Oh Ansel, why can't you ever be content just to report the news? Are you worried that the facts themselves are not enough for people to get as angry as you are?
But the popular term is "undercover," so I'll keep using it here.
As explained @12, @24, @39, this is bull. There is a distinction between undercover and plainsclothes policing. That distinction is well understood by the public. The popular term is not "undercover"--the popular term is to use the proper term to distinguish between two different concepts.
This it is a distinction with a difference. Just look at the current scandal
in the UK as the public and the government try to make sense of the overreach that resulted in undercover cop Bob Lambert infiltrating an environmental group and having a child with one of the activists. Or John Towery
, the undercover military police who infiltrated an Olympia activist group back in 2007. THAT is undercover policing, and it is a far more serious charge than plainclothes policing of an event. It is reasonable for police to monitor an event held in a public place, where past experience tells us that the event has the potential to shift from a peaceful protest to a WTO-style riot. If Seattle isn't doing plainclothes right--fine, report on that. But call it what it is. Undercover policing represents a far greater threat to First Amendment rights, and is far more likely to chill expression, than plainclothes policing--it creates (and is at times intended to create) a 1984-style paranoia in which activists have a harder time organizing because they cannot trust one another.
Applying the more serious label to the less serious charge is pure propaganda. Which is par for your course, sadly. You just don't know how not to overplay a winning hand.