Violence has increasingly marred anti-capitalist protests around the world as police have attempted to clear occupations away.
Last week Oakland in the US saw particularly coercive tactics deployed by the police, who used tear gas to break up hundreds of protesters marching on City Hall.
The police justification for using force on unarmed protesters was to claim that the demonstrators were throwing rocks and bottles at them. It has since come to light, however, that the trouble may have been started by an undercover police officer who was embedded in Occupy Oakland’s camp from the start.
Back in 2003, Oakland’s acting police chief, Howard Jordan, had this to say about the policy of embedding officers in protests:
“You don’t need to have some sort of skill to be able to infiltrate these groups. If you put the people in there from the beginning, I think we’ll be able to gather the information. And maybe direct them to do something we want them to do.”