I’ll Give You Three Minutes: The GLA Response
30 March 2012

 

PHNAT has now received a response from the GLA on the incident recorded by filmmaker @indyrikki at Parliament Square on Budget Day.

A spokesperson for the GLA said: “The behaviour of one of the wardens shown in the video clip falls well below the standards required by the GLA. It was clearly not appropriate and the byelaws were not being interpreted correctly. We apologise for this lapse and action will be taken to address this.”

Information:

Based on the video clip there was no reason to ask the user of the camera to stop taking images or asking them to leave nor was there any reason to have ushered other members of the public, who were simply enjoying the Square, off of the open grassed area.

There are no restrictions on the use of cameras or camcorders for private or amateur use and a scheme is in place which authorises members of the professional media to go about their news gathering activities on Parliament Square.

In terms of non commercial and amateur photography/footage, the GLA has no legal power, or interest, in relation to where imagines are posted/published, that is totally a matter for the person taking the recording as they are responsible for what they do with their images.

The only time that the use of a camera is likely to be an issue is if an individual is causing harassment to a warden and preventing them carrying out their duties.

Open Letter: No Photography in Parliament Square
30 March 2012

On Wednesday 21 March 2012, budget day, filmmaker @indyrikki walked on to the green at Parliament Square. The above video documents what happened next.

In response and to try and gain some clarity on the Parliament Square bylaws PHNAT sent the following open letter to the Mayor’s office, the Culture Department and the GLA.

Dear Sir/Madam,

As you may be now aware this video has appeared on the Internet showing a photographer being told to move from Parliament Square because the reissued bylaws stated no one was allowed on the grass. The varying allegations towards the photographer then get worse from there on. The incident happened on Wednesday 21 March.

http://london.indymedia.org/videos/11961

The video raises some important questions, which need to be clarified. Photography rights campaign group I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist (PHNAT) is hoping that you are able to provide some guidance on these matters.

Is there any part of the by-law that says an individual is not allowed on the grass at Parliament Square for any length of time?

If so, how long is an individual allowed to stay on the grass before being asked to move?

Is there any part of the by-law that says an individual, professional or amateur, is not allowed to take photographs or film?

The by-laws state that you need prior permission to film or photograph if it is for commercial use. Can you please define what is meant by commercial use? It seems very unclear from this film that the Heritage Wardens or even Heritage Warden Manager Dean Eardley don’t seem to know what is meant by commercial use.

Is posting an image on a website” considered commercial use”?

Is posting an image on a website that is “pro or anti something” considered commercial use?

Are there any further details as to what can and cannot be published on a website?

Do you have any specific websites in mind that people should not publish their non-commercial material on?

Why are the Heritage Wardens shooing tourists off “like pigeons” from the Parliament Square green?

We look forward to your answers to these questions.

Yours Faithfully,

Jason N. Parkinson

I’m A Photographer Not a Terrorist

Olympics Callout
13 March 2012

Olympic Stadium © London 2012 Press Office

 

With a huge police operation, thousands of troops, private security and new legal powers taking over parts of London during the upcoming Olympic & Paralympic games, the PHNAT campaign will be closely monitoring the experiences of photographers, both amateur and professional, around the events & sites.

We want to hear from you any experiences or incidents, positive or negative, that you’ve had photographing around the olympic site in the run up to or during the games, or otherwise in connection with the olympics (increased stops with olympics given as a reason etc).

Help us track the impact of London 2012 on press freedom & the right to photograph, share this page and if you or anyone you know has issues, please let us know. Email us at olympics@photographernotaterrorist.org *

* – Please note, we cannot give any form of legal advice regarding any incidents, we are just collating accounts.

More Reading: Olympic 2012 Security: Welcome to Lockdown London - The Guardian

Video: City Hall Flashmob
11 March 2012

On World Press Freedom Day 2011, photographers and PHNAT supporters converged on London’s City Hall  to highlight the harassment of photographers by security guards on privately owned but publicly accessible areas of London and hand our letter in to the Mayor. As well as the photographs and interview in the original article we want to share this video report of the action courtesy of Videojournalist Jason N Parkinson:

PHNAT Flashmob City Hall from Jason N. Parkinson on Vimeo.

