Jun 102012

Note re footnotes (links to supporting documents, at bottom):   April 2017 – I deactivated the invalid links.   They appear in italicized text with no underlining.)


See also:

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Canada has the distinction of providing the best video footage of an actual kettling event, from the G20 Summit in Toronto in 2010.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZbgz3eo4YI .

Uploaded by     whoisbobbyracket on Jun 29, 2010

Taken from an apartment overlooking Queen and Spadina – clearly shows that the crowd is mostly just curious onlookers and absolutely NO violent protestors or violent actions (even agressive actions) everyone was just dumbfounded and confused – trying to find a way out, which as you can see was NOT directed nor were they given directions. They were surrounded, and every single one of them was detained. For close to five hours outside. Video shows the first hour and a half (edited).  


Sound cannons were not used during the weekend, but tear gas was used for the first time in the history of Toronto,[48] being deployed in a few locations by muzzle blasts. Rubber bullets and pepper spray were also used against many protesters.[49][50] At the end of the day, Toronto Police Service chief Bill Blair announced that 130 people had been arrested.[51] Several media personnel, including a Canadian reporter for The Guardian, a CTV producer, and two photographers for the National Post, were also arrested.[52][53][54]

Condemnations of the violence were made by Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and Toronto Mayor David Miller.[55] In a press conference, Miller said, “All Torontonians should be outraged. They’re criminals who came to Toronto deliberately to break the law. They are not welcome in this city.”[34][48] Referring to damage caused by black bloc protesters downtown, he claimed that calling the attackers protesters was “not fair to the people who came to [legally] protest,”[34] and that they were in fact “criminals.”[34] In a statement, Dimitri Soudas, spokesperson for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, proclaimed, “Free speech is a principle of our democracy, but the thugs that prompted violence earlier today represent in no way, shape or form the Canadian way of life.”[56]

June 27: Police brutality protests

People boxed in by riot police at Queen and Spadina

Approximately 480 arrestees were taken to the Eastern Avenue temporary holding centre during the previous day’s protests; police initially gave numbers ranging from 32 to 130. While those with minor charges or dropped charges were released, those with serious charges were set to appear in a courthouse located on Finch Avenue and Weston Road in North York.[57][58]

After closed services throughout the night, the following morning saw the resumption of regular TTC and GO Transit services, while G20 leaders began formal discussions at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Lockdowns at University Avenue hospitals and the Toronto Eaton Centre were also lifted.[59] Additional officers from the Ontario Provincial Police were deployed, doubling the total number of officers to 20,000.[60]

Four arrests were made during the twilight of June 27 after two security guards witnessed men emerging from a manhole on Queen Street West. The manholes were later welded shut.[61]

About 100 additional arrests were made during a morning raid by Toronto Police Service at the University of Toronto. Those arrested were said to be in possession of black clothing and “weapons of opportunity” such as bricks and sharpened stakes.[62]

During the mid-morning, protesters marched from Jimmie Simpson Park on Queen Street East to the front of the Eastern Avenue temporary detention centre, where a “jail solidarity” bike rally and sit-in consisting of about 150 people occurred during the afternoon, with demonstrators urging the release of those arrested the previous day.[63] Following several arrests during the rally, protesters began a sit-in interrupted by small muzzles of pepper spray and rubber bullets fired by police.[64][65] At least 224 arrests occurred by evening.[66]

Another large group assembled at the intersection of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue, presumably to conduct a protest, but were immediately surrounded by heavily armed police forces. [67] Numerous bystanders and media personnel were also in the crowd. Several arrests were made, including several members of the media and another CTV cameraman who was briefly held and then released; police later claimed that they had found weapons at the scene, and that they suspected the presence of more black bloc protesters within the crowd. [66][68][69] The blockade caused traffic diversions and the stoppage of streetcar service along Spadina Avenue. After several hours of detainment in record-breaking heavy rain, police released the remainder of the crowd during the night. [citation needed]


Post-summit protests

A total of 1118 people were arrested in relation to the G20 summit protests, [4] the largest mass arrests in Canadian history,[70] while nearly 800 of them were released without charge. [71] The remaining 231 people remained with charges before the court while 58 of them have had their charges withdrawn or stayed. [72] Smaller-scale, non-violent protests took place the following day, June 28, during the afternoon and evening. Nearly 1000 protesters marched to Toronto City Hall and Queen’s Park to protest the treatment of arrested individuals at the Eastern Avenue holding centre and demanded the release of individuals still being detained, although police had earlier released several arrested on minor charges. [73] Large numbers of Toronto Police Service officers continued to patrol the demonstrations. [74] On June 29, a group of gay activists gathered outside a community centre where Toronto Police Service chief Bill Blair was scheduled to speak to demand his resignation for the treatment of women and homophobia within the detention centre. [75]

