Washington DC Neighbors Shelter Peaceful Protestors

The Most Revolutionary Act

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Keith Preston

If you’re not following the Swann Street siege story this morning, it’s incredible.

Yesterday evening, D.C. police forced a large group of peaceful protesters and demonstrators into a residential neighborhood in a tactic known as “kettling.”

Kettling is a military technique to encircle people, to box them in on all sides, into a smaller and smaller and smaller space where they can’t retreat or escape from. In American protests, it’s often accompanied by police forces taking advantage of the fact that protesters can’t retreat to inflict maximum harm with teargas, batons, and other weapons for an extended period before doing mass arrests.

It’s not a dispersement technique, it’s the complete opposite — it’s a technique of intense aggression, and it’s controversial because it’s seldom used in good faith and often results in intense prolonged violence, with the intention of also cutting everyone caught in the kettle off from…

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