Friday, 15 April 2011

landmark judgement against kettling

The Guardian covers the High Court Ruling that criticises the Metropolitan Police for using their tactic of 'kettling' against the climate camp protestors in Bishopsgate, London during the G20 protests in 2009. The article and full judgement follow below. What I find rather ironic is that Police seem to have accepted that the climate camp was peaceful, but they used their kettling tactic against it to prevent other violent protestors from elsewhere 'hijacking' it. So they ended up using violent tactics (eg using their shields as weapons) against an almost entirely peaceful crowd for fear that they may be incited by others into violence! To me, this illustrates yet again a deeply irrationalist view of crowds, and an apparent lack of ability to consider the possibility that non-violent protestors might not be incited into violence just because others favouring more militant tactics may appear among them. However, I would say that that the Police advancing into them and kettling them in quite a violent way (while a lot were holding their hands in the air shouting 'this is not a riot') might be a much better way of inciting them into violence! 

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