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Kettling

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
Probably, most of you are aware of during today's student demonstrations, that the controversial police 'tactic' of kettling was used.

I met with some people tonight... Apparently they have been kettled for a few hours... I've also met people before, who have been kettled in the G20 demo, where they were peacefully protesting. Apparently, the experience can be very frightening and people may have to go hours without food or water.

I'm lucky enough not to have been kettled so far, but the idea I find worrying... For example, there's no guarantee that the people being kettled don't have a disability or illness, which may affect their ability to 'hold it in' (i.e. toilet), their balance, stress levels, stamina, anxiety attacks and so on...

What do people think of the tactic?

has anybody been kettled?
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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whats the alternative when protestors start getting violent?

    I think we should follow the continent and most other countries and invest in water cannon.

    Kettling isn't nice, or pretty. It does seem to be effective though.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Define 'violence'?

    I don't think that smashing windows is violence... The police can't really call it that after the way they treated Climate Camp peaceful protesters at the G20...

    Can't you just arrest the very few who are being violent (as in attacking people)? As it usually is only a few and as most protesters oppose violence anyway. Surely locking some of these people up in a tiny area with other people can cause a worse kick off, harming people who can't get away...

    What do you think about kettling children and disabled people? Are you not putting them at risk?

    Do you not think that maybe, it is more of a technique to intimidate people from protesting in the future?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Better kettling than tea-bagging.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kettling has been used a bit too liberally by the police. Indeed, it has been used pre-emptly on various ocassions and without any violence at all actually taking place beforehand.

    The MayDay one in Oxford Circus a few years ago was one of the most disgraceful incidents to involve the police in living memory, with numerous accounts of people forced to urinate themselves because of the bastards wouldn't let anyone at all leave for up to 8 hours.

    Kettling will one day spectaculary backfire on the police- make no mistake about that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Whats the alternative when protestors start getting violent?

    What's the alternative to keeping the whole class behind when a couple of pupils have been naughty? Not keeping the whole class behind? It's lazy when used in teaching and it's lazy when used in policing.
    I think we should follow the continent and most other countries and invest in water cannon.

    I think you're starting to forget that these are people we're talking about, not cattle.
    Kettling isn't nice, or pretty. It does seem to be effective though.

    There are plenty of tactics that would be efficacious, but that's not in and of itself a justification for using them. I'm not going argue against kettling by making appeals to emotion such as 'what happens if a disabled child needs to empty his colostomy bag', because I don't think that level of disingenuous argument is helpful or necessary, but it does seem like a rather crude and unnecessary restriction of liberty.

    For people wondering what 'kettling' is:
    Wikipedia wrote:
    Kettling, also known as containment or corralling,[1] is a police tactic for the management of large crowds during demonstrations or protests. It involves the formation of large cordons of police officers who then move to contain a crowd within a limited area. Protesters are prevented from leaving the area for several hours; as a result, detainees can be denied access to food, water and toilet facilities for a long period.[2] Sometimes all or some of those kettled are mass-arrested.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Am I the only one who sees the link between this thread and the "Do you trust the Police" one?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Personally I don't like kettling. I believe in a free state where we are free to protest and the police are there to keep us safe.

    But that's what you get when the protest gets violent.

    You can't justify smashing windows, trespass and intimidation on the one hand as 'direct action' and then complain when the police use tougher measures.

    I think that the police should be more proactive and forward thinking about these things though. Kettling and other anti mob tactics have been rightly called into criticism over the past 10 years because they are frequently used inappropriately and disproportionately.

    Yet the police haven't seemed to try to think of the third solution. To them it is either a) go easy, let violence kick off or b) go heavy handed, lock down everything. Riot mode on or off. There should be c) go easy but keep a vigilant eye for trouble makers and get them out of the way, and nip trouble spots in the bud quickly.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd like to point out that nobody has yet pointed out a viable alternative for controlling rioters.

    Shyboy, to point C. Nice idea in practice, but have you ever tried to extract a trouble maker from a group of people? It's difficult enough to do it with a crowd of 5 or 6 people. In a situation like the above? You need to maintain the line AND have enough resources to send groups of cops into the group to remove people from it.
    And that's assuming you have evidence that the person you've snatched has comitted a crime.

    I'd love to see the uproar on here if the police started simply snatching people because they'd caused trouble in the past, or because they had their faces covered.

    You all make it sound so easy. You either corall the rioters and let them leave in small, manageable numbers, arresting those that leave when they're on their own. Or you do what they do on the continent and baton charge them or use water cannons and tear gas.

