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May Day protest case goes to Strasbourg
A Socialist Party member's case against the police tactic of 'kettling', containing protesters inside a police cordon, was taken to the European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday 14 September.
Lois Austin took part in 2001 May Day demonstrations as a peaceful protester when she, alongside some 3,000 other demonstrators, was kettled in Oxford Circus for almost seven hours.
Lois challenged kettling under Article Five of the European Convention on Human Rights, which enshrines the right to liberty, all the way to the House of Lords.
But in 2009 the House of Lords said that "crowd control measures" would be permitted in law if they were proportionate and enforced for no longer than was reasonably necessary. So kettling peaceful protesters for seven hours is reasonable?
Now, Lois has taken her case to Strasbourg. She said: "Since the House of Lords judgment the police have increased their use of the tactic of kettling, with disastrous consequences for the right to peaceful protest and the safety of protesters. In the last 12 months we have seen school children as young as 13 being kettled for hours on end in the freezing cold, without access to food or toilet facilities."
See future issues of the Socialist for updates on the case.
In The Socialist 14 September 2011:
Socialist Party features
Socialist Party youth and students
Stop attacks on pensions
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party reports and campaigns