Friday, October 23, 2009

Montebello, 2007: justice diverted?

Remember the three undercover cops caught out at Montebello in 2007 after attempting to incite demonstrators? They have just been found guilty of discreditable conduct by the Quebec Police Ethics Committee.

One of the unmaskers of this goon squad was David Coles, president of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers' union, who was front and centre at the time (he's the older gentleman confronting the cops in the video). Here is CEP's press release, issued yesterday:

More than two years after they posed as protestors at a demonstration against the North American Leaders’ Summit in Montebello, three Quebec police officers were found to have “failed to respect the authority of the law by inciting persons to violence.”

The ruling by the “Comité à la déontologie policière”, released yesterday, also found that the officers were disrespectful or impolite, used obscene, blasphemous or abusive language, and refused to produce identification when asked.

“This is a victory for democracy and for the democratic right to peaceful protests, but I have the same question I had two years ago,” says Dave Coles, the man who unmasked the protestors.

“Who ordered them to do it? We need an independent judicial inquiry into the whole cover-up. When people show up to protest because they are concerned about an issue – and they are attacked by those who are supposed to be defending them... there is something wrong with the system.”

Mr. Coles, President of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union, made news headlines, when his attempts to stop three burly men, dressed in black, one armed with a rock, from infiltrating the peaceful protest, were caught on video and posted on YouTube. He called for a public inquiry immediately following the Aug. 20, 2007 incident.

“These officers did not make the decision on their own to pose as demonstrators and incite violence. “Police were used to try to turn a peaceful protest into a violent one. The public should be very concerned.”

The three police officers must now appear before the committee investigating their behaviour within the next two weeks.

Paul Manley, the independent filmmaker who caught the Montebello incident on video has included it in his recently-released documentary exposing the secretive, anti-democratic corporate agenda behind the Security and Prosperity Partnership. Screenings are underway in cities across Canada.

Coles raises an important point. Are these line cops being thrown to the wolves? Who ordered these agent provocateur tactics by the Sûreté du Québec? Were the RCMP involved?

The big fish may be getting away. A public inquiry is long overdue.

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