Thousands of people were held against their will.
Pleading didn't work, neither did shouts or tears.
Penned in for hours, some were forced to urinate in public.
The British call it "kettling", and it describes how
authorities cordoned off and contained the masses of demonstrators
-- and plenty of bystanders -- in central London this month
during protests against a global economic summit.

CAMERAS CAUGHT COPS PROVOCATEURING

Police used agents provocateurs to incite the crowds....
Video footage shows newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson,
who was not part of the demonstration,
being assaulted from behind and pushed to the ground
by baton-wielding police.

To Orwell Today,

Orwell & others showed how law enforcement is a first wave against dissent, so I've put a little effort there. I've been following the police response at the April 1st, 2009 London G20 summit denying what was filmed - brutality & coverup - as per Robert Dzerkanski.

Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died. Guardian, Apr 7, 2009

G20 police 'used undercover men to incite crowds'. Guardian, May 9, 2009

I wrote this letter to the Guardian newspaper editor:

You'd think there was no need for agents provocateur to incite violence when the cops themselves planned to beat protesters with no provocation as happened with the environmental group. However, my observations through years of protest and in many countries convinces me this tactic is normal practice especially at financial summits.

The 2001 Quebec City summit is a good example captured on film. See Canada National Film Board production "View From The Summit" which covered the days leading up to the summit and the day itself. It is worth comparing the scenes of the riot squads practicing defense against rock throwing rioters (other cops in the rehearsal) and the Black Block or Bloc Noir doing it for real. The evidence is not enough to get a conviction in a court of law but most discerning viewers watching body posture etc would be confident that we are seeing the same actors.

Peaceful protesters advised that the cops at Quebec, a mix of many police forces of Canada, stood their ground while being pelted with rocks & bottles and advanced only after the so called Black Block left the front lines. Many protesters were beaten, many charged with an offense but not one Black Block member was unmasked.

An interesting sidebar is that no consideration for wind direction was taken into account when tear gas was fired causing much of that toxic cloud to waft back to police lines. A relative I dislike was an RCMP officer at the event. He said all front line officers (around ten thousand, I believe) received ample sick leave with pay.

I'm reminded of Conrad's powerful scene in The Secret Agent where the wagon carrying the heroine's possessions can not make it up a steep hill whereupon the horse is mercilessly beaten by its owner. The idiot brother cries "Stop! Stop! Police! Get the police!" His sister tells him that the police aren't there to make things right but to stop those who have nothing from taking from those who have far more than they need.

-Keith Detloff
Ontario, Canada

Greetings Keith,

Thanks for the updates on the recent G20 Summit in London, another police-state operation as per all such events where large numbers of people gather to show their disgust and witness PIGS AT THE TROUGH politicians gorging themselves as they pontificate over how much more to steal from we the taxpayers in the name of "giving to the poor" - and thousands of cops arrive in battle gear itching for (and creating) violent confrontation.

What it cost to feed and water G20 leaders. Independent, May 7, 2009 (...The world's most powerful leaders descended on London last month to tackle the economic crisis. It left British taxpayers with a bill of about 500,000 for wining and dining the delegates, their partners and their aides.... A string of celebrities, including the athlete Dame Kelly Holmes and the Harry Potter author JK Rowling, were also invited to the banquet..."The picture of world leaders enjoying fine wine and great food, while thousands of people are worried about their jobs and homes is not a good one."...)

British examine police actions at G-20 summit protests. Los Angeles Times, Apr 22, 2009 (...It was a grainy video by an American visitor that forced police officials to open an investigation of the death of newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson, after initial claims that he had had no contact with police and had collapsed with an apparent heart attack. In the video, as Tomlinson walked away from the protest site, his back to the police and his hands in his pockets, an officer can be seen shoving him hard and sending him sprawling. An autopsy found that Tomlinson suffered massive internal bleeding....)

You're right, this caught-in-the-act conduct of the UK police - ie killing Ian Tomlinson, the newspaper vendor - is reminiscent of Robert Dzerkanski, the Polish immigrant killed by police at the Vancouver airport. See COPS AIRPORT TASERING SONG

It's also very Orwellian - right out of "Animal Farm" and "1984". See POLICE DOGS IN ANIMAL FARM and 37.We Are The Dead and 28.Reality Control and 7.Systems of Thought and 10.Rulers and 8.Classes of People and 41.The Party Tells 'Why'

They're planning - I notice in today's news - to add a new anti-crowd weapon at their next event:

Police may use water cannon to control violent demonstrations. London Times, May 9, 2009 (...Scotland Yard is to review its policing of violent demonstrations after the G20 protests to see if London needs harsher, European-style methods that could include the use of water cannon. Sir Paul Stephenson, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said that they would look at the more robust tactics used by other European police forces....)

