Indiana Deputy Prosecutor Carlos F. Lam suggested to Wisconsin Gov. Rick Scott that he use provocateurs to discredit the unions protesting his union busting bills. Lam even went so far as to propose a fake assassination attempt against Scott. According to the WSWS, Lam’s email was sent the same day that Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox sent a Twitter message calling on Scott to use live ammunition against demonstrators. Both Cox and Lam resigned after journalists traced the provocative messages to them.
As crazy as these two provocations may seem, Walker was already thinking along those same lines. He had already threatened to call in the National Guard on public sector workers if they went on strike. The National Guard, of course, carries live ammunition with them. Furthermore, in a telephone conversation with a blogger pretending to be billionaire David Koch, Walker admitted that he had considered using provocateurs against demonstrators.
The WSWS suggests that such conspiracies are usually reserved for wartime and counterinsurgency operations. However, the U.S. government and business have a long history of using whatever means necessary to disrupt labor organizing and political opposition. Anti-war organizations, civil rights groups, environmental groups AND labor have been infiltrated by provocateurs and spies bent on disrupting and discrediting them. Nevertheless, the WSWS is correct that these two examples are emblematic of the explosive class tensions permeating the country today, with harassed and beaten-down workers on the one hand, desperately fighting to save what little protections they have left, and the ruling elite, on the other hand, hell bent on crushing every last vestige of organized labor.
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