Criticism of policing

On December 7, 2010, Andre Marin, Ontario Ombudsman, issued a report called Caught in the Act, an investigation into the legality of the Ontario Public Works Protection Act, and, more specifically Regulation 233/10, in Marin’s words, “…known as the secret security regulation, a little known and widely misunderstood legal measure that was supposed to help the police keep the peace, but in my view wound up contributing to massive violations of civil rights.”  [76]

Police were allowed to arrest anyone within five metres of the fence who would neither leave nor identify himself.

A group of lawyers requested court injunctions against the Toronto Police Service from using newly purchased Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD), also known as sound cannons, during protests. [77] Sound cannons have been used in previous summit protests and have the ability to produce sound at ear-piercing volumes, potentially causing hearing impairment. The Ontario Superior Court of Justice later ruled that officers can use sound cannons, with a few restrictions. [78]

The Toronto Star reported that the Executive Council of Ontario had implemented a regulation under the provincial Public Works Protection Act on June 2 granting the ISU sweeping powers of arrest within a specific boundary during the summit;[79] the rule was said to designate the security fence as a public works and, as such, allow any police officer or guard to arrest any individual failing or refusing to provide identification within five metres of the security zone. The regulation was requested by Toronto Police Service chief Bill Blair and debate in the legislature was not required. Orders in Council such as this one are announced in the Ontario Gazette, but the next issue of that publication was to be published after the order expired on June 28, a week after the summit ended. The new law came to light after a York University graduate student, who claimed to have been simply “exploring” the security zone but who did not provide identification when confronted by police, was arrested on June 24 under the regulation.[80] He later vowed to file a lawsuit against the law once the summit ended.[81] The Cabinet later confirmed that the new laws were not “special powers” and that those who were believed to have been arrested under the Public Works and Protection Act were in fact arrested under the Criminal Code. [82] The police chief later admitted that, despite media coverage, no such five-metre rule ever existed in the law. [83]

Human rights investigations

Individuals arrested during the protests who claimed to be bystanders not taking part in protests condemned the treatment they received from police at the Eastern Avenue holding centre. [84] According to testimonials given to the Toronto Star and La Presse by a few arrestees, including university students, journalists, street medics, teachers, tourists, photographers, and a former mayoral candidate, “[individual] rights were violated” and “police brutality [was present].” The detention centre was described as “cold” with “barely any food or water” and “no place in the cages to even sit,” and “tantamount to torture.” Other allegations included harassment, lack of medical care, verbal abuse, and strip searches of females by male officers. [85][86] [87] At one point, a plainclothes officer reportedly told a detainee that the federal government had declared martial law.[88] Blair defended the conditions in the temporary detention centre, citing the fact that every room in the centre was under video surveillance, and that to the best of the officers’ abilities, occupants were read their rights. [89][90] However, a Toronto Star commentator editorialized that “some of the elements of classic authoritarian detention were there, albeit in embryonic forms.” [88]

Amnesty International called for an official investigation into the police tactics used during the protests. The organization alleged that police violated civil liberties and used police brutality. [91] The Canadian Civil Liberties Association decried the arrests and alleged that they occurred without “reasonable grounds to believe that everyone they detained had committed a crime.” [92]

Toronto Police Service held press conferences to speak out against inappropriate actions of protesters, including displaying items alleged to have been seized from protesters. However, when confronted, Chief Blair admitted that some of the items were unrelated to the G20 protests. [93]

Police officers were also reported to attack detained journalists, while forcing other journalists to leave the scene of the protests. [94]

Adam Nobody

Protestor Adam Nobody, 27, was arrested in Queen’s Park on 26 June. An amateur video uploaded to YouTube [95] showed at least a dozen officers surrounding and beating Nobody, who was not armed and did not appear to resist. He suffered a broken nose and cheekbone, and was charged with assaulting police. These charges were eventually dropped, and a Special Investigations Unit investigation was opened into the incident. This investigation was closed without any charges laid, because the SIU was unable to identify the officers. They had covered their identification badges, police witnesses all claimed to be unable to identify them, and the arresting officer had written an invalid ID number on Nobody’s arrest record.

