We're not terrorists! say photographers
Ever taken a photograph of something and got the long arm of the law getting involved? If you were taking pictures of a top secret government bunker, then you've little cause to complain... but if you were snapping something innocent, then the police should not be getting involved, right?
Well, hundreds of amateur and professional photographers are expected to gather in Trafalgar Square tomorrow to defend their right to take pictures in public places.
Starting at noon, this flash mob (geddit? Camera flash? Oh piss off, you're impossible you lot) will get together en masse after the gathering was organised by 'I'm a Photographer, Not a Terrorist', a group set up by professional photographers last year.
The event comes on the back of a series of 'high-profile detentions' under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act. Amongst these detentions was architectural photographer Grant Smith who sparked a security alert in London while taking a pictures of a church. Around the same time, BBC photographer Jeff Overs told the Andrew Marr Show that he was stopped and questioned by the police after he took a picture of St Paul's Cathedral.
That's nothing compared to Roy Jhuboo who was out taking some pictures and suddenly found himself surrounded by policemen who had all arrived in two police vans. The police told Roy that he could have been on a 'reconnaissance mission' to launch a 'rocket' on nearby Canary Wharf.
If it wasn't true, it would almost be comical.
Section 44 law allows police officers to stop and search people without grounds for suspicion, despite the fact that the European Court of Human Rights recently ruled that police use of this Stop and Search is unlawful. Naturally, the Home Office plans to appeal the decision. Idiots.
Ahead of tomorrow's event, its organisers released a statement which reads: 'Our society's visual history is under threat of extinction by anti-terrorism legislation. Section 44 of the Terrorism Act has, in effect, ended the confidence of the citizen to engage in the act of photography in a public place as photographers, artists and illustrators - amateur and professional - are harassed by police invoking terrorism legislation to stop and search them.
'The act of documenting our street scenes and public life, our built environment, whether iconic or not, is now considered to be an act of hostile reconnaissance and could result in the detention of the image maker.'
So yeah, if you're in London tomorrow, get to Trafalgar Square around ten past noon and you might be able to see some photographers getting clobbered with rubber batons.