Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Generation Terrorists

On Saturday 23rd January a Mass Photo Gathering took place in Trafalgar Square. The Gathering was a response to a number of high profile detentions under s44 of the Terrorism Act 2000. These have included a BBC photographer taking a photo of St Paul's Cathedral and a trainspotter being asked to delete images of a train carriage he took whilst on holiday in Wales. The Independent ran a front page focussing on what they saw as a misuse of police powers under the legislation, which allows police to 'stop and account' or 'stop and search' in certain authorized zones.  There are certain resonances here with previous attempts to use similar public order provisions to attempt to deal with football fans, see for example the work of Urban 75, and their now defunct offshoot, Football Fans against the Criminal Justice Act. In the 1990s this group campaigned against the regulation of football culture, see for example this article from the New Statesman at the time. These developments also have parallels with the case of Brian Haws, something memorably celebrated by Mark Wallinger in his installation State Britain 2007. We can in any event see this as a further example of law trying to regulate areas of popular culture, and as a further site for resistance.

1 comment:

Family solicitor said...

Interesting the current situation where there is the clash between freedom, civil liberties and the need for vigilance. Thankfully not seen any reports of innocent photographers being arrested recently, that was over the top.