This is going to be very brief as information is just now breaking, but after explicitly denying the use of undercover agents at the SPP protests at the Montebello North American summit, the Surete Quebec, the provincial police agency, has admitted having undercover agents..
Quebec provincial police admitted Thursday that their officers disguised themselves as demonstrators during the protests at the North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que. The police came under fire Wednesday when protesters accused the force of planting undercover officers in the demonstration to provoke violence. A video surfaced on YouTube that appeared to depict disguised police in the crowd.
More to come
Cross posted in Orange.
For background please also see previous Montebello Undercover Ops diaries on Daily Kos
By kidneystones |
By Scout Finch
This is a classic Public Relations blunder. Disclosure - I have written corporate PR during my working life. Yes, I've been a corporate flack (shame). Although there is such a beast as ethical PR. I know a wee bit about it.
Rule #1 - Come clean immediately. Backpedalling later makes you appear more foolish and incompetent.
UPDATE: We now have a second media report from the Ottawa Citizen
Quebec's provincial police acknowledged in a statement Thursday that their agents had infiltrated protesters demonstrating during the recent North American leaders summit in Montebello, Que., but denied that they acted as "agent provocateurs". "They had the mandate to spot and identify violent demonstrators to avoid the situation from getting out of hand," the Surete du Quebec said in a statement. "The police officers were identified by demonstrators when they refused to throw projectiles." "At no time did the Surete du Quebec police officers act as agents provocateurs or commit criminal acts," the statement adds. A spokesperson for the police force refused to further comment on the statement.
So, undercover agents were made. Still no explicit admission that these are the guys caught on the video. But somebody Puh-leeze tell me it doesn't mean exactly what I think it means.
UPDATE 2: It gets better. Way better. SQ flat out admits these guys in the video were undercover. h/t to RossK at The Gazetteer. he's tracked down the Media Release from the SQ here in French. There's a fair amount of spin in it. No surprise. The money quote, which Ross ran through Google Translator with some human help follows.
Following the diffusion of a video extract on Internet site Youtube.com, possibly implying members of the Safety of Quebec at the time of the Summit of Montebello, the latter would like to bring certain precise details. After having analyzed its contents, in addition to taking note of the vidéos recorded by the police bodies, it is able now to confirm that these individuals are police officers of the Safety of Quebec. The latter had the mandate to locate and identify the nonpeaceful demonstrators for thus avoiding the overflows. The police officers were located by the demonstrators at the time when they refused to launch projectiles. As any time, the police officers of the Safety of Quebec acted like provocative or made agents criminal acts.
Moreover, it is not in the policies of the service of police force nor in its strategies to act in this manner. Constantly, they answered their mandate to maintain the order and safety.
The second paragraph is a bit of a mangled translation. A more accurate translation would be:
At no time did officers of the SQ act as agent provocateurs or engage in criminal activities. Moreover, it is not our policy to engage in such tactics or activities. At no time did they stray from their mandate to maintain order and safety.