Earlier this afternoon, Friday 3rd December 2010, two uniformed members of An Garda Síochána from the Bridewell Garda Station, were observed and overheard whilst clothes shopping in Penney’s department store on O’Connell Street, Dublin. Both were male officers and were purchasing hooded sweatshirts and sweatpants, carelessly discussing their undercover work at the upcoming budget day protest (Tuesday 7th December) at Leinster House, the seat of Dáil Éireann; the national parliament. The practice of the police authorities of Ireland going undercover in order to incite the uniformed and riot officers to make a violent response towards the protesters has long been suspected. It is, in fact, a common tactic employed by law enforcement around the world; typically used to bring a swift, and often brutal, end to otherwise peaceful public demonstrations. One of the most famous examples of this underhand practice was the attempt by Québécois police to incite union protesters to violence at the 2007 Montebello summit; a charge which the Sûreté du Québec later admitted. Subsequent to the Irish Congress of Trade Unions’ protest in Dublin on Saturday 27th November, just past, there have been a number of claims that the Gardaí deliberately assigned a number of officers from Special Branch to infiltrate the small protest outside the Dáil; charged with the underhand task of inciting the crowd to riot by throwing bottles at the uniformed police in formation at the gates on Kildare Street.
This media clip shows the second and final bottle thrown at the police line, the video begins with the negative reaction of the protesters to the throwing of the first plastic bottle; which was caught by the officers who jubilantly raises his arm into the air. One contributor to the Indymedia article, “100,000 Protesters in Dublin Sound the Death Knell for the Treasonous Irish Government (‘TD:’ Galway Unites Against Cuts, Sunday 28th November 2010),” known only as ‘Andrew,’ commented under the heading Secret Police Disguised as Protesters at ITCU Demonstration?,
“Many of the hundred thousand plus people who took part in Saturday’s demonstration against the IMF/ECB four year plan would be disturbed to know that mixed among them were a number of secret police disguised as protesters. And it appears these Special Branch operatives were among the small breakaway march to the Dáil that occurred after the main protest and which some media outlets seized on as ‘proof’ of the violence the Garda and that section of the media had been hyping in advance of the protest.”
Video footage filmed by the Workers Solidarity Movement outside the Dáil during Saturday’s protest captured one such mystery figure, dressed in a white hooded sweatshirt (with hood up), casually walking through the police line whilst communicating with a Garda sergeant who clearly knew him. It is beyond all reasonable doubt that this hooded figure is a clandestine agent provocateur of An Garda Síochána mingling freely among the protesters on Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, moments before the empty beer bottle was lobbed at the police line by the gates of the Dáil. It is most interesting that this bottle, supposedly thrown by an angry protester with the intention of injuring a police officer, did not smash on impact with the concrete. The fact that the glass of the bottle did not break would indicate that it was thrown by a person who had no intention of causing harm. One female protester with a Northern accent, featured in the footage, who spotted the hooded figure pass through the police line, immediately drew attention to the foul play of the Gardaí; stating that this was “a tactic to cause violence, don’t let it work!” On passing through the police line it is clear that the hooded man is making his way towards the police vans and on towards the positions of the riot and mounted police at the corner of Dawson Street and Molesworth Street.
Andrew, also the author of an article of the same title on the Workers Solidarity Movement’s website, cites the evidence of one witness, recorded only as ‘Darren,’ who claimed to have recognised the man with the white hooded sweatshirt surmounted by a black parka jacket (the description of the man who passed through the Garda line) as “an old classmate called ‘E.D.’ from Ballinasloe.” Darren knew that his classmate had joined the Gardaí and so was surprised to see him dressed as a protester outside the parliament. It would seem that it is no coincidence at all that the only time that riots occur in the city of Dublin is when the riot police are already in attendance; An Garda Síochána appear to have a vested interest in manufacturing ‘incidents’ which will enable the police to use force to the harm of the people. This is an outrageously cynical tactic by the state and must be stopped. It is advised that all protesters record these and other such tactics with cameras, video cameras and on the camera functions of their mobile telephones. Such footage must be made public on such fora as YouTube.Com, presented to the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission and information passed immediately to the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.
On Tuesday afternoon the government of Ireland will pass into law the most devastating budget statement in the history of the state, and people will be hitting the streets in protest. It is immeasurably important that we, the people of Ireland, act to ensure the safety and security of everyone at the demonstration that evening. The police will be there to meet the people and they are prepared to use unethical practices in order to create an excuse to employ violence against the people. If they succeed in this plan people will be hurt – some very seriously – and the media will paint a picture of a violent mob to excuse the behaviour of the authorities. Use every means necessary to expose the Gardaí and protect yourself and your fellow protesters. Do not meet violence with violence; you will only cause further harm to yourself and others. Point out suspect figures and raise awareness of their presence. Most importantly, make a citizens arrest of anyone inciting the police to use force against you.