Sunday, May 10, 2009

Montebello Update: Pay No Attention to That Man Behind the Mask

You may recall my Excellent Protest Adventure a year and a half ago, when I packed my politically aware teenaged son into a rental car and headed off to Ottawa and Montebello to protest the SPP and the Three Amigos Summit, Part Deux.

You may also recall that there was a much-publicized incident where three agent provocateurs - rocks in hand - were identified by the protesters and promptly beat a hasty retreat behind police lines. All conveniently caught on tape.

I'm not sure how I missed this, but thanks to Rusty Idol (by way of Sketchy Thoughts), I've learned that Poli-Sci Professor Francis Dupuis-Déri has obtained SQ documents through access to information about the specifics of the operation. The Le Devoir article is here, with a really bad Google translation here (which is one reason I've decided I really need to learn French)

One of the more entertaining aspects of an otherwise depressing tale of abuse of power is this paragraph describing how the SQ might avoid such embarrassing incidents in the future:

The SQ drew from the lessons of the incident, according to the internal documents obtained by Mr. Dupuis-Déri. A report of meeting suggests “modifying the profile of the selected people so that they can function in an efficient way”. It is there question of the “size” of the agents and the absence of women in the teams of infiltration. “An allowance of the formation and information concerning the customs and habits of the demonstrators would be suitable. [It is] more difficult to melt itself in crowd with little knowledge”, the document adds.

Ya think?

(BTW, if you haven't seen 'Battle in Seattle' already, go rent it. An excellent primer on a seminal moment in the anti-globalization movement, and modern protest in general.)


  1. You know Jennifer, I don't get it. The liberals and definitely under neoliberal head cheese, Iggy, are all for the SPP.

    You take your son and protest in Montebello against SPP.

    There is a disconnect here. But sure vote liberal and often - so nothing changes except the colour of shirts at protests.

  2. I like how this has not been investigated further...

    The police response is "we will be more careful next time... not to get caught"...

    No wonder I have little faith in democracy, rule of law and all those "wonderful" ideals bandied about...

  3. Jan -

    If you really don't understand how members or even whole wings of a political party can have differing views on such things, then I'm not sure I can explain it to you. But thanks for stopping by - really. Because every time you do, I'm reminded of why I'm not a member of the NDP.