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It's been said time and time again, to the point of becoming cliche: The world changed after 9/11. We have to accept new security restrictions. We have to be cautions, careful, questioning, even suspicious. But being stopped in the street for completely lawful activity is not only un-American, and possibly unlawful itself, but it's likely to be ineffective, even counter productive. Regarding photography as suspicious activity diverts valuable brain power away from thinking about real dangers. Besides, terrorists can photograph sites surreptitiously if they want.
So let's test the theory. Wayan, Carl, myself and the rest of the DC Metblogs crew invite you out for a photo outing on what seems like the best day to do this: July 4th. We'll meet outside the Photo Interdiction Zone at Noon and take a stroll through "No Lens Land", take some pictures and see what happens. If we get arrested maybe Ms Goss will find us someone to represent us, pro bono. If not we'll at least raise a little awareness about private security interfering with public rights.
I live near Silver Spring, and I can tell you there's nothing worth protecting in Silver Spring that would require a photography ban.
Over one hundred people marched today, July 4th, in support of first amendment rights in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.
The demonstration was prompted by a ban on photography in a quasi-public, quasi-private street, Ellsworth Drive.
The Montgomery County, Maryland government leased Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring for a dollar a year to a developer, the Peterson Company, giving that company the right to provide security and amenities to Ellsworth Drive, a formerly public street that runs through the heart of Silver Spring. The Peterson Company called Ellsworth Drive "private property" and prohibited photography.
Today's demonstration was a response to an incident that happened to Washington, DC area photographer Chip Py, who was told by a security guard that photography was barred on Ellsworth Drive. Chip Py and another area photographer, Kate Mereand, founded the Flickr Group, DC Photo Rights in response to this and other frequent incidents in the Washington, DC area: People, including professional photographers and tourists have been told by security guards that they can't take photographs, when, in fact, there are no laws barring photography.