From the equality of rights springs identity of our highest interests; you cannot subvert your neighbor's rights without striking a dangerous blow at your own. Carl Schurz

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

G20 Kettling Judicial Review: Only In London, You say, Pity

London's High Court is currently holding hearings into whether a full judicial review will be conducted into the practices of kettling and the use of police shields as weapons. This is cause for hope among those of us demanding a similar review into police tactics at Toronto's G20 summit held a year after the London edition.If the court does ultimately rule that these tactics are illegal and a violation of civil rights. then the pressure to follow suit should come to bear on this side of the pond.

Lawyers for green campaigners seeking a judicial review of the legality of the police tactics, said the Metropolitan police imposed a tight cordon on the protesters for more than four hours, despite noting at the time that they were "relatively peaceful". Officers also used their shields to strike campaigners in a way that is "not a recognised form of reasonable force at all", Michael Fordham QC said.

Even if a full review is not ordered, at least the police are being forced to testify under oath and to honestly justify their actions.

The southern cordon of the enclosure was then forcibly pushed 30m to the north along Bishopgate, Johnson said, reducing the space available to the 2,000 demonstrators by around a quarter. "Advancing towards the climate camp in riot gear, wielding batons and using shields offensively was a totally inappropriate response," Fordham said.

The officer, from the Met's Territorial Support Group, told the court there had been incidents at the climate protest, including the damaging of police carriers and the throwing of bottles and coins and other items at the police lines.

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