A London Photographers’ Branch delegate has announced a London City Hall flash mob as part of the I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist campaign.
Moving the London Photographers’ Branch motion on photographers’ rights and media freedom, Marc Vallée announced the I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist plan to flash mob London’s City Hall, in protest against the attacks on lens-based journalists.
The protest is scheduled to take place the day after World Press Freedom Day, which raises awareness of the importance of a free press and reminds governments around the world to respect the human right to freedom of expression.
Documentary Photographer, Marc Vallée, said: “One of the things the ‘I’m A Photographer, Not A Terrorist’ campaign wants to highlight is how much of public space is being privatised.
“The idea of the flash mob is to turn up at City Hall and to photograph this iconic building. The area along the Southbank outside City Hall has been privatised and there are restrictions as to what you can and can’t do and photography is one of them.
“We want to let Boris [Johnson] what we think of him”.
The I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist movement began with a lone protest from General Secretary Jeremy Dear against the Metropolitan police poster campaign which targeted photographers as suspicious and potential terrorists a couple of years ago.
After this, an official website was launched and social media outlets were founded, growing virally and collating over 28,000 supporters.
The success of the campaign and the legal cases raised by the NUJ has been acknowledged in Parliament and by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. It has created an even stronger camaraderie with journalists and has alerted them to be even more aware for potential infringements on press freedom by the government.
The I’m A Photographer, Not A Terrorist campaign strongly opposes the Government’s recent amendment of Section 44 to Section 47A, with the emergency procedure bringing back powers so police can stop and search. It claims that these powers could impact on photographers and journalists right to report and the right of a citizen to take a picture in a public place.
Marc Vallée added: “It will be interesting to see how the security behaves, all we are doing is exacting our right to take a picture in a public place which is a common law right and for it to be restricted in these ways is an affront to democracy.”