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Those crazy Canadians

By Michael J. Smith on Monday June 28, 2010 07:01 PM

I must say, it's nice to see police cars burning, even if it was reptile-fund provocateurs that did it. (There seems to be some reason to believe that's what happened, or part of what happened.)

Provocateurs are an old story, but I wonder whether they're really an effective tactic for our rulers. The idea is to "discredit" the opposition and give a pretext for a crackdown. But since when did they need a pretext for a crackdown? Isn't cracking down just what they do?

Could the opposition already be more "discredited", by the unrelenting efforts of the ideological apparatus? And isn't there some risk that people, seeing a police car burning, might start to think, Hmmm, not a bad idea?

One wonders if this isn't a case of the Enforcement Sector trying to create work for itself (and, of course, increased levels of funding.)

Our earnest northern neighbors are said to have spent something on the order of a billion dollars on "security" for this politicians' schmoozefest. Now there's absolutely nothing rational about this. They could meet in the Falkland Islands, or Antarctica, or St Helena, or just do a videoconference, for a fraction of the cost.

It's theater on both sides -- the Authorities with their stolid mook battalions, and the Black Bloc, perhaps including but clearly not limited to provocateurs, on the other.

Sitting as I do in the gallery, I find the Authorities a bore. More burning police cars is what I want to see, and I don't care who's burning 'em.

Comments (8)

...and burning SWAT urban assault vehicles. Especially those.

I can't wait until we get to burn predator drones.


But since when did they need a pretext for a crackdown? Isn't cracking down just what they do?

I don't think the ruling class thinks the way you and I do.

Both of us know that "the left" at the particular moment in North America can't mount an effective resistence.

But people at the top don't think so. They're constantly in fear of the day that the left will get hundreds of thousands of people into the streets.

So they prepare. Agent Provocateurs are part of the way they prepare. And once you hire them, they're going to do what they were hired for.

Al Schumann:

I forget where I saw it—maybe Jack Crow's?—but power freaks feel that hard tools unused equates to power diminished. That stands up pretty well when the freaks go off script and talk about violence. Obama, for example, thinks it's pretty funny. Their own socialization focuses heavily on persistent, half-assed deniable vindictiveness and opportunistic violence, in which opportunity alone is sufficient cause to order an act, and as they're "successful" in that context...

What scares them are threats to their gated community economic base. The big reactionary movements make a hoopla out of mediagenic street rebellions and quietly undercut the sustaining economic base of any organized opposition.


"One wonders if this isn't a case of the Enforcement Sector trying to create work for itself (and, of course, increased levels of funding.)"

That's the key here. It was all about justifying the cost. The summit was already a scandal due to the price tag and the inherent insanity of hosting it downtown when even the Mayor was telling them (the Federal government) to host it at the National Exhibition grounds.

I don't really know about the agents provocateurs, but I think the consensus is that those cars were left out as bait, and left to burn for hours as a PR ploy. They also did absolutely nothing to try to stop the Black Bloc guys from completely trashing Queen and Yonge Streets. They let it all go down in order to get some TV images that would justify the $1 billion dollar security costs (each of those cops were making around $160/hour all weekend). Harper was basically paying off his support base in the policing industry.

I'm not mad at the Black Bloc for taking the bait (I wish they smashed some more shit), so much as I am disappointed that the public completely went for the PR ruse on Saturday. The common memes were that these protesters were in from Montreal (so? it's a global summit), they are trashing OUR city (last time I checked you don't own any of the property that was trashed), they are "violent" (vandalism is not violence), etc. etc. It was pretty disappointing to see how a couple burned cop cars turned half the city into reactionary twits.

The tide did turn against the cops though on Sunday when they basically went on a rampage, shooting people with beanbags, arresting over 900 people (900!) unconstitutionally with no charges. The last straw was when they "kettled" about 200 people in the cold rain at Spadina and College for over 4 hours, then started arresting them en masse, and dumping them in the middle of nowhere. A lot of the people weren't even protesters, just people who happened to be crossing the street at the time/getting a hotdog/waiting for the bus, etc.


Naomi Klein spoke at another protest last night in front of the Police HQ and there was another march downtown. I doubt that any heads will roll for this gongshow though.

C'etait moi, Al. Power unused becomes power challenged.


Images of burning cop cars are a win win

Crack downs are another matter

Most folks like fair fights not
Bully boy swan rides


"cops for clunkers" -- a refreshing canadian mashup of acceptable socialism

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