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Archive for the ‘provocation’ Category

The Naked Empire: ‘Low Intensity Conflict’ and State Sponsored Terror, Part 1

Monday, August 8th, 2011

by Todd Howe, We Are Change Toronto
August 8, 2011

“They have cast all the mysteries and secrets of government… before the vulgar (like pearls before swine), and have taught both the soldiery and people to look so far into them as to ravel back all governments to the first principles of nature…” Clement Walker, on the English Revolution, 1661

From Miami with Love

Something very interesting happened this past April in an El Paso courtroom. There, a verdict was returned in the case of one Luis Posada Carriles, a man that has notably been described as the “Osama Bin Laden of Latin America” and “one of the most dangerous terrorists in recent history”. [1]

The circumstances of the case and the details of Posada’s extraordinary biography could be mistaken for the plot of an international thriller — there’s ample evidence of a long career in the business of international terrorism, including declassified FBI and CIA documents [2] and Posada’s on-the-record admission of involvement [3] in a string of hotel bombings in Havana. Add to that terrorism convictions by multiple governments that have found themselves in Posada’s crosshairs, an outstanding INTERPOL warrant, sundry bombings and other paramilitary attacks within Cuba and abroad. He ran guns to the Contras during their cross-border war with Nicuaragua, as exposed during the Reagan-era ‘Iran Contra’ scandal hearings [4]. He was caught flying 200 lbs of C4 plastic explosive into Panama City and convicted of a plot to assassinate Fidel Castro [5]. He’s connected with the bombing of Cubana Flight 455 in 1976 and the immolation of 78 people. [6]

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NORAD-Russian Joint Air Drill, Bomber Incursions and Canada’s F-35 Jet Purchase

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

Dana Gabriel, BeYourOwnLeader
August 22, 2010


The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the Russian Federation Air Force conducted a cooperative air defense exercise from August 8-11 that focused on combating terrorism.

Vigilant Eagle was hailed as a milestone exercise between the Cold War era rivals. It included Russian, U.S., along with Canadian Air Force personnel operating from command centers inside Russia and the United States directing fighter jets, as well as civilian air traffic controllers. It took several years to stage the drill which centered around, “an international air terrorism scenario exercised over the Pacific Ocean consisting of forces from the U.S. and Russia responding to the simulated hijacking of a B-757 en route to the Far East.” The joint exercise was, “designed to establish clear communication processes that would allow the two forces to work together during a real crisis.” Russian Air Force Col. Alexander Vasilyev emphasized the importance of cooperation in combating the dangers of air terrorism. He stated, “Terrorism is something that affects all our countries. So it is very important that we work together to develop procedures and bring the relationship between our countries closer together to unite our countries in the fight against terrorism.”

In April, it was announced that, “NATO and Russia have begun a testing phase of a joint system for air traffic coordination. This will be the first NATO-Russia system of this kind to be fielded. The system focuses primarily on the fight against terrorism and will provide a shared radar picture of air traffic and early notification of suspicious air activities.” The report entitled the Moscow Metro Bombings and Terrorism in Russia also addresses the possibility of developing further practical NATO-Russia cooperation in regards to terrorism. President Barack Obama has called for Russia and the U.S. to further deepen collaboration on security and anti-terrorism matters. In May, the Associated Press reported that, “Obama told a Russian television station that no single country can defeat terrorists who have attacked targets throughout the world. He said he looks forward to ‘increasing cooperation between the United States and Russia’ on fighting terrorism.” Despite any past or present tension between the two countries, the seemingly endless shadowy war on terrorism has provided a common enemy and demonstrated how the global conflict can at times make strange bedfellows.