Police chief Bill Blair insisted that a “forensic examination” had proven the video was “tampered with,” removing proof that Nobody was an armed, violent criminal, but soon retracted this statement admitting he had no evidence to support it. Blair’s claims led to increased attention to the case, new witnesses coming forward, and a second video corroborating the first. On 30 November the SIU re-opened its investigation, obtained the co-operation of a police officer who witnessed the incident, and laid charges against Const. Babak Andalib-Goortani. The SIU has the names of other officers involved but has not yet laid charges against them.  [96][97][98][99][100][101][102]

Blair, PM Stephen Harper and the Toronto Police have been harshly criticized over the incident, with many commentators calling for Blair to resign.  [103][104][105]

Investigation and charges against police

Babak Andalib-Goortani

In 2013, Andalib-Goortani was convicted of assault with a weapon for his role in Nobody’s beating. [106] The trial judge, Ontario Court Justice Louise Botham, commented that “a police officer is not entitled to use unlimited force to affect an arrest.” [107] Botham, who was brought in to Toronto from Brampton to hear the case, subsequently sentenced Andalib-Goortani to 45 days in jail. [108] In her ruling, Botham indicated that the sentence was heavy influenced by video of Andalib-Goortani, along with a number of other officers whose disciplinary charges were dismissed, punching, kneeing, kicking, and striking the victim with a baton; stating that the period of incarceration was necessary to uphold the public’s faith in the justice system.  [108]

Less than 10 minutes after Botham announced the sentence in her Brampton courtroom, a Toronto court granted bail to Andalib-Goortani pending appeal. [109] While Andalib-Goortani awaited appeal of that assault conviction, another assault with a weapon charge, for a G20 attack on journalist/blogger Wyndham Bettencourt-McCarthy, was thrown out when the photograph taken a she was about to be hit with the baton, showing a riot-geared officer which another officer was ready to testify was Andalib-Goortani, was ruled inadmissible because the photo had been obtained through an anonymous website posting and the photographer could not be called to testify. [110][111][112]

Some 16 months after being sentenced to jail time and released on bail, Toronto Superior Court Justice Brian O’Marra overturned the sentence and, without providing reasons for his decision, instead ordered that Andalib-Goortani do 75 hours of community service with one year’s probation.  [113][114] In November 2015, retired Toronto judge Lee Ferrier, presiding over the Toronto Police Service’s disciplinary hearing of Andalib-Goortani, docked Andalib-Goortani five days pay for the incident, thus returning the officer to patrol the streets of Toronto. [115]

David ‘Mark’ Fenton

In 2014, Toronto Police Superintendent Mark Fenton, was charged with unlawful arrest and discreditable conduct in relation to the kettling incidents and faced a disciplinary hearing.  [116] Fenton was one of two major incident commanders, in charge of the Major Incident Command Centre during the summit, and was the one on duty when he ordered the kettling of protestors both at the Novotel on the Esplanade and at Queen and Spadina.  [117]

On August 25, 2015, more than five years after the Toronto G20 incidents leading to the charges, Fenton was found guilty of two counts of unlawful arrest and one count of discreditable conduct, disciplinary charges under the Police Act, in relation to the “kettling” of protestors and passers-by at the intersection of Queen Street and Spadina Avenue and at the Novotel hotel on the Esplanade. [118] In rendering judgment, retired Ontario judge John Hamilton explained that “Legitimate protesters … had the right not to be subject to arrest for making noise, chanting and sitting in the public street.”. [119] Hamilton indicated that he believed Fenton was committed to serving the public, but that he did not properly understand the constitutional right of the public to protest.[120] In addition to the unlawful arrest convictions, Hamilton deemed Fenton guilty of discreditable conduct resultant from keeping people corralled in the streets during a severe thunderstorm while his duty was to protect them from such harsh weather; however he found him not guilty of the same charge in relation to the Novotel because those unlawfully arrested did not suffer similar hardships. [120] Fenton was found not guilty on charges of unnecessary exercise of authority relating to the treatment of protestors after they were arrested and taken away because another officer of equal rank was in charge of the Prisoner Processing Centre; that officer was never charged. [121]

The sentencing hearing is expected to begin December 21, 2015 with penalty possibilities ranging from reprimand to dismissal.[122]

