Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The boot goes on

The three mysterious "protesters" at the Montebello SPP protest: cops or not? The evidence favouring the former seems to be piling up.

The boots with the telltale little yellow rectangles have become a big issue: the chance that the 3 suspect "protesters" and one of the cops who "arrested" them would all be wearing the same type of boot is so small as to be infinitesimal. But it wasn't the boots that sealed the deal for me, it was the body language.

Watching the video before I saw the boot pictures, it was obvious that these guys were cops. They looked stiff and uncomfortable, not at all like the full-of-piss-and-vinegar troublemakers they were supposed to be. They're not actors, after all, they're cops. But it really fell apart when the union guy called them out as cops; they got a stunned, deer-in-the-headlights look and momentarily froze up as if to say "You got us". Right there, I thought "Busted". But then, as if to banish any lingering doubt I might have had, they immediately moved close enough to the police line to talk to them, which could only have been a "Get us out of here!" Their subsequent "arrest" and removal from the scene was a badly-choreographed joke. Whoops. Cops behaving badly.

Dave at TGB has an interesting take on the body language aspect of things based on his own personal experience with the armed service, which in a very real sense, policing is. After reading it, the question isn't whether these three "protesters" were cops or not, it's whose cops they were. (And even that's becoming more apparent, as the RCMP refuses to comment on the situation.) The bigger question is who gave the orders for this bullshit little charade? And more importantly, why?

I've always believed that it's not only our right, but our obligation to peacefully protest government actions and policies we don't agree with. Any attempt to suppress that right, whether overt or by proxy delegitimization, we tolerate at our peril. This isn't going away, nor should it.