To Gain Sympathy and Support During Protests, French Police Use the Old “Burning Cop Car” Trick

by Scott Creighton

It’s a classic “hearts and minds” trick used by police departments facing large angry protests: take a cop car, set it somewhere apart from other police officers, leave it unattended and light it on fire as agent provocateurs dance around for the cameras. You got to make sure there are cameras and the press there to record the event. That is vital.

The carnage and chaos play well for the nightly news segments and the general population who were once sympathetic toward the protesters start to see them in a totally different light. They also start to give the police a little more leeway when it comes to their brutal tactics of repression against the protesters. It’s a desperation move and always a sign that police tactics are about to take a turn for the worse.

Across France, people are protesting in large numbers against the brutal austerity measures being inflicted on them by the party of the “socialist” President Hollande. These neoliberal reforms deal with labor laws and Hollande himself is suffering from the lowest popularity ratings of any French president in history.

The protester are being joined today by truckers across the country and things look to be getting out of hand for the unpopular government.

The oppressive reaction of the French police is typical of what one would expect from a neoliberal dictatorship, the kinds that France and the US support across the third world.

Protesters are defying brutal police repression of demonstrations against the labour law and the broader police state agenda of the PS. In a sinister development, trampling fundamental democratic principles including freedom of assembly and the presumption of innocence, the PS has been launching pre-emptive arrests of protesters to stop them from participating in protests. The PS used the current State of Emergency, voted in after the November 13th terrorist attacks in Paris, as a pretext for this blatant attack on democratic rights. WSWS

Here is a video of the conflict from over a month ago.

At approximately the 40 second mark of the video, you will notice in the bottom right corner, a flare has been set off by the cops to clear and area in front of them at an intersection. It emits a great deal of white smoke and appears to burn with magnesium.

Here is the video of the burning cop car.

You will notice it is by itself driving slowly down a street when a number of masked agent provocateurs run up behind it and start gently trying to break out the back window while the car just sits there. There is no car in front of it. The cops inside could easily have driven off but they dont. Instead, they do nothing until another masked agent provocateur runs up and tosses a lit magnesium flare gently into the back of the vehicle through the hole broken in the back window.

You can tell it’s the same kind of flare the cops used earlier in the protests to clear the intersection in the previous video.

What happens then is very telling.

The cops get out of the smoke filled vehicle, one at a time, doing nothing to apprehend the agent provocateurs who just attacked them. Instead, they simply move away from the car, walking quickly down the street and get lost in the crowd.

Neither of them do what you would expect, simply open the hatch in the back and remove the magnesium flare. Instead, they decided to let the car burn and slip away into the crowd.

You’ll notice in the Ruptly video above, there is an edit after the cops walk away and before the burning really starts in the interior of the vehicle.

Why is that you ask? Because it obviously took longer than they expected for the police standard issue magnesium flare to ignite the interior of the vehicle and some might wonder why all those photographers from the various corporate media in France just stood around doing nothing rather than simply reaching in the busted back window and removing it.

And the result of course is this:

A police car burns during a demonstration against police violence and against French labour law reform in Paris, France, May 18, 2016. © Charles Platiau

A dramatic, front page money-shot of a symbol of order and law burning in the streets of Paris. Do you notice how many professional photographers are in attendance? Maybe this shot will make that clearer:


What a coincidence. At the moment the car starts smoking and the cops leave the scene (rather than simply removing the police issue flare from the back of it) there are dozens of professional photographers from various media outlets there to record the carnage.

And of course… Ruptly just HAPPENED to be there as well, recording the entire event in stunning HD.



This was part of a demonstration of French police, supposedly upset about all the violence directed toward them by the hooligans of the anti-labor reform protesters. And lo-and-behold, they just happen to have this happen… right in front of a bunch of members of the press.

The incident took place as a police demo against “public hatred” was confronted with a counter-rally. ” RT

This is an obviously ridiculous psychological operation designed to win the “hearts and minds” of the French public and get them back on the side of law enforcement which has been brutally oppressing French protesters for months.

They also needed something dramatic for the press in order to give them some form of justification for enacting their emergency clause 49.3, anti-terrorism measures they want to use against protesters who are shutting down roads and city streets across France.

This mini-false flag event will provide just the justification they were looking for… and all those reporters just happened to be there when it went down… and no one, not even the officers in the vehicle, seemed to want to stop that police car from burning… right in front of all those photographers… and RT.

yeah… got it

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One Response

  1. Reblogged this on deinvestiture.

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