'I'm a Photographer not a terrorist!' demo

Discussion in 'photography, graphics & art' started by cybertect, Jan 23, 2010.

  1. cybertect

    cybertect It's grim up north (London)

    Went along to Trafalgar Square today to help make up the numbers in the mass gathering in protest against (mostly) Section 44

    Full gallery here and a few favs

    Mass Photo Op


    I'm pretty sure this was Simona Bonomo - the Italian student who was arrested at Paddington Basin back in October - being chased round the crowd by a PCSO intent on serving her with a Fixed Penalty Notice for something. At first I thought it was an agit-prop action, but the PCSO and his buddies were genuine.

    The crowd, and then a regular police constable, talked him out of it.


    'Freedom Warden'


    I'm a dog not a terrorist


    A bit of chat


    Was anyone else from U75 there?
  2. Bernie Gunther

    Bernie Gunther Fundamentalist Druid

    The dog one is brilliant :)
  3. Hocus Eye.

    Hocus Eye. Snap, crop, scrap crap R.I.P.

    Oh dear a plastic policemen who just doesn't get it. I wonder if there were any photographers there who were on duty but not part of the demonstration. ;)
  4. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    I was there. I think the world and his wife took a picture of that dog!
  5. derf

    derf Banned Banned

    Nice photos.
    Hope the dem serves to remind the government they are acting like silly sods and lets the general public see what is happening over there.

    The more I read threads on the subject of photographers getting hit with terrorism laws, the more I cringe.
  6. danski

    danski Comfortable chair.

    I was there. Saw Editor, was just about to say hello then he disappeared.
    Was fun and a little strange as the people who are normally behind the camera, all of a sudden, were the subject of photos and I think you could sense a kind of unease yet enjoyment at the situation, if that makes sense. It was like an orgy of people taking photos of people taking photos of people taking photos....
    Obviously I realise it was about more than that ;)
  7. stowpirate

    stowpirate skinflintish camera nut

  8. GoneCoastal

    GoneCoastal Anything for WelshCakes R.I.P.

  9. stowpirate

    stowpirate skinflintish camera nut


    Look how far they have come in recent years with cameras that are forced to make loud noises to notify those in the vicinity. Next it will be camera exclusion zones with gps and wireless deactivating your camera. Sounds like fantasy but give it a few more years of terrorist threat hype :D
  10. Paul Russell

    Paul Russell Psychogeographer

    Nice pictures. And yes, I've already seen quite a few pics of that dog!
  11. derf

    derf Banned Banned

    Was it was Trafalgar Square. :D
  12. dlx1

    dlx1 Sitting by phone waiting for a call

    I didn't see a date for this only that it was going to happen.

    Didn't see anything in here
  13. cybertect

    cybertect It's grim up north (London)

    I have to say that my wife was there too, but she didn't take a picture of the dog :)
  14. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    Nice photo's but...

    I've typed many rants on many photography forums about this.

    I have absolutely no problem having to show ID, or get permission to photograph inner-city places in present times.

    I seriously can't see the problem. It's a red herring on the civil liberties issue. We (as a country and coalition with others) are bombing the fuck out of others whether we agree with it, or not. We should expect retaliation. We are a generation that enjoys liberties well beyond anything that previous generations have enjoyed. You may not be a terrorist threat. The terrorist threat may not be as great as the authorities claim, but it does undoubtedly exist and needs to be controlled.

    As a responsible photographer, if you want to photograph stuff that may be a bit sensitive - go get permission. What's the problem?

    There was a time when all Pro's knew when they needed to get permission. I don't agree with that, and don't agree with many things happening today, but I have only once been asked questions when photographing 'possible terroist targets' and the police were perfectly happy with my explanation. I didn't even have to provide ID. Forget about knowing YOU'RE RIGHTS and give a little bit of thought to the rights of the people in Afghanistan, or Iraq for example. Or, be so fucking bold and courageous that you actually take on the bollocks it requires to be a real war photographer rather than moan about the fucking liberal times we live in here. We're fucking lucky. What's the hassle? Where's the problem?

