely. If present trends continue, you will be seeing a lot more Mexican plated semi-trailer trucks rolling through your town in the years to come. Saves the expense of offloading from Mexican and re-loading onto American semi’s, so it must be a good thing. If the SPP is not a conspiracy and goes ahead, it should do a lot to clear up the Mexican emigration contraversy since a free flow of workers and others across the borders is a central component of the SPP.

    But, as I said, it is just one big conspiracy so maybe lefty can fill you in from his Alex Jones websites. Make sure you ask him about the NAFTA Superhighway, not so long ago it was ridiculed as the uber-silly example of conspiracy theorists but now there are official US government sites devoted to weasel words stating that it is not a federal program, the US government has no involvement, blah blah blah (find your own link), except that the opposition conservatives (who the hell are they?) seem to be getting their panties in a knot over it too:

    Sounds like a lot of ho-ha about some silly rumour started a long time ago by conspiracy theorists.

  9. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb – No kidding about the boots man! I shit you not. It’s a well known fact of the story. I guess we shouldn’t be surprised they got caught, apparently they aren’t too bright! (Remember, these are my countrymen we’re talking about too!)

    With his sarcasim aside, Knarley summed up the SPP pretty well. We’re told it’s to harmonize things like food labels and what not. But the big fear up here is that Canada’s very high labour and food standards are going to get watered down to match, say yours or even Mexico’s!

    It may all be unfounded fear, but the secrecy of these meetings and the fact they only include government and business groups – and not labour and environmental groups – only adds to that fear.

    Government of Canada Website on the SPP

    Average Joe Website on the SPP

    I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on this. The fact that you asked, “What is the SPP?” says something.

    Someone who is as astute as you seem to be with world events asking that question about a major intergration taking place in your own country says a lot about the secrecy of this thing.

    Some scary people even refer to the SPP vision as the “North American Union” (common currency, etc.)

  10. NorthernLite Says:

    Sorry SHCB…

    Average Joe Website on the SPP

  11. shcb Says:

    NL, Knarly,

    I have heard of the North American Union, I had never heard it called SPP. I’ve heard a few shows and read an article or two on it, but this isn’t really a hot topic with me. It’s hard to get too excited about regulating trucks crossing your borders when there seems no will to regulate the border to begin with. It’s like getting excited that the town council is finally holding an emergency meeting to discuss parking on main street when the dam is about to break. I was just listening to Paul Harvey and he said trucks from Mexico will start rolling next week, I wonder if trucks from the US will be going into Mexico? In principal I am opposed to anything that limits a countries’ or states’ autonomy. Within reason of course. From what I understand, one of if not the main route runs through Limon Colorado, a small town about 75 miles east of here so there is a local component to this. As far as I can tell, the main objections are coming from the teamsters union since it will affect their rice bowl. I have almost no sympathy for unions, so… The other argument I have heard is safety concerns regarding the trucks, but I think that could be fixed with random checks at the border. You guys are Canadians, if you value the things you value, that should be your prerogative. Personally, we get so much of our goods from Mexico now that not having it loaded and unloaded will just mean what we get will be a little fresher. Now when they start to talk about a common currency, you will hear me scream. I like the idea of a little competition between countries. It gives us a chance to pick good ideas from each culture. I’m going to Holland next week, and the EU is what this is modeled after I’m sure, I’ll ask the folks over there how it is working if I can squeeze it into conversation. Again, from a personal perspective, I guess we clear customs in Frankfort and then don’t have to deal with formalities until we return to Chicago. Handy for us, not too secure for individual countries, guess that is the tradeoff.

  12. NorthernLite Says:

    The official name is the SPP (North American Security and Prosperity Partnership).

    For the record, I really have no major problem with our two countries integrating further. It’s Mexico that worries me.

    I know when your country looks up at us and sees the second largest oil deposit on earth (only behind Saudi Arabia), you start to drool a little bit. Don’t worry, we’ll feed that addiction.

  13. shcb Says:


    I think this could be the beginning of beautiful relationship. You sell us oil, we’ll sell you Viagra. Of course neither you or I needs it. (yet). Mexico is a problem, and I’m not sure it has a solution.

  14. knarlyknight Says:

    It’s not the oil/gas that’s the problem, it is the controversy and environmental impacts of large scale water diversions.

