Recently in the press there has been a fair bit of exposure about an incident here in Hong Kong involving a security guard (who looked more like a burly bodyguard) at the Dolce & Gabbana store in Tsim Sha Tsui stopping people with cameras from shooting the facade of the building from the public pathway. Allegedly they were refusing local Hong Kong photographers from taking pictures, but allowing mainland chinese customers to do so, as long as they were coming into the shop and buying goods. This kind of racism and discrimination is clearly unacceptable behaviour for anyone to have to endure and we are very happy that the public has reacted in the way it has over this incident.
A few of us expat photographers decided to gather during one of the Sunday afternoon protests and head down there armed to the teeth with cameras and HD video headcams to film the protest, take lots of photographs and generally assist the protesters in sending their message, wearing Grahams custom made 'No Photo' signs on our backs to add some impact to our message.
Both myself and Graham Uden, having previously served in Iraq as photographers were quite happy to stick on the headcams and dive straight in at the front, through the police line and get to the front of the action. We managed to attract a fair bit of attention from the chinese news teams and photographers as there weren't many other westerners there apart from our small crew of professionals and regular RGB members including myself, Graham Uden, Carsten Schael, Angelo Costadimas, Viveck Bansal and Gareth Brown.
Graham gave some interviews to various TV and radio media who were keen to hear our views on the subject and we believe we achieved our aim by showing that this is not just an issue for the chinese, but equally for all photographers, no matter where they come from.
Other protestors were dressed up in different outfits to attract attention from the media, so the whole event was good for us as there were plenty of things to photograph during the protest.
The protest went without any problems, we didn't see any representatives from D&G come outside to apologise at all, despite the repeated chants of 'apologise' in cantonese from the large crowd that had gathered....This clearly irritated the protesters as it showed more arrogance from the brand as they appear to be simply refusing to acknowedge the problem (at least during the time we were there, this was the case).
We commended the police on their manner during the protest, they were very polite and helpful towards us, and there was no violence during the protest, which is always good.
here is the video of Graham talking to the press with a brief recap of the situation:
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