Catalan police use agents provocateurs in attempt to trigger riot

Numerous pieces of evidence have surfaced that seem to prove that the Mossos d'Esquadra, Catalonia's autonomous police force, used agents provocateurs during yesterday's #15M movement protests outside the Catalan parliament. The protesters had gathered in the parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona in an attempt to prevent MPs from accessing the parliament, where they were scheduled to vote in a raft of austerity measures and tax cuts.

The most complete video on YouTube (below) shows 'protesters' attempting to stir things up, then donning balaclava-style masks, before being escorted by police to safety, after they had been identified as troublemakers by other protesters. Equipped with hands-free devices, which might have been mobile phones or radios, the infiltrators seemed to be well organised.

This is, of course, an old tactic. Since time immemorial, police agents have attempted to trigger violence in otherwise peaceful protest movements in order to weaken popular support. With support from politicians and the media, it seems like the police have achieved their aim. The media, of course, is basically not reporting this news. The #15M movement insists that it does not support violent protest… indeed, in its Twitter feed yesterday, it pleaded with protesters to remain peaceful. A later protest at plaça Sant Jaume (seat of the Catalan government) proceeded entirely peacefully, which lends further credence to the protestors' claims. Meanwhile, the budget was approved without amendments, with some Catalan MPs forced to fly into the parliament with police and fire-rescue helicopters.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbhuEVgU9mI[/youtube]

I think it's important that as many people as possible see this video… indeed, since last night, more than 100,000 people have watched it. Pass it on, as it's vital that popular support for the indignats isn't washed away on a lie.

26 thoughts on “Catalan police use agents provocateurs in attempt to trigger riot

  1. One of the videos (mossos.mpg) you have linked to via planetatortuga has been "deleted by user", says Youtube. Anybody copied it?

    Some years ago there was a demo at Plaza Cataluña in which serious claims were raised that agents provocateurs were used to stir up violence. Anybody remember when that was exactly?

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    1. I don't remember that incident.

      I have been following numerous similar incidents in the UK student protests of last year, which generally involved far more destruction of property than anything we've seen in Barcelona of late. Numerous commenters on Lenin's Tomb have recorded individuals screaming insults, throwing items etc at police, only to be allowed through police lines later on. As with yesterday, other protesters would often remonstrate with these violent individuals, warning them of the importance of staying non-violent.

      It's obviously important because if you look at the way yesterday's (extremely minor) scuffles are being presented, it's clear that there's a consensus to shut down the protests now, and that this is the best way to do it.

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      1. Heh! yeah, I suppose. Another dead give away was that they all clearly spend hours in a police gym somewhere, which isn't an appearance that matches well with most of the other protesters.

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  2. Before we hang them high, does anything actually show them trying to foment violence? I can't see anything of the sort in the video. There's nothing illegal about using plain clothes cops, whether to catch muggers on the Ramblas or foreign agitators in the park.

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    1. I second Trebots. The comments in off suggest that they have been seen as taking part in violence, but that's all. Wished the cameraman would talk somewhere.

      Again, I'm still trying to find the Plaza Cataluña precedents. Can you all ask around, too, please?

      As to Carod's take on the matter, he used the "not in Catalonia" argument in 91 after a bomb attack in Vic. Pleaded with ETA to "look on the map" to find their targets in Spain. A disgusting little man.

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  3. I don't think there actually was any violence, someone chucked a water bottle and spray painted a car, or was there summat else?

    Carod Rovira is more a clown with every year that passes. It just goes to show how much the E in ERC is worth… if I could get E's at that price I'd die a happy man, very quickly.

    It's really quite appalling that he feels so offended that people in a Spanish speaking city use their local language sometimes, but even if that wasn't the case, how can people be so pathetic as to look at a whole generation reject the Spain which Gonzalez, Aznar and ZP built, and think nothing more than "massa castellà"!

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  4. Several outcomes of Wednesdays mess have become clear now. Monzó's I Told You So

    http://www.lavanguardia.com/opinion/articulos/20110617/54172374518/el-amor-es-ciego-informadores.html

    and other comments indicate the marching order that there is no difference to be made between violent and non-violent protesters. Independence can be shown again not only as the only way out of the crisis, but also as the peaceful (giggles) one. (I'll have a piece about the peacefulness of democratic-minded Catalan independentists up in a few days on mentides.wordpress.com.)

    The Mossos and/or their political masteres have failed miserably to plan ahead and prevent violent protesters to get through to the politicians. Nevertheless, Puig will keep his post. That is actually amazing, given the fact that he had refused any assistance by the Guardia Civil. I lack al sensors for conspiracy theories, I just understand that if discrediting the Indignados is a political aim, Puig could not have acted any better.

    As much as I could see, Puig had been the only one in the whole of Spain to send the police against the campers, at Plaza Cataluña. Now that looks like the first attempt at getting a violent reaction to be able to criminalise them.

    Puig can certainly count on the ideological assistance of the pro-independence elite, which, as we know since he voted for independence, includes Artur Mas, the boss who should fire Puig as would happen in many other places around the world. For heaven's sake! It's the interior minister's *utmost obligation* to keep harm away from the MPs, whatever the circumstances, and however big the crowd. If he fails we can say goodbye to democracy as we know it.

    In my home country he'd be fired or made to resign. Yet that he's still in office is apparently a minor issue with Catalan talking heads.

    Was the Guardia Civil kept away because Puig needed no inside witnesses?

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  5. Careful, Tom, you might be criminalised, too.

    http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20110616/54171347984/puig-anuncia-que-estudia-denunciar-a-arcadi-oliveres-por-calumnias-a-la-policia-catalana.html

    The funny factor here is that if anybody was accused by Oliveres it's Puig himself. No police would do such a thing if not ordered by their political master.

    There's also some info about the most famous video of those on Planetatortuga.

    I've followed that up. Its version

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcmvzRvsf8g&feature=player_embedded

    is now "private". The next two versions have been flagged as inappropirate:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbhuEVgU9mI&feature=player_embedded
    and
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DlaeabZlF-E

    You can still see them when you sign in.

    The fourth version (the one "the Mossos don't want you to see") is readily available.

    This might well be a false flag operation by the protesters to create the feeling that censorship is being applied.

    What is happening here? Are some idiots trying to make the world believe that this is Libya?

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    1. PS: If this was a false flag it's having some success. The "hidden" video ("Qui són els violents?") is now up under URL

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRaHKmDXFL4#t=2m40s

      The best rated comment is:

      "¡¡HAN CENSURADO EL VÍDEO? ORIGINAL QUE TENÍA 300.000 VISITAS!! CON DOS COJONES."

      Weird.

      Even weirder: What's with the "comment moderation", Tom? That's a shiny new feature….

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      1. Comment moderation is always on for comments with more than a link or two. Approved via my phone.

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  6. The criminalisation of the Indignados movement continues:

    http://www.lavanguardia.com/politica/20110623/54174975804/puig-anuncia-la-creacion-de-un-grupo-permanente-de-analisis-para-evitar-la-impunidad-de-los.html

    There's no need to point out that such a unit can also be used to identify possible resistance against the independence of Catalonia (of which Puig is a declared supporter), and thus it can be seen a consequence of the secessionists attempt to silence the Indignados in order to get rid of those who ideologically compete with it over solutions to the economic crisis.

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