Friday, June 06, 2008

War on Photographers: Should we take the offensive?

Bruce Schneider, posted an article on his blog yesterday that is getting a lot of attention. Not only does he defend every photographer's right to photograph almost everywhere, but he makes a compelling case for politely but firmly defending ourselves when a real cop or rent-a-cop tells us to stop shooting.

Bruce says:

"Since 9/11, there has been an increasing war on photography. Photographers have been harrassed, questioned, detained, arrested or worse, and declared to be unwelcome. We've been repeatedly told to watch out for photographers, especially suspicious ones. Clearly any terrorist is going to first photograph his target, so vigilance is required.

"Except that it's nonsense. The 9/11 terrorists didn't photograph anything. Nor did the London transport bombers, the Madrid subway bombers, or the liquid bombers arrested in 2006. Timothy McVeigh didn't photograph the Oklahoma City Federal Building. The Unabomber didn't photograph anything; neither did shoe-bomber Richard Reid. Photographs aren't being found amongst the papers of Palestinian suicide bombers. The IRA wasn't known for its photography. Even those manufactured terrorist plots that the US government likes to talk about -- the Ft. Dix terrorists, the JFK airport bombers, the Miami 7, the Lackawanna 6 -- no photography."

Read the rest of this well-argued opinion piece.

No comments: