Police union calls for Sid Ryan to resign over “inflammatory” agent provocateurs comment
The Toronto Police union is calling for Sid Ryan to resign after the Ontario Federation of Labour president suggested police may plant agent provocateurs among the G20 protesters to incite violence.
“It’s totally irresponsible, inflammatory and idiotic thing to say for someone in his position. Nothing could be further from the truth,” said Mike McCormack, president of the Toronto Police Association.
“It’s a total insult to police everywhere.”
At a press conference for the “People First!” rally on Wednesday, Ryan said he had concern the police would use the disguised agents to cause chaos in order to provoke a violent response from security forces.
“They've done it before,” Ryan asserted. “I'm concerned about that as a tactic to justify police presence and justify the spending of $1.3 billion on security.”
McCormack dismissed the comment as “cheap publicity” at expense of Toronto police’s reputation.
“At the very least, Sid Ryan should apologize to our membership,” he said. “We’re not going to stand by and let him make these irresponsible comments.”
Meanwhile, in an announcement Wednesday, the Council of Canadians called on Prime Minister Stephen Harper to give his assurance that no agent provocateurs will be used during the G8 or G20 protests.
“I’m deeply concerned that neither you, nor anyone in the government, nor the Integrated Security Unit itself, have ruled out the use of agent provocateurs at the upcoming G8 and G20 summits,” says Council of Canadians chairperson Maude Barlow in a letter to Harper.
“Three undercover police officers attempted to incite violence in 2007 at the Montebello protest against the Security and Prosperity Partnership. The proof of their actions was caught on film,” Barlow wrote. “The Sûreté du Québec was forced to admit that they were police officers, dressed in black and holding rocks. Yet, to date no one has been held accountable and through his silence, Harper appears to have given tacit approval of the use of agents provocateurs.”