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Park Ranger harasses videographer over tripod in Lafayette Park

As protesters marched on the White House to protest the Colombia Free Trade Agreement, there was an ugly sideshow: A Park Ranger harassing me for using a tripod to film the march.

There are NO signs in the park saying anyone cannot use a tripod, and there are no objections to their use in the street. I warned the park ranger to back the hell off while heading to the street, declaring him "an enemy soldier." He thought better of attempting to grab my gear like two prior offenders last year and settled for yelling. NO Park Police backed him up, even after he appeared to complain to one of them.

Congress reportedly passed a law about ten years ago to stop the Park Service or other cops from requiring permits to film with or without a tripod anywhere in DC, yet there are reports all over the Internet of photographers being harassed all over the Mall as well as in Lafayette Park.

Since police and presumably Park Rangers as well are permitted to lie to the public, there is no way to judge rather or not any legally valid regulations or laws have been written on the subject. If there are any, there has certainly been no attempt to publicize them other than dangerous confrontations with photograhers, some of whom like myself can be quite volatile if harassed.

Is the Lafayette Park issue simply an attempt to discourage protesters from using the park, knowing some media photographers refuse to go there and others are afraid to use good equipment? The excuse about a tripod as a weapons mount does not wash, because tripods can be used openly in the street even closer to the White House.

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Added: Jul-11-2011 Occurred On: Jul-11-2011
By: dcdirectactionnews
Other News
Tags: freedom to photograph, lafayette park, tripod
Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia, United States (load item map)
Views: 34087 | Comments: 8 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 11 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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  • Video showed nothing

    Posted Jul-12-2011 By 

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    • @I_still_likeairplanes

      Reality check: When you are focussed on winning a fight, you many not have time or focus to also disengage a camera from a tripod or raise it! When I realized it was still running, I hoped I would have some random video to go with the sound, no such luck. You would have seen some seriously UGLY facial expressions, though!

      The camera was pointed forward on the tripod, at the original objective. "Ranger Rat" stayed off to the side, not wanting to be on Livelea More..

      Posted Jul-12-2011 By 

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    • @dcdirectactionnews Reality check? I know how to use a tri-pod. I do at every air show. You make it sound like its complicated equipment. Dont get so offended.

      Posted Jul-12-2011 By 

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    • @I_still_likeairplanes Prblem isn't using the tripod, problem is DEFENDING the tripod while dealing with a ranger who can summon Park Pigs in Lafayette Park, wich, being across from the White House is one of the most cop-infested places in DC.

      I was focussed on WINNING the confrontation, not recording it. That I had even an audio track was a byproduct of recording the protest against the US-Colombia Free Trade area, my original mission.

      Posted Jul-14-2011 By 

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    • @I_still_likeairplanes Filming an airshow where nobody is trying to stop you is a lot easier than filming under pressure with enemies trying to shut you down. If you think it's so easy, try shooting combat video someday-even if the combat is limited to protesters with nonlethal arms vs cops using similar at a globalization summit. I've been there (stills and audio at Pittsburgh 2009 G20, for instance),it's a lot different than shooting an airshow.

      Posted Jul-22-2011 By 

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    • @dcdirectactionnews I dont really care man. Im not a photographer by trade. This was weeks ago. havent given it a second thought since i typed it.

      Posted Jul-23-2011 By 

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  • Thats one goofy lookin ranger.

    Posted Jul-12-2011 By 

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  • .

    Posted Jan-30-2012 By 

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