On Wednesday 17 January, four Devon and Cornwall police officers raided the house of a pensioner over allegations of criminal damage to Falmouth and Truro Tory MP Cherilyn Mackrory’s office. The alleged crime was committed using… wait for it… drawing pins.
April: a criminal mastermind with drawing pins
The pensioner, April, woke up to find police officers in her house. They arrested her on suspicion of criminal damage while still in her nightie.
The police alleged that she damaged the office door by attaching posters with drawing pins. Yes, you read that correctly. Cops raided April because she pinned some posters to a door.
After searching the house, the police de-arrested her on the condition that she voluntarily attends a police interview. A video of the raid, and the impact it had on April, can be seen here:
Mackrory has refused to engage with constituents, including April. This is despite their repeated requests regarding concerns over her own government’s position on the genocide the Israeli government is perpetrating against Palestinian people, and this government’s complicity in war crimes committed by the Israeli state.
Speaking about the raid, April said:
I am angry – angry that war criminals, mass murderers, torturers, arms traders, the inflictors and enablers of genocide and brutality go free to continue the brutal mayhem they inflict on others across the globe but our government chooses to hound, harass, arrest those who seek to lay bare their crimes.
Devon and Cornwall police say… not a lot…
The Canary asked Devon and Cornwall police for comment. Specifically, we wanted to know if it thought that the cops’ actions were an overreach of their powers. HINT: they probably were.
A spokesperson told the Canary:
We are investigating two separate reports of criminal damage to properties in the Truro area and enquiries are ongoing. Due to this being a live and active investigation, it would not be appropriate to comment further at this time.
Reflective of the UK in 2023
A spokesperson for campaign group Palestine Solidarity Cornwall said:
This was an act of intimidation by Devon and Cornwall police against a Grandmother who has simply tried to hold her elected representative to account for the atrocities she, and her government, are supporting in Gaza.
While it is reflective of the police harassment Palestine solidarity campaigners have faced across the country for speaking out against a genocide, it is outrageous they have decided to put a pensioner through this ordeal over some drawing pins.
However, we will not be intimidated by these actions. The UN has described Gaza as a “graveyard for children”, and while our so-called elected representatives continue to support the massacre of children, and refuse to stop the export of UK weapons to facilitate this slaughter, we will continue taking action.
Moreover, Devon and Cornwall police’s actions are reflective of the increasingly authoritarian UK state under successive Tory governments.
As the Canary has documented, the state increasingly criminalising protest is becoming a lot more common and authoritarian, with the Tories’ Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts (PCSC) Act. However, all this pales in comparison to the horror the Israeli state inflicts on Palestinian people, day in, day out.
So, regardless of the consequences, activists in the UK will continue to show their solidarity with those living under apartheid – even if, like April, it means preposterous cops raid your home while you’re still in your nightie – all over some drawing pins.
Featured image via Sarah Wilkinson – screengrab