Shane: an undercover cop in Hamilton, ON

  • Posted on: 6 September 2018
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

From an anonymous submission to North Shore Counter-Info

He was here – on and off – for about 2 years, first appearing in the Summer of 2016.

His name is “Shane”.

That’s his undercover name, and his real name. “Shane Bond”, is what he told us – with “us” being the different communities and circles in Hamilton he tried to infiltrate.

Shane was just another dude when he showed up. To be honest most of us didn’t take notice – at least not at first. There were no leading or intrusive questions. He didn’t incite divisive arguments or spread gossip. He was quiet – maybe even boring. And while he did persistently harass some women in our community to grab a beer despite rejection it didn’t scream “cop” so much as misogyny – an experience that’s unfortunately still somewhat normal in our circles.

To those who engaged or paid attention, Shane presented himself as a bicycle riding part-time painter, complete with a shitty ‘supercycle’ bike and painting pants. He had an apartment at 20 Emerald Street North – a Hamilton Housing building for folks with low income – that was furnished with a leather couch, some photos, and some paintings. Shane had “a girlfriend” who “worked at a private day care” who no one met, and a muscular feminine presenting friend with below-shoulder length brown hair “from Dundas” who came to at least one event.

Shane’s arrival came after several years of dedicated anti-pipeline organizing and heightened anti-gentrification efforts. He was known to attend The Tower for events and socials, Hamilton 350 meetings, anti-pipeline events and a handful of public demos including an antiracist rally and a solidarity demo at barton jail.

Mostly, but not completely, Shane failed at his job.

For all the time he spent here trying to build relationships and ins he didn’t get far. It took some time to connect with people who interacted with Shane, verify their stories, and write this text but with some reflection we know that Shane didn’t have much more to offer his higher-ups than that which any casual observer could. He wasn’t successful in his intended infiltration. The only exception to this was that after having been around for two years, he was in the right place at the right time. Shane was shown a flyer for a demonstration against gentrification on Locke Street, which he attended, and he appears to be giving evidence against people charged in connection with it.

Ultimately Shane was best at was avoiding cameras – or at least ours. We had a hard time finding a picture of him. But as it turns out; back in 2011 Rick Mercer hung out with Hamilton Police and Shane – a then-yellow-jacketed ACTION cop – made a promo video with Mercer where you can see him shortly after minute 2:12. Since embarrassing shit never really disappears from the internet, we grace you all with his rat goof face anyway.

In His Words: Shane’s Backstory

Shane told folks he was from Saskatoon and BC. He seemed to know a good amount about both places, including detailed climate and geography. He said he painted part-time and sometimes attended events “right after work” in painter’s pants. His apartment was mostly-furnished, had art on the walls “painted by his mom” and what we understood to be personal photographs. He said he enjoyed loose-leaf tea – but almost always had shitty steeped tea with him.

At one point Shane went somewhere during his undercover operation here in Hamilton for approximately 6 months. Whether that was to actually be by his mom’s side in BC as she died, as he explained, or to infiltrate another community, we don’t know – but we strongly encourage those organizing around gentrification or pipelines to share his photo and any experiences they’ve had with him.

What we do know is that Shane isn’t the only undercover cop working throughout Turtle Island; if you’re doing anti-pipeline organizing or other rad organizing, then expect and plan for the possibility of this kind of infiltration and surveillance too. We know it can be tempting to dismiss or rationalize otherwise – but this isn’t just happening in the U.S. or abroad. This isn’t just happening in BC. And it’s not just happening in the lead up to summits. The state is throwing their resources towards effective organizing against industry and the state – period.


Shane’s political analysis was lacking and never really evolved despite attending workshops and events. He’d often try to relay ideas or sentiments using common terms or slang, but out of context. The result was abrupt, unsettling interactions like a sudden proclamation of “I’m so glad I’ve found someone else who hates the pigs!”

