A Victory

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected an appeal from the Home Office on a January ruling that had found to be illegal the stop-and-search powers granted by the Terrorism Act 2000 : here

Photographers are slated to gather on Sunday to celebrate the European Court of Human Rights' decision, which makes Section 44 of the Terrorism Act illegal : here

Petition against new restrictions on photography

Petition the prime minister to remove new restrictions on photography in public places

On the 16th of February, the Government passed a law (in the Counter Terrorism Act) making it illegal to take a photograph of a police office, military personnel or member of the intelligence services - or a photograph which "may be of use for terrorism". This definition is vague at best, and open to interpretation by the police - who under Home Secretary guidelines can "restrict photography in public places".

We call for these vague restrictions to be lifted, as they can easily be mis-used by the police.

Click here to sign

Stopped under the Terrorism Act sec.44

A nice little follow up to my last post on terrorism.. I was shooting in the city today when the 2 coppers stopped me and asked me what I was doing. I am taking pictures. Pictures of what? Pictures of nothing and everything. Apparently someone reported me for looking suspicious. They also said that they i might have matched the description (a man with a camera seemed to be the most precise description they could give me) of someone suspicious taking pictures of Bank station earlier today. I was never there. They seemed to have made that up as an excuse for stopping me. Thankfully, with the new terrorism act, they don't really need any grounds of suspicious to stop and search anyone!

The back of this slip explains your rights as a citizen when getting stopped by police. It states that police officers need strong grounds for suspecting you to be involved in criminal activity. i.e they have seen you carrying a knife, which gives them the right to stop and search you. As you carrying reading, you get to the section 44 act (terrorism) which states that they do not need any ground for suspition to stop you! Well there goes your initial human right! and in this case mine. They questionned me, took my oyster card number (got rid of that!), credit card number, address, website (bit of advertisment), checked my photos on my phone, my notes i had in my back pocket, searched me. Remember that I have done nothing against the law yet. Exept from this next photo. Cause recently they passed a new law where you are not allowed to take photos of police anymore (more terrorism security). If i was gonna be treated like a criminal, I might as well break to the law! Notice how gay I managed to make him look!

After they gave me the pink slip, they wanted to photocopy my notes. By this time I had spend half an hour with these idiots, i missed my lunch and I was getting impatient and pissed. I refused to let them do that so they copied useless info onto they pad. I insisted to take a photo of that for my own record.

Great day as a british citizen. I'll be sure to break the law more often. To make it all worth while. See you on Wednesday!

Some info on photographers' rights here

Carnaval 2008

The weather at the Notting Hill carnival has always been filled with sunshine as far i can remember. The best musical and social entertainment of the summer in London. let's hope our buffon of a mayor doesn't let us down by putting an end to it. Here's are some pictures from last year's soundsystem filled street party..

Copyright - Alexander Bartsch

South London

There's that word again. 'Regeneration'. One of my most hated modern words. Synonim of great things to come, it usually implies the worst for the residents (usually poor) and big profits for the developpers (usually rich in course to get richer). All disguised in promises of a beautiful, usefull and usually essential future. Heygate estate in Elephant is getting demolished and the residents are getting robbed! Evictions and raw deals! Put aside the misery caused to the residents, architectually I'm in love with these housing estates, with balconies linking your neighbours's front doors. They are icons of london architecture and if they're not recognised as so they should. I live in one of these in Brixton (although much smaller and less spectacular) and i wouldn't swap it for no other. Victorian architecture was frowed upon ounce and now they are listed buildings. And so will some of these later builds if u give it time. long live concrete!

Copyright - Alexander Bartsch

30 days with no trial

I take photos every day all day of everything. Judging on the faces on commuters and routine stricken londoners when they see me, I definatly must look odd! So be afraid people of the world I am usually armed and obiously dangerous. And who would have thought that terrorists don't all have long beards. So thanks to the metropolitain police for bringing us even closer to understanding the mind of the terrorists..