Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz
Indybay Regions North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area North Coast Central Valley North Bay East Bay South Bay San Francisco Peninsula Santa Cruz IMC - Independent Media Center for the Monterey Bay Area California United States International Americas Haiti Iraq Palestine Afghanistan
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Interview with Undercover Infiltrators at the March For Our Lives in St. Paul, 9/2/08: video
by dave id
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 10:27 AM
Without going into all of the supersecret ways that anarchists spot undercover cops in a crowd, these two men were pointed out as infiltrators by reliable sources and then interviewed on camera. The two split up once they realized they were "made" and then one just left the march all together.

Interview conducted at the the March For Our Lives in St. Paul, September 2nd, 2008.
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
The two would not identify themselves as police nor name their employeeing agency. Another infiltrator who was confronted by activists, and not interviewed on camera, did admit he was a cop, but he claimed he was not "undercover" but simply "plain clothes" — his purpose there being to keep the marchers safe (from themselves presumably). At least a half dozen "undercover" or "plain clothes" officers were spotted in the march, which was already lined with uniformed riot cops wearing gas masks for nearly the entire route.

March for Our Lives
Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign

For a sampling of other police identified at the March for Our Lives, see:

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by dan Shelley
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 10:58 AM
That's awesome. We need to do this same thing whenever we're certain we have an undercover in our midst.

I guess the difficult part is ascertaining they are in fact cops....but once we're certain we need to make them as uncomfortable/fearful as we can.
by the crucified`
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 12:55 PM
And the good that did? I sure hope they were cops because if they weren't, you're two people less. This might be "amusing" on camera but a misfire here or there will eventually add up. In fact maybe paranoid anarchists calling people out for "not fitting the profile" (anarchists profile?) in the middle of marches is the reason we're no closer to change than 50 years ago.
by reader
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 12:58 PM
>>And the good that did? I sure hope they were cops because if they weren't, you're two people less.

So what. 10k people out there. This is an obvious effort to try to demonize exposing infiltrators.
by the crucified`
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 1:21 PM
> So what. 10k people out there. This is an obvious effort to try to demonize exposing infiltrators.

Precisely my point. I wasn't aware that demonization, harassment, and public humiliation (let's be honest, calling someone a pig is equivalent to calling them a traitor, fascist, terrorist, etc.) were part of the anarchist agenda. These type of tactics are no better than the mass media's slander against us. Whether they were really cops or not is irrelevant. We know they'll be there.
by Alecto
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 1:43 PM
I'm a little puzzled that the interviewer had no clue who the Leach Lake Band of Ojibway are.

If he's from out of state, he might not know where Leach Lake is but I would think he would have some idea who the Ojibway are. I'm from Minnesota, but I've heard of the Hopi and the Navahoe
by pirateschool
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 1:57 PM
Exposing cops is great; alienating people from marches who do not dress like you or ride a fixie is not so great. Paranoia like this often makes me want to throw up my hands and join the liberals. I watched this movie and remembered, oh right, that's why infoshops often feel like ghost towns.

This video convinced me of neither your tactics, nor that the men in question were cops.
by pirateschool
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 2:49 PM
No its much deeper than that...

This is a video of someone, an activist from out of state, flying in to Minnesota for a week and alienating local groups from each other. What if this person is part of the Leach Lake Ojibwe? In that case the videographer alienated an indigenous person from the already overly-white and alienating anarchist scene. We need more ties between groups not bad feelings and mistrust. If this person was coming to a direct action or a spokescouncil it would be one thing, but this seems like its a pretty open march.

Also, the videographer doesn't know about the Leach Lake Ojibwe, so he obviously doesn't have enough local knowledge to tell an infiltrator from a regular marcher. So leave the detective work to informed local people.

And further this is a poor peoples march, not a black bloc action, so the people doing the policing should be poor people, the people directly affected, not someone able to jet into town from SF.

by sba
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 3:33 PM
I think the cameraman is being appropriate. He went up to talk to him, and the first guy really struggled to explain his interest.

