- Category: Repression
- Created on Saturday, 22 October 2011 02:18
- Written by Bill Heid
Time for self-education and collective discussion on police, disruption, tactics, and what it means to enter serious conflict with powerful forces.
Inform yourself. Be alert without being paranoid. Don't be naive. Don't rush into things. Help train others. When suspicious gather facts.
Further: In a discussion of the following article, CWM made the important point that not all police infiltrators are agent provocateurs, some are informants. Their profile, activity and goals can be very different. CWM wrote:
"The undercover police are mostly there to gather information and they gravitate towards tasks where there is information."While it is true, that gathering information quietly is often the main activity of police agents -- it is also true that provocateur activity happens to two levels:
One, police agents seek to provoke street movements to take actions that they believe will both alienate the public and pull people across the line to facilitate arrests.
Second, police agents (especially since 2001) have carefully worked to enable the government to declare they have uncovered "terrorist sympathizers" - and a special "entrapment" tactic in a growing number of cases has been to encourage often-unknowing youth and activists to engage in "material support" of targeted international groups in ways that allow the police to develop major legal charges.
Third, there is a long history of police themselves throwing charges of "police agent" on innocent activists -- such "bad jacketing" is a way of sowing disunity (and even causing inner-left violence), and of creating a general fearful and paranoid atmosphere that weakens resistance movements.
The charge of police agent should never be made casually or lightly. Gathering facts and the experiences of others are extremely important. A discussion of agent provocateurs is not a tactical argument against all militancy, nor is it an argument that those advocating militant or illegal acts must be secretly cops.
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How to Identify an Agent ProvocateurBy Bill Heid
This first appeared on take the square.
As governments around the world, including our own, face more and more popular resistance, we’re witnessing a revival of the use of agent provocateurs. An agent provocateur is the well-used tactic of using undercover military or police to join a dissenting group or protest in order to provoke others in the group to carry out illegal actions and violence. The goal is to discredit the group from the inside. Sometimes the group gets discredited with those outside. Other times the group is enticed into internal divisions and collapses.