Some people just like mayhem and they don't have to get paid. It's cathartic for them or something, and they get a high from the chaos and destruction. They may be on either end of the political spectrum. I used to work with a guy who was later seen interviewed on the news by a mutual acquaintance, who reported that he'd participated in protests against the WTO in Seattle in 1999 or 2000. This protest was marked by the smashing of windows at Starbucks. While working with this guy, I got the hear his stories about how he gleefully stole things from vending machines, etc. Other co-workers who knew him better began to find him repugnant, as he seemed to have no misgivings about hurting others if he could have fun wreaking havoc. He did crazy things for the fun of it, and he didn't express deep political thought to justify it. He seemed more driven by a need to embarrass his father. But there are cases of undercover agents who have deliberately discredited groups by precipitating violence in the name of those groups; however, my faint knowledge of such cases is limited to what I recall about groups in the 60s. I've never researched that so don't want to venture any theories. Please (sorry if this sounds patronizing) always double check your sources, and then check their sources as well. At this point, we all need to be especially careful about the information we believe in and act on. And make room in your understanding of events for the role that petty human nature and petty human egos can play. Not everything is a conspiracy, and when it is, the conspiracy can go wrong. Control freaks aren't necessarily adept at managing. In my experience, the vast majority of people who protest are not there to create problems, and often abhor violence. It doesn't take many people to disrupt a peaceful event, it just takes a few hooligans with the will for chaos. And thank you to RamonMercado for posting the letter from Sens. Feinstein and Grassley. I'd like to request a link to the site it's from. (Don't worry, I'm not saying it's fake! I see it referenced many places.) I haven't actually read any of this thread except the last half of this page, so please excuse any redundancies in my post -- and please excuse the length! I'm really tired, but had to respond, even without seeing all the posts. All of this, everything happening, seems to urgently require sharing thoughts and civil gestures.