January 2005

Aside from my ‘alternative’ credentials, I am also a member of the National Union of Journalist. I have recently qualified from the NUJ ‘Reps’ Course. An effort for us to get better skilled and ‘stick-up’ for members against ever tightening restrictions ….

I was asked to produce a seminar, and made these notes to cover, some of my issues of concern.

* * * * * *

As a ‘Freelance Photo-Journalist’, issues of concern are very different to those ‘office based’ workers

The main issue of concern to me, at the moment, are primarily in ‘Public Order’ matters.

· Press card recognition by the authorities, the police in particular, since they frequently control access to locations. So often, the press card raises little more than a chuckle.

· Advice in defence in court after charges. Primarily arrest for obstruction.

· Civil claims for wrongful arrest and assaults.

· Identity: The wearing of NUJ ‘bibs’. Attitudes of police and protesters to this.

· Dealing with requests from police and authorities for film and footage. They say: ‘for the investigation of crimes’ [this became public as an issue, after the Metropolitan Police request to media organisations and freelances, after the Poll-Tax Riot in London]

· Giving evidence in court after ‘actions or events. ? An impartial observer, or not. Is work available to police or public / protestors, equally?

· Only one solicitors firm now accredited by NUJ, Thompson’s. But, they don’t have depth of experience to handle most of this. Their main experience is in employment rights, contacts etc. They know little on the issues, faced out here on the street. (NUJ, saving money after loose RSI case a while ago).

Thus, many of us have to organise amongst ourselves, aside from the NUJ. Shame, wasn’t always like this!

Other Freelance concerns

· Widespread theft of copyright.

· Media customers asking / demanding ‘All Rights’ perpetual (i.e. Not licensed for specific use or time. This was how we used to do business, and generate an income.

· Competition from ‘Royalty-free’ libraries / sources. This activity lowers standards for photojournalism. (Now the Sunday Supps, are full of ‘lifestyle’ and food and ‘posh house’ pictures. Used to be an outlet for the photo-essay, on issues of concern)

· Freelances not adequately trained for dangerous assignments. They are considered ‘dispensable’ compared to sending ‘staffers’.

· Much difficulty in getting adequate insurance for person and kit. Staff journalists are frequently in the same dangers, but company deals with insurance and looking after dependents etc.

· Under representation of freelancers to get any ‘muscle’ within main union activities.

· All the usuals about pensions, representation, fair dealings etc.

My degree in Photography at Nottingham Trent University [a while ago now], didn’t cover any of this.

I came across this quote the other day in Howard Chapnick¹s book – Truth Needs No Ally:

On Giving Away Pictures

“Every professional photographer, at one time or another, has received a phone call or letter reading as follows: “Our organization would like to use your photograph in a brochure [or advertisement, or magazine, or audio-visual presentation]. We are a non-profit organization that has no budget for the purchase of the photograph, and we hope that you will provide the picture without charge.” My standard answer is an emphatic “no.” I am tired of the exploitation of creative people by non-profit organizations. You may think this a crass and overly commercial response, but let’s consider it for a moment.

What about the person who wrote that letter or made that call? Does that person get paid for his or her job as the editor or art director of the publication? What about the rest of the staff of that non-profit organization? Do they get paid for their efforts? Does the paper company charge for the paper used: in the brochure or publication? Do the typesetter, color separator, half-tone maker, printer, and binder get paid? The answer is a categorical “yes.” So why should the photographer be the one who is asked to contribute the work without compensation?

My position is that if everybody is donating their services, and no one is getting paid for a project that is altruistic and idealistic, then, and only then, should a photographer ever consider donating the reproduction rights to his or her photograph.”

Chapnick, H. (1994) Truth Needs No Ally: Inside Photojournalism.

Columbia: University of Missouri Press. P334-335. / change in my lifestyle.

* * * * * *


As people maybe aware on mayday 2001 over 3,00 people were cordoned in at oxford circus & held as part of the mayday protests. They were detained for over 7 hours, denied the right to leave (effectively held prisoner) without access to toilet facilities. Many at the time believed this to be illegal by the police.

The trial is now being held at the royal courts of justcie to determined whether the police had the legal authority to do what they did.

This is the second week of the trial. The first was taken up with people (some protestors, some not) recounting their experiences of being caught up in this cordon. Extensive video footage was shown in court of just how the police effected their operation throughout mayday.

This week has been taken up with the police officers actually in charge of the operatioon. They explained the operational tactic employed & why they thought it was necessary to do what they did. (This tactic was actually devised some months beforehand as: containing the crowd & i quote “boring them to death”).

