Tuesday 3 May 2011

Photographers' freedom call: Flashmob at City Hall

I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! (PHNAT), the campaign group set up to fight unnecessary and draconian restrictions against individuals taking photographs in public spaces, marked International Press Freedom Day today with a flashmob outside London’s City Hall.

The flashmob, supported by the NUJ and the union's London Photographers’ Branch, aims to highlight
PHNAT's concern at restrictions on street photography in a public space.

It claims that many privately employed security guards are illegally preventing citizens from taking photographs and that areas designated as public realm are often privately managed spaces that are subject to rules laid down by the private management companies.

PHNAT also says photography is banned in some of our most widely enjoyed public spaces, such as Canary Wharf and the Thames Walk between Tower Bridge and City Hall.

PHNAT successfully campaigned for the repeal of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (January 2011), however Section 47a has been drafted in by a remedial order to enable police to use stop-and-search powers when a senior police officer reasonably suspects a terrorist action will take place.

It is concerned that Section 47a will be used against amateur and professional photographers, stopping them taking photographs in public.

Pic: Jon Slattery

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