Video: Sarah Ludford MEP at Mass Photo Gathering

Campaign group I’m a photographer not a terrorist held a Mass Photo Gathering in Trafalgar Square yesterday, in defence of street photography. Thousands of photographers came together to assert their rights and to protest against the misuse of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Section 44 allows uniformed police officers to stop and search people in designated areas if it is considered “expedient for the prevention of acts of terrorism.” I met Grant Smith, who was stopped under Section 44 by police in December. Sarah Ludford, Lib Dem MEP for London, had written a letter to the Independent in protest at his treatment.

I spoke to Sarah and Grant about the incident:


Video also available on YouTube.

The Trafalgar Square gathering was relaxed and friendly – the only visible police presence was that of a Police Community Support Officer who spoke rather shortly to one woman for parking her bicycle where it wasn’t permitted. This drew disapproving murmurs from the surrounding crowd and indignance from the owner of the bike.

Since photographers generally work individually, it was particularly striking to see them come together in such large numbers. The event had been billed as a gathering, rather than a protest. Speeches and chanting were replaced by animated chat as people compared cameras. There was laughter as “Vigilance Committee Officers” went around making mock arrests, and a small dog was spotted wearing a jacket which said, “I am a dog, not a terrorist.”

Read the Guardian’s account here.

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This entry was posted in Events.
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2 Comments

  • What, the police weren’t photographing these subversives then?.

  • Kevin, with so many photographers there, how do you know which of them were plainsclothed police? 😉

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