Kettling, Police Tactics and the G20


No one is going to dispute that the police have an important job to do in maintaining public order at demonstrations, and this week’s G20 protests demonstrated (on the whole) a successful police operation for the Met.

However, a number of bloggers have recently brought to light policing tactics at the peaceful Climate Camp demonstration on Bishopsgate. Unlike the protests at Bank and the RBS on Threadneedle Street, the Bishopsgate demo was a peaceful event with none of the anarchist groups that were present elsewhere. From friends I’ve spoken to who were there, it was a mixed group of young and old, and a number of families with toddlers. Why, then, did the Police end up getting so heavy handed towards the end of the day? This video from IndyMedia shows protesters with arms raised being pushed back violently by the police trying to charge up Bishopsgate.

Over at Next Left, Stuart White, a politics lecturer at Jesus College, Oxford, has written an account of the police tactics he witnessed at Bishopsgate which casts doubt on the effectiveness of ‘kettling’; the practice of penning people in and not allowing anyone to enter or leave the area.

The police are to be commended for averting any major incidents during this week, but there are surely better ways to police demonstrations that avoid causing needless distress for peaceful protesters?

– westcoastviews


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One Response to “Kettling, Police Tactics and the G20”

  1. captainjako Says:

    You bleeding heart liberal! Next thing you’ll be saying that you’ve got some kind of problem with the police keeping everyone’s DNA on file.

    Seriously though, as much as I wholeheartedly support the police and prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt, I agree that questions have to be asked as to the wisdom of using kettling at this demo.

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