See also


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  92. Jump up ^ Canada (2010-06-28). “G20-related mass arrests unique in Canadian history”. Toronto: The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 30 June 2010. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  93. Jump up ^ “Police accused of displaying fake G20 weapons”. CBC News. 2010-06-30. Archived from the original on 2 July 2010. Retrieved 1 July 2010. 
  94. Jump up ^ “Police beat journalist covering G20: report”. CBC News. 2010-06-28. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  95. Jump up ^ http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hym0afc03pE
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  97. Jump up ^ Poisson, Jayme (2010-12-03). “Chief Blair apologizes to G20 protester at centre of YouTube video”. The Star (Toronto). Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  98. Jump up ^ DiManno, Rosie (2010-12-07). “A second look at G20 police assault”. The Star (Toronto). Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
  99. Jump up ^ Morrow, Adrian (2010-11-30). “Ontario police watchdog reopens G20 ‘Nobody’ arrest investigation – The Globe and Mail”. The Globe and Mail (Toronto). Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2010. 
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  111. Jump up ^ Sarah Sweet (September 24, 2014). “Cop Acquitted on Charge of Assaulting Former Torontoist Contributor at G20 Protests — Photographic evidence ruled inadmissible.. Torontoist. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 
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  113. Jump up ^ Alyshah Hasham (January 29, 2015). “No jail for Toronto police officer convicted of G20 assault”. Toronto Star. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 
  114. Jump up ^ “Judge lightens sentence of officer convicted of assaulting G20 protester”. The Globe and Mail. January 29, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 
  115. Jump up ^ Rosie DiManno (November 11, 2015). “Retired judge all but weeps for guilty G20 cop: DiManno”. Toronto Star. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 
  116. Jump up ^ Wendy Gillis (December 17, 2014). “‘Toronto deteriorated into a sense of lawlessness,’ says G20 police commander”. Toronto Star. 
  117. Jump up ^ Colin Perkel (January 8, 2013). “Misconduct case for Toronto police officer in G20 ‘kettling’ put over”. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 
  118. Jump up ^ Wendy Gillis (August 25, 2015). “G20 commander apologizes after being convicted of misconduct”. Toronto Star. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 
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  121. Jump up ^ “Senior police officer found guilty of 3 charges in G20 disciplinary hearing”. Red Deer Advocate. August 25, 2015. Retrieved November 19, 2015. 
  122. Jump up ^ Michele Mandel, Toronto Sun (August 25, 2015). “Senior G20 cop guilty on three charges”. Ottawa Sun. Retrieved November 19, 2015.


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Riot police kettle protesters at the Camp for Climate action, part of the 2009 G-20 London summit protests

Kettling (also known as containment or corralling)[1] is a police tactic for controlling 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 left only one choice of exit, determined by the police, or are completely prevented from leaving.

The tactic has proved controversial, not least because it has resulted in the detention of ordinary bystanders as well as protestors.[2] In March 2012 kettling was ruled lawful by the European Court of Human Rights following a legal challenge.[3]




The term “kettle” is a metaphor, likening the containment of protestors to the containment of heat and steam within a domestic kettle. Its modern English usage may come from “kessel” – literally a cauldron, or kettle in German – that describes an encircled army about to be annihilated by a superior force.[4] A cauldron is expected to be “boiling” with combat activity, the large enemy forces still quite able to offer “hot” resistance in the initial stages of encirclement, and so are to be contained, but not engaged directly.

To avoid allusions to military confrontation, kettling is sometimes described as “corralling,” likening the tactic to the enclosure of livestock. Although large groups are difficult to control, this can be done by concentrations of police. The tactic prevents the large group breaking into smaller splinters that have to be individually chased down, thus requiring the policing to break into multiple groups.[5] Once the kettle has been formed, the cordon is tightened, which may include the use of baton charges to restrict the territory occupied by the protesters. The cordon is then maintained for a number of hours: the ostensible aim is to leave would-be “violent” protesters too tired to do anything but want to go home.[6]

Kettling has been criticized for being an indiscriminate tactic which leads to the detention of law-abiding citizens and innocent bystanders.[7] In some cases protesters are reported to have been denied access to food, water and toilet facilities for long periods.[2] Further criticism has been made that in some instances the tactic has been used to foment disorder with the aim of changing the focus of public debate.[8] In some countries the tactic has led to legal challenges on the grounds of human rights violations.


