No Filming on Public Land: You’re Under ’Terrorist Law’
2012-07-25 0:00

By Peter Walker | Guardian.co.uk

Following complaints of over-zealous security ahead of the Olympics, the Guardian attempted to film the O2 arena in south-east London from a public pavement – something completely legal. Security guards arrived almost immediately. O2 managers later confirmed it has a policy of routinely intercepting anyone who photographs or films the venue, even from public land.



Media and civil liberties groups have expressed alarm after the managers of an Olympic venue pledged to intercept and question anyone seen photographing or filming the site, even from public land, and defended security guards who wrongly tried to invoke terrorist laws to prevent footage being shot of the arena.

The stance taken by the O2 in Greenwich, south-east London, which will host this summer’s basketball, wheelchair basketball, artistic gymnastic and trampoline events, highlights wider concerns that Olympic security operations could see photographers, film crews and even members of the public harassed for entirely legal activities.

John Toner from the National Union of Journalists said he would seek an urgent meeting with managers of the O2, saying their tactics had no basis in law. "I’m stunned, and what they say is utterly outrageous," he said.

While there are strict photography rules inside Olympic venues and on many other private spaces, when standing on public land the press and public have a clear right to shoot still or moving images.

Ahead of the Games, police and the security industry have sought to train staff about this aspect of the law. There have nonetheless been a series of incidents in recent months in which photographers have been challenged while working on public land, especially in London.

As an experiment, the Guardian attempted to shoot video footage of the O2 arena from a public road on its southern edge, only a few minutes’ walk from the main entrance.

Very quickly the reporter was challenged by O2 security guards, who made a series of demands with no basis in law. They ordered that the filming stop – "We’ve requested you to not do it because we don’t like it" – and that they be shown any existing footage. Asked on what basis they could demand this, one replied: "It’s under the terrorist law. We are an Olympic venue." Another added: "You have, for want of a better word, breached our security by videoing it [the O2]."

At one point they refused to allow the reporter to leave. One said: "It’s gone too far for that."

[...]

Read the full article at: guardian.co.uk






Related Articles
Military to Avoid Embarrassing Pictures by Banning Photography
Britain bans Olympics photography
Real History Through The Eyes of a Photographer: "Liberated"
Photography Is Not A Crime
ProPublica Photographer Detained By Law Enforcement At The Behest Of BP
Society of Professional Journalists outraged over police raid of student newspaper; seizure of photographs
Photography under threat: The shooting party’s over
I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist!


Latest News from our Front Page

Gunman Storms Dutch TV Station Demanding Airtime
2015-01-30 23:32
Dutch authorities have released few details about the bizarre case of 19-year-old Tarik Zahzah’s attack on the main news studio of television station NOS on Thursday. To get the obvious question out of the way first, the police say there is no evidence that Zahzah, who is half-Egyptian, acted on behalf of organized terrorism. The authorities always say that on the ...
How Alan Dershowitz bullied rape victims to protect a serial child molester
2015-01-30 23:40
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz always felt children were fair game for Israeli missiles. Now the question is whether he thinks they are fair game for the sexual exploits of his powerful associates and himself. Dershowitz and the UK’s Prince Andrew were accused in a recent court filing of raping a teenage girl who was forced into sexual slavery by ...
Alchemical Banksters
2015-01-30 22:39
This past week, the world's preeminent vultures, the economic power elite, met in Davos to discuss the maintenance of their global fiat hegemony. Highlights included furthering austerity, noting that the serf class can't have air conditioning and cars, as well as cheering on the death of privacy through the rise of technocracy. The degenerate elite, completely out of touch with ...
Men must prove a woman said ’Yes’ under tough new rape rules
2015-01-30 4:54
New guidance will be issued to all police forces and prosecutors as part of a ’toolkit’ to move rape investigations into the 21st century Men accused of date rape will need to convince police that a woman consented to sex as part of a major change in the way sex offences are investigated. The Director of Public Prosecutions said it was ...
4 beheaded in Saudi Arabia less than a week into King Salman's rule
2015-01-30 3:13
Comment: So when will the the "Human rights" promoting liberal west elite decide invade Saudi Arabia like they did Libya? Members of Magic Movement stage a mock execution scene in protest of Saudi Arabia beheading of eight Bangladeshi workers in October 2011. Four people have been executed in Saudi Arabia less than a week after 79-year-old King Salman assumed power following the ...
More News »