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Undercover Cops Removed from Tent City

by Vancouver Media Co-op

2010 Olympics

Undercover police, shame on you! 58 W. Hastings, Vancouver, Feb 16/10
Undercover police, shame on you! 58 W. Hastings, Vancouver, Feb 16/10
Undercover police, shame on you! 58 W. Hastings, Vancouver, Feb 16/10

Since the initiation of the tent city at 58 W. Hastings street in Vancouver, community activists and legal observers have noted the presence of undercover police officers at the site. This afternoon, two officers were outed and removed from the site by residents.

"I think there's a possibility that the police would use under cover cops or their agents as provocateurs to create trouble in the tent city to give the city and the police and excuse to break the tent city up," said Lily Loncar, a staff member of the Downtown Eastside Residents Assocation, who positively identified the men in the photograph.

The presence of police agents is a disturbing development, but is part and parcel of policing tactics in Vancouver during the 2010 Games.

"The people at the tent city are aware that there may be infiltrators in the tent city, not just the two that got outed," said Loncar. "But the people are strong, and they will just continue on," she said.


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yeah right

Once again, the DTES resident is trying to put the blame on the cops.  They haven't done anything and yet they accuse the cop for things that they didn't do.  As far as they concern, they are doing their jobs and make sure that piece of property is looked after.

I like liberal media, but this is going too far.

The police are using

The police are using undercover officers to plot ways of infiltrating the 'leadership' of the community there, in order to cause confusion, undermine and manipulate the action until they come up with and create an excuse to shut it down. Happened at the Woodwards Squat, happens all the time. They are also gathering 'intelligence' on residents, activists and supporters, and will try to make the use of informants. Spending a shitload of tax dollars on "protecting" a multi-million dollar piece of property for a handful of multi-millionaires, while thousands of Vancouverites live in poverty and are literally on the brink of homelessness, if they are not homeless already. They are just doing their jobs acting in the interests of the rich and propertied class, as opposed to the interests of the poor and working classes. (And that is what the police are for.) And yes in advance, I am a fucking taxpayer.

Hidden tents within tent

Hidden tents within tent cities show squatters brains over brawn in the heart of the city. Subtlety in numbers raises our group awhereness.

Re: What a Shame

"Well, it's a good thing that the homeless have rid themselves of police officers. Now they can feel free to steal from one another, fight with one another, and rape one another with impunity."

Wow! What an ignorant and prejudiced statement! That sounds like you've got some pretty strong feelings against the poor and under privileged. I'm not saying crimes like that don't happen. They happen in EVERY class/economic bracket of society.  I fully understand that you would certainly want to call in the cops WHEN your home is broken into, but would you feel OK about the cops ALREADY being in your home, undercover, just in case that break in happens? Is their presence there confirmation that a crime was being committed? They weren't called for any!

You are fully right that cops don't only exist to stir up trouble, throw innocents in jail, or entrap the disenfranchised..... though it is ONE of many tactics that they DO imply, over, and over again. Some 'anarchist' protesters that have been photographed at different protests over the years, both in Canada and the US, have been identified as undercover police officers on duty. These photos never make it to the public eye through the mainstream media. And you denounce people without mainstream homes for trying to live with the same right to privacy as you.

"but would you feel OK about

"but would you feel OK about the cops ALREADY being in your home, undercover, just in case that break in happens?"


So you're saying that a public lot owned by Concord Security is now somebody's home? It sounds to me like these people have overtaken somebody else's property and they are expecting the Police not to come in to make sure everything is peaceful. The Police aren't even doing anything but watching and making sure everyone stays safe. Their job is to serve and PROTECT (life and property included). I've haven't seen the Police do anything to try and break up your little Livecity Downtown Eastside there. I think the Police have done a good job of allowing you to voice your opinions on a lot that you guys have overtaken from someone else. Just my opinion anyway...

What a shame

Well, it's a good thing that the homeless have rid themselves of police officers. Now they can feel free to steal from one another, fight with one another, and rape one another with impunity.

I suppose it's too much to ask for that people would ever believe that the police presence on the streets is primarily for the protection of the peaceful majority. I suppose that would just be some kind of far-fetched, right-wing lie spread to keep the poor man down. Because it's obvious that cops exist only to stir up trouble and throw innocents in jail, and there is no real reason for police other than to irritate, annoy, and entrap the disenfranchised.

But who will you call next time your house is broken into? When you are involved in a traffic accident? When a stranger spits in your face because you have the audacity to have more or less than them?

I suppose it's also too much to ask that investigative reporting was done to enquire as to whether or not the "outed" undercover police were actually provoking people to riot? Or we should just assume that their very presence is confirmation? And you denounce the mainstream media for lack of depth.

cops invade tent city

 Weird thinking that the homeless steal from each other, fight with each other and rape each other with impunity.  Is it homeless people in Iraq and Afghanistan who are stealing and fighting and raping?  What about those guys in suits that have suspended our Parliament just like HItler did before the second war?  Is it homeless people who are responsible for the so called economic crisis too?  Maybe because they have collected welfare at some time in their lives?  What would a cop really want in a tent city?  Why would they want to keep the peace and make sure the tent city comes off looking good?  I really can't think of a reason why since they are the pawns of the elite.

