During an anti-austerity protest in Madrid on September 25, 2012, an undercover police officer dressed in black was tackled and beaten by fellow cops as he cried out, “I’m a colleague!” The youtube video of the event is hilarious, showing how stupid and brutal the cops are, but it was immediately seized on by pacifists to claim that the violent ones were police infiltrators. This is curious for a number of reasons. First of all, if you look carefully, you’ll notice that the undercover is wearing a black shirt and light jeans, no mask. Hardly a Black Bloc anarchist. Secondly, the protest itself, organized by a whole gamut of dissidents from liberals to anarchists, was planned to blockade the Spanish Congress. How the liberals imagined doing that without breaking the law or clashing with police is beyond understanding. The fact that they got all upset when clashes broke out only shows how they are living in a fantasy world in which people will link arms and sing, and the police will simply stand down. In any case, their accusations that “the violent ones” and “the masked ones” were really police infiltrators (and the clearly false allegation that the undercover cop was wearing a mask) was published in one of Spain’s largest newspapers.
In a testament to crowd psychology and how ready pacifists and conspiracy theorists are to manipulate it, by simply writing the claim that the police agent was wearing a mask made people think they were watching a masked cop being beaten by fellow cops, even as they saw a video showing an undercover without any mask.