Sunday, 9 August 2009

Supporting local photographer’s freedom to snap…

Next Saturday, a photo walk will take place as part of a peaceful event to highlight the absurd arrest of local photographer Monaxle under s44 of the Terrorist Act which outlaws people taking photographs of policemen. I can’t be there as I head off for my summer break that day but I have sent a message of support and colleagues from Medway Conservatives will be there.

The Facebook event page can be found HERE but below for ease of reference is the background information to the event:
Medway Eyes cordially invites you and your cameras on a photo walk. There is no prescribed route and you are encouraged to go wherever your eyes take you. We’ll be meeting at 11am at a central location in Chatham (exact location to be decided) before dispersing voluntarily to go our separate ways. Local and national press will be in attendance.It is important that everybody is aware of our motives here. Although we are concerned that arrests like Monaxle’s are becoming all too common, we are not protesting. That’s what the police will expect, and we aim to disappoint. Instead, we are celebrating our towns through photography. Afterwards, photographers and friends will be invited to join Flickr to share their photos and any stories of the day with the Medway Towns Group. We hope you all understand that our aims are peaceful.I’ve just posted a set of links to give you a little background information.
I look forward to seeing the photographs of the event.


Simon said…

Well done to you for supporting this. I don't know how it will go down with your party who run both the Local Council and the Kent Police Authority (7 out of 9 elected Councillors on the KPA are Conservatives).

Kent Police have had some terrible publicity recently for this sort of thing. Are they acting under the instructions of these elected Councillors? The video of them trussing up that lady photographer with leather belts and carting her off to prison was particularly distressing. I hope you will be supporting both her and this other unfortunate photographer should you be elected.

John M Ward said…

I am in a quandary over this myself: I do not know whether it would be better to go on this (as I had indicated some weeks ago that I would if I could) or back to Luton and Wayfield.

Which should I do, next Saturday morning?

Andrew Kennedy said…

John, if it is any help, I shall be attending the ‘Photo Walk’ in support of Monaxle, after meeting the campaign group and getting them going with the day’s activities.

Ever since I have been old enough to hold a developed political opinion, I have considered myself to be, first and foremost, a Libertarian (who just happens to vote Conservative as I believe the Conservative Party is marginally better placed to defend liberty than others.)

The erosion of personal liberty, of which s44 is a small example, is far more important than party politics.

John, I hope you go to the ‘Photo Walk’. Elections come and go and ultimately only matter as we have the right to free expression and self determination. These things really are worth fighting to defend because without them the ballot box will not matter.

Andrew Kennedy
Conservative Party Campaign Director for Chatham & Aylesford

Steve from Luton said…

I’m also a libertarian, in that I believe people should be free to make their own choices – and take responsibility for them – and I’ve come to the conclusion that the Conservatives are probably the only mainstream party that are capable of delivering on this.
It seems to me that only the Conservatives understand that many of us are capable of organising our own lives and we don’t actually need continuous Government intervention on our behalf. (I’m not convinced that even the Liberal Democrats get this.)

As for the police, I am sure that their excessive behaviour is largely dictated by this Government, rather than by locally elected councillors. The first priority must be to get rid of this Labour administration, and then we can start thinking about locally elected police chiefs.

John M Ward said…

Many thanks for the helpful and encouraging comments, fellas.

I was indeed there on the day, though after a period of milling around and nothing apparently happening, I set off at a fairly early time to get my photos taken (in several parts of Chatham) before the heat got to me(!)

My photos are HERE.

Lisa Dillon said…

Thanks to those of you who came on the photo walk. John, you missed the best bit – the pub afterwards ;-). The Independent came along for the ride and made a short film, as did my young daughter (who managed to raise Monaxle's eyebrows with one of her questions – definitely worth a watch), and there is now also a slideshow of photos taken on the day. All of these can be found on our website.

This government has got to go. Power, control, suspicion, surveillance and nannying – what has become of this country? What has happened to freedom, liberty, privacy and trust?

Finally, thanks to Tracey for supporting us in our fight against this erosion of our civil liberties.

Lisa Dillon
on behalf of Medway Eyes