The police passed a new law that says that any person taking photographs of a police officer may be considered illegal and can face fines or imprisonment up to 10 years.
Smile, you’re on camera.
As of Monday 16th of April, 2009, a Law under section 76 of the Counter-Terrorism Act is active, posing serious questions about the police’s actions and the citizens’ interaction with them. The law states that if anyone takes a picture of a policeman/woman/officer in duty it will be considered illegal if they prove connections to terrorism.
Considering the events unfolded around Ian Tomlinson’s death ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/07/video-g20-police-assault) the past couple of weeks, this Law could have tremendous impacts on the way the Met Police handle protests ( http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/04/426083.html), the way they handle those taking photos of them (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKl2sEN4yNM) acting in ambiguously legal ways, unprovoked assaults ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t244-zEENSs) leading to casualties ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/07/video-g20-police-assault). With Ian Tomlinson’s case, the truth would have never emerged if it wasn’t for professional and amateur video and photographic evidence which surfaced in response to the police’s claim that “Ian Tomlinson’s death was due to a heart failure”. This Law only enforces the brutality with which the police (and in a larger scale, the government) deals with people disagreeing with what they do. These people are supposed to “serve and protect” us, not rule us.
However, in the past few years, under the blanket of “Terrorism”, governments around the world (especially in the US and the UK) have removed rights from their citizens to monitor so-called “terrorist activities”. This way, every two steps you see a “Area monitored by CCTV” in London, and the police can take videos or photos of you at any point, without you knowing or being able to say anything. But wait.. if we try to do the same we.. get arrested. Because we are considered the terrorists.
While we are not terrorists, they are afraid of us and the power of everyday people in large masses (as opposed to powerful people in small groups). They want others to think we are the terrorists so they can suppress us and the uneducated, bland public will think they have the right to do so. But we know who the real terrorist is, and we cannot let them deceive the world into thinking they have the right to pass this Law without any obstacles.