Friday, April 03, 2009

Photographs of Policemen, Section 76 and the G20 Demos: Ministers have their heads in the clouds ---- Matt Wardman

These are a small selection of photos taken at the G20 Climate Change demonstrations.

Others will be covering the big political issues around the G20 itself. I'm going to focus on the rights of photographers not to be harrassed as they go about their work, and the rights of the public to receive full reporting of demonstrations from all sides.

First of all, remembering that Section 76 of the Counter-Terrorism Act 2009 makes "Eliciting, publishing or communicating information about members of armed forces etc" an offence, this post can probably be *deemed* to be a Criminal Offence, and me a supporter of "The Terrorists" (cue Jaws music). And that is the problem - creating uncertainty creates insecurity and room for intimidation of the photographer, whether snapper or pro.

Under the section heading "Terrorist Offences", we have:

(1)A person commits an offence who—

(a)elicits or attempts to elicit information about an individual who is or has been—

(i)a member of Her Majesty's forces,
(ii)a member of any of the intelligence services, or
(iii)a constable,which is of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or

(b)publishes or communicates any such information.

(2)It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section to prove that they had a reasonable excuse for their action.

Continued at The Wardman Wire with photos

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