On June 27, 2010, 200 persons, including protesters and bystanders, were kettled in Toronto at the intersection of Queen St. and Spadina Ave. during the G20 summit. Several hundred people were also kettled outside of the Novotel Hotel on the Esplanade and arrested.[9] The following year the Toronto Police Department swore to never use kettling again.[10]

On March 15, 2011, 250–300 protesters in Montreal were kettled on St-Denis just north of Mont Royal during the Annual March Against Police Brutality. Police used stun grenades, riot gear, and horses to kettle the crowd.[11]

On May 23, 2012, police in Montreal moved in on student protesters, kettling them and making 518 arrests — the largest number in one night since the demonstrations began weeks earlier. [12]


Between 250 and 1000 non-violent protestors at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen were kettled by police. A police spokesman said that the detainment was necessary to avoid disorder.[13]


Finnish anarchist demonstration Smash Asem was prevented from taking place when 200 riot police and hundreds of other police and Finnish Border Guard personnel kettled around 300 to 500 demonstrators and bystanders in front of Kiasma in downtown Helsinki for over 3 hours on 9 September 2006.[14]


On the Guillotière bridge In Lyon, on the 20 October 2010, a few hundred protestors were kettled for several hours. The next day in Place Bellecour, about 500 citizens and protestors defending public pension were kettled for six hours without food or water by both the police and the military. They were prevented from marching, and tear gas and water cannons were used.[15]


An early example of kettling was by German police in 1986. During a demonstration by anti-nuclear protestors at Heiligengeistfeld, Hamburg on 8 May, Hamburg Police cordoned approximately 800 people into a “kettle” for several hours.[16][17] German kettling tactics distinguish a stationary form of detention (Polizeikessel) and a mobile form, in which protestors are enclosed by a mobile police cordon while they march (Wanderkessel).[18] These types of police cordon were also regularly used in the UK before the tactic got refined at the N30 protest (see below), and dubbed a kettle.

Kettling has been challenged in the German courts on several occasions. The 1986 Hamburger Kessel was ruled unlawful by the administrative court of Hamburg. The district court found German police guilty of wrongful deprivation of personal liberty.

Following an anti-nuclear protest in 2002 in Hitzacker, Lower Saxony, a protestor took a case to court because she had been denied access to toilets when she was held within a police kettle. The district court found that she had been handled inhumanely and that the police had acted unlawfully.[19]


On 16th May 2012, Acampada Sol called for a cacerolazo because the Spanish risk premium exceeded 500 points that day. The demonstrators were marching through Calle Alcalá when police forces surrounded them for more than 30 minutes; after the kettled protestors asked for solidarity through the Internet, several additional hundred people gathered outside of the kettle. Around 500 demonstrators waited seated on the pavement until the police forces finally removed the blockade, allowing them to leave the area and return to Puerta del Sol.[20]

United Kingdom

Parliament Square Disability Rights Demonstration,1995

The kettling tactic was used in the UK against disabled people during a Disability Rights Demonstration in Parliament Square, London October 1995. [21]

N30 anti-WTO demonstration, 1999

The kettling tactic was used in the UK at the N30 anti-WTO protest at Euston station, London (parallel to the shut-down of the meeting in Seattle) on November 30, 1999.[22] It was a development of previously used police cordoning tactics – the difference was the long length of time, constant impermeability and the small size of the kettle.

May Day 2001

The tactic was used in the UK by the London Metropolitan Police during the May Day riots of 2001 to contain demonstrators. However, the action also resulted in large numbers of bystanders as well as peaceful demonstrators being detained in Oxford Circus.[2]

G8 summit, 2005

Kettling was later used at protests against the 31st G8 summit, held in 2005.[23]

G20, 2009

Kettling was used once again during the 2009 G-20 London summit protests outside the Bank of England, as part of the police Territorial Support Group’s “Operation Glencoe”.[2] When police started to allow protesters to leave the kettle, they were photographed by Forward Intelligence Teams and told to give their names and addresses (which they are legally not required to do). Some refused to do so and were forced back into the kettle by police.[24] A number of complaints over the tactic were subsequently made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.[25] Bob Broadhurst, the commanding officer during the protests, said that, “kettling was the best option” to counter the potential of widespread disruption by protesters”.[26]

On April 15, 2009, Scotland Yard ordered a review of these tactics. Criticism of the policing of demonstrations has been increasing, and amateur video footage which recorded two incidents of violent police behaviour, notably the death of Ian Tomlinson, brought police tactics into the media spotlight. The incidents were said by Sir Paul Stephenson, Metropolitan Police Commissioner, to be “clearly disturbing”,[27] and Stephenson ordered the review to consider whether the tactic is “appropriate and proportionate”.[27] The video footage also showed that police officers were concealing their shoulder identification numbers whilst on duty.[28]

