Friday, January 22, 2010

Optical oppression...

A number of bloggers have been spreading the word for a while; now the day is upon us: here the hat-tip goes to Constantly Furious. Tomorrow there will be a demonstration in Trafalgar Square a...'Mass Gathering in defence of street photography' (as usual, click on image)

"I'm a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! invite all Photographers to a mass photo gathering in defence of street photography"

There are many examples of unneccesary stop-and-search under the terrorism acts but, as Dave Hill tells us: "John Yates, Assistant Commissioner Specialist Operations, has today reminded all MPS officers and staff that people taking photographs in public should not be stopped and searched unless there is a valid reason."

I hope the fact that this evening, just now in fact, the UK terror threat level was being raised from "substantial" to "severe" has nothing to do with this i.e. an excuse to close down/stifle the demonstration.

The new alert level means a terrorist attack is considered "highly likely".

Update: Saturday pm. Quite a good turn out by all accounts [Link]. The guy in the yellow jacket looks familiar ;-) OH... and they even had it on the evening news here. Article in Spanish HERE, (8:30pm).

Bookmark and Share

8 comments:

The Great Simpleton said...

And pretty soon its going to be I'm an artist not a terrorist:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/dec/18/antiterrorism-police-stop-painter-airport

If I wanted to blow up St Pauls or anywhere else in London I'd just go to this:

http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/help/maps/streetview/

Paul said...

It would help if some of the police on the beat actually knew what the law was. Did you know that LU allow photographs on the underground as long as you don't cause an obstruction or use a flash but you can get arrested for using a tripod on Westminster Bridge! Actually the use of a tripod isn't illegal but one poor tourist was arrested on the grounds that a tripod makes you look like a 'serious' photographer.

I have a tripod and a monopod so I must be one and a half times serious!

Photographers are being encouraged to carry around a small card stating the law but to me that's daft, I shouldn't have to explain the law to a police officer. We are still one of the few countries in the world that has policing by consent I sometimes wonder if that is a good thing and whether or not it is still actually true. We are becoming a society where the officers of law no longer uphold the law on our behalf but one where freedom is slightly bent out of shape for political reasons.

Span Ows said...

Thanks for the links Gildy, of course you are now under surveillance...

Paul, I agree about the police (with several friends still in the force and of increasingly higher rank with age and experience and of course merit [in case they're reading this!]) I find it frustrating when the 'bobbies on the beat' seem so ridiculous and more and more less like the a what the police force should be and your point re the card shouldn't be necessary but I believe most newer policemen do nOT know the law as they should and only carry out "today's orders".

P.S. Image of you and a monopod being cahsed and tackled by several officers...leathal weapon and all that!

P.P.S. In case either of you hadn't noticed...ahem...last week I was mentioned on Iain Dale's Diary, considering it is considered one of the most read (and influential) political blogs in the UK I was well chuffed...

HERE

Paul said...

Well done Span.

I have actually posted before on Ian Dale's blog but I made sure I had my fingers crossed behind my back in case the ghost of Keir Hardie was watching at the time.

(This corrects my previous posting which I deleted)

Span Ows said...

hehehe...OK. And thanks, just deleted the other one (for neatness' sake!)

The Great Gildersleeve said...

It wasn't me Span :-)

But I was told not to take photographs last year(I think)I continued to but all I did was stand further away and use my zoom lens...

But what are they going to do? Stop every photographer, media person?

A serious person intent on doing real harm will manage to do so.

The Great Gildersleeve said...

I always wanted a penknife/Swiss army knife but if I buy one with my luck I'd be stopped bringing it home from a shop.

Span Ows said...

A serious person intent on doing real harm will manage to do so.

This is of course the be-all and end-all Gildy, anyone with real intent wouldn't even be approached as tehy woudln't draw attention and/or get themselves in such a situation.