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North Korea rejects talks with UN Command on sinking of warship

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

Related: U.S. to Join South Korean Military Exercise Off North Korea Coast | North Korea reacts angrily as Seoul’s navy holds military exercises off coast | North Korea to sever ties with South | Hitchens: North Korean’s stature, worldview stunted by authoritarian hate and ignorance | North Korea calls for peace treaty with US | State Of War Between Two Koreas After Armistice Ended | Swiss nuclear-smuggling suspect says CIA made him do it | How the USA Gave North Korea The Bomb

Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press
June 27, 2010

North Korea said Sunday it has rejected a proposal by the American-led U.N. Command to hold military talks on the deadly sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on Pyongyang.

The U.N. Command, which oversees the armistice that ended the three-year Korean War in 1953, has launched an investigation of the sinking.

A separate team of international investigators concluded last month that North Korea torpedoed the warship Cheonan near the tense Korean sea border. North Korea denied the allegation and has warned any punishment would trigger war.

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Four alleged G20 violence ringleaders appear in court

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Related: Pre-dawn raids in Toronto homes result in four arrests

Francine Kopun, Peter Small, The Toronto Star
June 26, 2010

Year-long undercover investigation infiltrated anarchist planning meetings, police allege

Fires were still burning in Toronto Saturday afternoon as Crown attorneys laid out their case against four alleged ringleaders of the violence.

Amanda Hiscocks, Leah Henderson, Alex Hundert and Peter Hopperton appeared before a justice of the peace and had their bail hearing put over till Monday at the request of a prosecutor who said he was overwhelmed by the volume of evidence collected by numerous police forces in a year-long undercover investigation.

Crown attorney Vincent Paris said a plan for violence had been put into place over a series of meetings leading up to the G20 Summit, “action which is what’s happening now.”

The four, allegedly executives in the Southern Ontario Anarchist Resistance, were arrested Friday morning and charged with conspiracy to commit indictable mischief. They are among 15 alleged co-conspirators.

Paris said that their arrest was the culmination of a large-scale investigation, which is still ongoing, involving two undercover agents.

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Black Bloc tactics sparked Saturday G20 vandalism, confrontation

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

It’s an incredibly loose definition of ‘anarchist’ that allies itself with Communists carrying a big banner of Mao around. (Interested researchers should mine the Globe and Mail liveblog carried here over the course of the weekend – it was a Communist group that reportedly provided cover for the Bloc to begin its rampage by lighting a flare in the square) While clearly anarchism is not a monolithic movement, Wikipedia provides a reasonable thumbnail def’n for our purposes: “Anarchism is a political philosophy which considers the state undesirable, unnecessary and harmful, and instead promotes a stateless society, or anarchy. It seeks to diminish or even abolish authority in the conduct of human relations.” A quick reading of the history makes it clear that Communism and Anarchism developed concurrently, but were opposed in many of their (confused) principles, with early proponents of both schools of thought exchanging barbs in their correspondence. Clearly, modern anarchism is in something of an identity crisis when it’s understood simultaneously as anti-state, Communist, and vandal. While mainstream media coverage of these groups isn’t helping to clarify things, modern ‘anarchists’ should also take a long, hard look at how their destruction discredits any good ideas their founders may have had in the past, shields potential police provocateurs in their midst (see: Montebello, etc), turns the public against them, creates media cover for the brutal repression of peaceful activists (witness the shamefully underreported crackdown in the Queens’s Park ‘free speech zone’ in which people were trampled by horses and the snatch squad grabbed old women who didn’t even know what the G20 was) and drives the culture into the arms of militarization and the statist globalists they claim to oppose.

(NB: While the net is clearly afire with both MIHOP (made it happen on purpose) and LIHOP (let it happen on purpose) speculation about the involvement of the G20 ISU in this riot, evidence thus far is obscured by a sort of fog of war, with Judy Rebick among countless others on the #g20report Twitter hashtag suggesting police left cars in the path of the Bloc to be burned on camera. Anarchist media sources suggest this is bullshit, as do the police, and in all fairness the video evidence here – provided by TheYorkLife -  suggests it was some random dumbass that set the car on fire. What do you think? No doubt there’s more details waiting to come out in a week or two once the media has moved on.)