An inquiry was held by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) into an incident during the G20 protests, in which a woman held in a kettle suffered injuries from police action and subsequently experienced a suspected miscarriage. The inquiry concluded in August 2009 that the Metropolitan Police should review its crowd control methods, including the tactic of kettling.[29]

Denis O’Connor, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary, said in a report concerning the policing of the G20 protests that some police commanders did not understand the House of Lords’ ruling regarding kettling. He also stated that containing protestors in a kettle was “inadequate” and belonged to a “different era” of policing. He did not suggest that kettling should be abandoned however, but said that the methods must be adapted so that peaceful protesters and bystanders are able to leave the kettle.[30] The report also commissioned a survey, conducted by MORI which found that the majority of the UK public do feel that the use of kettling is appropriate in some situations. Depending on the circumstances, between 10% and 20% of those questioned feel that it is never appropriate to contain people in this way.[31]

In April 2011, the High Court of Justice ruled that kettling on that occasion was illegal, and it set out new guidelines as to when police were permitted to kettle protesters.[32] This means that the police “may only take such preventive action as a last resort catering for situations about to descend into violence”.[33] Police would still legally be allowed to kettle if they had reason to believe that violence would break out.[original research?]

Student protests, 2010

Kettling was used during the 24 November 2010 student protest in London and in various other locations around the country. Guardian blogger Dave Hill thought the kettling was in retrospect “probably inevitable”, after the protest two weeks before had led to damage at the Conservative party headquarters.[34] In July 2011 three school children will challenge the use of kettling of children at this protest. They will seek a Judicial Review in the High Court, arguing it broke broke the laws of the European Convention on Human Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Children Act 2004, mainly the right to protest and the safety of children.[35]

Kettling was used to contain student protesters in Parliament Square on 9 December 2010 and thereafter on Westminster Bridge.[36] Protesters were trapped in Trafalgar Square and other landmarks for up to nine hours. An anaesthetist from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary working as part of a field hospital said that there was a serious health and safety risk to people trapped in the kettle and some suffered crush injuries whilst others were nearly pushed off of Westminster Bridge into the freezing Thames, likening it to the Hillsborough disaster.[37]

Anti-Cuts protests, 2011

Kettling was again used at the March 2011 anti-cuts protest in London. Activists were given assurances by Metropolitan police that they would be shown to safety after the protest, which was described as non-violent and sensible. Once outside, the protesters were kettled, handcuffed and taken into custody.[38]

In 2012, kettling was deemed lawful, overturning a previous High Court ruling. The ruling was immediately criticised by protesters and their lawyers, who plan to take the matter to the Supreme Court.[39]

Legal challenges

Following the use of “kettling” during the May Day protest in 2001, two people who had been corralled by the police at Oxford Circus sued the Metropolitan Police for wrongful detention, alleging that it was in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights, and that they had been held without access to food, water or toilets.[40] The pair lost their court action in 2005,[41] and their appeal failed in 2007[42] when the Court of Appeal backed the High Court ruling.

In 2009, Austin v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis,[43] a ruling by the House of Lords, decided that the High Court was entitled to take into consideration the “purpose” of the deprivation of liberty before deciding if human rights laws applied at all.[44] Summing up, Lord Hope said:

There is room, even in the case of fundamental rights as to whose application no restriction or limitation is permitted by the Convention, for a pragmatic approach which takes full account of all the circumstances.
—Baron Hope of Craighead, quoted in The Guardian[45]

A plaintiff from the 2001 protest, along with three non-protesting members of the public who had been kettled by police, took an appeal to the European Court of Human Rights, claiming that kettling violated Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to liberty and security. It was reported:

Austin, who the court accepted was a lawful and peaceful demonstrator prevented by her detention from collecting her child, is to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights. It is to be hoped the ECHR will look again at the question of whether the “balance” and “public safety” is all on the side of allowing the police to carry out long containments or whether such imprisonment does not after all breach fundamental rights.
—Louise Christian, The Guardian[45]

In March 2012 the Court ruled that kettling was lawful and that the Metropolitan Police were entitled to detain groups of people as “the least intrusive and most effective means to protect the public from violence”. On the issues related to the European Convention on Human Rights, the court ruled:[3]

Article 5 did not have to be construed in such a way as to make it impracticable for the police to fulfil their duties of maintaining order and protecting the public.
—Grand Chamber, European Court of Human Rights, Ruling, March 2012[3]

United States

Occupy Wall Street, 2011

In response to the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York City, police have used orange mesh snow fencing to contain crowds of protesters.[46][47]

See also

Look up kettling in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.


