UK photographers plan protest against new anti-photo laws
Hundreds of photographers will gather Monday at London’s Scotland Yard to protest a new law that could land a photographer in prison for ten years for photographing a police officer.
The protest, titled “I’m a photographer … not a terrorist”, is being organized by the creators of the documentary film, Press Freedom: ‘Collateral Damage’, which is posted above.
The National Union of Journalists, the British Press Photographers Association and the British Journal of Photography are also organizing the demonstration.
The photographers will protest the Counter-Terrorism Act 2008, which goes into effect the same day and will make it an act of terrorism to photograph “members of armed forces, a member of the intelligence services, or a police officer,” according to the British Journal of Photography.
The Home Office argues that the Terrorism Act 2000 already makes it an offence to ‘collect or make a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism’ and that the new law will not change anything. However, photographers fear that the Counter-Terrorism Act will, by explicitly mentioning constables, give more power to police officers to stop photographers, including press photographers, from taking pictures in public places.
The protest begins at 11 a.m. and will last for an hour, according to the event’s Facebook page.