Wearing stickers reading "I'm a Photographer NOT a Terrorist", hundreds of photographers gathered in front of New Scotland Yard yesterday to exercise their simple right of taking a photo. The media event was organised to highlight the threat of a new UK law which could further impact our freedom of taking photographs in London. Under this new Act, it will be an offence to take a photograph of police officers which is 'likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism' and comes with a 10 year sentence if found guilty.
This new law not only impacts professional photographers but anyone with a camera which is pretty much everyone whether you are a resident or a tourist, young or old, shoot Canon or Nikon. Photography doesn't discriminate. Anyone and everyone has a camera these days and all were represented outside New Scotland Yard. It's hard to imagine living in world where taking a photo at the Notting Hill Carnival, Lord Mayor's Parade or Olympic Torch arrival is an offence or even one of the most touristy of tourist attractions in London, the Changing of the Guard.
The media event ended with some friendly fire across the street between two banks of photographers while Police ensured full health and safety that no Photographer was run over by an over eager taxi, tourist bus or police vehicle making their way through the demonstrators. Surely, this is all that is required?