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Animated Documentary Explains The UK Terrorism Act and How it Affects Photogs


In response to September 11th and London Bombings, the UK drafted a series of Terrorism Acts, giving their officers certain rights they thought would help fight terrorism. This included a section (58a) added in 2008 that made it illegal to photograph or film a police officer if the footage was likely to be useful to a terrorist. The police’s interpretation of that section has since changed, but not before that “if” caused some newsworthy controversy.

This short animated documentary covers that controversy from the point of view of one of the act’s victims, Gemma Atkinson, who was assaulted by police in 2009 because she was filming them searching her boyfriend. It tells the story of the subsequent legal battle she went through trying to get the act changed and hold the police officers who were unnecessarily rough with her accountable.


Her own story ends, after many months of legal fees and back and forths, with an out of court settlement and a change to the law that, from her own experience, has done nothing to deter officers from abusing their powers.

Her efforts got the police guidelines regarding section 58a changed to allow the public to photograph officers during normal police activities. However, changing those guidelines hasn’t changed the actions of officers, and so she’s put together this documentary to tell her story and bring the Terrorism Act back into public awareness.

To hear her whole story and read more about that law and its implications, watch the video at the top or head over to the documentary’s website by clicking here.

(via Boing Boing)