For some time now photographers in the UK covering protests and demonstrations, be they professional photographers or "citizen journalists", have been on the receiving end of some fairly harsh treatment at the hands of the police.
But this is no longer an issue that simply affects "news gatherers".
Increasingly (and especially in the US and the UK) even ordinary photo enthusiasts (and by "ordinary" I mean in a non-derogatory sense folk who aren't "news gatherers") are finding they're on the receiving end of often unwarranted hassle from both the police and other security types.
Recently the situation was exacerbated by the UK's Metropolitan Police calling for everyone to report "suspicious behaviour"... like taking photographs!
I, and many others, have been stopped in the process of taking photographs of perfectly innocent scenes, even though well within my legal rights. (This is particularly perverse given that the UK has been called "one of the most watched societies in the world" via CCTV in public places... all, be it noted, installed without our permission or consent!)
I believe this is a trend that needs to be both exposed and opposed before it becomes so entrenched in the mass psyche that all photographers, regardless of what they may be doing, are looked upon with suspicion.
Many photographers, both professional and amateur, are seizing the baton and trying to increase public awareness of this trend.
Having just recently joined the Ipernity community I was really pleased to discover a mate of mine already here, and we immediately "conspired together" to set up a group here focussing on this, and other news/social documentary issues, so please do check it out and, as you're obviously into photography, think about joining.
After all, as my mate has said elsewhere...
"I think ALL photographers must realise they have to stand up and be counted and not expect to sit back and think there is someone else doing it for them!"