Friday 6 February 2009

Oldest columnist's last wish: 'Arrest me'

Rose Hacker, who was billed as the 'oldest columnist in the world' when she worked for the Islington Tribune until her death last year aged 101, had one last wish the paper reveals today.
Her friend Hetty Bower, 103, writes how the pair, both committed socialists and peace campaigners, had planned to defy the ban on demos in an area surrounding the Houses of Parliament.
She said they had been inspired after hearing the political comedian Mark Thomas describing how his campaign against the protest ban around Westminster was tying local police in knots.
Bower reveals they planned to carry banners reading "102-year-old Legal Protester Against Loss of Right to Protest Without Permit."
She adds: "I would walk. Rose would sit in a wheelchair. Rose was keen to be arrested. I wasn't. We wanted to see which police officer would arrest a frail 102-year-old in a wheelchair. we never got that chance."
A film about Rose Hacker and Hetty Bower, 'The Time of Their Lives' , is to be screened at the ICA, London, on March 8.

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