Undercover Police

It's so nice to read comments from thoroughly brainwashed people who are no longer troubled by the need to analyze something logically. Those caring, protective police are providing their care and protection SECRETLY because why? That always works better? Why don't they do that for the rest of us, then, instead of just for anti-poverty protesters? Oh, that's right, they are. Don't you feel safer?

Undercover cops

If they were there to protect, then why wouldn't they be in uniform. 'Undercover' only opens the door to suspicion of their motives.

since i seriously doubt that

since i seriously doubt that you have even visited the village, you really have no right to comment. Quite honestly the village is far more civilized/organized than Robson Street for example, which is filled with drunkards.

 Notice the Cincinati Braves

 Notice the Cincinati Braves logo on the cops hat. What a patronizing asshole... 

Diversity of Tactics

Can't police have diverse tactics just like protesters?

Yesterday, Feb. 16 roughly

Yesterday, Feb. 16 roughly around dinner time I was walking on Hastings directly across from Tent City and passed those 2 men who were standing staring directly at tent city. Then one of them said "there she is" and they went over and across the street to meet a plain clothes bleached blond woman - I said to them "you look susp;icious", I just look like a boring poor woman, and they said "actually, we're cops" to me, then the the 3 of them entered Tent City, then some things appeared to happen that I am ignorant of, legal observers were observing, then the woman spoke in a serious manner to the Tent City worker, I heard later that the whole conversation was about "people going to the bathroom in the back alley". Is it possible the Powers That Be DO NOT want publicity about this "sanitation" problem because it might look really bad to all the esteemed Visitors and big world out there?? just wondering, what's going on....????

What an invasion of privacy.

What an invasion of privacy. If the police want to investigate, they should be up front about their identity and intentions. VPD should leave the peaceful tent city alone.

Toilets and common sense.

There are lots of possibilities here to alleviate the bathroom problem. First off it is not as if the back alleys in the DTES are not smelly already! For years we have asked for more public washrooms to accomodate the homeless; and we got some: ten very fancy self-cleaning units from Paris! Perhaps these were not so much intended for use by the homeless though...

In a way the location of the tent City is very well situated, with a number of bathroom options in the immedaite viccinity. There is a bar next door and so is the Portland Hotel on the other side. The managers of these facilities can be supportive of the tent city residents and allow them to use their bathroom facilities, perhaps with a pass system. The public washrooms at Victory Square, Pigeon Park , Carnegie and the Health Contact Centre are also not too far away. The City could perhaps provide some portapotties, as they would if this was a sanctioned public venue like the 'safe assembly areas'. To my knowledge, the Portland Hotel still has the portable toilet units in storage, that were once used outside the Carnegie Centre in the days before HCC and the Washington needle depot. Perhaps we can reactivate that system as a cooperative effort between VANDU and PHS.

In other words, I pooh pooh the idea that undercover cops are in and near the Olympic tent City only to observe tent city residents answer the call of nature in back alleys. That would be obscene! Can they be helpful? Perhaps we'll find out and see.





an idle question

If the cops were there to protect the tent city, why did they have to be plain clothed? Why not have uniformed officers to protect everyone? Why make their identity such a big secret?

Who's behind the mask?

To the last person who posted:

I'd like to draw your attention to the following story, about undercover cops dressed as "protesters" at the Montebllo summit two years ago, carrying rocks and shoving around peaceful demonstrators:

Then you can watch the video here:

Some parts to watch for are at 1:10, where one of the "protesters" shoves one of the grey-suited unions leaders who is trying to get him to remove his mask and drop the rock he's holding. Then at around 3:00, where they are very gently "arrested" by the riot cops.

After a couple days of denials, the Surete du Quebec admitted they sent these guys in, supposedly to "locate and identify non-peaceful protesters." Apparently when they couldn't find any, they decided to fill the role themselves. But they got busted! 

This kind of thing has gone on for as long as there have been demonstrations and organized resistance - at least as far back as the Haymarket riots and bombing of 1886. It was standard practise in the 1910s and 20s, during the IWW's heyday: if the people you want to get rid of don't give you a reason to arrest or shoot them, start a riot yourself or blow something up and blame it on them. More recently there's the story of Judi Bari and Darryl Cherny, who successfully sued the FBI for trying to frame them for a pipe bombing which nearly killed them in 1990.

Which doesn't necessarily mean the undercover cops at tent city were planning to start anything, or act as "agents provocateurs," but there's WAY more than enough precedent in history to believe they might have. 

