‘Kettling’ goes to the European court

By Ian Dunt

The controversial police tactic of kettling protesters goes to the European court of human rights today as the legal challenge against it reaches its climax.
The House of Lords has already said the tactic, which cordons off an area during a protest so that no one can get in or out, is legal under certain criteria but Lois Austin, who was caught up in a kettle during May Day 2001, has taken her legal fight to Europe.
“I was imprisoned by police,” she told the Today programme this morning.
Kettling, as it has now become known, is a tactic the police are using to prevent peaceful protest.
Ms Austin was trapped in the cordon for several hours without access to water or toilet facilities and police rejected her requests to be allowed out the area so she could collect her baby from a creche.
The tactic has come under renewed scrutiny since the G20 protests last April, which saw it used extensively in the City.