'Everyone was just cold, huddling up together, people just squeezing up to keep warm,' says 16-year-old protester
THE METROPOLITAN Police are to be taken to court by London schoolchildren who were 'kettled' for over eight hours at one of last year's anti-tuition fees demonstrations.
Tens of thousands of people were held behind barriers for several hours by the police – that's what they mean by 'kettling' - at a series of demos in central London in the autumn of 2010 and many have complained about the Met's behaviour.
But this is the first time the age of the protesters has been used against the Met's notorious crowd control tactic.
"Everyone was just cold, huddling up together, people just squeezing up to keep warm," said Adam Castle, aged 16, who was ketled at a demo on Whitehall.
"It seemed like a punishment to go on a protest and everyone was just demoralised."
Castle and two other Year 11 teenagers from Acland Burghley School in Tufnell Park aren't hedging their bets with the case against the Met: they aim to haul London's police force in front of the beak under the Children Act 2004, the European Convention of Human Rights and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
"As children we can't vote, so one of the best ways for us to voice our opinion is through protest and if that's stopped or inhibited by kettling then where are we left?" Castle told the BBC.
The Met have yet to comment on the case, which is due to go ahead at the High Court next month.