  1. ^ Davenport, Justin (3 April 2009). “Police defend ‘corralling’ thousands of protesters for eight hours in City”. Evening Standard. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23670983-details/Police+defend+%27corralling%27+thousands+of+protesters+for+eight+hours+in+City/article.do. Retrieved 2009-04-20.
  2. ^ a b c d Joyce, Julian (16 April 2009). “Police ‘kettle’ tactic feels the heat”. BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8000641.stm. Retrieved 18 April 2009.
  3. ^ a b c “European court says ‘kettling’ tactics in 2001 lawful”. BBC News. 15 March 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-17378700. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  4. ^ Joyce, Julian (9 December 2010). “Police ‘kettle’ tactic feels the heat”. BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11963274.
  5. ^ Campbell, Duncan (Friday 3 April 2009). “Did the handling of the G20 protests reveal the future of policing?”. The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/03/g20-protests-police-kettling. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
  6. ^ Whipple, Tom (April 3, 2009). [dead link] “Why did the police punish bystanders?”. The Times (London: News International). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/G20/article6025481.ece[dead link]. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
  7. ^ Laville, Sandra; Campbell, Duncan (Friday 3 April 2009). “Baton charges and kettling”. London: Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/03/g20-protests-police-tactics. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
  8. ^ Hudson, Alastair (20 January 2011). “Defeated by violence and silence”. London: TSL Education. http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=414866.
  9. ^ Poisson, Jayme (29 June 2010). “‘Kettling’ police tactic controversial everywhere it was used”. The Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/torontog20summit/article/829891–kettling-police-tactic-controversial-everywhere-it-was-used. Retrieved 1 July 2010.
  10. ^ Poisson, Jaume (22 June 2011). “Exclusive: Toronto police swear off G20 kettling tactic”. The Toronto Star. http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1012959–exclusive-toronto-police-swear-off-g20-kettling-tactic?bn=1. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  11. ^ Poisson, Dario Ayala (15 March 2011). “‘Video: The annual Montreal demonstration against police brutality'”. The Montreal Gazette. http://www.montrealgazette.com/Video+annual+Montreal+demonstration+against+police+brutality/4445950/story.html. Retrieved 16 March 2011.
  12. ^ “‘Police kettle Montreal student protesters, arresting 518’ url=http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/05/24/montreal-arrests-kettling.html?cmp=rss“.
  13. ^ Rawlinson, Kevin; Ben Ferguson (12 December 2009). “Anti-corporate demonstrators arrested”. London: The Independent. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/anticorporate-demonstrators-arrested-1838760.html. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  14. ^ “Smash Asem” (in Finnish). http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smash_ASEM.
  15. ^ “Témoignages sur la prison à ciel ouvert” (in French). rebellyon.info. 2010-10-22. http://rebellyon.info/Temoignages-sur-la-prison.html.
  16. ^ “Hamburg Heiligengeistfeld 8. Juni 1986” (in German). Nadir. http://www.nadir.org/nadir/initiativ/sanis/archiv/brokdorf/kap_06.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-19. “Polizeiterror gegen AKW-Gegner/innen – 800 Menschen einen Tag eingekesselt (Police terror against anti-nuclear activists – 800 people kettled in one day)”
  17. ^ See also Hamburger Kessel (Geman Wikipedia)
  18. ^ See also Polizeikessel and Wanderkessel (Geman Wikipedia)
  19. ^ “Gericht: Klo-Verbot ist menschenunwürdig (Court: Toilet ban is inhumane) (in German). castor.de (Elbe-Jeetzel-Zeitung). 2004-10-23. http://www.castor.de/presse/ejz/2004/oktober/23.html. Retrieved 2009-04-19. “Castor-Ankunft 2002: Frau musste Notdurft im Polizeikessel verrichten – Urteil: Polizei handelte rechtswidrig (Castor protest 2002: woman had to answer call of nature in police cordon – Judgement: Police acted unlawfully)
  20. ^ “La cacerolada del 15-M, atrapada una hora entre antidisturbios en Alcalá Parliament Square (in Spanish)”. elpais.es. http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2012/05/16/madrid/1337197283_494179.html.
  21. ^ “Disability Rights Demonstration – Parliament Square, London October 1995”. flickr.com. http://www.flickr.com/photos/ruhuman/2672513253/in/pool-31355197@N00/.
  22. ^ “A brief history of “kettling””. Indymedia.org.uk. 2010-11-27. http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/11/468945.html. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  23. ^ THE CARNIVAL CONTINUES… Lydia Molyneaux
