The Story of Kettling

In the early 1990s I was part of a large group of anti-fascists who were trying to stop a fascist gathering of one kind or another taking place. As we moved through the square at the front of Euston Station we suddenly found ourselves sealed in by the police. We were kept there for hours. Nobody was allowed in or out of our encircled large group. Kettling hadn’t been invented yet, so we were proto-kettled so to speak.

It seems that it is the photographer David Hoffman who brought the word into common usage when in 1999, photographing a demonstration that was also outside Euston Station, he may have just misheard a reference to the police using the word “cattle”. He told me yesterday that: “The cops denied using the word but I used it in my report and it became common after that.”

David is one of Britain’s top photo-journalists. You will have certainly seen some of his photographs over the years unless you never read a newspaper. He has received many a beating for his trouble. He is currently pursuing a claim for having 4 of his teeth knocked out in an an unprovoked assault by a police officer that was captured on film.

A recent talk that David gave at the “Who’s Afraid of Photographers?” seminar organised by the NUJ at Parliament last month has just gone up on video. With the accompanying slideshow it turns out to be an excellent documentary of London’s policing of demonstrations throughout David’s 30-plus years of taking pictures.

You can find the video here Who’s Afraid of Photographers? David Hoffman.

To find out more about David’s work visit his website here.

This entry was posted in Blog and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *