OTTAWA The Mounties and
Quebec provincial police deny using agents provocateurs at this weeks
Montebello summit, despite incriminating video evidence that suggests
undercover cops tried to incite violence.The denials yesterday did
nothing to quell mounting outrage over police tactics.
Anti-globalization and union activists joined with opposition
politicians to demand an independent investigation.
They also questioned whether police were acting on orders from the
Prime Ministers Office and called on both Stephen Harper and Quebec
Premier Jean Charest to denounce such tactics.
In a free and democratic society, people have the right to
peacefully protest something they dont like, said union leader Dave
Coles, who confronted the alleged undercover officers outside the
summit site Monday.
Are Canadian citizens going to have to face these kinds of
provocateurs just because Stephen Harper seems to think were some sort
of loony-left group?
Quite frankly, thats insulting and we dont accept it and we want answers from him.
The three alleged provocateurs were caught on camera with bandanas
masking their faces and at least one carrying a rock in his hand
approaching a line of Sûreté du Québec officers in full riot garb. They
refused to back away, despite the insistence of Mr. Coles and other
protest organizers that they leave the area.
As protesters surrounded the men and tried to snatch off their
masks, one of the three spoke to an SQ officer. The trio got through
the police line, were forced to the ground and handcuffed.
Photos of the men lying on the ground show the three were wearing
combat boots with identical markings to the ones worn by an SQ officer
kneeling beside them.
Video also shows the three eventually being led quietly away to
police vans. By contrast, Mr. Coles said four legitimate protesters
whom police say were the only people arrested and charged at the summit
were roughed up pretty good and dragged away.
A spokesman for Mr. Harper denied any role by the Prime Minister in
the affair, saying the PMO is not involved in security for events.
Public Safety Minister Stockwell Days office referred all questions to
The Mounties and the SQ, the two police forces involved in summit security, continued to refuse specific comment.
But they denied using agents to provoke violence.
I confirm [to] you that there are no agents provocateurs in the Sûreté du Québec, Constable Melanie Larouche said.