That was fast: Surete Quebec comes (halfway) clean

August 23, 2007 · By

The Age of YouTube will not be a comfortable one for established authority:

* 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.

This next bit is not credible, however:

However, the police force denied allegations its undercover officers were there on Monday to provoke the crowd and instigate violence.

Right. Because nothing says “just keeping the peace” like wielding a rock.

Comments

12 Responses to “That was fast: Surete Quebec comes (halfway) clean”

  1. Dawg's Blawg on August 25th, 2007 3:10 pm [#]

    Meanwhile, a few choice quotes that stand out from the week’s events: When protesters are yelling at undercover police officers to “put down the rock!”, something’s clearly amiss. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?Lord Kitchener’s OwnIn this case, [the SQ officers] didn’t defuse conflict, they provoked conflict. Martin Courcy, conflict management expertThey won’t be winning any Oscars for their performance. Senior Sûreté du Québec

  2. Red Tory on August 24th, 2007 10:20 am [#]

    take people who are well-fed, muscular, and that much older and think that they’re going to blend in. It’s stretching the bounds of credulity a bit.” Of course, we’ve seen what credulous dopes some people can be… Update: A little snark fromJoel at The Politicabout the Sûreté du Québec’s unconvincing denial of allegations that its undercover officers were there on Monday to provoke the crowd and instigate violence. “Right. Because nothing says ‘just keeping the peace’ like wielding a rock.”

  3. Abattoir on August 23rd, 2007 10:19 pm [#]

    Hmm..nothing like giving a completely implausible excuse for your actions, and then refusing to comment any further on the subject. My wife loves it when I do that.

    As I said in the other post, there should at least be an investigation here, to see if these officers crossed the line into instigation.

  4. Joel on August 23rd, 2007 10:48 pm [#]

    Agreed. Surete Quebec would like to pretend that the issue was having undercover cops in the protest. It wasn’t… that would have been fine.

    The problem is that they were clearly there to give the uniformed riot officers an excuse to crack peaceful hippie skulls. That type of forceful suppression of peaceful dissent is the domain of banana republics, and beyond the pale for a twenty-first century liberal democracy.

  5. CatalystDave on August 24th, 2007 2:28 am [#]

    Partial quote from the Calgary Sun, yesterday:

    “An attempt to broadcast images of protesters ended on a grim note when the camera man taping the event was assaulted, summit organizers said.

    “He was roughed up pretty badly, but his injuries weren’t bad enough to require a hospital visit”, a spokesman said.

    “As a result the camera crew won’t be coming back”

    I noticed they never specified WHO did the ‘roughing up’. Has there been any clarification on this?

    ~D

  6. bert on August 24th, 2007 4:50 am [#]

    Who really gives a crap how many cops were planted within the demonstraters.They did the job and did it well.Lets give a round of applause to the surete .Next time there is a demonstration,the demonstraters wont know who the good guys are or the bad guys,because now the cops know that they should have changed their boots,LOL…The old ladies in a canoe got more tv time for a non issue (giving our water away)than the rock throwers.Pretty sad that this is the type of news that comes out of our well educated MSM.

  7. Police provocateurs? « The Tiger in Somerville on August 24th, 2007 5:06 am [#]

    […] Update, 24 August (a.m): YouTube wins the debate — the police admit their presence. [via The Politic] […]

  8. Mth on August 24th, 2007 5:22 am [#]

    They should just be thankful that there were no carpet-layers from Sherbrooke, otherwise we would have seen some real action.

  9. Surecure on August 24th, 2007 5:53 am [#]

    Cops: “Trust us! We didn’t have anybody undercover!”

    …two days later…

    Cops: “Okay, we lied. There were cops undercover. But trust us! They weren’t going to cause any trouble!”

    …everybody looks at the rocks in the cops’ hands…

    Yeah… fool us once folks.

  10. anon on August 24th, 2007 7:13 am [#]

    bert: You must try hard to be that ignorant. Obviously you didn’t even read ANY of the comments on this; the issue was that the police were clearly wielding a rock and inciting violence or destruction of property. By any reasonable assessment, that lies outside the boundaries of proper police conduct.

  11. Lord Kitchener's Own on August 24th, 2007 7:55 am [#]

    Yeah, there’s nothing wrong with the police having an undercover presence at demonstrations to observe what’s going on, and head off trouble. The problem is, there’s considerable circumstantial evidence that in this case the undercover cops were assigned with STIRRING UP trouble.

    When protesters are yelling at undercover police officers to “put down the rock!”, something’s clearly amiss. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

    Now the police have even claimed they were holding a rock to “blend in”. The only problem with that? He was the only one with a rock! Ironically, that’s actually what tipped off the protesters that something was wrong. You don’t “blend in” with peaceful protesters by brandishing rocks and sticks and acting belligerent.

    As for bert’s comment that undercover operatives “did the job and did it well”. I would simply ask by what standard bert is judging that (and what job is he talking about?). If their job was just to observe (yeah right) then they failed miserably, as they were exposed as undercover police not just to the protesters, but to the wholle planet. If their job was to incite violence, they failed at that too, leading to the amazing spectacle of PROTESTERS demanding of a POLICE OFFICER that he put down the rock in his hand, and remain peaceful. I just can’t imagine what “job” bert thinks these guy did well. They blew their cover, ON VIDEO, and have been accused of trying to incite a riot. Could they have done much worse???

  12. Surecure on August 24th, 2007 8:05 am [#]

    I couldn’t have said it better LKO. You’re absolutely right. Those undercover cops failed at everything they could have possibly hoped to accomplish. The fact that their cover was blown as “undercover” cops is proof positive that they failed outrightly.

    And the fact that they were holding rocks is just plain bad. There should have been no reason for them to be doing that even if they were trying to blend in. It’s like a cop voluntarily (i.e. without being demanded to) shooting heroine to blend into a drug deal. There’s no excuse.

  13. Canadian Cynic: And they wonder why we despise them. on August 24th, 2007 11:39 am [#]

    […] bert writes:Who really gives a crap how many cops were planted within the demonstraters.They did the job and did it well.Lets give a round of applause to the surete .Next time there is a demonstration,the demonstraters wont know who the good guys are or the bad guys,because now the cops know that they should have changed their boots,LOL…I’ll keep Bert in mind for the next time someone publicly wonders why I can’t be more civil.BONUS DUMBFUCKITUDE: Blogging Tory “Backseat Blogger” dons his brownshirt and parades smartly around his parents’ basement:… On balance I’m going to come down on the side of the police in this one.Their actions were justified to maintain public order and security while the behaviour and language of Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union was insulting at best and provocative and rabble rousing at worst.Damn straight. Demanding that a burly, masked troublemaker put down the rock he was holding. Why … the nerve!Why they didn’t just pull out a Taser and put 50,000 volts into Coles is still a mystery. […]

  14. M@ on August 24th, 2007 11:46 am [#]

    One thing I’m impressed with in this whole situation is that so many bloggers and commenters of every political stripe are finding common cause. For example, I can’t remember ever agreeing with LKO on any issue, but I wholeheartedly agree with every word he’s said here.

    It’s obvious that the Surete’s actions violate some very deeply-held Canadian values. Let’s keep that in mind going forward — that we’re not diametrically opposed, and that we all engaged in these discussions for the best of reasons.