Post by aracari
Indeed. Suppression of demos is now a major police objective
and they are equipped accordingly.
The maintenance of the Queen's peace is a primary objective of our
police force and so it should be.
Where a demonstration degrades into a riot or major disorder then
those who step over the line need and deserve to be confronted. It was
not police officers who broke into and committed criminal acts inside
We have known for two or three weeks about what was about to happen
just as we know well in advance what will happen at the the annual May
Day punch up which in the first? instance did degenerate into a full
Post by aracari
Most of the demonstrators last week did not speak for me, but
this is not about that. It's about the tactics used by police to
suppress demos and their frequent breaking of the law without
Even you must admit that that is a slippery road and can easily
lead to a police state.
I don't admit anything of the sort.
I once went on a demo in London. I doubt whether even a toffee paper
was dropped. The police presence was light. But ...
Well before hand, the organisers consulted with the police over route
and times. Every bona fide demonstrator was badged. The demonstration
assembled in Hyde Park and dispersed after a mass meeting in Central
Hall Westminster. A small group, by arrangement, detached itself from
the main parade to lobby MPs in the HoC.
The difference is of course that we were civilised. Has dignity gone
out of fashion?
The characters who organise the type of event we are discussing seem
to be of the view that a point is not made unless people's lives are
disrupted. They refuse to consult or cooperate and make disruption
their objective. They seem to tacitly approve of mischief makers in
their ranks by virtue of the attention they draw to the event.
Well as I often say every action has a cost and this is no exception.
If things start to get out of hand it's not a question of whether the
police should intervene. They have a duty to intervene. When they do,
it's no use these "genuine" badly organised demonstrators putting up
their hands and saying "Nuthin to do with me guv" They walked into
this circus with open eyes.
Over recent years or perhaps some way before that there seems to an
increased tendency for large scale,badly organised, demos over a
multitude issues on behalf of a multitude of nebulous organisations
(for want of a better word) to degenerate into violence and serious
public disorder. One should not be too surprised therefore that, over
the years police have learned, developed, practised and honed
strategies to deal with such contingencies. That's what we the
respectable majority pay them for.
The net result is what you call kettling a concept so beautiful and
creative in its simplicity. Instead of dispersing trouble makers, they
are surrounded by selective street blocking and pushed into less and
lass space. The they are allowed to cool their heels for an hour or
three before being gradually released in manageable groups. In the
meantime anyone wanting a fight with the police can have one but he
will be through those lines and into the back of one of those vans
without his feet touching the ground.
Unfortunately even kettling comes with cost. It means that everybody
is detained "genuine" protesters, trouble makers and bystanders. I
sympathise with bystanders, hopefully they understand the need for the
inconvenience. However, if individuals or couples approach a police
cordon they will almost certainly be allowed through. Groups will not.
Better still if those totally non-involved in the event make an active
effort to avoid it or get away from it if they find themselves in it
before the inevitable happens.
Genuine protesters? Well if you involve yourselves in a Fred Kano
event with little or no organisation then you should suffer the
consequences that are not after all too severe. The difference between
you and the policeman that stops you going away when you tire of the
event is that he has to be there. Perhaps event organisers might get
the message and organise their demos properly and with due
consultation with the authorities if only out of consideration for the
safety of participants. If they don't then their demo is likely to be
kettled and folk are less likely to follow them next time. However, I
noted some of them to be holding a dance. If they were having such a
jolly time then what are they complaining about?
The others? They deserve all they get. I understand there was quite an
extensive operation for the next couple of days knocking on doors
yielding the usual crop of weapons, drugs, stolen property/credit
cards etc. These events can be quite remunerative for the police too.
Everyone's a winner!
Of course, given sufficient public concern, the practice of kettling
could be discontinued tomorrow. The alternative is forced dispersal.
At one time given such an event the Riot Act would be read and the
crowd ordered to disperse. Within a short time of that militia would
be deployed to ensure that they did with any weapon at their disposal
cutless, rifle bayonet or whatever. Casualties and even deaths were
inevitable Read up on the Peterloo Massacre.
Even these days foreign forces tend towards forced dispersal and there
are deaths and injuries, vehicles and other property burns and the
disturbances can go on night after night for days. Is that what people