The “kettling” tactic, where police corral protesters into a tight, enclosed space without access to food, water or bathrooms, has been the focus of much criticism over the past decade. During the London G20 summit in 2009, a 47-year-old newspaper vendor died after being kettled.
Anatomy of the G20: the story from both sides of the fence: Toronto Star
Update Feb 23 2011: Apparently the RCMP has no policy for kettling and does not use this tactic for crowd control. “….It is the RCMP stated policy “always” to give crowds a way out. It seems like much back pedaling from police forces, after these illegal deeds were done and Torontonian’s civil rights were violated. The new battlefront is the court system, where protesters sue the police. And they should.
Update April 14 2011: London G20 ‘kettling’ was illegal, British court rules, though the ruling took 2 years. I hope the judges here in Toronto come to the same conclusion.
Update June 22 2011: Toronto police swear off G20 kettling tactic: Deemed illegal in the UK and now in Toronto, this tactic should not have been used at all. This is not to say that Toronto Police cannot retract the statement, or than any other police force in Canada would not use kettling.
Update May 14 2012: Mounties objected to kettling G20 protesters, watchdog finds: The RCMP reluctantly state they did not agree with the kettling tactics but were under the command of Toronto Police and therefore complied. Finger pointing continues.