With over ‘2000 potential ‘terrorists‘ congregating with their ‘weapons of mass destruction‘ which most have been bought on a Buy Now, Pay Later agreement, you’d think that there’d be a sizeable police presence at protest. You’d think so. It was actually quite the opposite. Said ‘terrorists’ were amateur and professional photographers that turned out en masse last Saturday at Trafalgar Square, London, to protest about the unfair treatment in recent years by the police citing ‘Anti-Terrorism Laws‘ against taking pictures in public areas. (In case you’re wondering what it is, it’s section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows officers to stop & Search without the need for “suspicion” within designated areas in the UK. Check the Home Office page for more info.) The protest was organised by the ‘I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist‘ Group.
In a day and age where terrorism is a real, clear and present constant threat, it is important not to undermine the police and other security services in doing their jobs. That said, it’s silly in many instances where you’re stopped from taking pictures in public areas. If you’re dumb enough to want to shoot the MI5 building, then you only have yourself to blame. Yet if you’ve taken a shot of a Chippie (Fish & Chips) shop in Kent and arrested for that, then something is amiss. I’ve been on the receiving end 3 times by the Police and Special Constables and actually treated like a criminal for the serious crime of taking pictures, so I reckon I have a justifiable argument. While we’re on the subject of photography and terrorism, has anyone even gone and arrested the people at Google for ‘Google Earth‘? If anything, that’s a visual buffet for information!
On the day, I actually counted 6 police officers, and not a single Special Constable in sight, except this guy!
As a matter of fact, I’m probably going to be stopped again with my gear , and with Nigeria noted now as a ‘Terrorist Prone‘ nation by the Yanks, it’s just got a bit tougher for me. 😦 Maybe it was a good idea in the end NOT to fly that Nigeria flag at the protest.
What I did find interesting about the protest, though, was that with such a turnout, there was not a single ‘celebrity’ in sight, which was nice. We did have a dog come out to support us: