How to Outsmart Cops During Rock of Ages Photo Ban "Lunch-In"

As a photographer who also teaches yoga, I have to say, I'm not really the protest type. But, everyone has their edge and for me, a photo Nazi film crew is it! Want to take photos of you and your friends enjoying some good times on public property off of 2nd Avenue in downtown Fort Lauderdale? Well, according to signs posted along the street by the Rock of Ages film crew, there will be no photos for you!

New Times' Stefan Kamph first reported last week about the development of the Rock of Ages photo prohibition, and my excitement for the production crashed as hard as the numerous actors in Broadway's Spiderman adaptation. Seriously Bono, you and your Edge's NASCAR entertainment approach to theatre is almost killing people.

Recently the Society of Professional Journalists took the Rock of Ages

story one step further. On behalf of a few pissed-off South Florida

journalists, a lawsuit's been filed in honor of protecting their 1st

Amendment rights. Honestly, I don't even want to photograph Tom Cruise

in acid wash jeans, but if it helps make a statement about expressing my

creative freedom rights, I'm in!

So this Friday the Society of Professional Journalists will be staging a

"lunch-in." This is not being called a protest because that would

require a special permit. I'm going to go as far to say that there may

even be homemade t-shirts and signs. And according to their website,

there will most definitely be many camera-wielding citizens expressing

their right to "bear arms" so-to-speak on public property. Of which, I

plan to be one. There's a mention of possible free food, why wouldn't I


That being said, here is my prepared list of responses if confronted by cops during Friday's non-protest "lunch-in":

11. Camera? What camera?

10. I'm just here for the free pizza.

9. I'm not taking pictures, I just can't read without my telephoto lens.

8. Talk to my agent!

7. ME: Hello Mr. Officer, can you please take a photo of my friend and me? She's from out of town.

COP: Okay.

ME: CITIZEN'S ARREST! Didn't you read the sign? No photos allowed!

6. The aliens made me do it!

5. Have your people call my people so they can tell you to get a life! It's okay, I'll wait.

4. Look! Is that a NAKED Catherine-Zeta Jones carrying a box of donuts?!

3. Why yes Officer, I always wear my press pass to pick up lunch for the New Times' staff.

2. DON'T SHOO -- oh phew, I didn't have my telephoto lens on and I thought

your uniform said "Dade" on it. *Takes memory card out of mouth.*

1. You think I'm the criminal? Did you hear what Alec Baldwin thinks about pigs?!

And if none of these explanations work, my last response will

indubitably be, "May I phone a friend?" Let's just hope it doesn't get

that far. I'd prefer not to call my husband to let him know to push

back dinner plans because booking at Broward County Jail is taking

longer than expected.

On a side note, this question is for my Editor: does Broward-Palm Beach New Times cover bail? Please advise a.s.a.p.

For further information about this topic:

Student Press Law Center

Photography is Not a Crime

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Monica McGivern