I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! is a new campaign group set up by photographers who are fed up with the restrictions photographers face while working on the streets or, in some cases, even fields.
We will fight back against the use of terrorism legislation against photographers and the abuse by the police of stop & search powers simply because people are taking photographs.
We’ll collect accounts from people who have been stopped and searched or harassed by officials for taking photographs in public places and we have produced a ‘Stop & Search Bust Card’ summarising your rights when stopped under the Terrorism Acts. When the officers performing searches sometimes don’t seem to know the law themselves it’s vital for photographers to know what the police can and can’t do.
The police won’t even tell us where S44 (allowing police to stop and search anyone without any suspicion in a designated area) is in force so we’ll be mapping where people have reported being stopped and searched to build up a picture of how the powers are being used and abused.
We’ll be doing more than just watching, reporting and raising awareness. After the success of the event outside New Scotland Yard highlighting the Alice in Wonderland craziness of new laws against photographing police officers earlier this year we’ll be arranging more events around the country to expose how ridiculous this legislation is and how pointless the restrictions are in pseudo-public places like shopping centres or Canary Wharf.
We are photographers, not terrorists. We need to fight back against this repressive legislation and start a proper campaign for the right to photograph before photography becomes a part of history rather than a way of recording it.
This post originally appeared on Photo Legal