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Police Reserve the Right to Take Over Activist Groups for 2010

Vancouver, B.C. – In a letter promising that undercover police officers and agents will not
provoke others into violence, the head of the 2010 Olympic police force has refused to promise
that his undercover officers won’t take over and direct the activities of activist groups, or commit illegal acts themselves.

“We are pleased to hear, at a minimum, that the people we pay to enforce the law have promised they won’t encourage others to break it,” said Holmes. “However, it is less reassuring
to note what has been left out of the list of promises we were seeking from the ISU on this issue.”

The BCCLA has repeatedly tried to get the head of the Vancouver Integrated Security Unit Bud Mercer to commit to basic rules of conduct for undercover officers, including that no undercover officer will seek to influence the political direction, policy positions or internal discussions of any police infiltrated groups, and that officers not engage in illegal conduct themselves that could cause bodily harm or death. To date VISU has only agreed to refrain from activities that “provoke others into committing illegal acts.”

“It is absurd that in Canada we can’t get a commitment from the head of the police that their undercover agents won’t assume the leadership or try to influence the political direction of activist groups,” said Robert Holmes, President of the BCCLA. “What kind of democracy do we have where the public cannot be assured that those speaking out against or in favour of a political issue are not undercover police officers?”

See the letter from the BCCLA and response from the ISU

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Rob Holmes, President, (604) 681-1310 or (604) 838-6856
David Eby, Executive Director, (778) 865-7997