"This is our line, this is for old guys, grand mothers, grand fathers... This our line, bugger off to your line. Take your mask off. Put the rock down, man. It's a peaceful demonstration... These three guys are cops, everybody."
Curiously, the rock carrying mask wearers, beleaguered by grand mothers and grand fathers, move toward the police line as though they seek refuge there. The provocateurs push through the police line, where they are pushed to the ground, apparently being arrested.
It is then that we get a good look at the shoes of both the provocateurs and their colleagues - the police officers who arrest them.
Canada, Montbello Quebec, august 20 2007
Peaceful protesters stop agent provocateurs from starting a riot at the "Stop the SPP" protests in Montebello Quebec. CEP President Dave Coles confronts men with rocks and sticks.
OTTAWA – Protesters are accusing police of using undercover agents to provoke violent confrontations at the North American leaders' summit in Montebello, Que.
Such accusations have been made before after similar demonstrations but this time the alleged "agents provocateurs" have been caught on camera.
A video, posted on YouTube, shows three young men, their faces masked by bandannas, mingling Monday with protesters in front of a line of police in riot gear. At least one of the masked men is holding a rock in his hand.
The three are confronted by protest organizer Dave Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada. Coles makes it clear the masked men are not welcome among his group of protesters, whom he describes as mainly grandparents. He urges them to leave and find their own protest location.
MONTREAL–With the proof caught on video, Quebec provincial police were forced to admit yesterday that three undercover agents were playing the part of protesters at this week's international summit in Montebello, Que.
But the Quebec police force denied they were attempting to provoke protesters into violence. Rather, they said the three were planted in the crowd to locate any protesters who were not peacefully demonstrating. Police said the trio's cover was blown when they refused to toss any objects.
"At no time did the Quebec provincial police officers act as agents provocateurs or commit criminal acts. Also, it is not part of the policy of the police force nor is it part of its strategy to act in this manner. At all times, the officers responded to their mandate to maintain law and order," the Sûreté du Québec said in a news release last night.
The police said after viewing a video clip from YouTube.com and video shot by police officers, they were able to confirm the three were Quebec provincial police officers.
The three officers, sporting bandannas, showed up on the front lines of a protest at the summit. One carried a large rock.
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