Police behavour at large public gatherings - like all summits and sports events etc - brings to mind the line: "what a field day for the heat" from that 60s song STOP CHILDREN WHAT'S THAT SOUND.

All the best,
Jackie Jura

FOR WHAT IT'S WORTH
by Buffalo Springfield, 1967

There's something happening here
What it is ain't exactly clear
There's a man with a gun over there
Telling me I got to beware

It's time we stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

There's battle lines being drawn
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind

It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

What a field-day for the heat
Thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side

Think it's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

Paranoia strikes deep
Into your life it will creep
It starts when you're always afraid
Step out of line, the man come and take you away

We better stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
You better stop, now, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
Stop, children, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down

G20 police 'used undercover men to incite crowds'
by Jamie Doward, Mark Townsend, Guardian, May 9, 2009
An MP who was involved in last month's G20 protests in London is to call for an investigation into whether the police used agents provocateurs to incite the crowds. Liberal Democrat Tom Brake says he saw what he believed to be two plain-clothes police officers go through a police cordon after presenting their ID cards. Brake, who along with hundreds of others was corralled behind police lines near Bank tube station in the City of London on the day of the protests, says he was informed by people in the crowd that the men had been seen to throw bottles at the police and had encouraged others to do the same shortly before they passed through the cordon. Brake, a member of the influential home affairs select committee, will raise the allegations when he gives evidence before parliament's joint committee on human rights on Tuesday.

"When I was in the middle of the crowd, two people came over to me and said, 'There are people over there who we believe are policemen and who have been encouraging the crowd to throw things at the police,'" Brake said. But when the crowd became suspicious of the men and accused them of being police officers, the pair approached the police line and passed through after showing some form of identification.

Brake has produced a draft report of his experiences for the human rights committee, having received written statements from people in the crowd. These include Tony Amos, a photographer who was standing with protesters in the Royal Exchange between 5pm and 6pm. "He [one of the alleged officers] was egging protesters on. It was very noticeable," Amos said. "Then suddenly a protester seemed to identify him as a policeman and turned on him. He legged it towards the police line, flashed some ID and they just let him through, no questions asked." Amos added: "He was pretty much inciting the crowd. He could not be called an observer. I don't believe in conspiracy theories but this really struck me. Hopefully, a review of video evidence will clear this up."

The Independent Police Complaints Commission has received 256 complaints relating to the G20 protests. Of these, 121 have been made about the use of force by police officers, while 75 relate to police tactics. The IPCC said it had no record of complaints involving the use of police agents provocateurs. A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "We would never deploy officers in this way or condone such behaviour." The use of plain-clothes officers in crowd situations is considered a vital tactic for gathering evidence. It has been used effectively to combat football hooliganism in the UK and was employed during the May Day protests in 2001. Brake said he intends to raise the allegations with the Met's commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, when he next appears before the home affairs select committee. "There is a logic having plain-clothes officers in the crowd, but no logic if the officers are actively encouraging violence, which would be a source of great concern," Brake said. The MP said that given only a few people were allowed out of the corralled crowd for the five hours he was held inside it, there should be no problem in investigating the allegation by examining video footage.

What it cost to feed and water G20 leaders. Independent, May 7, 2009

British examine police actions at G-20 summit protests
by Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times, Apr 22, 2009
Reporting from London Thousands of people were held against their will. Pleading didn't work, neither did shouts or tears. Penned in for hours, some were forced to urinate in public. Others phoned spouses and bosses in mounting frustration as police ignored their requests to be allowed to leave. The British call it "kettling," and it describes how authorities cordoned off and contained the masses of demonstrators -- and plenty of bystanders -- this month in central London during protests against a global economic summit. But the practice is under fire from those who see it as tantamount to mass detention, a recipe for inflaming public anger instead of assuaging it. The British police, once admired the world over for the cheerful efficiency of its helmeted "bobbies" and a tradition of excellence at Scotland Yard, have agreed to reexamine kettling as part of a wider investigation of abuse allegations from the protests.

