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Field guide to agent provocateurs

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The Toronto G20 Riot Fraud: Undercover Police engaged in Purposeful Provocation

Montebello 2007 Riot Prevented - Identical Boots Exposed Undercover Police Provocateurs

At the ‘Security and Prosperity Partnership’ meeting protests at Montebello Quebec on August 20, 2007, a Quebec union leader caught and outed three masked undercover Quebec Provincial Police operatives dressed as ‘black bloc’ protestors about to start a riot by throwing rocks at the security police. See the following videos documenting this event.

Stop SPP Protest - Union Leader stops provocateurs

Evidence -- Police provoke Violence at SPP protest

The operation was exposed by the following picture of the undercover police wearing combat boots identical to those of the security police arresting them.

(Provocateurs in Montebello wear the same shoes as the Quebec policemen who arrest them!)

Lots more great stuff at the link.

And a reminder that the first person to call for violence is the informer.

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Submitted by Lex on

However, the boot conspiracy is a little far-fetched. Not to say that the informer wouldn't be wearing his "police issue" boots to pretend at being a black bloc anarchist. He probably would.

It's not the boot itself that would give it away. They're mostly just Danners in those photos. A high quality boot (never buy a cheap boot) that anyone can buy, which also happens to be the choice for cops, rent-a-cops, etc. Try finding a high quality boot sole without the "yellow dot". It's the Vibram logo, an Italian manufacturer that's pretty much the standard. I believe that Doc Martin's have Vibram soles. A large percentage of hiking and work boots do to.

I wear steel toed boots every day (but mine are brown and i own a pair of "tennis shoes" with a steel toe). If i was gonna go smash some windows and throw a riot, you'd better believe i'd wear my steelies. And if i could only have one pair of shoes, it would be a pair of high quality boots.

What would give the informer away to me is if the boots had a shine. That would say "cop" or "Nazi" to me, certainly not "anarchist".

Submitted by lambert on

From the article DCB links to:

Here is one in close-up. It is clearly the same boot as the ‘black bloc’ provocateurs are wearing. It too is brand new and shiny as in recently issued for today’s duty.


Submitted by Lex on

Did so again yesterday and looked again today.

First, the author's caption claims something to be a "boot" which doesn't go above the ankle. But look, it isn't a Vibram (yellow dot) sole. I thought the Vibram trademark was how we know ...

Those are the exact shoes that my brother wears every day to work, and you often see him just wearing them around too. That could be any guy who happens to have a job in a semi industrial setting that requires certain types of footwear.

Again, i'm not disputing informants provoking violence. It should be assumed. And as i said, i would look for other cues. But the "shiny" in that caption is contradicted by the guys first picture based on the Vibram claim where the boots are duct taped and spray painted.

It's just not enough. And i think there'd be a lot other, better cues. Shined, possibly. My guess is that if you're paying attention, an undercover is going to have physical, posture, and verbal tells that are not very common in Anarchists.

Let's say that my brother decided to be an anarchist black bloc member as a hobby. He might wear a brand new pair of work shoes to the meeting (because people like us get them paid for regularly being that they're required). So he's got spiffy black shoes that look like what this theory says indicates an informer. But he's not going to hold himself, talk or move like a cop. And while the cop will be trying to not look, sound and move like a cop, it's difficult to change your engrained behavior and make it look natural. Just like it would be really hard for my brother to pretend, convincingly, that he was a cop.

So, no, i'm not convinced that you can tell an informer by nothing more than his shoes. That's the equivalent of a cop telling someone's a drug user by the length of his hair. It doesn't work well enough to be even a rule of thumb.

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Submitted by reslez on

I'm a veteran and I wear my combat boots to protests... they protect my feet and are relatively comfortable. Nobody would mistake them for new, though. They're kinda scuffed now.