STEP AWAY FROM THE TEA URN . . .
IT WAS a very British protest. Former nurse Jackie Brooks, 79, and her husband Jim set up a trestle table to serve tea and cakes to campaigners demonstrating against fracking at Kirby Misperton, North Yorkshire.
But the Old Bill turned up mob-handed to move her on. Twelve coppers forcibly removed Jackie, claiming that they were doing it for her own safety.
They said she was in danger from a ten-foot tall tower built by protesters. It might fall and injure her, or worse. Jackie said that was her look-out and insisted she was staying put. But the police were having none of it. Nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of elf’n’safety.
Look, I don’t support the protesters. And I think Jackie is misguided in watering and feeding them. But she was well within her rights.
Photos of the incident are pretty disturbing. Jackie is surrounded by burly coppers in black battle fatigues and baseball caps, topped off with hi-viz vests, naturally.
One of them is shoving a video recorder in her face and filming her at close range, as if she’s some kind of criminal. What was the purpose of that? We’d like to know a little bit about you for our files. I’m surprised they didn’t demand Jackie’s DNA.
One demonstrator shouted: ‘This is England, not 1930s Germany.’ I’m not sure I’d go that far, but they were partly right.
This is England, 2017, sadly. And this is how the police behave, even towards the peaceful and innocent, as a matter of routine.
Mind how you go.