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The Real Reason Why Police Cage Peaceful Protestors

With Occupy Wall Street protesters kettled on the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend, we look at how kettling was used on protesters during the London riots earlier this year.

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Among the slogans that were chalked on the ground in Trafalgar Square on 26 March, one stood out. Along with re-tooled situationist phrases like 'ANOTHER WORLD IS POSSIBLE', contemporary concerns like 'WHERE'S ALL THE MONEY GONE?', and some cold hard stats about the cuts, it was the phrase 'I MELT THE GLASS WITH MY FOREHEAD' which caused me to recoil. It captures the psychic transformation this generation has gone through: smashing through the glass at Millbank, struggling through the hard lines of the kettle, and finally piercing capitalist realism's façade: an aperture through which now flows the pent-up energy, imagination and passion of a generation who will need to use all three, extensively.

Dan Hancox is a London-based journalist working for the Guardian and others, the editor of Fight Back! , and the author of Kettled Youth .

 
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