  24. ^ Campbell, Duncan (April 2, 2009). “G20: Did police containment cause more trouble than it prevented?”. The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/02/g20-protests-police-kettling. Retrieved 20 April 2009.
  25. ^ Gill, Charlotte; Sears, Neil (2009-04-16). “Watchdog receives 145 complaints over G20 police as protester struck by officer demands compensation | Mail Online”. London: Dailymail.co.uk. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1170010/Watchdog-receives-145-complaints-G20-police-protester-struck-officer-demands-compensation.html. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
  26. ^ “‘Training concern’ for G20 police”. BBC News. 2009-05-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8057685.stm. Retrieved 2009-05-29.
  27. ^ a b Murphy, Megan (Wednesday 15 April 2009)Police to review ‘kettling’ tactics The Financial Times. Retrieved 16 April 2009.
  28. ^ Bishopsgate police officer refuses to give ID number The Guardian Retrieved 9 May 2009
  29. ^ Fresco, Adam (2009-08-06). “Police must change protest tactics after suspected G20 miscarriage”. London: The Times. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article6741319.ece. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  30. ^ Lewis, Paul (7 July 2009). “G20 police chiefs were unclear on kettling law, report finds”. London: The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/jul/07/g20-policing-report-kettling. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  31. ^ O’Connor, Denis, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Constabulary (7 July 2009). “Adapting to Protest”. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary. http://www.hmic.gov.uk/sitecollectiondocuments/ppr/ppr_20090706.pdf. Retrieved 2009-07-08.
  32. ^ “Moos & Anor, R (on the application of) v Police of the Metropolis [2011] EWHC 957 (Admin) (14 April 2011)”. Bailii.org. 2011-03-24. http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/Admin/2011/957.html. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  33. ^ “UK court rules that kettling was illegal”. Boing Boing. http://www.boingboing.net/2011/04/14/uk-court-rules-that.html. Retrieved 2011-04-14.
  34. ^ Hill, Dave (25 November 2010). “Kettling questions”. London: Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/davehillblog/2010/nov/25/hasmetropolitan-police-whitehall-student-demonstration-kettling. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  35. ^ “Kettling of children at tuition fees protest challenged”. BBC London. 7 June 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13679665. Retrieved 2011-06-10.
  36. ^ Julian Joyce, (December 9, 2010) Police ‘kettle’ tactic feels the heat BBC
  37. ^ Townsend, Mark; Malik, Shiv (19 December 2010). “Kettle tactics risk Hillsborough-style tragedy”. London: Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/dec/19/police-kettle-risk-crush-hillsborough. Retrieved 2011-04-10.
  38. ^ Shiv Malik, (March 2011) Cuts protesters claim police tricked them into mass arrest The Guardian
  39. ^ Owen Bowcott (19 January 2012). “Kettling protesters is lawful, appeal court rules”. The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jan/19/kettling-protesters-lawful-appeal-court. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  40. ^ “Police sued over May Day protest”. BBC News. 2002-04-28. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/1956323.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  41. ^ “Pair lose protest damages claim”. BBC News. 2005-03-23. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4374853.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  42. ^ “Pair lose May Day protest claim”. BBC News. 2007-10-15. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7044948.stm. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  43. ^ [2009] UKHL 5
  44. ^ “Judgments – Austin (FC) (Appellant) & another v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis (Respondent)”. House of Lords Appellate Committee. 2009-01-28. http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.com/pa/ld200809/ldjudgmt/jd090128/austin-1.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  45. ^ a b Christian, Louise (Thursday 2 April 2009) G20: Questions need to be asked about ‘kettling’ Guardian. Retrieved 13 April 2009.
  46. ^ http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2011/09/occupy-wall-street-movement-reports-80-arrested-today-in-protests/
  47. ^ Wells, Matt (25 September 2011). “Police crack down on ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests”. The Guardian (London). http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/blog/2011/sep/25/occupywallstreet-occupy-wall-street-protests.

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