Terror Laws, Civil Liberties & Press Freedom
13th of April, 7pm. Friends Meeting House, Euston.
With the General Election in full swing it is time to put civil liberties and press freedom centre stage in the election debates. Our right to work, our right to protest and dissent are increasingly under threat by the use and abuse of a raft of anti-terror legislation.
Professional and amateur photographers alike are being stopped routinely by police under Section 44 of the Terrorism act on grounds of conducting ‘Hostile Reconnaissance’ which has seen the rapid growth of the campaign group ‘I’m a Photographer Not a Terrorist!‘.
The use of these laws has been challenged and ruled unlawful by the European Court of Human Rights. The filmmaker and NUJ member who is fighting the government appeal to the ruling next week, Pennie Quinton, will be speaking at the rally.
Mike Mansfield QC said in support of the rally:
The Government’s legislation has less to do with terrorism than with control and the suppression of opposition and truth. It has been recognized for some time by the authorities that agents of the state have too often been caught on camera committing unlawful acts: (Orgreave, Poll Tax, Fairford, Brighton, G20, climate camp). The power to confiscate the camera is therefore an essential tool for an oppressive regime.
How such a draconian measure, drafted in such wide ranging terms, got past our so called political scrutineers in the Commons beggars belief. Either they were subverted by the ‘fear factor’, diverted by expenses claims or overcome by sleep. Mind you, it’s the same lot who voted for the War in Iraq in the first place and who later believed security service assurances that the UK had not colluded in rendition and torture. Such an unquestioning and unaccountable bunch of Labour and Tory MPs needs to be booted out on May 6 and this iniquitous provision repealed
The London Photographers’ Branch of the National Union of Journalists, is proud to be hosting a pre-election rally Hostile Reconnaissance – Terror Laws, Civil Liberties & Press Freedom at 7pm on the 13th of April at Friends Meeting House in Euston.
The rally will be chaired by photographer Jess Hurd and we’ve got a top lineup of speakers who have dealt with the raft of terror laws that we face today:
- Jeremy Dear, General Secretary National Union of Journalists
- Paul Lewis, Guardian journalist & British Press Awards Reporter of the Year 2010
- Keith Ewing, Professor of Public Law at King’s College London & author of Bonfire of the Liberties
- Henry Porter, Observer columnist, author & British editor of Vanity Fair
- Chez Cotton, Head of Action Against the Police at Bindmans Solicitors & a co-ordinator of the Police Action Lawyers Group
- Marc Vallée, Photojournalist, investigative journalist and one of the organisers of the I’m A Photographer, Not a Terrorist! campaign group.
- Pennie Quinton, Filmmaker who won the ECHR case that ruled s44 is unlawful.
Opening the rally will be a film by Jason N Parkinson with highlights from the campaign.
Jonathan Warren 077939 40759
Jess Hurd 07713 151765
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