It’s not just professional photographers, including NUJ members, who are angry about the use of Section 44 to prevent photographers going about their work. Many who took part in the Trafalgar Square demonstration on Saturday 23 January were, what you might, call ‘hobby photographers’ and their anger was well expressed in the current edition of Steam Railway.
Writing in this month’s edition, editor Danny Hopkins notes that
‘Our right to pursue our hobby unhindered has found support in a variety of quarters, culminating at the European Court of Human Rights in January, when a ruling against Section 44 (the law which gives the police the right to stop and search) was made. If that ruling stands (the Government is to appeal against it) the next time you are approached by an overzealous official, in whatever uniform and asked to stop taking photographs or notes, without grounds for suspicion’ it will be then, not you, breaking the law. Good, eh? But frankly, it is quite extraordinary that it should have come to this. Britain and the US are the self-appointed upholders of liberty and freedom and yet are own citizens have had to take the case for liberty and freedom to Strasbourg to get a result…’
Our photographer members have blazed the way in this campaign and it’s great to see strong alliances being built with others outside our union who share a common interest in defending our liberties and hard won rights!