Big Brother is Watching Canada: Woman Arrested for Instagramming Street Art
In Quebec last week, 20-year-old artist Jennifer Pawluck was arrested for Instagramming a photo of street art to her personal account. The item in question was a wheat pasted image of Montreal's police spokesman Ian Lafrenière, a bullet to his head and the tag “ACAB,” which, according to Hyperallergic, is "a popular graffiti acronym which stands for 'all cop[per]s are bastards.'" Pawluck included the hashtags #ianlafreiere #police #montreal. Little did she know that a few days later Montreal police would come knocking with an arrest warrant accusing her of threatening Lafrenière.
Pawluck was charged with intent to harass, and a spokesman for the police department told La Presse in French that, “What I can say is that a person has been arrested this morning in connection with threats on the internet. This person was met by investigators.” Pawluck said she thinks the whole thing is ridiculous.
Pawluck's case goes to court on April 17. Until then she can't go within 1,000 yards of police headquarters or Lafrenière’s residence. In the meantime, Pawluck has kept the photo up on her account. As of today it has 155 likes along with comments from all over the world like, "Don't sweat the fascist solidarity, from Los Angeles," "Peace from Hawaii," "All the support and love from Michigan," "Support from Switzerland!" "Greetings from Israel," "Cheers from Hong Kong," "Solidarity from Oslo, Norway."
The other day in Berlin I Instagrammed a picture I saw of graffiti that read "F#$k da cops." Coming from America, I was interested to see that this anti-police sentiment extended beyond borders, what the comments on Pawluck's photo seem to back up. Hopefully German authorities will also find my upload "interesting" rather than a threat.
What do you think? Was Pawluck's arrest was warranted? Will this make you think twice about what you upload to your own social media accounts?
Image via Hyperallergic