    Protect your rights - sure. But, recognise why you have those rights and why the state we live in needs to protect your rights.

    Go on then - knock me down :)
  15. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    I have. A big problem. And you're woefully missing the point.

    The cops aren't harassing people scaling up trees to take pictures of nuclear installations through massive telephone lens. They're harassing normal people taking ordinary tourist photos, or documenting architecture, or capturing police misconduct (G20) or taking the kind of street scenes that has produced some of the greatest photography.

    Things are bad enough already - giving the law even more reason to harass people exercising their right to take pictures of whatever they like will result in massive restrictions on photography, more hassles from cops - and lots of photos of police abuse being censored.

    Anyway, here's a few pics from the demo:






  16. stowpirate

    stowpirate skinflintish camera nut

    Been there done that today at Sizewell albeit not from a tree but from an adjacent public footpath on the beach side of the site using a digital compact and 35mm rangefinder camera.


    Sizewell used to have a visitors center and a few years ago I went on a guided tour and managed to take several photos inside the site with a Russian Cosmic Symbol camera. Now stupidly this center has been closed for security reasons however at Sellafield the visitors center is still open and no doubt they still do tours and have no issue with photography unless anybody knows otherwise? There appears to be no logic to any of this anti terrorist rubbish and what is the point of stopping anybody with a camera unless they have other evidence?
  17. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    When I was in New York this burly oaf of a cop insisted that I stop taking pictures of the Midtown tunnelr (which was some 500 yards away and I was using a small digital camera without a zoom). He lectured me about 9/11 and how terrorists might make use of photos of the tunnel.

    I didn't have the heart to tell him that his own government provided a 24/7 photo and video webcam of both sides of the tunnel.
  18. 19sixtysix

    19sixtysix Life as viewed from a Gay Gorbals Garret

    I was thinking how absurd all this has become today.
    I was looking at the camera disguised as a pen being sold by easyjet in their onboard catalogue for taking discrete photographs :facepalm::D
  19. yardbird

    yardbird Understands love.

    I wasn't really aware of all this bollocks.
    I have spent all my life taking (often crappy) photographs.
    Loads of ones of coppers too I guess.
    Shall I start carrying a photocopy of my art degree with me?

    The whole thing is totally nuts.
  20. stowpirate

    stowpirate skinflintish camera nut

    Not forgetting GoogleEarth providing worldwide information on nearly every location including a few photos. You also have gps tagged stuff on flickr. So why would any potential terrorist feel the need to visit a location with a camera?
  21. abe11825

    abe11825 Like to take a cement fix

    Excellent thread... photos of the protest are remarkable. I wish I were there! I was in TRafalgar Square back in June (with frogwoman), so if only I were there this time, I'd be taking photos along with everyone... things like this are the most memorable... being part of a "positive" protest!

    I think we all need to start carrying our art degrees with us!

    the scary part of Google is you can map your street. The US is more susceptible (i've "googled" my neighbourhood) to be able to walk the street ... any street that a Google van has been down to map out the area. I could see the air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror in my car, the exact make and model of my neighbour's car, and a friend's license plate number... in clear view. If that's not disturbing, then what is?

    I love taking pictures. My camera used to go with me everywhere, before i started my current job. My only problem is, I have an SLR, so I have to scrounge around to find film (as frogwoman can attest when i made her go with me to buy some). everything is digital these days and i refuse to buy a digital / digital slr camera... i'm quite content with knowing exactly what i can zoom in on myself and where my boundaries lie.
  22. stowpirate

    stowpirate skinflintish camera nut

    How much I want one what is the output resolution and maximum iso rating? Does it also record sound so when you are stopped you can get some mug shots of the police and detailed record of any conversation come confrontation.