    Some people on another blog have been expressing fears that the risk of a dirty bomb coming across the Mexican border in a semi has been increased dramatically with this development:

    Any reason why those fears might be ill-founded?

  15. shcb Says:


    I think dirty bomb fears are probably well founded, I wonder if the threat is that much greater now than before though, I wonder how well things were being inspected. But in theory I think it could certainly be a problem.

    I think if I were going to explode a dirty bomb, especially if I were an Islamic terrorist, I would bring it into America by sea. I think private vessels probably aren’t searched as well as other modes of transportation. Living in the port city of Denver makes me an expert in these matters by the way. My target would be the ports and oil depots around Houston. Since my biggest bargaining chip is oil, make a major port radioactive for quite some time.

    I’m interested in your comment about large scale water diversions, how would that work? Just asking, I’m not being combatant.

  16. knarlyknight Says:

    Thanks for your opinion, but I had hoped for some reason for optimism, what with the billions devoted to your homeland security, warrantless wiretapping, etc… I tend to forget those measures are mostly to keep tabs on Democrats and other liberals… sigh… and sorry for dragging down the discussion.

    WATER PROJECTS – Funny you should ask, the answer to your WATER export question appeared today in our second of two national papers, the blatantly reich-wing pro-business National Post (which as a general rule ridicules, ignores and undercuts environmental and social issues – so you should like it):

    The Canadian water debate is starting up today (another YOU HEARD IT HEAR ON LIES.COM FIRST)

    Typical objections to such schemes are emotionally and or environmentally based, here are two items that give a balance to Diane Francis-Goebbel’s hit piece:

    and an item from 2001 about a Bush water diplomatic blunder:

    Taken together, those three items show exactly what people fear about the SPP:

    In 2001, Bush casually talks about water diversion – revealing a characteristically lax attitude among high level US and Cdn leaders with respect to an issue strongly opposed by Canadians – there is a furore that later fades away (and then is buried under falling debris in Manhattan).

    However, behind the scenes the SPP architects over the intervening years have advanced the arguments setting in place a framework to allow such projects to go forward, and then finally, TODAY, the National Post starts the new sales pitch (propaganda) complete with a belittling of their opponents.

    Canada is becoming more like America every day – for example take these blatant and disgraceful ad hominems from the Post article:

    ”Canada’s wing-nut politicians — Liberals and NDPers in particular — have spoken out against water exports, as though it was somehow bad for the nation or that Canadians would die of thirst.”
    WRONG, almost any junior high school kid can tell her that opponents have spoken out against them for the potential environmental damage especially if further wetlands are impacted or water flows do not enable fish to breed or result in water temperatures too hot for native water organisms, and due to NAFTA and other provisions that require proportional levels of exports to be maintained regardless of domestic shortages (and although Canada overall has abundant water supplies, there are significant areas that have shortages.) So who are the wing-nuts? Diane Francis of The National Post because she does not have a clue as to what the objections are about water exports.

    ”Hopefully, water won’t be a rallying cry for the economically and technologically ignorant left-of-centre parties in Canada or its provinces.” Why? Because you want it to be a rallying cry for the environmentally and socially ignorant right-of-centre parties in Canada or its provinces?

    Diane Francis of The National Post has not a clue as to what a civilised debate entails, she writes as if she’s just another ignorant blogger on

  17. shcb Says:

    Wow, I didn’t know anything like that was being discussed, on one hand the technology sounds kind of cool. I’m a little suspicious of that guy that said the water was worth x billions and then said he didn’t know how much it was worth. I would be careful about giving up your water. Denver is a high country desert with most of the western United States water supply 90 miles to the North West, so we understand your pains, I don’t have time to get into it more now, we have a dinner to go to tonight and I leave for Europe in a couple days and I haven’t even got my suitcase out of storage yet. Sometime when a thread starts getting slow let’s start this up again. Colorado has over a hundred years of history with water wars.

    From what I have seen, some of the bloggers here can write as well as some of the columnists. There are some pretty intelligent folks here at Lies, unfortunately, u and me ain’t in tht group

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    smile, and sigh, so true, but neither is enkidu or his albatross leftbehind.

  19. enkidu Says:

    Here is how far Duhmerkkkuh has sunk into the fascist cesspool.
    But to the strident rwnjs this is all about FREEDOM and JUSTICE!!!

    yeah yeah I know, Ted Kennedy is fat.
    Michael Moore is fat too.
    blah blah blah

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