Related: G20 protesters clash with Vancouver police | ‘Anarchists’ leave trail of destruction, peaceful 3hr march forgotten | Black bloc taints anti-Olympic movement | Vancouver Olympics protesters fall silent as Black Bloc ruins it for everyone | Olympic protesters smash store windows | Provocateur Cops Caught Disguised As ‘Anarchists’ At Pittsburgh G20 | G20 police ‘used undercover men to incite crowds’ | G20 protests: Riot police, or rioting police? | Rioters Were Paid To Provoke the Police in Bulgaria | Greek Cops Caught on Video Posing as Anarchists | ACLU wants probe into police-staged DNC protest | Ex-Italian President: Provocateur Riots Then “Beat The Shit Out Of Protesters” | Massachusetts Police Get Black Uniforms to Instill Sense of ‘Fear’ | Police inspector posed as militant protester | Quebec police admit agents posed as protesters | Canadians who trust our secret police should think again | For more, see the G20 Coverage page feature

Jesse Mclean, Toronto Star
June 26, 2010

As suddenly as they burst onto the streets, they vanished into the crowd.

The men and women, clad in black clothes, their faces obscured with bandanas, ski goggles and gas masks, had spent the last hour storming through city streets, hurling rocks and debris through the windows of banks and big-chain stores.

They embraced the Black Bloc tactic, a popular sight at almost every international protest since the late 1990s: The crowd, dressed in their black uniforms, moves as a blob, its members indistinguishable from one another. One will run from the pack and lob a rock through a window, before disappearing back into the mob.

On Saturday, as the riot police shuffled closer to the intersection at College and University Aves.– shields up, gas masks on, guns raised – they disappeared again.

Dozens huddled on a patch of grass outside Queen’s Park. Protected by their peers, the ones in the middle changed into their street clothes. Within minutes, all that was left was a pile of black garments.

“Don’t take a f–king picture of me,” said one man, now wearing a brown T-shirt, as he walked away.

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G20 protesters clash with Vancouver police

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

Related: ‘Anarchists’ leave trail of destruction, peaceful 3hr march forgotten | Naomi Klein and 500 marchers crash party at tent city | Protesters flood the streets on first day of Toronto G20 summit | Huntsville G8: Military, locked down security, few protesters | Canada flunks on indigenous rights: G20 native protesters | Marcus Gee: Why the G20 protesters won’t condemn violence | Peaceful protests continue in Toronto as G20 nears | Anti-poverty activists occupy ESSO station during Monday G20 protest — for ten minutes | Toronto activists launch G20 alternative media centre | Ban G20 summit agents provocateurs: activist groups to PM | Oxfam astroturf march leads early G20 protest for bank tax | Activists plan walkout and tent city to protest G8/G20 summits | G20 centre for protesters set to open | Rights group files for injunction against G20 ‘sound cannon’ | G20 activists accuse CSIS of intimidation | Anarchists plan ‘militant’ protests at Toronto G20 | Toronto labour, native protesters ready for G20 demonstrations | Toronto G20 protest area moved to Queens Park | All Toronto G20 protests will be directed to Trinity Bellwoods Park | Protesters and police get ready to square off at G20 summit | Hundreds of Toronto G20 delegates granted diplomatic immunity | For more, see the G20 Coverage page feature

CBC News
June 26, 2010

While protests against the G20 summit in Toronto turned violent on Saturday, a mostly peaceful gathering in Vancouver became ugly when a group of demonstrators began kicking police officers and poking them with signs.

Vancouver police Const. Lindsey Houghton said the aggressive protesters were dressed in black and masked their faces to hide their identity.

“A core group of the black-clad protesters began to try to bait officers, who were facilitating the protest, by trying to damage police equipment, kicking the officers and taunting them,” Houghton said.

He said the so-called Black Bloc tactic included protesters in the city’s Commercial Drive area swearing and yelling at officers in an effort to provoke them.

