B&W,  Bruxelles,  Daily photo,  Social Control,  Visual,  Winter

National Security

NatSecA danger for the National Security?

This picture is nothing special, but for the fact that while I was taking it a security guard at the European Parliament tried to stop me on the “National Security” excuse, by claiming that photos were not allowed.

Minding the lesson of “Stand your ground” I countered politely the requests of the guard, by telling him:

– First: shooting in public spaces is perfectly legal,

– Second: there where no “no-photos allowed” signs,

– Third: “I am a lawyer and a journalist. I checked both EU and Belgian Law and find nothing that could prevent me to do what I am doing. Could you please tell me which are the statutes under which you’re ordering me to stop taking pictures?” He started babbling,  made vague reference to “National Security” and finally said something like “this is what they said we should do”.

I must say that the guard was very polite and we had a very civil conversation. No threats, no bullying attitude, nevertheless what happened to me is a sound evidence that photography scares the Power. And that if I didn’t have the legal skills to handle the claim, I wouldn’t be able to protect my constitutional rights.

Unfortunately, not every photographer can walk with a lawyer in his pocket…