Like most working photographers, I’ve occasionally experienced cops and security staff trying to stop me taking photographs when I have every right to do so.
However, the police went much further when they tried to stop Gemma Atkinson, the focus of this excellent animation, from filming a routine stop and search of her boyfriend on the London Underground.
After finding herself detained, handcuffed and threatened with arrest, she decided to take the Metropolitan police to the High court, and her ‘Act Of Terror’ film explains what she encountered:
Act of Terror tells the story of her fight to bring the police to justice and prevent this happening to anyone else, ever again.
It is easy to forget about the 2005 Terrorism Act and its damaging effect on civil liberties and human rights. Act Of Terror puts the spotlight back on this murky law, and demands that we keep vigilant in the face of ever increasing state power.
An animated journey through the labyrinthine world of English Justice, the sinister caveats of Terrorism legislation, and the shocking cronyism of the police complaints system.
Act Of Terror is about strength in the face of powerlessness and
finding the courage to fight back.
After the police settled the case in 2010, Gemma Atkinson used the money from the settlement to fund the production of this film, getting together with NFTS graduate Adem Ay to write a script.
Animator Una Marzorati created the graphics and Tom Lowe added the sound track.
Here’s the final word from Gemma:
Beyond the specific case , Act of Terror speaks to the wider issues of police accountability and citizens’ rights in the face of state power. We believe that everyone should know their rights and we hope this film gives people the knowledge to be able to
stand up for themselves with confidence.
More info: Act Of Terror website
Info on Photographer’s rights and the law on urban75:
People, privacy & children
Tube and railway stations
‘Anti Terrorism’ measures
Photographing the police (Sect. 76)