“Snatch Squads” and agents provocateur caught on camera at London student protest

18/11/2011 11:48

By Madison Ruppert

Here you can clearly see the two undercover police officers assaulting the young man in white (this was taken from the 720p YouTube video, click to see full size)

A video originally uploaded to YouTube on November 11th, 2011 by the user “noshockdoc” shot during the November 9th rally in London in protest of education cuts, rising tuition, and privatization which clearly shows what appear to be undercover police officers attempting to incite violence and snatching activists.

While police reportedly had some 4,000 officers on duty that day, making the protest one of the most heavily policed events in London, and were also authorized to use rubber bullets, their attempts at inciting a riot failed.

No widespread violence broke out except for isolated incidents which protesters said were caused by the security forces manning the event.

One activist, cited by the Oxford University student newspaper, Cherwell, who was identified as “Dan” said, “The police tried to provoke people to react violently, and some people had to act in self-defense against police attacks, but we all supported one another and prevented the police from causing a riot.”

The police reportedly arrested 24 activists during the course of the protests although it clearly appears in the video that they were attempting to incite people to commit acts which they could then arrest them for.

In the video we see two individuals in plainclothes who the user suspects are agent provocateurs, with good reason, I might add, who attempt to start a scuffle with a protester.

In the beginning of the video we can see one of the undercover officers have a brief exchange with an officer in uniform before making contact with the second undercover officer.

They pause for a moment before rushing into the crowd, in the process violently shouldering a man in a white jacket that was standing facing the direction towards which they are running.

When the man reels from the hit, we see one of the undercover officers grab his arm and seemingly throw punches at the young man.

A uniformed officer approached after seeing the scuffle start but quickly turns and walks away, likely after he realized that the individual inciting the event was an undercover officer.

Both of the undercover officers seem to be participating in attacking the young man. We can also see the undercover officer in black with the beanie pushing the young man in white.

A female who he appeared to be talking to previously quickly steps in, grabbing the man in white and separating him from the two undercover officers attempting to incite violence.

Then we see the undercover officer in black flash what the uploader identifies as possibly a “warrant card” which he thinks may have been flashed to the uniformed officer who began to respond to the incident.

It appears that when the uniformed officer sees the item held by the undercover officer against the other undercover officer’s back, he quickly turns around, away from the scene of the crime.

Protesters are quick to spot the provocateurs, with one man pointing at them and walking briskly in their direction yelling, “Oi!”

Multiple demonstrators seem to catch on pretty quickly and start pointing the two men out in the crowd as they quickly make their way towards the police barricade.

As the individual filming moves closer to the police barricade, we hear a man screaming, “Agent provocateurs! Agent provocateurs!”

Once the individual filming makes it to the police barricade, we see two men jumping over the police barrier, with the assistance of uniformed police.

The filmmaker says that the two undercover officers who attempted to incite violence earlier have already jumped the barrier and along with the other two become part of a group of eight officers arresting a single protester.

This video was filmed at the kettle at London Wall and Coleman Street in Moorgate, London at the end of the march and another video, uploaded November 9th and filmed outside of the kettle in Moorgate, shows the undercover cops after they snatched the protester as seen towards the end of the first video.

The second video shows thuggish undercover police officers hitting the camera in an attempt to prevent the individual filming from catching them on camera.

Several officers were holding the man in such a way that he is clearly in pain, saying, “I can’t walk! I can’t walk!”

An undercover officer responds, “You can walk!” While another says, “You’re a young man, walk.”

The man being manhandled by the undercover officers says, “It hurts. You’re pushing my head down.”

Soon after one a portly undercover officer hits the camera the young man being arrested yells, “Ahh! Fuck!” clearly in pain from the way that the multiple officers are handling him.

After they push him up against a wall and handcuff him, several officers bring him into an alley and three undercover officers block it off, preventing people attempting to photograph and film the incident from getting a better look.

As we can see later in the video, there were clearly many undercover police officers at the event and involved in the so-called snatch squads.

These videos are clear, irrefutable proof of an over-the-top police presence, undercover police engaging in agents of provocation in a peaceful protest, and unnecessarily heavy-handed treatment of activists.

Thankfully, the activists weren’t subjected to the kind of outright police brutality suffered by demonstrators at Occupations across the nation, however this kind of agent provocateur activity is wholly unacceptable and unjust and there can be no excuses made for such activity.

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