Olympic protests; beyond the barricades / plain Clothes RCMP Reporters Hooded videographers
– Joan Russow Vancouver – February 12, 2010
On the ground it was estimated that there were 5000 protesters marching up to BC place, to be greeted by flanks of police on horses, rows of police and metal barricades. To protect what, to protect whom?
Perhaps the VIP corporate buses.
There was a stand off for a period of time. Suddenly all the VIP buses appeared. Many of the buses were transporting the corporate sponsors and their cohorts. While the protesters were chanting “homes not games” “you play we pay” no games on stolen land, the police were getting ready to move in.
At a certain point the police/military/ RCMP opened the barricade fences, and lunged forward through the barricades, screaming push back push back. The intimidating horse-backed police rode forward.
Suddenly, on the other side of the barricades, five videographers were given access. When I asked why they were allowed in, I was told they are RCMP videographers. In their enthusiasm to document actual arrests they disclosed their cover. Two of videographers who were wearing hoods were obviously dressed as protesters; one came close to my camera and I asked why they were dressed as protesters. No response. The other three were dressed as ordinary media. Who knows what unsuspecting protesters, thinking that the RCMP were legitimate media, might have revealed to them
Earlier we had talked to the police – that were preventing us from getting closer to film, about what happened in Montebello with the police agent provocateurs. I had remarked to our police guards that I hoped that, when they see their colleagues being agent provocateurs, they would arrest their fellow agents. No response, and no concern about the fact that I was filming their hooded and TV Agents. Some time ago the RCMP, when asked about using agent provocateurs, during the Olympics, had indicated that they had not ruled out using agent provocateurs.