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Deconstructing police kettling and the body politic

Image: Scott Sørli

When more than 200 bystanders, pedestrians and cyclists were first surrounded by a cordon of police officers on a stretch of downtown Toronto June 27, 2010, during the G20 summit, they didn't realize they would become a part of political strategy that has its roots dating back two and a half millennia.

Police kettling can be traced back to the military tactic of encirclement, according to Scott Sørli, who researched the idea and has collected hundreds photographs of police kettling from around the world.

Sørli -- who teaches architecture in Toronto and completed a Masters of Design Research at the University of Michigan in 2012 -- says kettling is the child of the military strategy of encirclement.


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