    Metropolitan Police could not have made it more simple to understand.

    "Members of the public and the media do not need a permit to film or photograph in public places and police have no power to stop them filming or photographing incidents or police personnel."


    So why has society turned on itself? I think the issue goes far deeper than fears about terrorism. Dumbing down of the general population might be the real problem with George Orwell overtones, yes that can of worms :confused:

    There is money to be made. I find the whole idea interesting but at odds with what is happening in the real world.

    It is more difficult for them to deal with film if you are stopped :D
  23. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    In all the time I have spent on the streets taking photographs (and, that has been quite literally Thousands of hours) I have only ever once been questioned by police. That was taking a picture under a by-pass, next to an LDR station, close to Canary Wharf, with large camera back-pack by my feet shortly after the bus bombings. When I explained it was for a personal art project documenting London they were happy and let me be.

    There is a civil rights issue. I recognise that, but I think the issue is getting lost in the fuss being kicked up by people who just want to get a bit of 'anti state' agro for no good reason. My concern is that the real issue is being forgotten whilst people make a fashionable issue about nothing.

    Far from woefully missing the point, I'm actually focussing my view on the real point. Police are people just like us. Some of them are going to make an issue over nothing also whilst not seeing the real concern. I do get lots of hassle from police when sketching on the streets. Most often that happens on Monday and Tuesday when there is fuck else for them to do.

    Whilst I appreciate the threat to civil liberties I also recognise that the police and authorities do actually protect our civil liberties. We are living in very liberal times. Possibly the most liberal times history in the western world has ever known. A bit of respect to those who are protecting our liberties is as important as us being aware that we need to protect our liberties also.
  24. derf

    derf Banned Banned

    In most cases I generally come down on the side of the police but not on this issue.
    People have been taking photos for years all over the place and I can get live webcam pics of half the UK from out here.
    No bloody terrorist is going to sod about with a big fuck off camera exposing himself to the attentions of the cops. Why the fuck bother when pics are so easy to get on the net?



    So the terrorist can see the location and have know what the cops are armed with without going near the place until they want to bomb the shit out of it.
  25. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    You really are talking shit. How is hassling visitors for taking pictures of tourist attractions - the same kind of pictures that are freely available through untold sources online - 'protecting our liberties'?
  26. Stanley Edwards

    Stanley Edwards 1967 Maserati Mistral.

    It isn't, but if that is all the issue is about I suspect you wouldn't be so bothered about it.
  27. Paul Russell

    Paul Russell Psychogeographer

    I take your point Stanley. Up to a point. I think a few high profile cases could have been handled better by the photographer. Instead of immediately getting arsey with the police, a simple explanation of what you are doing would probably diffuse the situation.

    But you haven't been in England for a few years now. I think the common perception is that the police, or more usually PCSOs, are generally taking the piss quite a lot. I mean, stopping people taking photos of Christmas lights in Burgess Hill High Street, or a sunset over St Paul's. Bonkers.
  28. derf

    derf Banned Banned

    They are protecting the great British public from train spotters just in case they are terrorists or kiddie fiddlers.
    We take our 2 year old to a play area in a shopping centre every week.
    Loads of mums and dads have cameras with them as take photos of their kids.
    No bugger bats an eyelid as there is no fucking stupid paranoia her about terrorist and people messing with kids at the slightest chance.
    All that crap in the UK is press and government created.
  29. fogbat

    fogbat The Talibum

    "I've not experienced it, so it doesn't happen"
  30. editor

    editor Forked with electrons

    But that kind of harassment of innocent photographers is exactly what is happening.

    That's why hundreds of them turned up on Saturday and why it's becoming a growing civil rights issue.

    Photographers should not need permission from the state to take pictures, neither should they be expected to carry around ID or be harassed and forced to explain themselves when they're taking photos in the street.

    Perhaps you're a bit out of the loop on this, but the situation is getting fucking ridiculous in the UK.



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