Photographers protest against police stop and search

From the Guardian.

Thousands of photographers have staged a mass protest against the ‘malicious’ use of anti-terrorism laws to stop them taking pictures in public places.

Trafalgar Square in central London was lit up by flash bulbs as part of the demonstration against photographers being unfairly targeted by police after taking photos. They are usually questioned under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000, which allows officers to stop and search without the need for ‘suspicion’ within designated areas in the UK.

More than 2,000 professional and amateur photographers took part in the protest organised by the group I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!, many carrying placards bearing its name.

Onlookers were handed stop and search cards by organisers outlining their rights.

Freelance photographer and Guardian contributor Marc Vallee, who helped organise the protest with appeals on Twitter and Facebook, said he was “delighted” by the turnout.

“It’s quite obvious that professional photographers across the country are being searched because they are photographers not because they are suspicious,” he said.

“It’s a common-law right to take pictures in public places and we are here to show that.”