Sleep tight, Trusting Citizen, the police are here to protect long as you're rich, own property and don't rock the boat!



they are there for a reason... because we are a free country

so why where they "outed" and removed?  What was being said within the confines of this tent city that its residents felt couldnt be shared?  Why is a police officer any different than an impoverished citizen?  I have different ideals - so am I not allowed to visit this piece of public property?  I would hate to think I would be told to leave by my fellow citizens for simply listening in.  The more the "disadvantaged" feel disadvantaged, the more the Canada I support seems to be knocked down.  Get a clue people.  If someone was out to get you - well - they already got you when you ended up on the streets and disadvantaged.  Only your own self can prop you back up.  The police are there to keep you from bringing our entire population into chaos.

I am just thankful that my fellow people still want to be a policeman when the position is vilified so often.

but who will police the self-described non-policeable?

What is wrong with your fellow man listening in?  What are you up to exactly my half-witted friends?  If you are concocting anti-social behavior should you not be doing it out of view of those who disagree?  Am I allowed to visit you on the piece of public property you arrogantly claimed as your own?  Why are my rights not observed on your little utopia.  "you people" are killing MY CANADA.  Grow up like the rest of us (farmers, fisherman/women,blue collar workers and white collar workers that support your negative ways through taxes EVERY DAY.  You are making it very hard for me to NOT uprise against your ignorant shit every day.

 It's a Cleveland Indians

 It's a Cleveland Indians hat. Didn't you see Major League? 

seems they're not very good at undercover.

Had breakfast at Deacon's last week just before the torch relay, these two were sitting in there with about a dozen cops.  Not exactly low profile, lads.

police provocateurs spp protest

Freedom does not equate anarchy

Police: they are a part of our society, get used to it. Every city in the world has police, what makes tent city so special or not special enough? Hmm maybe tent city is on the borders of being anything legal and so they want those protectors of the law as far away as possible.

Cincinati Braves?

Yeah there's no such team as the 'cincinati[sic] braves'. Perhaps you're thinking of the Cleveland Indians, which is the actual logo on the hat. I still don't see what relevance that has either way, other than to demonstrate how willing some idiots are to jump to conclusions without actually thinking about things for themselves for a split second. 



can't we all just get along? This town needs an enema!

Anyway, the police are here to protect us and we must be thankful for that! But it's also no lie that sometimes tactics are used that are less than ideal. Homelesness IS an issue in the city and those in power need to deal with it. The government is responsible for the health and welfare of it's people. But we need to come to some kind of mutual agreement and understanding. Stop bickering like little children and do something useful!!!

First they came for the homeless

but I did not  speak out because I was not homeless

Then they came for the addicts but I did not speak out because I was not an addict

Then they came for the protestors but I did not speak out because I was not a protestor

They they came for the social justice advocates but I did not speak out because I was not a social justice advocate

They they came for me and there was no one left to speak out....


Vancouver Police Department

Vancouver Police Department are AFRAID of organized activists, homeless people, activist lawyers, radical politicians, radical people, regular people, people with mental health issues, aboriginal people, drug users, sex workers, family pet dogs, graffitti artists, tattoo artists, skateboarders, people partying on the street, people partying in the park, people out after dark...Vancouver serve, protect, and taser...or shoot at you...and then blame you for getting shot...or arrest you and then dump you in the middle of nowhere...and then blame you for freezing to death...or beat you up, and charge YOU with assault...yep, Vancouver's biggest street gang...the VPD.

You Never Know

If the police chief has something against this group - I could believe the accusation. Groups in authority have been know to abuse their power on occasion.

Vancouver moving companies


  I do not think it's going too far "I like liberal media, but this is going too far"

in regards to the cops.  Actually I'm not surprised.  If you study N. Am. political history, as I know it in the US---I'm a Dine' filmmaker--- there was once something called cointelpro in US during the late 60's and early 70's under J Edgar Hoover where informants were picked out and they infiltrated groups and organizations to find out information about groups so that they could discredit them and find ways to break them up.  Before this in the 60's, the fbi worked with the police and anyone else who sided with them to target groups, to bring them down.  They wire tapped and used other tricks to "discredit " them.  Canada's not any different.  Since this is the Olympics they are paranoid. The police over react and like to bring down positive things like the Olympic Tent Village for the people.   

I thought the Tent City was

I thought the Tent City was open to anyone.

I have no stake in this

I have no stake in this either way.  However, you may want to review the legality of exposing the identity of an undercover police officer if you have not already done so:


Obstruct Police Anything you do to interfere with an officer in the lawful execution of their duty. This could include laying down in front of a police car or getting in the way of an arrest. You could also be charged with this offence if you uncover an undercover officer.

I am not a lawyer, I was not at Tent City when this happened and I don't know if either the actions taken by those who were there or the person who posted the pictures of the alleged undercover cops mentioned fall into this category. That being said, you may want to check if you are on shaky legal ground here. Just saying.

It's safe to say that the police have and will continue to infiltrate these types of protests and sow discord between the parties to a movement. Call it an occupational hazard for activists.

Police literacy and knowing how to navigate the legal minefield of civil disobedience is the single most important tool a movement can have.



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