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.
- Photographers Attack ‘Insane’ Security Rules - Amateur Photographer
- Snappers hold City Hall flashmob in protest at photography restrictions – London SE1
- Photographers’ freedom call: Flashmob at City Hall – John Slattery
- Snappers slam Canary Wharf photography laws – The Docklands
- Architectural photographer makes City Hall protest – Building Design
- Photographers gather to protest public photography restrictions – British Journal of Photography
- Photographers organise London City Hall flashmob on World Press Freedom Day – National Union of Journalists
- We’re photographers not terrorists, say press freedom day activists – Ekklesia
- Photographers’ City Hall Flashmob – Peter Marshall
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