“While there were no arrests today, the right to protest doesn’t include the right to commit criminal acts that place the public’s safety at risk,” he said.

In February, Black Bloc protesters smashed display windows of the downtown Bay store in Vancouver on the opening day of the Olympics.

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‘Anarchists’ leave trail of destruction, peaceful 3hr march forgotten

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

All of the articles surveyed on the day’s protest (of those written today) feature, upfront, the activities of a cadre of Black Bloc political vandals numbering somewhere from 50 to 100 people. Compare that to the rough estimate police on the scene made of the number of marchers, somewhere from 15,000 to 20,000, and you’ll have an idea how unbalanced the coverage of Saturday afternoon’s demonstrations have been. Run those numbers – the ratio of peaceful to non-peaceful marchers was somewhere around 150:1. Given the fact, StatismWatch is just going to run with the most sensational of the articles, that published by Sun Media. Why not? The writing is transparently inflammatory on a rebels-without-a-clue template, features some interesting details, and you’ve been given a drinking-straw sized view of the day’s events in any case. It simply throws the features of the day’s reporting by the mainstream media in its entirety into sharper relief. And the coverage of the mass march of peaceful demonstrators? That’s nowhere to be found. Several letters to the Star pointed this out, but after searching through four pages of Google News, the search was called off. Balanced journalism is missing and presumed dead.

The police brutality later on in Queen’s Park was absolutely astonishing as well, with passerby and peaceful protesters trampled under the steel-shod hooves of police destriers, justified apparently by the search for Bloc members that police say melted into the crowd.

Read three timelines of the day’s and week’s events here and here and here. More to come as StatismWatch continues boiling down the weekend’s coverage.

Related: Naomi Klein and 500 marchers crash party at tent city | Protesters flood the streets on first day of Toronto G20 summit | Huntsville G8: Military, locked down security, few protesters | Canada flunks on indigenous rights: G20 native protesters | Marcus Gee: Why the G20 protesters won’t condemn violence | Peaceful protests continue in Toronto as G20 nears | Anti-poverty activists occupy ESSO station during Monday G20 protest — for ten minutes | Toronto activists launch G20 alternative media centre | Ban G20 summit agents provocateurs: activist groups to PM | Oxfam astroturf march leads early G20 protest for bank tax | Activists plan walkout and tent city to protest G8/G20 summits | G20 centre for protesters set to open | Rights group files for injunction against G20 ‘sound cannon’ | G20 activists accuse CSIS of intimidation | Anarchists plan ‘militant’ protests at Toronto G20 | Toronto labour, native protesters ready for G20 demonstrations | Toronto G20 protest area moved to Queens Park | All Toronto G20 protests will be directed to Trinity Bellwoods Park | Protesters and police get ready to square off at G20 summit | Hundreds of Toronto G20 delegates granted diplomatic immunity | For more, see the G20 Coverage page feature

The Toronto Sun
June 26, 2010

The streets of Toronto descended into anarchy Saturday as the city’s police chief warned of more mayhem on the last day of the G20 summit.

Hard-core, balaclava-wearing anarchists burned police cars, smashed and looted stores and threw bricks, bottles and bags filled with urine at police Saturday.

Two cruisers were set alight at King and Bay Sts. and another two cars went up in flames on Queen St. near Spadina Ave.

Violent protesters left a trail of shattered glass along Queen St. W. and then up Yonge St.

The stench of their vinegar-drenched clothes, soaked in a bid to ward off any teargas, followed the anarchy through the streets.

Police Chief Bill Blair said late Saturday as protesters continued to trash city streets that 130 people had been arrested and warned his officers would hunt down all the vandals.

He also confirmed that police used tear gas.

Mayor David Miller condemned the “criminals” who vandalized the city’s streets, expressing outrage at the way some protesters chose to make a political statement as world leaders met here for the G20 summit.

