Bring on the Potluck Provocateurs
By now, most of you have no doubt heard about the FBI’s plan to get informants to infiltrate vegan potlucks in the Twin Cities area to hunt down those evil liberal hippies who are almost certainly plotting violence for the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul, even though there’s no evidence that the hippies are actually plotting violence — though there are recorded incidents where the moles in these groups were the ones inciting violence:
During the lead-up the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City, the NYPD’s Intelligence Division infiltrated and spied on protest groups across the country, as well as in Canada and Europe. The program’s scope extended to explicitly nonviolent groups, including street theater troupes and church organizations.
There were also two reported instances of police officers, dressed as protestors, purposefully instigating clashes. At the 2004 Republican National Convention, the NYPD orchestrated a fake arrest to incite protestors. When a blond man was “arrested,” nearby protestors began shouting, “Let him go!” The helmeted police proceeded to push back against the crowd with batons and arrested at least two. In a similar instance, during an April 29, 2005, Critical Mass bike ride in New York, video footage captured a “protestor”—in reality an undercover cop—telling his captor, “I’m on the job,” and being subsequently let go.
This sort of poo-stirring by infiltrators has already been occurring locally:
Minneapolis’s own recent Critical Mass skirmish was allegedly initiated by two unidentified stragglers in hoods—one wearing a handkerchief over his or her face—who “began to make aggressive moves” near the back of the pack. During that humid August 31 evening, officers went on to arrest 19 cyclists while unleashing pepper spray into the faces of bystanders. The hooded duo was never apprehended.
In the scuffle’s wake, conspiracy theories swirled that the unprecedented surveillance—squad cars from multiple agencies and a helicopter hovering overhead—was due to the presence of RNC protesters in the ride. The MPD publicly denied this. But during the trial of cyclist Gus Ganley, MPD Sgt. David Stichter testified that a task force had been created to monitor the August 31 ride and that the department knew that members of an RNC protest group would be along for the ride.
Bear in mind that some of the local Twin Cities right-wing bloggers like Mitch Berg do things like brag about their ties to right-wing agents proshlockateur like “Protest Warrior” who do stupid things while pretending to be lefties. Meanwhile, these brave Republican local bloggers and talk-show gabbers such as Learned Foot and Michael Brodkorb (”faces made for radio”, indeed) are being put forth as suitable FBI moles — though whether any of these clowns has the guts to stand and reap the whirlwind they’d be sowing is debatable.