Video: Stand your Ground
11 March 2012

A glimpse of attitudes to photography of many city security guards:

Video & text from the London Street Photography Festival.

On Tuesday 21 June 2011 six photographers were assigned different areas of the City to photograph. Some used tripods, some went hand held, one set up a 5 x 4.

All were instructed to keep to public land and photograph the area as they would on a normal day. The event aimed to test the policing of public and private space by private security firms and their reaction to photographers.

All six photographers were stopped on at least one occasion. Three encounters led to police intervention.

This is what happened.

Directed and Produced by Hannah White for the London Street Photography Festival
Edited by Stuart York

Many thanks to:

Tim Bowditch
Leona Chaliha
Ana Galanou
Michael Grieve
David Hoffman
Chris Ogilvie
Pennie Quinton
Liam Ricketts
Toby Smith
Grant Smith
Camilla Webster
Philip Wolmuth
Stuart York

A brief history
15 June 2011
Grant Smith & Marc Vallée launching the pamphlet at the AoP Gallery. Image © Jonathan Warren 2011

Grant Smith & Marc Vallée launching the pamphlet at the AoP Gallery. Image © Jonathan Warren 2011

There was a great turnout at last nights launch party where we gave away over 500 copies of the pamphlet which is available to download now.

We’ve still got lots of copies to give away you can get one by sending a double stamped self-addressed envelope to Photographer Not a Terrorist, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1X 8DP. If you’d like a handful to leave at a venue please contact us to arrange delivery.

We’d like to again thank the National Union of Journalists and the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom who have funded the production of the pamphlet. Also to the London Photographers’ Branch and British Press Photographers’ Association who have supported the pamphlet. The AoP for letting us use their gallery and ING Media for sponsoring the event.

Download: I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist : A brief history (PDF)

Pamphlet Launch Party
25 May 2011
Image: Jess Hurd

Image: Jess Hurd

Over the last few months we’ve been working on a pamphlet that celebrates the history of the I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! campaign. We’re now proud to invite you all to it’s launch at the AoP Gallery at 7pm on the 14th June with free refreshments kindly sponsored by ING Media.

The pamphlet entitled I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! – A brief History is fully illustrated over 20-pages, written by the campaign’s founders and organisers and will be available for free at the event. It is available to download (PDF) or you can request a free copy by sending a double stamped self-addressed envelope to Photographer Not a Terrorist, 308-312 Gray’s Inn Rd, London WC1X 8DP.

We’re indebted to the National Union of Journalists and the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom who have funded the production of the pamphlet. Also to the London Photographers’ Branch and British Press Photographers’ Association who have supported the pamphlet.

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City Hall Security Scarper
3 May 2011

Image © Jess HurdImage © Jess HurdImage © Jess HurdImage © Jess HurdImage © Jonathan Warren

Images © Grant Smith, Jess Hurd, Marc Vallée & Jonathan Warren

We held a very successful flashmob outside London City Hall today, World Press Freedom Day, to highlight the harassment of photographers by security guards on privately owned but publicly accessible areas of London.

We also delivered a letter to Mayor Boris Johnson explaining how security guards were preventing people from quite legally photographing buildings in the city.

The security guards who usually swoop down on photographers who dare bring a ‘professional’ camera out on More London property were nowhere to be seen and even the City Hall security guard who took the letter to the Mayor kept a stiff upper lip as he was mobbed by photographers in the lobby.

Dear Mr Johnson

Today is World Press Freedom Day, photographers from all over the city have come to City Hall to express their frustration at the behaviour of private security guards.

The event has been organised by the campaign group, I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! (PHNAT), which was set up to fight unnecessary and draconian restrictions against individuals taking photographs in public spaces.

PHNAT is concerned about the role of private security guards in the prevention of terrorism. Their role has been promoted by police, with the result that many privately employed guards are illegally preventing citizens from taking any photographs at all.