He was also seen more than once hovering around an area or group of folks listening in on conversations, and when he returned from his “trip to BC” Shane could recognize and recall people’s names perfectly, whether they’d previously conversed much or not.


Recently the Mining Injustice Solidarity Network (MISN) released a great reflection on their experiences & reflections with an undercover in Toronto. It talks a bit more in depth about how some indicators may not be enough to warrant expulsion from a community, but certainly a good reason to get to know someone more. Importantly, it also talks about ways we might be able to identify and confirm undercover. It’s worth reading.

Another pic is available on the North Shore page



Thanks to whoever wrote this. I guess this is the cop that led to all those kids in Hamilton getting charges eh? Guilty of being nice to the wrong awkward weirdo who could then tell stories about you later.

Just shows how privilegely naive are many anarchist kids who can't distinguish between Bakunin, Stirner or Lenin, thus their choice of friends has them sleeping with their binary enemy.

I know that nihilists or Stirnerians wouldn't care or worry about this and just carry on as if nothing extraordinary has occured, but speaking as an anarchist who has unknowingly had very intimate relationships with an undercover cop, should I feel guilty about my love, and should I disclose this affair to my fellow anarchists friends, who can be very aggressive and intolerant? I fear they will accuse me of being a collaborator with the enemy and disown me. Should I leave the movement and follow my heart? Please don't judge me too harshly in the same manner that women in France after WWII were judged for having affairs with Nazis. I am a feminist and he doesn't dominate me.

is that Le Way writing fan fiction? ;)

How dare you! I'm an anarchist and having an undercover cop's baby!!

Guess you'd better get those alimony payments on lock, hey?

He's a very compassionate undercover cop, he brings donuts and coffee to our secret anarchist strategy meetings at midnight, he's soooo cute *sigh* I've decided not to tell my comrades, they are sooo twisted with ressentiment that they deserve some other independent viewpoint to assess their psychological behavioral condition, some have anxiety issues and stomach ulcers and paranoid delusions, not helped by the bourgeois tensions they absorb from their parents, since all of them live at home, even the ones over 30 something, whereas I left home at 16 and are from humble working indigenous peoples.
He has stopped my substance abuse issues since I have begun carrying his baby, and he has decided to name the baby ironically Geronimo if it is a boy, and Emma if a girl after Goldman, so don't believe all the anti-cop binary warfare propaganda, some cops have hearts and souls, and are more likely to partake in lovemaking activities rather than hateful violent patriarchal dominant actions. He said after babe is born he's gonna bring a small piece of Mexican bud from the evidence room to celebrate the new little enforcer in tbe family, and I told him to get some more for the comrades to help with his cover and get them out of the depressing mental stupor they have lapsed into since Trump's election. I don't think I'm being unethical, after all, in the end I'm only bringing joy into the world for all who surround me ;)

Huh NO! I write theoretical psychological manifestos, not corny pulp fiction like this!

Why do you think you will be judged? You are not the first person for this to happen to? Did we judge Helen Steel? (well, the idpols did, but that's aother story)

I dunno, like when most of the prominent "exposed" undercovers of the last few years have actually exposed themselves, that's pretty telling of how easy anarchist milieus are in relation to undercover pigs. Then you got the layer of Mandatory Left Unity that makes it 20x worse for "us".

If we'd at least be having a culture of internal violence, like some violent cult, or mafia, instead of some idealistic outdated rejection of violence based on 100 years-old Malatesta/Krotpokin idealism, then perhaps the pigs would have been having a harder time knowing everything and everyone as they DO.

Violence too makes life possible, you know?

Surgery with a sledgehammer, hey? Maybe read up on other groups that had to deal with the same thing? The most murderous, infamous gangsters of history had all the same problems with state infiltration. It's the same patterns of extreme stress and paranoia, cultivated deliberately by the state with its endless resources for psy-ops.

