G-8 Rioting Has Germans Second Guessing Policing Strategy, Spiegel online, June 5 2007

By Charles Hawley in Berlin
Is it possible to avoid violence at the G-8? For years, police in Europe have been trying to perfect their riot-control strategies. But Saturday's rioting in Rostock has the Germans questioning what they've learned.


The police response to the G-8, named Kavala, has focused heavily on a strategy of de-escalation. Officers were trained to avoid confrontation if possible so as not to provoke the demonstrators.
The idea, Otto Adang, chair of public order management at the Dutch police academy, explained to SPIEGEL ONLINE, is to avoid an "us versus them" mentality. It is important, he says, to develop a dialogue with the protesters and to encourage them to see the police as helping the demonstration by preventing violence. And if there is violence, he says, it becomes vital to differentiate between those causing it and those who are not.

More Attention to Riot Control
"The more a situation escalates, the more your options run out," Adang says. "If you have a confrontation, you enter the confrontation and you try to win it. But even then you have to keep differentiating between people who are being violent and those who are not. There has been more and more attention for this kind of thinking. Elements of this have been around for a longer time, but they are being applied more and more."