Thursday, 1 July 2010
I have a quiet hour waiting to pick up daughter 2 from a friend's house, so have time to buy a coffee in a Turkish cafe on the High Street. Because I am here, and it is there, I draw what is across the road, which happens to be Stoke Newington police station. Years ago, when we lived in a tiny, rattling flat over a launderette just up the road, the police had a bad reputation here, and there were no cheerful Turkish cafes with tables on the pavement. Things change.
Picking up the Guardian , I find myself reading about an 85-year-old artist, John Catt, who accompanies his daughter to demonstrations against the arms trade, and who has somehow found himself classified by the police as a "domestic extremist". Their files have recently been released under the Data Protection Act.
"My dad likes to sketch and I will hold a banner and shout a few things," says his daughter. "But I'm careful about what I say."