Scottish Greens justice spokesperson Maggie Chapman MSP has today raised concerns about the proportionality of policing tactics used against some protestors during COP26 with the Scottish Government.
At Topical Questions in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon the MSP aired concerns about the use of “kettling” by police against peaceful protestors.
Commenting, Maggie Chapman MSP said:
“I appreciate that operational matters rest with the chief constable, but this parliament sets the limits within which the police operate, and it is important to understand the government’s position in relation to those limits.
“Police officers declare to, “uphold fundamental human rights and accord equal respect to all people”. I am concerned that some of the tactics deployed during the COP have not taken account of those important principles. The use of kettling tactics on peaceful protestors seems wholly disproportionate.
“I’ve read reports of journalists kettled for hours with no access to water or toilets, and of a young mother with a baby in a pram trapped in a kettle. It can’t be right that children are being kettled.
“At Saturday’s climate march, one particular group of marchers was subjected to a police kettle from the moment they arrived at Kelvingrove Park, without clear cause.
“As the march passed through the city centre, the kettled group were halted by the police and prevented from moving any further. This in turn prevented thousands of other marchers behind this group from continuing with the march. There were minors in this kettle, and this group just wanted to continue marching with everyone else.
“I am disappointed that the justice secretary failed to directly answer my questions about the government’s position on either the legality or the proportionality of such tactics.”