Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/667/11884
Lid blown off Met's kettle
The high court has ruled that thousands of peaceful protesters at the G20 summit protest in central London in April 2009 were unlawfully contained - "kettled" - by police.
The protesters were subjected to violent assaults by the police. This kettling cordon also prevented street vendor Ian Tomlinson from being able to find a route past police to get home.
He was subsequently violently pushed to the ground by a policeman and died three minutes later. The police's kettling tactic of corralling and detaining protesters for hours on end was also deployed against student fees protesters last year.
The inhuman treatment by police of peaceful protesters exercising their democratic rights was originally challenged by Socialist Party member Lois Austin following the kettling of May Day marchers in Oxford Street, London, in 2001.
Lois took the case against police to court but the Law Lords ruled against her. However, an appeal is now going to the European Court of Human Rights and last week's high court ruling could help Lois's appeal.
- Observers from human rights group Liberty on the massive and overwhelmingly peaceful TUC anti-cuts demonstration through central London on 26 March have criticised police for being 'focused too heavily on the tactic of kettling', which undermined the trust between peaceful protesters and the police.
In The Socialist 20 April 2011:
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