    If someone does come up with a better idea perhaps you're in the wrong line of work, a role as public order trainer awaits you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I wasn't saying I had a better idea, but the problems of these mass temporary internment measures have been documented by several reports now. But there is no progression on the issue. But I suppose the police being public sector there is no real danger of many losing their jobs by just keeping the status quo, so what's the incentive to try to improve the methods police use? As long as they don't go over the line and get sacked or kill anyone, jobs a goodan.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Children and the disabled shouldn't really be at protest marches in my opinion, a scene of mass agitation is no place for either of those two groups of people.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    I'd like to point out that nobody has yet pointed out a viable alternative for controlling rioters.

    Are you saying that detaining innocent people for anything up to 8 hours without access to food, water of toilet facilities is an acceptable response to a riot?

    Policing isn't supposed to be easy but they have a duty to uphold the law. To my knowledge there isn't a law against peacefully demonstrating in the same vicinity as a riot.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Are you saying that detaining innocent people for anything up to 8 hours without access to food, water of toilet facilities is an acceptable response to a riot?



    Can you actually offer an acceptable alternative that ensures people have the right to demonstrate, but stops all the shit that generally follows....?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    ShyBoy wrote: »
    You can't justify smashing windows, trespass and intimidation on the one hand as 'direct action' and then complain when the police use tougher measures.
    I don't condone vandalism as a tool for political progress... But smashing a few windows, or trying to wreck a (conveniently placed) empty police van isn't violence. This includes the police storming Climate Camp and damaging the property of peaceful protesters... I don't see that as violence either.

    I think that those kind of things can be counter-productive in terms of public support for a campaign.
    Children and the disabled shouldn't really be at protest marches in my opinion, a scene of mass agitation is no place for either of those two groups of people.
    I have been to dozens of protests in the past seven years... The only agitation I have seen is police trying to intimidate protesters.

    I don't think that people with disabilities should be denied a voice just in case the police decided to get heavy handed. At the same time, some demonstrations do attract a few people lookin' for a fight.

    I can see an argument for kettling, if the violence was uncontrollable in any other way, but my view is that it's also used to frighten people from protesting.
    I'd love to see the uproar on here if the police started simply snatching people because they'd caused trouble in the past, or because they had their faces covered.
    Can't the police snatch people if they kick off on demonstrations?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Am I the only one who sees the link between this thread and the "Do you trust the Police" one?
    This isn't slaggin' off the police... It's debating the use of kettling.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    Can't the police snatch people if they kick off on demonstrations?

    yeah that's my view, not always possible but if possible just get the troublemakers where possible before anything kicks



    kettling limits movement, but in turn it makes the people who would otherwise be quite peaceful get angsty and angry, the cornered trapped person with nothing to lose kind of thing which must be counter productive


    what i haven't got is why most of the recent large protests haven't gone to different places if they have sufficient numbers to thin the police out more, or stagger themselves out
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Can you actually offer an acceptable alternative that ensures people have the right to demonstrate, but stops all the shit that generally follows....?

    Isn't that what the Police are supposed to do? Find a way to protect the public's right to demonstrate but to crack down on the law breakers. They seem to get the two muddled up. Nopt just with kettling but in their general reaction to many protests.

    I fear the whole "Greater good" argument is in play here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    This isn't slaggin' off the police... It's debating the use of kettling.

    The two are intertwined though. Kettling is an over reaction but Police forces keen to exert their powers. Even if that means exceeding them.

    It's one of the reasons I don't trust them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Isn't that what the Police are supposed to do?


    So that means you can't....


    All well and good criticising from your armchair, but if you can't offer a useful alternative then it's not exactly useful criticism.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    So that means you can't....


    All well and good criticising from your armchair, but if you can't offer a useful alternative then it's not exactly useful criticism.
    So expressing feelings about something is not valid unless you have the knowledge or training to think of a better solution?

    Do you not think kettling people indiscriminately, as has been done Whowhere, could cause distress to the children involved, or embarrassment and/or distress to people who may have a disability?

    I don't expect that to be answered mind...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    I don't condone vandalism as a tool for political progress... But smashing a few windows, or trying to wreck a (conveniently placed) empty police van is violence. This includes the police storming Climate Camp and damaging the property of peaceful protesters... I don't see that as violence either.

    I think that those kind of things can be counter-productive in terms of public support for a campaign.


    I have been to dozens of protests in the past seven years... The only agitation I have seen is police trying to intimidate protesters.

