The current issue of London Student has a fascinating article by Andrew de Castro "Polly put the kettle on, Sukey take it off again".
Sukey is a mobile phone app which relays information on police tactics during demonstrations. Its aim is to collate information from social media, email and text, filtering out unreliable information before the editorial team (presumeably very quickly) release information. Potentially real time information on where police are, where kettles are being formed and where riot police are being deployed could significantly reduce the gap in knowledge between the police control room and demonstrators on actions.
It is certainly a different response to kettling. Others have perhaps shown some promise, without proving definitive. After the murder of Carlo Guliani by Italian police in 2001, activists gathered at the Italian embassy in London, and were promptly kettled. Our response was to do nothing. We just stood where we were, taking no interest in leaving, content in the knowledge that several roads in an exclusive part of London were now blocked (by the police as much as by us) and that significant numbers of media were now arriving at the scene. The Met, perhaps motivated by the principle that whatever appears to be good for demonstrators is bad for them, eventually decided everyone had to disperse, and began pushing everyone out of the area.
A second response, tried shortly after at Speakers Corner, could perhaps be described as a mini-demonstrators version of kettling. As two photographers from the Met's Forward Intelligence Team took pictures of activists for the umpteenth time, they themselves were encircled by a group of a dozen Anarchists who promptly kettled them. After a bit of pushing and shoving they remained kettled, and only got out after radio-ing for assistance from a bigger group of officers. However briefly though, the tables had been turned. Sukey is a further attempt to do just that.
The London Student article on Sukey does not currently appear to be online - here though is an earlier piece on Sukey from Wired. You can follow Sukey on Twitter by going to http://twitter.com/#!/sukeydata