As with all police who swear to tell the truth under oath in a court of law they lied through their teeth. Special reference has to be made to chief superintendent french (silver commander on the day & effectively the decsion maker) who attempted to deny an reponsiblity for the instigation of these tactis (despite his signature being on the briefing notes) & denied any knowledge of just what was happening on the ground (despite supposedly being in the command centre at the time monitoring everything that was happening at oxford circus. (He said he was in a diferent room at the time!).

When asked where was the recorded evidence (in police radio logs) of him giving the order to cordon people in, he said he must have given the order on his moblie phone. When it was explained mobile phones were actually forbidden in the police command centre he changed his mind & said it was from a landline in a different room!!!).

Despite having constant radio contact with every commander on the ground on the day in one room, he chooses to go to another room, phone from a landline & issue the single most important order of the day!

The point made by the claimamt’s barrister was that all the officers in charge were briefed days beforehand that a cordon was to be put in place at oxford circus regardless & so didn’t need a direct order from french).

This is an incredibly important case the outcome of which will determine policing operations (both positive & negative) on future mass actions.

I urge as many people to go to the royal courts of justice (1) for entertainment value of watching the highest ranking coppers in the country squirm & lie & generally make fools of themselves but more importantly to witness just how & why the police get away with what they do at that level.

The trial will last until next week.

Court 14

Royal Courts of Justice

The Strand


London WC2A 2LL

Court sits from 10.30 am finishes 4.30pm everday

More pictures of this event, can been seen at the following links






Found in the village of Slack, three miles north of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

I guess it’s an address, just like any other. But to some, a bit rude 🙂

So, I just had to stop to take a piccy…….

Went out for a weekends tree planting with ‘Treesponsibility’. Folks from local area, Leeds, Nottingham contributed their labour at Lower Benthead Farm about 5 miles north of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.

Map: OS Ref SD967294

Treesponsibility in Calderdale is a not-for profit community group, based on mutual accountability and consensus. They have a small ‘core’ group of members with a wider circle of people who subscribe to our newsletter and turn up to tree plantings. So far, managed to plant about 40,000 trees and hedge plants.


aims are to:-

1. encourage, empower and enable people to take responsibility for their own carbon dioxide emissions through tree-planting, as one urgent response to climate change

2. bring back our lost woodlands and hedgerows to increase biodiversity

3. spread the idea and practice of land-connectedness, co-operation and community as a possible future, and the most sensible way out of the present environmental crisis. We can each choose not to contribute to global warming. Instead, we can contribute to climate change of a rather different kind – a shift towards connectedness, community and love of the land. We also intend to have fun, while we’re doing all this!

Treesponsibility contact:

PO Box 38, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire HX7 8YR

Telephone / fax: 01422 843222



Indymedia entries at:

Treeplanting in Calderdale: Indymedia-UK


Treeplanting in Calderdale: Indymedia-Leeds Bradford


and ….

On Heptonstall Moor, just off the Pennine Way, on open [and very windswept] moorland. I ‘took five’, at lunchtime, to stride off across the moor, to find this Triangulation Pillar at SD951302


more piccy in this project at: http://www.trigpointinguk.com/trigs/view-album.php?u=1529 onwards.

Well, some people are trainspotters, I spot these 🙂

* * * * * *

We plant ’em. They saw them down

Earlier entries on Indymedia and hebdenbridge.co.uk, may give an idea as to why we need to accelerate planting. People protest and attempt to stop [by law and protest], yet more environment destruction by nerds! The other side of the coin is of course, trying to ameliorate just some of their damage, by us planting more than they fell. If only tree grew quicker.

Chainsaw massacre in Hebden Bridge


Battle of the Mill Pond: http://www.hebdenbridge.co.uk/news/news04/46.html


“The flame of hatred that burned our people to smoke in Auschwitz is still consuming us today”

On the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, the words of Toma Nikoleaff, editor of the Roma newspaper De Facto must be a wake up call.

Today 40,000 Travellers and Roma face UK ethnic-cleansing – through violent destruction of their caravan parks and mass forced deportations.

Roma living “illegally” are being hunted down by Immigration “snatch squads”; Traveller families, who bought land on Government advice, now see their homes and their lives wrecked by police and private security men.


In the latest eviction, at Ridge near London, Twin Oaks caravan park was bulldozed and raised (6 Jan). Five persons, including a crittically ill women of 72, were assaulted and two men arrested. Four mobile homes were wrecked.

