Questions Persist About Provocateurs At SPP Summit

Posted on Sunday, April 03 at 15:18 by NAUWATCH

As protester is acquitted of charges from 2007 Montebello protest, questions resurface about police

By Tim Groves

A Quebec court ruling in January 2011 found police acted illegally in trying to shut down a protest in Montebello, Quebec, in 2007, when they arrested two women on a downtown street. This ruling has led to renewed calls for an inquiry into another police action—one now well-known, thanks to Youtube—at that same protest: the alleged use of undercover officers to incite violence.

On August 20, 2007, the heads of state of Canada, Mexico and the US met at a summit in Montebello to discuss the proposed Security Prosperity Partnership (SPP), an agreement that would have harmonized trade and security measures between the three countries. A protest against the meeting took place throughout the day.

Late in the afternoon, when the number of demonstrators had dwindled, a line of riot police attempted to disperse those who remained on the streets. While most of the protesters were pushed backwards by police, activist Leila Martin and another person sat on the ground, clinging to each other, as the police swept over them. They were arrested for obstructing police, who were carrying out orders to shut down the demonstration

Martin was offered a discharge if she pleaded guilty to the charge, whereby she would not receive any fine, jail time, or a criminal record. She was advised to take the deal by her court-appointed lawyer. She told him, “I don't actually think I am guilty and I think my freedom of assembly was violated.”

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