Ray Higginbottom

Trafalgar Square Section 44 Protest

I went up to Trafalgar Square on 23 Jan to support other photographers in the defence of our rights to take photographs in public places and to protest against the police use of stop and search powers. As quoted in the British Journal of Photography photographers were protesting against the use of section 44 of the terrorism act 2000 which gives broad stop and search powers to police officers. These powers have been found illlegal by the European Court pf Human Rights. The court said officers could easily abuse the powers and that, since officers can stop anyone without need for suspicion, it was virtually impossible for a member of the public to prove thyat the powers had been abused

There were an esitmated 2000 photographers gathered and LIP was well represented. I met up with five others including John Stead. Organised by the campaign group I'm A Photographer Not A Terrorist, the event seemed well attended, if a little unfocused. There were no speakers as such although I did meet Baroness Sarah Ludford, a LibDem MEP who was there to support the action. Generally a good time was had by all and I don't think I've seen so many cameras in such a small area.

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A recent graduate from the BA (Hons) in Photography course at the University of Westminster, Ray's main interests lie in the creative elements within monochrome photography, using traditional and experimental printing. Ray teaches photography in west London while continuing to work on his own projects.