Updated: Quebec Police Admit Using Undercover Agents at Montebello

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

By oreo

By meldroc

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.

Comments

On the rec list at DK

Frank Frinks diary has made the rec list at DK.

Mmmm. I'm sensing a pattern here.

Go Frank Frink!

Rescued yesterday, recommended today, Pale on the rec list the other day - our team is on FIYAH at big orange!

Hey guys

Not surprised this is coming out ...

On the drive home tonight, I heard a report on CBC radio by Nick Gomesh (sp?).

He said that when asked directly if the three men are police officers, the RCMP said no. However, the SC (Surete du Quebec, spokeswoman’s name was Melanie …) would NOT go so far as to say the three men weren't police officers when asked directly. The SC said they know who the men are, but refused to reveal their names to the media.

Gomesh then said he investigated the claim made in the youtube video and news articles about the similarity between the boots of the three men with those of the police, and confirmed that the boots are in fact the same – Vibrant, 134AR model – which is a common boot used by police and firefighters.

Gomesh contacted retired police officers (gave names but I wasn’t able to remember them) for their opinion on the three men, and all concluded that they did not act like normal protesters.

NDP members Peter Julian and Libby Davies are calling for a public inquiry – they want confirmation and explanation of the use of agent provocateurs.

Lyin' Bastards

Flat. Out. Busted.  

Everything's cheaper than it looks.

You tax dollars at work

I applaud your work on this, ff. Investigation, fact checking, informative and concise writing, caution in not assuming what is not yet known. Flat out good work.

Ok, twonnies on the bar. Where will the buck stop ?

Choice A ) independent action by three off-duty SQ police officers

Choice B ) unauthorized operation hatched by low level SQ group assigned as security to Montebello

Choice C ) planned by CISC and signed off on by the PMO and the White House

The bet is for what will be proven within the next six months. The fall guy will be a Canadian, without a doubt. Will there be a proven connection to the Conservative party or only to the Harper government or will no connection be proven ?

Perhaps I shouldn't write this. Speculation and conjecture does not advance the real and important job of ferreting out what happened and informing people of the truth. I will delete this if anyone thinks it is distracting or counterproductive.

[edit - changed SU to SQ - I hope you knew what I meant }

Story Updated

They've 'fessed up.

But, this isn't over. Still a lot of questions. Who else was involved beyond the SQ? 

Everything's cheaper than it looks.

Apparently

There is now to be a press conference at 3:30 with the Quebec PP to address this bullshit.(via Globe and Mail) I hope that someone asks some good questions

OHHHH fun

This is getting bigger daily....:) thanks for the heads up Jazzizbest. :)

Powers that be, powers of three, keep me strong during this insanity......

Wonderful

Making a note that it will be half past noon in my time zone.

No doubt they will be spinning madly.

Hopefully the media will keep the spokesperson's feet to teh fire.

Everything's cheaper than it looks.

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