There's old stories about the Hells Angels where they'd need you to kill someone to prove you're legit and there's other stories about various intelligence agencies getting caught having their operatives do pretty psycho shit to "prove" they weren't cops, which they were … you're through the looking glass with this stuff and there's no easy answers, just #thestruggle wonderland!

So deal, or go pay taxes and play videogames

I dunno, my only personal experience with feds interacting with anarchists didn't give me the impression that the state had to cultivate any paranoia. The FBI came around trying to talk to people and everyone completely fell into baseless snitchjacketing and clique fights. No COINTELPRO tactics, just a lot of kids who had read too many zines about security culture.

Yes, it's cheaper to just door knock. Infiltration happens when there's a little mysteriousness they want to clear up. You can always read about that which you lack personal experience in? :)

...and here we're just talking about local/provincial police undercovers, not specialized agents from the RCMP or the CSIS into more long-term operations. So there's no telling of how many other moles have been preying over anarchists for several years, neither the extend and depths of these operations.

This brings you back to this fundamental question no one appears to be asking themselves: what makes your buddy/lover/acquaintance a comrade, or an anarchist? What distinct quality would make us so different to snitches who read a lot, or make big claims about hating the cops/wanting to fight the State?

Sometimes falling in love with undercover cops has them turning in their badge or requesting a desk job, and if that isn't enough, they do have access to a good drug supply.

That's a form of organic insurgency, the only true anarch experience.

The ideology that makes undercovers will most likely have to do with a brutal, reactionary hate that is compatible with snitching on anarchists and other "enemies of peace and order" just like water with jell-o.

Ever considered that maybe "Shane" has a " black sheep of the family " twin gay brother huh?

These are dark times. Suspicious minds breed like rats. Guardians of corrupt morality [anarchists] spread their filthy lies... again!

Am I to burn? But I have not sinned! Burnt at the stake... innocent blood that can never, will never, be washed clean.

Your comments are all horrible. Really? Posturing about killing undercovers? That's fucking ridiculous. There are reasons why anarchists aren't the hells angels, consider considering them. And to the person who thinks their shitposts about sleeping with undercovers are soooo funny, that is a thing that actually happens and it's horribly exploitative and violent.

And note that this guy didn't actually manage to infiltrate anything. So fuck your reading skills all you "it's easy to infiltrate anarchists" commenters. The guy showed up to a publicly promoted demo and then fingered people he recognized from socials and discussions for conspiracy charges. And to all you armchair twits talking about panic and paranoia, have you been paying attention to how hard people in southern ontario have been pushing the last six months to maintain their projects and not turn inwards? Maybe you should think about solidarity instead of being smug?

If the police send someone after you for two years, they're going to find a way to get you for something. Doesn't matter who you are. All you can do is deal with it with integrity and courage. These comments are miserable because the integrity, courage, and solidarity are totally lacking. Don't know when the comments on this site turned into such a circle-jerk for do-nothings, but here we are.

Agreed, no one likes or makes light of having the State invading ones privacy.

Solidarity doesn't imply a lack of criticality, and a vague, surface level concept of unity is exactly the thing that makes anarchists weak to the mildest provocations of the state. A real solidarity looks like a family having it out but still having each others' backs. Fake solidarity is when a vague notion of unity makes people afraid to make necessary critiques.

Like I said above, in my experience the feds haven't actually needed to employ COINTELPRO tactics because the state has been so successful at pushing a narrative of securitization. If Ontario's better at it than what I've experienced, then I'm fucking glad, and I'd like to hear more about it. My understanding is that historically, anarchists have been pretty good at solidarity, but what I've seen more recently is rich folks lawyering up and snitchjacketing precarious people. This is intimately connected to the narratives of security culture and deplatforming. They both encourage hunting out and excising "fucked up" people, which almost invariably means people that are homeless or uneducated, as well as anyone that chooses to show solidarity with them, or even refuses to denounce them.

