I spent the day at the Climate Camp 2008. I expected the police searches which I and everyone entering the site was subjected to. What I did not expect were the *rules* about photography on site.
After bothering to do the right thing and speak to the relevant people on site about my intentions with a camera I was effectively told “…your not allowed”. The person with the appointed responsibility to convey this message was unable to distinguish any difference between me (despite my full and honest explaination of what I was about and promising to share everything I took with them for *screening* and unrestricted use) and the press and media. A collective decision has been made; I was told there would be no photography allowed on site today, “…even those that are living and working here have agreed not to take pictures”. People were apparently feeling very sensitive about the police taking their pictures over the preceding few days. There were exceptions to the rule it seems as later I saw two people *officially* videoing and taking pictures of the goings on. That was alright though – they had obviously been sanctioned to do so!
As someone who lives locally and that has supported and contributed to the campaign against Kingsnorth from the start, being told by some jobsworth committee member who’s only connection with Medway is the Climate Camp that I can’t take pictures really riled me.
The hypocrisy is that there was so much hand wringing and righteousness about the erosion of civil liberties by the police they could not see that they had fallen into the ways of their *oppressors* after just three days on site.
I stuck around anyway and helped out unloading marquis and building a toilet. I made some friends. They were happy enough for me to take their picture but asked me not to post them on the internet (or give them to the police) hence you will not see them here. I acted in accordance with the *collective* decision for the most part. This is the only picture I took today that I will post on the internet.
For anyone interested the *official* time for *media” (that includes anyone with a camera) will be between something like 11am and 1pm on the 03/08/08 – I can’t be sure I’d lost interest by then. There may be other *official* times but I suppose that will be decided as the week goes by.
The parting shot was maybe I could leave my details and their *media man* may get in touch with me to arrange less restricted access. I did but I get a feeling I might not get that call. We’ll see.
I fully support the campaign to stop Kingsnorth. I think the Climate Camp is worthwhile. I think anyone that restricts the choice and freedom of anyone else is a complete arse.