Archive for March 17th, 2011

March 17, 2011


Sukey is British organization formed to counteract the police tactics of kettling, by co-ordinating information electronically and transmitting it to the protesters, allowing them to avoid the police kettle. ‘Sukey,’ is British slang for the person who takes the kettle off the stove (which is itself derived from the nursery rhyme: ‘Polly Put the Kettle On.’

The organization was founded by the students Sam Carlisle and Sam Gaus during the occupation by students at University College London. The system was first used for a London demonstration against the proposed abolition of the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) on 29 January 2011.

March 17, 2011




Kettling, also known as containment or corralling, is a police tactic for the management of large crowds during demonstrations or protests. It involves the formation of large cordons of police officers who then move to contain a crowd within a limited area. Protesters are left only one choice of exit, determined by the police, or are completely prevented from leaving. The term ‘kettle’ is a metaphor, likening the containment of violence to the containment of heat and steam within a domestic kettle.

The tactic prevents large groups from breaking into smaller splinters that have to be individually chased down, thus requiring the policing to break into multiple small battles. Kettling has been criticized for being an indiscriminate tactic which leads to the detention of law-abiding citizens and innocent bystanders, as well as for denying detainees access to food, water and toilets (for long periods of time in some cases). Critics also allege that kettling has been used to foment disorder with the aim of changing the focus of public debate.