Among property needless destroyed were two wheel-chairs, television sets, and countless household items and heirloom china.

The eviction, carried out by Constant & Co, cost Euro 250,000. Damage to property exceeds Euro 200,000. Two cases under Article 8 of the Human Rights Act are being prepared against Hertsmere District Council and Constant.

In two years, l5,000 Roma have been “removed” from Britain, and more than 1,000 Travellers “cleared” from their own land under policies experienced by the victims as akin to those imposed in Nazi Germany during the l930s.

Next in line for destruction is the Woodside caravan park at Hatch, in Bedfordshire. Home of Cliff Codona, chair of the National Travellers Action Group, this was to be the location for the Roma Holocaust and Heritage Centre.



Please join the rally outside Parliament at 2pm on Thursday 27 January (Westminster Tube) on the occassion of the official Holocaust Memorial Day event STOP 2nd.



3pm Sunday, 23 January, 4 Sutton Street, Whitechapel, London

1) EVICTION at Woodside, Bedfordshire expected on or after 1 Feb.

Cliff Codona appeals for supporters to join Human Rights Monitoring team.

2) EVICTION at Dale Farm expected on or after l3 May.

Contact Grattan on 01206 523528 for details

ustiben.5 ustiben.5@ntlworld.com

Home Office: Stop and Search Action Team – Guidance & Policy

Home Office have been consulting about new Stop & Search Powers. Cop this lot…..




Home Office circulars and other documents about police powers http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crimpol/police/system/powers.html

For more information on progress, keep an eye on Statewatch http://www.statewatch.org

This is it, as I know it so far:

Feb 12 Kyoto Climate March http://www.campaigncc.org 11.30 am Lincoln’s Inn Fields 02088553327

Mar 19 National No War demo http://www.stopwar.org.uk

March Dragon Festival http://www.partyvibe.com/conspiracy

May 1 Mayday London

Apr 29- May 1 Rocket Festival, Andalucia http://www.rocketfestival.com

Apr 30 – May 1 Newcastle Green Fest 01912321750

May 1 Swindon May Morning http://www.swindonfestivalofliterature.co.uk

May 5 – 8 WOMAD Cáceres, Spain http://www.womad.org

May 7 Ganja Day http://www.thecannabisfestival.co.uk

May 7-29 Brighton Festival Fringe http://www.brightonfestivalfringe.org.uk

May 14-21 Hes Fes 07833794062 http://www.hesfes.co.uk

May 30 Kingston Green Fair 02089748608 http://www.kingstongreenfair.org.uk

May 27th BATH FRINGE FESTIVAL Bath Somerset, UK, http://www.bathfringe.co.uk

June 1 Beanfield trashing 20th Anniversary

June 4th Strawberry Fair http://www.strawberry-fair.org.uk

June 12th Walcot Nation Day

June 18th-19th Leamington Peace Festival http://www.peacefestival.org.uk

June 20- 21st Summer Solstice Stonehenge

June 24-26 Pilton http://www.glastonburyfestivals.co.uk

June 30-July 3 Fusion Festival http://www.fusion-festival.de

July 4 Big Blockade at Faslane nuclear submarine base. http://www.tridentploughshares.org

July 6TH Global Day of Action at the opening day of the G8 Summit http://www.agp.org http://www.dissent.org.uk

July 15-17 Guilfest http://www.guilfest.co.uk

July 15-17 Glade Festival http://www.gladefestival.com

July 13-17 Buddhafield 01647 24539 http://www.buddhafield.com

July 13-17 Larmertree Festival http://www.larmertree.co.uk

July 16-17 Ashton Court Festival http://www.ashtoncourtfestival.com

July21 Ruigoord Landjuweel, Netherlands http://www.ruigoord.nl

July 29-31 WOMAD Reading http://www.womad.org

Aug 3-7 Big Green Gathering 01458 834629 http://www.big-green-gathering.com

Aug 5-7 The Big Chill http://www.bigchill.net

Aug 7-29 Edinburgh Fringe http://www.edfringe.com

Aug 11-13 Cropredy http://www.faircrop.co.uk

Aug 14-20 European Juggling Convention http://www.eja.net

Aug 20-21 Beautiful Days http://www.beautifuldays.org

Sept 21-24 Robodock Festival Amsterdam http://www.robodock.org

still lacking the anarchistic peace convoy type do’s, but one day again perhaps …..

This is it, as I know it so far: [link to my new bulletin boards]


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