"sickening and unprovoked attack" by police.
Their Shadow Justice Secretary David Howarth expanded on this point
“The ugly scenes of police aggression and intimidation witnessed at the G20 protests and the Kingsnorth demonstrations were a national disgrace.
“Tactics like baton charges, the seizure of personal property and the kettling of protestors for hours on end are fundamentally wrong. They are a threat to democratic rights, they cause distress and injury
Other LibDems decried the use of kettling as
the practice of highly aggressive advances in police lines against the demonstration, often by fully armed riot police or horses, which compresses the protest into a smaller space. It causes fear and tension and appears to have no justification from the point of view of preventing disorder. It is not surprising that being subjected to both these tactics can turn an otherwise overwhelmingly relaxed and peaceful crowd more violent, as people become agitated, frustrated then angry.
Their party conference last year - just last year, mind - passed a motion saying
The use of aggressive or intimidatory tactics against peaceful protesters is provocative, inappropriate, and counter-productive, since it increases the tension and likelihood of violence; the police must use aggressive tactics such as ‘kettling’, baton charges, and attacks with dogs only when they are absolutely necessary and proportionate; the seizure of personal property from demonstrators is not acceptable.
The same conference declared
The state must not be allowed to trample over an individual’s right to privacy, liberty, free expression and association.
The immediate restoration of the right to protest in Parliament Square.
All fine words. Then they got elected.
This week we heard the sound of tumbleweed rolling through the Liberal Democrat press office.