Opinion: A fair Cop at last

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On June 23, the mix of pensioners and the disabled making their voices heard could not have expected how things would so rapidly turn bad.

As they marched, flags waving, placards aloft, into Sheffield Railway Station, the self-styled ‘Freedom Ride’ travel cuts protesters were faced with a very different welcome to that of six months ago.

On June 23, the mix of pensioners and the disabled making their voices heard could not have expected how things would so rapidly turn bad.

I was twice made to delete my footage under ‘Terrorism laws’ - Northern Rail later apologised.

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But the key issue was the treatment of group leaders George Arthur and Tony Nuttall. Footage of Mr Nuttall, a 65-year-old man being arrested by a group of Transport Police officers, PCSOs and rail staffhead bent almost to the floor, was met with disbelief by the thousands of people who shared it via The Star’s website.

Yesterday was different. The protest group made their way into Sheffield Station. They lined the same platform. They sang. They chanted. They were politely managed by a small number of police liaison officers.

This is how it always should have been - a peaceful demonstration, fairly policed, without gangs of heavy-handed officers seizing people exercising their democratic right to sound off. A fair cop at last.