Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Nice one, pony-soldier

My first thought upon reading this report from CBC about the massive surveillance program instituted by Canadian police around the G8/G20 was wow, what are you going to do now?

Occupy didn't exist last year in Toronto and Huntsville. There wasn't a global movement with massive latent support transcending the usual activist circles the police are able to infiltrate and monitor. The police themselves, their numbers and tactics weren't on display near as often before the G8/G20 and Occupy. The entire world wasn't watching students sprayed with pain-agents, ex-Marines with fractured skulls from police baton rounds, truncheon beatings, massive summary jails.

Now, networks have formed, people are talking to each other. People are angry and the movement, resistance, is growing. The visceral images of police violence against dissent has as much to do with it. A police baton cracking a person's skull is the immediate impact of the pervasive injustice and inequality that drives the movement.

I suspect the numbers of people who would now qualify for surveillance under police criteria has grown exponentially. Being the dumb instrument of state power they are, the police will only demand greater resources and powers to monitor and detain, which in turn breeds increased resistance.

In some cases, the police tactic of encouraging violence on the part of resistance groups may only serve to promote non-violent resistance. Groups will now grow suspicious of newcomers who advocate property damage and assaults, labelling the police agents. Overall, police tactics may serve to encourage expand non-violent and transgressive protest and the agent provocateur become useless.  

Predictable as punch, so far tactically effective, but dumber than a sack of hammers at the strategic level, the security forces open themselves up to manipulation by activists and movements of all stripes. Like their ancestors at Jallianwala Bagh learnt, martial security organisations work against themselves when a movement like Occupy gains wide appeal.

1 comment:

Rev.Paperboy said...

the infiltration of protest groups began more than a year before the G20 and targeted groups that were far from extremist in their aims. And the campaign against so-called trouble makers continues.