Containment – a kettle by any other name…?
Kettling is an emotive issue. It is a police tactic used around the world to contain and limit protests. The theory is pretty good. If any area of the protest is over-heating, isolate it and separate it and allow it to fizzle out. But the practice is not so simple. Innocent bystanders can be caught. Human rights can be violated. And in the UK, it is illegal unless the police have genuine reason to believe it is necessary to prevent violence.
The Corporate Greed demonstration in London on Saturday 15 October could hardly be called a violent protest.
Earlier today protestors were peacefully prevented from gaining access to Paternoster Square, and there has been no major disorder.
Met Police statement: Update on protests in City of London
That suggests that kettling would be illegal. And indeed, according to the BBC, there was no kettling.
But police at the scene said a “kettling” technique had not been used and that protesters were free to leave the square.
Occupy London protests in financial district
But, admitted the Met
There is currently a containment at St Paul’s Churchyard to prevent breach of the peace. We will look to disperse anyone being held as soon as we can.
A containment officer is on the scene to make sure this process works effectively.
We will attempt to communicate with people within the containment area and will provide water and toilets for those being contained.
Those who are suspected of being involved in disorder may be questioned or arrested as they leave the containment.
That’s a kettle described by a PR man. But isn’t this part of the cause of the protests? The way we are fed half-truths and misleading information to keep us quiet?