    I don't think that people with disabilities should be denied a voice just in case the police decided to get heavy handed. At the same time, some demonstrations do attract a few people lookin' for a fight.

    I can see an argument for kettling, if the violence was uncontrollable in any other way, but my view is that it's also used to frighten people from protesting.


    Can't the police snatch people if they kick off on demonstrations?

    I wasn't really saying people with disabilities shouldn't be able to voice their opinion, but that they could be particularly in danger in protests that turn violent.

    In regard to last comment, if you think about how it is a gig when someone is being crushed and the security staff at the front can't get them out; I think that is the sort of problem that Whowhere is talking about when he is saying about it being difficult to get to the trouble makers.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    So that means you can't....


    All well and good criticising from your armchair, but if you can't offer a useful alternative then it's not exactly useful criticism.

    Or in other words, you are happy for innocent people to be detained, without them having committed any offence, without being suspected of committing any offence?

    This, people, is the voice of your resident law enforcement officer.

    You want an answer, how about the police actually move in and arrest those committing the offences and let the others go about their lawful activities? Or is that too simple, you know, doing your jobs?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Or in other words, you are happy for innocent people to be detained, without them having committed any offence, without being suspected of committing any offence?

    This, people, is the voice of your resident law enforcement officer.

    Where did I say I was happy with it? You're putting words in my mouth.

    You want an answer, how about the police actually move in and arrest those committing the offences and let the others go about their lawful activities? Or is that too simple, you know, doing your jobs?


    Already been suggested. Already pointed out that trying to extract several people during a riot or from a mass of several thousand people isn't exactly easy. But hey, it's the job right? Fuck our own safety, let's just steam in like used to happen back in the 80's. So what if a few more cops end up with broken limbs if it means people who are rioting get to go for a piss.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Namaste wrote: »
    So expressing feelings about something is not valid unless you have the knowledge or training to think of a better solution?


    Nothing wrong with expressing feelings, but criticising something without having any real idea about how to rectify it?

    Do you not think kettling people indiscriminately, as has been done Whowhere, could cause distress to the children involved, or embarrassment and/or distress to people who may have a disability?

    No doubt it does. But then maybe taking children to a protest that you know from experience is going to get out of hand is a tad irresponsible.

    Let's get something straight, nowhere have I said that I think it is a good tactic. I do think however that it's preferable to the current alternatives that are used on the continent, and it is certainly more preferable to wading into a crowd of several thousand people to drag the troublemakers out.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Whowhere wrote: »
    Already been suggested. Already pointed out that trying to extract several people during a riot or from a mass of several thousand people isn't exactly easy. But hey, it's the job right? Fuck our own safety, let's just steam in like used to happen back in the 80's.

    Yeah it's hard, so is going down a mine or running into a fire but you don't hear the miners or firemen complaining about having to do their job.
    So what if a few more cops end up with broken limbs if it means people who are rioting get to go for a piss.

    I think the point is that most people "kettled" aren't rioters.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    sounds likefalse imprisionment to me, and if it were to hapen to me, I would likey sue on that basis.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    katralla wrote: »
    sounds likefalse imprisionment to me, and if it were to hapen to me, I would likey sue on that basis.

    http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.com/pa/ld200809/ldjudgmt/jd090128/austin-1.htm

    Some bedtime reading for you before you consult your solicitor.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    and challenge, the 'grey' areas are grey indeed.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.com/pa/ld200809/ldjudgmt/jd090128/austin-1.htm

    Some bedtime reading for you before you consult your solicitor.

    Like I said "The Greater Good" argument.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Like I said "The Greater Good" argument.

    Quite.

    Most,if not all, of the human rights prescribed in the 1998 Act contain abnegations by way of "the greater good".
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Yeah it's hard, so is going down a mine or running into a fire but you don't hear the miners or firemen complaining about having to do their job.

    I'm sure they'd have some choice words for anyone who suggested they should do something regardless of the risk just because they're the public and they pay their wages.

    And if you're suggesting I'm "risk averse" (and you are because I dare to complain) just because I think the idea of wading into a group of several thousand people to grab someone is mad, then think again.

    There are at least 3 people alive today because I've taken risks and put my own life in danger. I didn't stop, and I didn't hesitate because to do so, would have meant serious injury or death for those involved.

    If you're thinking that I should do the same thing, risk the possibility of broken limbs, serious head injury or death, just so people can go for a piss, because that's my job? Words cannot accurately express what I'm thinking about that.
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