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BP: Gulf Resident Gives Behind the Scenes Account, Slams Cleanup and Safety

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

BP and the Obama administration are both allowing this spill to grow progressively worse. We may want to ask ourselves why that is. Because whether it be for manipulation of energy prices, blackmail to pass carbon tax legislation, or for some other purpose, BP has passed up multiple offers of help from foreign states and other interested parties, and now we are given to understand they’re sitting on their hands besides. Washington’s Blog provides some further details of what you’ll hear from the witness in the attached video: 1. BP is given advanced warning when an official is going to show up to any place where there is oil. All assets are deployed. As soon as the official leaves, 75-80% of the assets are removed. BP calls it a “pony and balloons” show. 2. “We are expendable to these people. We do not matter.” 3. They’re not cleaning it up, they’re covering it up. 4. BP is making it impossible for clean-up workers to wear respirators. 5. She saw hundreds of thousands of fish dying, so disoriented by the oil that they crashed into her boat. 5. There is a media blackout. 6. If the country does not stand up and say “no more”, this will go global. All of the world’s oceans are connected. If not stopped, it will destroy one-third of the world’s water.

Related: Peak oil postponed again? | Deepwater Horizon worker claims oil rig leaking weeks before explosion | States Need To Launch Criminal Investigation Into BP, Federal Government’s Role In Oil Spill | The White House’s Climate Strategy: Pass Bill Now, Slip Carbon Taxes in Later | BP Aware Of Cracks In Oil Well Two Months Before Explosion | Obama Using Oil Spill To Push Green Economy Agenda | Confidential document reveals Obama’s hardline US climate talk strategy | Obama sets sights on Arctic oil and gas exploration | Obama Likely to Rebrand Climate Bill as Jobs Bill | Oil Companies Support Global Warming Alarmists, Not Skeptics | Obama targets US public with call for climate action | Obama to stake reputation on fast-tracked climate bill | Oil, oil everywhere? Well, just maybe | World has enough oil reserves, says BP boss

Naked Capitalism
June 26, 2010

Gulf resident and fisherman’s wife Kindra Arnesen took advantage of the offer extended to her to visit cleanup sites and staff meetings:

At any rate, I was invited the following week to go behind “enemy lines.” They gave me, of all people, security clearance to go into the base of operations meetings in Venice, Louisiana eight days in. Open door invitation to sit like a fly on the wall. Can you believe it? It’s really going on. They also gave me security clearance to go up to the Homer Incident Command Post which is over the entire region of Louisiana. I’ve been in Coast Guard planes all the way out to the site itself. Helicopters. Boat rides. I have been everywhere that anybody could ever want to go to get an inside look at what’s really going on.

Arensen appears to have been invited in because she got media coverage earlier in June when CNN covered her efforts to organize wives of Gulf fisherman over concerns about the safety of working on oil cleanup:

Arnesen believes it was vapors from the oil and the dispersants from the BP Gulf oil disaster that made her husband and the other shrimpers sick. She says they were downwind of it, and the smell was “so strong they could almost taste it.”

For several weeks, she hesitated to talk publicly about it. Like many fishermen who can no longer fish in the Gulf, her husband has signed a contract to work with BP to clean up the oil, and she doesn’t want to bite the hand that puts food on her family’s table.

But now Arnesen, a 32-year-old “uneducated housewife” – her words – is breaking her silence and is encouraging others in her community do the same. After attending a lecture by Rikki Ott, a toxicologist who’s worked with families affected by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska, Arnesen decided to organize other wives to ask questions about the safety of working near the oil.

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Man charged in G20 probe gathered makings for volatile explosives, police charge

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

The charge of ‘intimidating justice system participants’ tells the story here – Sonne was pranking intelligence. Not the best idea, but if he had no intent to actually cause any harm as seems to be the case, the only charge that should stick is mischief. Ah, but let’s not forget now, that terrorism charges now discount

Related: Police arrest ‘middle-aged white guy’ in G20 security raid

Anna Mehler Paperny and Jill Mahoney, The Globe and Mail
June 24, 2010

‘There’s no way he was building bombs. He’s just not that kind of person’

For months, the man police are accusing of gathering the ingredients to create volatile explosives mused — in person and online — about testing the capabilities of Toronto’s G20 security.

