Media Hysteria: the Black Bloc

On the afternoon of June 5th, 2020, the local Toronto website ‘BlogTo’ put out a story concerning the upcoming protests that were planned on Saturday, June 6th. The article was entitled: What is the Black Bloc and why are they coming to Toronto?

(K. Van Paassen/Globe and Mail – June 25th, 2010: G20 Summit Protest)

The blog shares a number of unverified claims, including tweets that seem to indicate (via Facebook and Instagram stories) that the protests on June 6th could have in fact turned violent.

Numerous unverified photos of bricks being laid out along Queen and Ossington in Toronto have made their way across social media. However, as CBC disinformation reporter Andrea Bellemare confirmed, it seems to have been some form of an ill-thoughtout, social media hoax.

BlogTO also goes on to claim (with no verified source)

‘Rumours are swirling that “Black Bloc members” or “a group called the Black Bloc” will be descending upon Toronto from Montreal this weekend to raise hell under the guise of protesting.’

All of these claims have been proven to be completely baseless, and are based on social media rumors of unverified twitter accounts, as explained in a previous SOL blog post.

Now let’s be perfectly clear. The ‘black bloc’ did not burn this police car at the G20 in Toronto. This photo is of the cop car that was set on fire at Queen and Soho, the police pulled up, quickly abandoned their car, and allowed it to be burned by random, unorganized protestors. (The entire incident is on video)

People surrounded the burning car for about an hour, and then the riot cops surrounded all of the protestors, kettled them, brutalized them, and then made mass arrests.

The Globe and Mail: Why were police cruisers left to burn at G20 summit?
Hours after groups of “black bloc” vandals on Queen Street allegedly forced Toronto police to evacuate two cruisers on the Saturday of the G20 summit last June, the vehicles were still abandoned. Eventually, Toronto police cruiser 3251, and then car 766 were set on fire by onlookers-turned-hoodlums, their actions photographed by bystanders and posted on YouTube.

Even after the vehicles were alight, emergency personnel were absent on that stretch of Queen. Instead, eyewitness photos show riot squad officers nearby on Spadina Avenue, preventing people from walking south. Dozens of people watched the cars engulfed by flames in the middle of downtown Toronto, with nary a police officer impeding their view.

Again, let’s be perfectly clear. The black bloc is not a protest group or activism organization. It is a tactic, it is an excuse to brutalize peaceful protestors. These tactics are meant to traumatize victims and the thousands of people that witness these acts of violence. Whether it be by police, neo-nazis or accelerationists; the tactic is to embed themselves into peaceful protestors, cause destruction, for the purpose of villainizing and taking cover behind the protests.

During the 2010 G20 Toronto Protests, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) arrested two vandals that were undercover members of the Toronto Police Service. This is a verified fact.

CBC: G20 report clears RCMP but raises questions over ‘kettling’
The RCMP arrested five people during that incident, “two of whom turned out to be undercover Toronto police officers,” said McPhail. It’s unclear what the Toronto officers did to get arrested because McPhail found there was no record-keeping for the reason of their arrest. “There were inadequate notes taken,” said McPhail, adding that the circumstances may have been “difficult,” but in terms of a post-event review, they really are “necessary.” To that end, McPhail’s top three recommendations have to do with better note-taking and record-keeping.

The RCMP and the Toronto Police Service fully admitted the fact that they used undercover agents and embedded them within the protests groups, but the facts uncovered show that much more than embedding was done.

Based on federal court documents, the RCMP claimed to have taken ‘inadequate notes’ concerning the exact charges that the two undercover Toronto Police Officers were facing, claiming that the ‘circumstances may have been difficult at the time of the arrests.’

Of the 28 complaints made against the Police during the G20, 12 of them were ‘investigated and deemed “unsupported.”, two of them were found to be outside of the commission’s jurisdiction. Source: CBC

The complaints concerning the two undercover Toronto Police officers, were the two that were found to be outside of the commission’s jurisdiction, which is likely because they were involved in a covert police operation.

A few years later it was uncovered that the RCMP, OPP and Toronto Police, all used undercover agents to infiltrate and incite protest groups.

WSWS: Police helped plan vandalism at Toronto G20 summit
In documents released last week as part of a plea deal between 17 social activists and Crown attorneys, it was revealed that 12 undercover police agents either spied on or infiltrated protest groups who were planning to participate in demonstrations against world leaders at the June 2010 G20 summit meeting in Toronto, Canada.

At least two of these undercover officers played central roles in organizing protest activities of various anarchist collectives. This included helping to identify targets to be vandalized in downtown Toronto. This “target list” was one of the key pieces of evidence used by the prosecution to pressure the defendants to enter into plea bargain discussions.

These undercover agents have been known to: cause, suggest or incite some form of destruction or violence, and then gather information and arrest individuals who also partake in the destruction or violence, they themselves have incited.

Once again, let’s be perfectly crystal clear. This is fascism, and the corporate media is feeding you propaganda to make you think their brutalization of peaceful protestors is a just cause. When it is, in fact, all apart of their systematic oppressive police state.

Whether it be undercover agents, or ‘participants’ working as an agency of the police, or independent perpetrators, their only goal is to incite violence for the purpose of it being blamed on others. All of this falls under what is known as ‘the Black Bloc.’ It is a deception tactic and strategy, used to incite further unrest and to discredit peaceful protest.

The violence and destruction they help create is then used as an excuse to expand police budgets throughout the country.The facts are there, we have seen this all too often. (G7, Montebello, G20, etc).

TorontoStar: Police accused of using provocateurs at summit (2007)
Protesters are accusing police of using undercover agents to provoke violent confrontations at the North American leaders’ summit in Montebello, Que. Such accusations have been made before after similar demonstrations but this time the alleged “agents provocateurs” have been caught on camera.

Canadian protestors, be aware! If you see large, out of place people, causing destruction and violence during protests, take photos of them! Those images will be very important when it comes to pinning undercovers for the destruction they wish to bring to our communities. Stay safe!