While there was senseless destruction of property in Oakland, NBC Bay Area notes that the leaders of Occupy Oakland say that “anarchists” not associated with the group are responsible for last night’s violence.
The New York Times reports:
A belligerent fringe group that seemed intent on clashing with law enforcement and destroying property.
[They were] part of an Occupy Oakland subgroup that the city’s interim police chief, Howard A. Jordan, described as “generally anarchists and provocateurs.”
Some members of the group that had closed the port reprimanded those who smashed windows, threw rocks, ignited a 15-foot-high bonfire of garbage and covered downtown storefronts with graffiti.
When a man wearing a bandana broke a window with an empty beer bottle, another protester yelled, “Who are you? That isn’t what this is about!”
Indeed, as the following two videos show, the overwhelming majority of protesters were peaceful and tried to stop the provocateurs:
Provocateurs Used By Governments All Over the World to Discredit Peaceful protests
And as Steve Watson noted, provocateurs pathetically circulated anti-nonviolence flyers at the Occupy Oakland protests.
An agent provocateur may be a police officer or a secret agent of police who encourages suspects to carry out a crime ....
A political organization or government may use agents provocateurs against political opponents. The provocateurs try to incite the opponent to do counter-productive or ineffective acts to foster public disdain—or provide a pretext for aggression against the opponent (see Red-baiting).
Historically, labor spies, hired to infiltrate, monitor, disrupt, or subvert union activities, have used agent provocateur tactics.
There are numerous, documented cases from around the world of government provocateurs acting violently at peaceful protests in order to discredit the peaceful movements.
For example - during the Egyptian "Arab Spring" protests - Mubarak's security force thugs dressed as protesters and committed violence ... in order to discredit the protests.
An Indonesian fact-finding team investigated violent riots which occurred in 1998, and determined that “elements of the military had been involved in the riots, some of which were deliberately provoked”.
“They’ve ordered some soldiers in the military to shave their heads, so that they could pose as monks, and then those fake monks would attack soldiers to incite a military crackdown. The regime has done this before in Burma, and we believe they would do so again.”
Quebec police admitted that, in 2007, thugs carrying rocks to a peaceful protest were actually undercover Quebec police officers:At the G20 protests in London in 2009, a British member of parliament saw plain clothes police officers attempting to incite the crowd to violence. (And here is a video possibly showing a provocateur being let through the police line.)
In 2003, FAIR reported:
According to reports from the BBC and the German wire service Deutsche Presse-Agentur (1/7/03, 1/8/03), a senior Genoa police officer, Pietro Troiani, has admitted that police planted two Molotov cocktails in a school that was serving as a dormitory for activists from the Genoa Social Forum. The bombs were apparently planted in order to justify the police force's brutal July 22 raid on the school. According to the BBC, the bombs had in fact been found elsewhere in the city, and Troijani now says planting them at the school was a "silly" thing to do.
The BBC and DPA also report that another senior officer has admitted to faking the stabbing of a police officer in order to frame protesters. These revelations have emerged over the course of a parliamentary inquiry into police conduct that was initiated by the Italian government under pressure from "domestic and international outrage over the blood-soaked G8 summit in Genoa" (London Guardian, 7/31/01). Three police chiefs have been transferred and at least 77 officers have been investigated on brutality charges.
The U.S. is not exempt from such shenanigans.
Denver police officers were found to have used undercover detectives to instigate violence against police during the 2008 Democratic National Convention (this ultimately resulted in the use of pepper spray against their own infiltrating agents).
The New York Times pointed out in 2005:
At the vigil for the cyclist, an officer in biking gear wore a button that said, ''I am a shameless agitator.'' She also carried a camera and videotaped the roughly 15 people present.
Beyond collecting information, some of the undercover officers or their associates are seen on the tape having influence on events. At a demonstration last year during the Republican National Convention, the sham arrest of a man secretly working with the police led to a bruising confrontation between officers in riot gear and bystanders.
Activists ....say that police officers masquerading as protesters and bicycle riders distort their messages and provoke trouble.
At one point, the [apparent officer] seemed to try to rile bystanders.
Indeed, obvious provocateurs were filmed at the G20 in Pittsburgh:
As I noted in 2008:
When agents provocateur commit violence or destroy property at peaceful protests, they are carrying out false flag terrorism.
Wikipedia defines false flag terror as follows:
False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time; for example, during Italy’s strategy of tension.
If intelligence agencies or federal, state or local police themselves commit acts of violence against people or property, and then blame it on peaceful protesters, that is – by definition – false flag terror.
Indeed, governments from around the world admit that they carry out false flag terror to discredit their enemies.Oakland Rioters: Provocateurs?
While we are not yet sure whether the tiny group Oakland group of rioters (among tens of thousands of peaceful protesters) are police provocateurs, it is clear that they don't represent the Occupy protests in any way, shape or form.
The direct democracy practiced by the protesters is nothing at all like the violent rioting by the thugs.
Anyone who focuses on the handful of provocateurs - as opposed to the hundreds of millions of peaceful protesters and their supporters - is uninformed or dishonest.