Areas designated as public realm are often privately managed spaces that are subject to rules laid down by the private management companies. Most insidious of these is the outright banning of photography in some of our most widely enjoyed public spaces, such as Canary Wharf and the Thames Walk between Tower Bridge and City Hall.

We are bringing this issue to the attention of the general public to highlight the creeping restrictions to press freedom and the right of the citizen to photograph in a public place.

Yours Sincerely

Concerned photographers

 

Listen!

Photographers to Flashmob City Hall
22 April 2011
phnat-city.3

Photographs © Grant Smith & Marc Vallée

For immediate release.
Event to be held on Tuesday 3rd May, World Press Freedom Day, at City Hall, London SE1 2AA at 12:30.

I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! (PHNAT), the campaign group set up to fight unnecessary and draconian restrictions against individuals taking photographs in public spaces, is organising a flashmob outside London’s City Hall.

The event takes place on World Press Freedom Day and is supported by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) London Photographers’ Branch (LPB).

PHNAT is concerned about the role of private security guards in the prevention of terrorism. Their role has been promoted by police, with the result that many privately employed guards are illegally preventing citizens from taking any photographs at all.

Areas designated as public realm are often privately managed spaces that are subject to rules laid down by the private management companies. Most insidious of these is the outright banning of photography in some of our most widely enjoyed public spaces, such as Canary Wharf and the Thames Walk between Tower Bridge and City Hall.

The mass gathering will highlight the restrictions on street photography in a public space. Photographers are encouraged to bring a tripod.

PHNAT successfully campaigned for the repeal of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (January 2011), however Section 47a has been drafted in by a remedial order to enable police to use stop-and-search powers when a senior police officer reasonably suspects a terrorist action will take place. PHNAT is very concerned that Section 47a will be used against amateur and professional photographers, stopping them taking photographs in public.

An illustrated PHNAT pamphlet will also be launched at the event. Created by PHNAT and LPB members, supported by the NUJ, British Press Photographers Association (BPPA) and the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, it will celebrate the history of the PHNAT campaign.

Documentary photographer Marc Vallée, one of the founders of PHNAT said:

The privatisation of public space is impacting on public photography. Private companies, with the backing of national and local government, are eroding the common law right of the citizen to take a picture in a public place. This is why we will be outside London City Hall on the 3rd May.

One of the organisers of the event, architectural photographer Grant Smith said:

Private security guards are being mandated to control and attempt to prohibit photography from public spaces of private (corporate) buildings. The authority to do this Is illegal and amounts to legitimisation of these security forces to act as law enforcers, without public accountability.

Notes for Editors

I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! Is a campaign run by photographers for anyone who values visual imagery. It was set up in 2009 in response to new terrorism laws preventing the photographing of police officers. In January 2010 it organised a mass photo gathering in Trafalgar Square that attracted over 2,000 photographers from across the country.

Contact

Grant Smith: 077748 39078 / grant@grant-smith.com

http://photographernotaterrorist.org
http://twitter.com/phnat

Flashmob City Hall
22 April 2011
phnat-city.3

Photographs © Grant Smith & Marc Vallée


I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! (PHNAT), the campaign group set up to fight unnecessary and draconian restrictions against individuals taking photographs in public spaces, is organising a flashmob outside London’s City Hall.

The event takes place on World Press Freedom Day and is supported by the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) London Photographers’ Branch (LPB).

PHNAT is concerned about the role of private security guards in the prevention of terrorism. Their role has been promoted by police, with the result that many privately employed guards are illegally preventing citizens from taking any photographs at all.

Areas designated as public realm are often privately managed spaces that are subject to rules laid down by the private management companies. Most insidious of these is the outright banning of photography in some of our most widely enjoyed public spaces, such as Canary Wharf and the Thames Walk between Tower Bridge and City Hall.

The mass gathering will highlight the restrictions on street photography in a public space. Photographers are encouraged to bring a tripod.

An illustrated PHNAT pamphlet will also be launched at the event. Created by PHNAT and LPB members, supported by the NUJ, British Press Photographers Association (BPPA) and the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, it will celebrate the history of the PHNAT campaign.

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