I-Witness Video Blog : The Policing of Protest
Crowd uses free speech to shut them down
Monday, 28 Sep 2009
After days of abuse by police officers during last week's Pittsburgh G-20 demonstrations, activists marched to protest police brutality on Saturday night. As the group walked along Pittsburgh sidewalks, three large men, dressed in black with their faces covered, showed up in their midst. The appearance of the men seemed to mimic the stereotypical style of anarchists participating in a black bloc action. Yet these guys were not in sync with the crowd of demonstrators. Their body language and demeanor were threatening. Soon, one of them actually attacked a camera person, breaking the flash off of his camera.
If these provocateurs hoped to provoke further violence with their actions, they did not succeed.
As people became aware of their presence, instead of violence, the demonstrators stuck together and used the First Amendment to counter the clear malevolence of the three men. The group chanted: "Hey hey; ho ho; undercovers in the crowd have got to go," and camera people took photos and video of the trio. The provocateurs were rendered ineffective, or as in the title of the video, "Epic Undercover Police Fail."