Saturday, 23 January 2010

I'm a Photographer, not a Terrorist


Today, together with a few thousand people, I attended the "mass photo gathering in defence of street photography" in Tafalgar Square. A protest in response to apparently haphazard way in the which the police apply S44 of the Terrorism Act.

Recently there has been several high profile cases of people getting stopped simply because they are taking pictures. Several years ago before this become so obvious, I was also stopped and searched and my details were collected, simply for walking around Whitehall and taking pictures.

Months later, it was in London Bridge station that a policeman asked me to delete a picture of a hoarding I had just taken with my mobile phone for the reason that it is not allowed to take pictures of the structure of the station. Strangely nothing was said to the person using his camcorder a few metres away.

Recently the European court of human rights ruled that the use of counter-terrorism stop and search powers on photographers and peace protesters was not "sufficiently circumscribed". New guidelines were issued by the Met with ostensibly little effect. The government is appealing the decision.

In addition to taking lots of pictures, I got to chat and shake hands with a Baroness (Sarah Ludford MEP whom I recognised from another protest outside the Polish embassy, in May 2007) and also had a chat with 3 drag queens. Who says I don't lead an exciting life?!

My pictures of the event can be seen here. The general photopool for the event is here.

Photographers protest against police stop and search, The Guardian, 23 January 2010


  1. Hola Zefrog ,
    I do like your photos of my anti - terrorist squad arresting all thought criminals ! Great job ! Any chance to post me some , please ? ( ). Thanks Petrusco


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