I agree that the photos of march participants don't really reflect the composition of larger movements, although this is perfectly fine. Some people with children have to work. Specifically, polls actually show that young people out of high school tend to be *more* conservative than average, and even are more likely to believe Bush's justification for going to war. This is all they've been exposed to in high school. Most people aren't precocious and only start reading politics later in life. In contrast with the youngish age range there, there are tons of older people who have moved beyond the major parties, and through experience, are very dubious about any new wars.
In any case, the best approach is to go strike up a conversation. It is pretty obvious that with a $50 million security budget, there are going to be lots of officers everywhere. They probably just didn't find the more socially astute ones. Look at this photo in the other thread of the man with dyed blond hair filming them from a police car:
by New Orleans Anarchiste
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 4:06 PM
Those two were indeed cops, more likely feds, and their specific location in the march was no accident. Knee-jerk liberal handwringers, go the fuck home. Oh wait, you are home, posting inane comments on the internet.

I mean really, heaven forfend anyone "demonize" agents of state repression, goodness gracious. Yes, it's absolutely vital that resistance to illegitimate authority be polite. Smash the state, but make sure not to hurt the state's feelings or make the state uncomfortable; it's only the cause of liberty, certainly nothing worth violating midwestern social etiquette over.

If indeed "we're no closer to change than 50 years ago" that's due to a combination of apathy, reformism and active repression, not because revolutionaries are rude to their enemies.

You people make me sick.

Oh and that police photgrapher the recent commenter linked to pics of is smoking hot... wish our local pigs were half as easy on the eyes. Mmmm! Capture me, capture me, you delectable surf nazi.
by spelling stickler
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 4:44 PM
It's leech, as in the little bloodsucking creatures used for fishing in a freshwater lake like Leech Lake. not "leach" as in to drain away from. sorry i'm picky like that, i think it's disrespectful to the tribe that we can't even get their name right. And yes, I'm from Minnesota and also thought it was quite lame that the videographer didn't know the tribe the guy was talking about.
by Azz
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 5:05 PM
Yes, pretty obvious that these guys are cops. They separate from each other without speaking a word. First guy's answer is so canned that he spouts it even though it has nothing really to do with what he's being asked, and he doesn't even question why he's being asked, just goes along calmly. The second guy just wanders off from the march and calls superiors to let them know he's been outed. Would you just wander off like that if you were there for the march. No, you'd be like "You idiot, I work for this tribe and I'm here because...". For those who maybe don't understand, cops will join marches, take note of individuals to later be arrested because they appear to be leaders, or maybe can be used as a scapegoat easily, etc, among other things. And by the way, it appears that this journalist didn't act alone, there are others working alongside. Great job and keep up the good work. You cops and cop sympathizers should quit wasting our time convincing us to be nice.
by Matthew
Wednesday Sep 3rd, 2008 7:34 PM
I'm sure I look far different than what you think is cool or hip. My lifestyle demands it. I like the fact that people view me as another "average Joe". People who look "radical" or "underground" rarely are. Likewise my friend's brother worked for the DEA and you nor I nor anyone else would have never known it by looking at him/talking to him. If your dumb enough to announce your plans, plan on the cops being there. If you really want to change things, make it difficult for people to know what you are about. The nail that sticks up, gets hammered...
by bob
Thursday Sep 4th, 2008 11:19 AM
why wouldnt they just have the plainclothes MARKED officers who are not undercover like the last 2 RNCs?

both monday and tuesday i had at least 4 different guys walk away in the exact same manner after loudly pointing outthe detail that didnt belong.

its no anarchist "supersecret". each one has an obvious detail that just doesnt sit right with what theyre trying to present. in this movie, it was shoes. maybe its having a 4 thousand dollar camera that they obviously have never used, maybe its a big shiny brass belt buckle visable under the T-shirt of a guy dressed like a black blocker. a little attention to detail gets em every time.
We are 100% volunteer and depend on your participation to sustain our efforts!


donate now

$ 130.00 donated
in the past month

Get Involved

If you'd like to help with maintaining or developing the website, contact us.


Publish your stories and upcoming events on Indybay.

IMC Network