I think everybody knows that George Floyd was killed by a cop kneeling on his neck for eight minutes earlier this year (bonus points if you knew that the cop’s name was Derek Chauvin) so you would think that it would inadvisable for someone to adopt the exact same position on a protester but guess what? That’s exactly what someone did after a protester threw carrots at them whilst they were working on HS2.
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Obviously there’s been a lot of beef about the construction of the super fast trainline from Birmingham to London because people don’t think it’s necessary and it’s going to destroy a load of countryside, but I wasn’t actually aware that people were actively protesting it right now. Turns out this is exactly what was going on at Fradley Wood in Staffordshire on November 15th, where a bunch of workers were clearing trees over the weekend and the carrot throwing incident went down.
A 50 year old man from Wolverhampton was arrested on suspicion of assault and possessing an offensive weapon (a carrot?) and officers are now investigating allegations against the HS2 workers. Local MP Michael Fabricant has taken up the case and said the following:
A lone protester had, unwisely, fired some carrots using a catapult over the HS2 fence from the other side of the road.
The man was thrown to the ground by a number of HS2 security people, kicked, and held down with a knee on his neck for at least four minutes, someone timed it.
During this time a number of passing motorists stopped to protest, but it was not until the police arrived that he was able to get up.
My views on HS2 and the destruction of ancient woodlands are well known.
Despite my voting against the legislation in Parliament, HS2 was authorised with an overwhelming majority.
However, the law does not permit using excessive force by HS2 against protesters.
I was not a witness to the event, so I cannot judge whether excessive force was used or, indeed, whether any force was necessary at all.
But several constituents have contacted me about this event and I take their concern seriously.
I mean he can kinda see on the video that excessive force was used surely? The guy has his knee on the poor fellow’s neck for at least a minute FFS!
Of course, people are going to argue that throwing carrots at workers just trying to do their job isn’t exactly the best or kindest way to make your point and whilst I sympathise with these guys that are getting ragged on all the time for just trying to make a buck, I don’t think it’s any excuse for them to react this way. I can’t actually believe someone would get so worked up about having carrots thrown at them – it seems like a mild inconvenience at best if anything at all – but I guess it was the straw that broke the camel’s back in this case. So misguided to adopt the same position as Derek Chauvin though. What an idiot.
For more of the same, check out when a Met Police Officer did the same just after the George Floyd incident. People really are clueless sometimes aren’t they?