A top government official said Tuesday that some officers had acted in an "utterly unacceptable" manner by concealing their badge numbers during the demonstrations. Worse, several amateur photographs and videos have surfaced showing police officers apparently knocking down and beating mostly peaceful participants. One man, a newspaper vendor who hadn't taken part in the demonstrations, died of internal bleeding shortly after being knocked to the ground by an officer. Other video showed a young woman being struck across the legs by a police baton -- she likened it to being "whipped by the Taliban" -- and another being smacked on the back of the head by a riot shield.

Called to give evidence before lawmakers, Nick Hardwick, chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said Tuesday that his office had received more than 50 complaints "where either people are saying they were victims of an assault or they are saying they directly witnessed an assault" by police officers. The growing scandal is another blow to a force rocked in recent years by accusations of racism and incompetence in the case of a Brazilian plumber who was shot to death in 2005 on the London subway by officers who misidentified him as a terrorism suspect. Britons last week commemorated the 20th anniversary of the nation's worst sporting disaster, in which more than 90 people were crushed and trampled to death at a soccer stadium in the city of Hillsborough. The police came in for heavy criticism afterward for their crowd-control tactics. The specter of Hillsborough certainly hung in the air during the April 1-2 protests for the Group of 20 meeting in London, an economic summit attended by President Obama and other leaders.

Thousands of people flocked to London's financial district the morning of April 1 for a raucous but peaceful rally outside the Bank of England. Within a couple of hours, however, the kettling began, with rows of neon-jacketed police officers sealing off the streets and hemming everyone in. On one side street, scores of people grew increasingly agitated as officers refused to let anyone pass in either direction. To an American reporter on the scene, the anger was almost palpable as the sun beat down, patience frayed and bladders pressed. "Kettling" seemed an apt description for the tempers that were close to boiling over among people who wanted to leave the demonstration, not stay on and give the police trouble. "Let us out! Let us out!" the crowd chanted. The police were unmoved, turning away one desperate young woman who pleaded to be allowed to return to her nearby office after having been accidentally caught behind the cordon as she walked back after lunch. Another woman lambasted police for detaining law-abiding protesters in such a manner, which could prove dangerous if there were a stampede. To cheers, she shouted at police to remember "the lessons of Hillsborough." Only a pregnant woman who was visibly shaking and near tears was given permission to leave the site. It was nearly three hours before police relaxed the cordon and allowed the crowds to disperse.

Authorities contend that kettling is the most effective way of preventing protests from spiraling out of control and becoming a rampage. Britain's highest judicial body upheld the legality of the practice this year, despite criticism by civil liberties groups that it amounted to mass detention. But it is under the microscope again, thanks in part to demonstrators whose cellphone cameras and text messages helped capture and publicize what happened at the G-20 protests.

It was a grainy video by an American visitor that forced police officials to open an investigation of the death of newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson, after initial claims that he had had no contact with police and had collapsed with an apparent heart attack. In the video, as Tomlinson walked away from the protest site, his back to the police and his hands in his pockets, an officer can be seen shoving him hard and sending him sprawling. An autopsy found that Tomlinson suffered massive internal bleeding. In other video, an officer refuses to tell someone his badge number, which is against police regulations, and other officers appear to have their badge numbers obscured. "It's utterly unacceptable, and that's it. There is no explanation for people not to be wearing their numerals," Denis O'Connor, the incoming chief inspector of constabulary, told lawmakers in Parliament on Tuesday. O'Connor is leading the inquiry on police handling of the G-20 protests. His report is expected in a few months.

Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died. Guardian, Apr 7, 2009

"View From The Summit". NFB, April 20, 2001 (..."Quebec City prepares to host the three-day Summit of the Americas....Quebec City has recently acquired a new line of defence - but one that isn't making all its residents feel secure. For the Summit, a four-kilometre fence has been erected, cutting off the Upper Town from the rest of the city. Six thousand police officers fill the streets. Helicopters buzz ominously overhead. It looks as if the historic Quebec capital is under siege.... The People's March takes place peacefully, with some 50,000 joining in. But clashes between some demonstrators and police quickly escalate. Projectiles, Molotov cocktails, tear gas and rubber bullets fly back and forth - while behind the window dressing of official photographs, speeches and handshakes, the diplomatic waltz of the Summit continues....)

Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~

email: orwelltoday@gmail.com
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