Scottish Daily Mail - - Little John -

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 Bri­tain, 2017, sadly. And this is how the po­lice be­have, even to­wards the peaceful and in­no­cent, as a mat­ter of rou­tine.

Mind how you go.

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