'Kettling' not a breach of Human Rights says European Court
by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The use of “kettling” as a police tactic did not deprive four people of their freedom during a May Day protest in 2001, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled recently.
The court in Strasbourg said the London Metropolitan Police's use of an enforced cordon in Oxford Circus on 1 May 2001, was at most a restriction on freedom of movement but not “a deprivation of liberty”. Could they please be so kind as to enlighten us then what it was.
If it was not “a deprivation of liberty” then I would suggest that the Court of Human Rights – one – have no idea of human right and of liberty and – two – that the Court has decided that a police state actions are perfectly legitimate. Welcome to the Fourth Reich called European Union.
“The least intrusive and most effective means available to the police to protect the public, both within and outside the cordon, from violence.” The case came about after four people submitted their claims under article five of the European Convention on Human Rights.
They had been caught up in a crowd of more than 1,500 people around 2pm during the unofficial anti-capitalist protest, and were unable to exit the cordon for seven hours.
But the court said that officers had made space in the cordon for people to walk about and tried “continuously” to start releasing people who had wanted to leave.
Eyewitness statements to the media, however, painted a complete different picture and this picture has been repeated during other protest actions on the streets of London more than on one occasion in the last couple of years since the 2001 incident.
The ruling said: “Their attempts (the police) were repeatedly suspended because of the violent and uncooperative behaviour of a significant minority both within and outside the cordon.
“As a result, the police had only managed at about 9.30pm to complete the full dispersal of the people contained.
“Nonetheless, approximately 400 individuals who could clearly be identified as not involved in the demonstration or who had been seriously affected by being confined, had been allowed to leave before that time.”
The court found that the cordon was used “to isolate and contain a large crowd in dangerous and volatile conditions”.
It added that "kettling" had been “the least intrusive and most effective means available to the police to protect the public, both within and outside the cordon, from violence.”
Only one of the claimants, Lois Austin, of Basildon, who is a member of the Socialist party, had actually wanted to attend the protest. Three others, George Black, Bronwyn Lowenthal, and Peter O’Shea of Wembley, became caught up in the cordon due to unfortunate circumstances.
Organisers of the ‘May Day Monopoly” protest, which sought to stage protests based on the popular board game, did not make contact with police, nor seek authorisation for their plans.
The court said the public were “often required to endure temporary restrictions on freedom of movement in certain contexts”, such as when using public transport or encountering traffic on the motorway.
The Court decided by 14 votes to three that there had been no violation.
All the Court seemed to have been prepared to consider were the statements by the Metropolitan Police Service and its legal teams. The actual truth no one wanted to know, it would appear.
Liberty is dead in the European Union, it would appear, when it comes to protesters while at the same time violent foreign terrorists, or those foreigners that are calling for terrorist acts on British soil cannot be deported to their country of origin because of a ruling by the same court that has now, basically, legalized the police tactic of kettling.
As sad day for freedom and democracy...