Tuesday, 8 February 2011

UK protesters use smartphone to stay out of trouble

Over the past months, UK police have responded to protests by preventing protesters from leaving an area for periods of up to 12 hours, denying them food, water and toilets. This tactic – known as ‘kettling’ – has produced intense frustration and caused some protests to turn violent.
As a response, a group of London-based ‘young, recently politicised computer programmers’ has designed a system using smartphones, gps positions, twitter and text messages to exchange information during protests, the Guardian reports. The idea is to alert participants when police start forming a ‘kettle’, allowing them to stay out of trouble. The system is not yet fully operational, but seems to have had its first success at a recent anti-cuts demo. “There were kettles in Manchester and Edinburgh. But in London, for the first time in five marches, there was none.”
The system – called Sukey – will also be used on 26 March, when hundreds of thousands of protestors may join a rally of the Trades Union Congress.
Source: The Guardian. Image via Indymedia London.

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