AF (London) leaflet handed out at Photographers demonstration in London on Jan 23rd

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Joined: 27-02-06
Jan 24 2010 12:15
AF (London) leaflet handed out at Photographers demonstration in London on Jan 23rd

Controlling images…controlling us… While ending harassment of photographers is a laudable aim, it cannot be seenas an end in itself. The aggravation we experience from the police, and theirproxies in the growing number of private security guards in shopping malls andareas such as Canary Wharf, is not just a question of attitude - it's a symptomof a state that actively distrusts us. This is more than an issue of civil liberties - it's one of a state that fearswhat the free flow of images and information can do to its ability to maintaincontrol. Regardless of which party wins the election, we'll still have a statethat distrusts its subjects and fears activists who wish to challenge itsauthority. The ongoing economic and fiscal crisis will trigger a growing wave of protestand dissent over the next few years. The authorities will seek to do theirupmost in clamping down on dissent and controlling how their actions areportrayed and documented. Technology enables us to disseminate images of state clampdowns on dissent. Wecan only do this if we have the freedom to shoot and distribute what we choosewithout fear. It's in the interest of the powers that be to make life difficultfor photographers, restricting the scope of our activity and creating a climateof fear. If photographers are fearful of harassment, arrest or even assault,they'll think twice about recording and documenting how the authorities dealwith dissent. Backing off because we fear the consequences will hand victory to the state whowill be emboldened to act with impunity when faced with challenges to theirauthority. Harassment of photographers is not just a matter of the authoritieshaving the wrong attitude - it's integral to the state being able to maintaincontrol in what will be difficult and turbulent times. While it's right westand up for our rights in the here and now, asking the state to back off isfutile because meeting our demands will undermine their authority - that wouldbe unthinkable for them… If we are serious about fighting for our freedoms, we have to recognise thatthe state and its growing apparatus of control is the real problem… For more information, contact the London Anarchist Federation at: BM ANARFEDLondonWC1N 3XX e-mail: london