Friends say Byron Sonne talked about obtaining the “chemical precursors” to explosives “in an attempt to purposefully raise flags and get ‘the man’ to take a look at me… but no luck,” as he wrote on an online forum for HackLab T.O. last fall.

It would seem “the man” looked.

Toronto police entered his Elderwood Drive home in Toronto’s tony Forest Hill neighbourhood with a warrant Tuesday; Mr. Sonne is now accused of obtaining the ingredients to make triacetone triperoxide — a powerful and volatile explosive used in 2001 by thwarted “shoe bomber” Richard Reid.

Mr. Sonne appeared in court in handcuffs on Wednesday, charged with mischief, possession of explosives, weapons and of intimidating “justice system participants” — the latter a rare charge associated with threatening or harassing judges, jurors and lawyers.

His bail hearing was pushed back to Saturday because the police investigation is still continuing. A publication ban has been placed on the proceedings.

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Marcus Gee: Why the G20 protesters won’t condemn violence

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

It’s irritating to have to give this neocon apologist a platform, but Marcus Gee has had the point he’s making handed to him on a silver platter, and it’s news in and of itself that such a divisive piece has been printed. He’s also taking the opportunity to engage in some fairly transparent spin, however. Let’s break this down and try to stick to the facts.

1. Not all G20 protesters are failing to condemn violence. This may be the position of the umbrella group TCMN which has anointed itself the representative of everyone on the streets, but it certainly isn’t the position of individuals. 2. What anarchists and left-identified activists mean by violence is not violence against persons, but against property. Which this journal, incidentally, condemns as both unprincipled and counterproductive while we have free speech, but the point being let’s not misrepresent their position. That’s intellectually dishonest. 3. Don’t give us this police sob story. The documented incidents of police ‘socking’ people and then charging them with assault to cover themselves are legion.

If it bleeds, it leads – indeed, and perhaps Mr. Gee and other members of the media should look in the mirror as they continue painting the entire activist community with the same brush – deadly dangerous rioters – as a distraction from the arguments being raised. If a brick gets put through a window this weekend, all the cameras will rush right over and we’ll have an opportunity to hear about it for weeks on end. In the meantime, we should be looking at the larger problem – the violence being done to the charter rights of Toronto’s citizens as they’re swept aside.

Related: Hospitals, medics prepare for G20 injuries and tear gas | Peaceful protests continue in Toronto as G20 nears | Anti-poverty activists occupy ESSO station during Monday G20 protest — for ten minutes | Toronto activists launch G20 alternative media centre | Ban G20 summit agents provocateurs: activist groups to PM | Oxfam astroturf march leads early G20 protest for bank tax | Activists plan walkout and tent city to protest G8/G20 summits | G20 centre for protesters set to open | Rights group files for injunction against G20 ‘sound cannon’ | G20 activists accuse CSIS of intimidation | Anarchists plan ‘militant’ protests at Toronto G20 | Toronto labour, native protesters ready for G20 demonstrations | Toronto G20 protest area moved to Queens Park | All Toronto G20 protests will be directed to Trinity Bellwoods Park | Protesters and police get ready to square off at G20 summit | Hundreds of Toronto G20 delegates granted diplomatic immunity | For more, see the G20 Coverage page feature

Marcus Gee, The Globe and Mail
June 23, 2010

The fact is that activists find the violent fringe useful

On the eve of the big summit, G20 protesters are complaining bitterly about all the security — the helicopters, the water cannons, the ugly fence, the countless cops. What they fail to acknowledge is that most of it would be wholly unnecessary if they simply agreed to renounce violence, something they consistently refuse to do.

The other day I encountered veteran local activist Anna Willats at a pre-summit Creative Queer Resistance rally on Queen Street. I asked her: Are you against violence at the summit?

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