NUJ London Photographers Branch Meeting

Photographers are under attack – job losses in local and national media, picture rate cuts and police repression on the streets. It’s time for photographers to come together and plan and build the best way to defend our profession. London photographers are meeting on Thursday 16 July 2009 at 6.30pm at Headland House to start the process of setting up a London Photographers Branch. If you live or work in London – freelance, agency or staffer – and an NUJ member this is the meeting for you.

If you are a photographer and not yet an NUJ member we would like you join us and be part of this new branch.

More Info: facebook.com

Update: The meeting voted overwhelmingly to form a London Photographers Branch (LPB) The branch must now be approved by the NEC and the next meeting will be in early September to elect a interim committee.

The meeting moved a motion with 26 votes for, 1 against and 1 abstention:

This meeting calls for a London Photographers’ Branch to be established. The branch will be open to NUJ members whose work as photographers or as other lens based journalists is carried out in London.

The new branch will be active in campaigning against job cuts, rate cuts, restrictions on photography, attacks on media workers across the world and a strong force in recruiting new members to the union.

We seek the NECs approval of a new branch.

“Who’s a Journalist, Who isn’t?”

Commander Broadhurst addresses the NUJ Photographers Conference
Commander Broadhurst addresses the NUJ Photographers Conference

On Monday Commander Broadhurst, head of public order at the Metropolitan Police spoke at the NUJ Photographers Conference and with all the events over the past few years he received a rather frosty response from those there.

The Commander was heckled off the platform as he began to question the legitimacy of those carrying press cards. He asked in his speech, probably rhetorically but received some very pointed answers:

I don’t know what vetting system there is for holding an NUJ card. Can anybody who has a camera apply for an NUJ card? […] How do we manage who’s doing what? legitimately or otherwise.

– Commander Broadhurst, Metropolitan Police

He went on to question the motives of journalists working in public order situations and it quickly descended into a shouting match between the conference and the Commander. Probably sensing he had dug himself deep enough into a hole he left the platform and went into answering questions.

It’s well worth listening to both the Commanders speech and the discussion afterwards as it probably explains a lot towards the treatment of press photographers by police over the last few years. If the man in charge of public order policing doesn’t know how the UK Press Card works it’s little surprise so few police respect it.

The Commanders Speech.

Discussion with Commander Broadhurst.