Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Camera prep advice; documenting a protest

Pretty decent article, however someone needs to add:

1. Prepare yourself to be accused of "wiretapping" when filming any police activity.

2. Prepare yourself to be clubbed, beaten or gassed if you're anywhere near the protest area - when they're stoked on adrenaline, police don't seem to make too many fine judgements about who's a troublemaker, who's a peaceful protestor, and those who simply got in the way through bad luck.

3. Prepare yourself to be targeted for merely pointing a camera at the activity.

4. Dress in business attire or in some other neutral way that sets you apart visually from the protestors - this may seem to contravene point#2, but it can't hurt.

5. Have several escape routes mapped out in case things turn ugly.

Regardless of who is protesting and why, no one deserves to be beaten, tazed or gassed if they aren't themselves committing any violent acts.  Unwary passersby who unintentionally blunder through the protest area have the right to repudiate charges of noncompliance and intiate claims of excessive force.  People have the right to document any activity, lawful or unlawful, occurring on a public street, without fear of arrest or reprisal from private parties or publicly funded law enforcement.  End of story... we live in a free country, not a dictatorship.

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