True enough. Open responses to (the threat of) infiltration are worse than the infiltration itself. In Ontario, there were some comrades who did a tour a few years back that i think was called confidence, courage, connection, trust giving some ideas about how to reframe fear and paranoia into building trust and changing risk-averse behavior into good planning. It was based on the g20 infiltrations and the desire to give up neither openess nor attack. The tower, as an example, seems to walk a fine line around that stuff, but mostly seems to do an ok job of both being welcoming and combative

Your reading comprehension isn't that great either. My point about the HA is that being more violent DOESN'T fix this problem. The anarchists and the HA are on equal footing, going up against the state's massive resources, as you said. Maybe dial down your righteous indignation a bit.

All I said is that, given how most undercovers have exposed themselves, instead of being outed as such (in a world where call-outs are always focused rather on misconduct or mental illlness issues of specific individuals), we appear to be lacking the proper measures or security culture to give hell these operations. But is there anything more to be done within our personal limits? I dunno. Maybe not.

But there's questions to be asked about the potentiality that more skilled undercovers might be having it their ways for years, collecting names and infos, to draw a who's who of anarchism in Canada, going down to even the unaffiliated loners.

What's more horrible... to keep those cunning stars (or groupies) of the milieu at a critical safe distance from activity and relations that are dear to every one of us; OR to assert that anyone normie's just fiiine and that whoever claims to be opposing capitalism and the State in any way should be considered a comrade by default, or given full entry into whatever private matters just because they're "nice"?

Has the Fedbook culture alienated you to a point where everything in your life has to be aboveground? Do you seriously believe any anarchist in Canada *no matter how exposed to repression they may be* should go live in your glass house in the name of some well-wished "solidarity"? Explain wtf is wrong with having our own security clearaces.

Again, buddy didn't succeed in infiltrating anything. Lots of stuff happened in the area during the years he was around and he was successful in solving none of it

I DO have my own "security clearances". When I see younger or more naive people making mistakes, I try to urge them to think more carefully. Sometimes they learn, usually they don't. You do what you can.

"Posturing about killing undercovers?"

Nobody was saying killing undercovers. Someone mentioned violence. And yes, it's a workable strategy, many organizations have used it. Maybe if anarchists actually were a bit more like the Hell's Angels, we'd be a bit more effective and get somewhere, instead of always on the receiving end of violence.

"And note that this guy didn't actually manage to infiltrate anything. So fuck your reading skills all you "it's easy to infiltrate anarchists" commenters."

Note how this is just one case. What about all the other cases where anarchists have been easily infiltrated? What about all the Grand Jurys? All the ELF and ALF infiltrations? The undercover black bloc infiltrations, like in Quebec?

"If the police send someone after you for two years, they're going to find a way to get you for something. Doesn't matter who you are. All you can do is deal with it with integrity and courage."

Lol...nice positive defeatist attitude. Have you ever thought of being a Life Coach?

"Don't know when the comments on this site turned into such a circle-jerk for do-nothings, but here we are."

Probably around 2006. Where the fuck have you been?

again … I'm the OP who was posting about the HA. I've done the research. My point was that they were extremely violent and IT MADE NO DIFFERENCE. The state will still send it's infiltrators and there's no perfect trick to dealing with them. Violence isn't some sort of magic panacea to make the state not want to fuck with you. If anything, it just gets their attention even more.

IMO, only an exhaustive process of developing trust with people over a long period of time makes any difference and even that isn't perfect. You jump in to the shark infested waters and do your best not to get eaten. Real talk.

I never said violence was perfect, or some magic panacea, I said it can work. Which is why violent orgs like the mafia or Hell's Angels use it. If it didn't work at all, nobody would ever use it. Building up trust over a long time also works, and can work in conjunction with violence.

I'll try double-spacing the lines then.

We aren't talking about if violence works for anything.

The topic is whether use of violence prevents infiltration.

It does not.

Add new comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Enter the code without spaces.