Black Bloc = False Flag?

A group of protesters all wearing black destroy a police car as the authorities stood nearby. June 26, 2010 in Toronto, Canada.

A comment on my (self-described) hilarious post on the wanton destruction of a Tim Horton’s during the G20 protests raises some interesting, if alarming questions as to their legitimacy. Now, any article from a site that has main categories like “US NATO War Agenda” and “Crimes Against Humanity” obviously deserves to be taken with a grain of salt – a massive grain of salt – but nevertheless its allegations that at least some of the ‘Black Bloc’ protesters are in fact undercover police officers seem to be partially borne out by their photographic evidence.

Some of the evidence offered, like the argument that one black-clad protester has the physique not of a “seedy ‘anarchist'” but rather “the fit strong body of a trained soldier,” seems subjective at best. Their main charge, that some of the Black Bloc-types are wearing the same heavy-duty combat boots as the riot police,  is much more possible. According to this line of thinking, the wanton destruction committed by the Black Bloc is an attempt to discredit the entire protest movement, a sort of ‘false flag‘ operation.

There are two main problems with this, the first being that reaction to the Black Bloc is tending more towards the “those guys are ruining an otherwise perfectly legitimate protest,” rather than something like “all protesters are this capable of violence!” At the same time, the credibility of photographic evidence in any form has been called into doubt (especially with the release of the near-magical Photoshop CS5). So I don’t know how much stock I put in the thesis, but it’s worth thinking about.

One other possibility is that it’s a reverse false flag op, and that the Black Bloc protesters specifically sought out the same issue combat boots as the police are using. The targets of their demolition could point in either direction; they are utterly predictable:

For the most part, their targets are specific and symbolic: As the crowd tore across Queen St., they hammered police cruisers, attacked banks and other corporate companies. Yet they left a record store, a local tavern and an independent hardware shop untouched.

This is all more food for thought than any kind of accusation. One more idea: would we want to use any kind of false flag operations in Afghanistan? Are the Taliban doing so? Perhaps it’s an idea best consigned to the Cold War; one can only hope this is the case.

One thought on “Black Bloc = False Flag?

  1. I think the most interesting and compelling argument is the Canadian governments admitted history with such provocations, sush as the protests at the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America summit meeting at Montelbello where the SQ publically admitted that the most violent and confrontational black-clad “anarchist” protesters were in fact their own agents acting as provocateurs after they were conftonted on camera by Union leaders heading the protests in front of police lines as to their identity.
    http://statismwatch.ca/2009/10/23/montebello-police-provocateurs-called-before-ethics-panel/
    http://www.wsws.org/articles/2007/sep2007/mont-s04.shtml
    http://www.hour.ca/news/news.aspx?iIDArticle=16878
    http://www.ledevoir.com/societe/justice/239350/agents-de-la-sq-pris-en-flagrant-delit

    Yet despite Police public admittance of the provocations at Montebello, an ongoing ethics investigation into the matter being launched, and the involvement of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association into the incident (and now at the G-20 protests as well), mainstream media both in Candada and the wider world largely refuses to pick-up or address the matter. Concerning the shallow and trivial gossip that makes up much of our global “free press”, the unfortunate conclusion to draw is the need for reflection on the the incredible normative power of global capitalist hegemony over every asprect of our lives, including the media. It is only in blogs like this and independent and left groups and sites (where the free press is not beholden to corporate masters) that the issue is addressed. Surely we must as a result critically assess all mainstream media reports of such protests in the future, including this at the G-20. I can personally report similar suspicions of organized false-flag provocations at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December where I was involved both as a delegate and a protester. Not to mention the complete lack of mainstream media coverage of blatant fascist police brutality against peaceful protesters at such events ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zC7F-KGn3w )
    Such stories of police provocation and brutality in the face of peaceful protest against global capitalism simply doesn’t match the narrative that the global corporate media likes to tell about our carefully manufactured reality.

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