Thursday, August 23, 2007

The provocateurs: curiouser and curiouser.

As I recall the details of the Montebello video:

a thought occurs to me. Everyone's been making the case that the behaviour of the three "protestors" logically matches that of three police or RCMP infiltrators. But don't look at it that way.

Rather, let's accept the overwhelming, wingnut position that they really were simple protestors, if for no other reason than to show how their behaviour then ends up being hilariously illogical.

Imagine, if you would, that you were one of those three. For quite some time, as you can see on the video, you've been allowed to wander around, fully masked and (in at least one case) carrying a rock. And yet, no police officer seems all that concerned. You're taking abuse from the other protestors but certainly not from the actual constabulary, which is why -- as things start to heat up -- you inch your way in the direction of the police for a little protection. A quiet conversation ensues. No voices are raised. No objects are thrown. No fists come up. Everything's cool, you're having a nice, quiet chat until ...

Hang on! What's this? You're being arrested!? What for!? You certainly haven't done anything above and beyond what you've been doing for the last few minutes so what's the deal here? Quickly, what do you do? I'll tell you what you do.

If you're a legitimate protestor and you suddenly think you're being arrested without cause, you raise a fuss. A big one. You yell to the surrounding crowd, something to the effect, "Hey! They're arresting us! For no reason! Somebody get this on tape! Quick! Help!" And you know what else you do?

You rip off your masks as quickly as possible, hoping that someone can capture all this on video for the subsequent lawsuit for false arrest, that's what you do. That sure as hell is what I'd be doing, and I'm willing to bet it's what you'd be doing, too. Because if you think you're being arrested unfairly, what you're going to want more than anything is video evidence to back up your case when you drag those fuckers into court.

But no. Curiously, rather than make the logical fuss about it, the three perps keep their masks on and lay down quietly to be restrained, then led away. Does that make sense to you? And does it make sense that, after the local authorities announced that those three were all released without being charged, not a single one has come forward, complaining about being falsely arrested and threatening to sue? Not really. But here's where CEP Dave Coles can have some fun with this.

Earlier, I suggested that he file assault charges to see if he can shake something loose. At the same time, however, he might also play the opposite card. He should consider also announcing that it's possible that he's wrong, and that those three really were legitimate protestors and that, if they were, they were clearly treated shamefully by the police, and that if they wanted to press charges for false arrest, Dave would throw the full weight and financial support of the CEP behind them.

How could legitimate protestors resist that kind of offer? The chance to get even with the cops, and perhaps make some cash off of it, and have the entire CEP union backing them up? What's not to like? But that's not likely to produce anything, is it? Because, quite simply, if those three were genuine protestors, they were perhaps the stupidest and most illogical ones in history.

In the end, if Dave Coles wanted to make a public announcement like the above, I doubt it would produce any results. But it sure would make for some interesting television, wouldn't it?

BY THE WAY, it's still not clear to me whether what you can see on the video constituted a technical "arrest." Do the police in Canada have the right to plant you on the ground face-down, restrain you with plastic cuffs and march you off without actually "arresting" you? And if that really was an "arrest," is there no mandatory paperwork that has to be filed, even if charges are dropped later?

I'm not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV, but it would seem passing strange if something like this could happen with not a single piece of paper having to be processed.

P.S. American reader and e-mailer Pat was thinking similar thoughts:


I'm no stranger to protests or to police actions, so I just wanted to ask if there is a process in Canada to request tapes of the police radiochannels used during the protest. In the video that I saw on YouTube I noticed that the three people 'arrested' were placed in the back of a police van and assumedly driven off somewhere. I don't know how things are done in Canada, but here in the states the police MUST report by radio any time a 'civilian' is placed, or allowed, in a police vehicle. A search of the police radio tapes at the time of the so called 'arrest' might provide some valuable clues or definitive answers as to who was really in that van.

Just a thought.


Cliff said...

If there aren't multiple access to information requests being filed over this whole incident then the media is asleep at the wheel.

So here's hoping Joan Bryden is on the case at least.

Dave Coles should be pursuing charges against the masked guy who repeatedly shoved him - so that the Quebec police can explain why they won't identify the guy he's seeking to charge last seen in their custody.

Somebody out there with the requisite software is hopefully enhancing a shot of the guy who's mask was mostly pulled down, the many cam and cam phone clips form the protest are hopefully being scanned for any other sign of these guys.

Really this whole matter will just go away if the police and the MSM have their way - this is what the citizen journalist revolution is for.

Dr.Dawg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don said...

Maybe we could get Janke to look into this? I love the smell of whitewash in the morning1