Today a police media unit invaded the Jef’s Corner Foodvan site to record a propoganda clip for their Missing Persons unit. While police present used “they’re with us” to dismiss the objections of both volunteers and patrons to the presence of cameras, gung ho cameramen seemed to select furtive positions to steal stealth shots of unaware homeless persons.

The Police attitude of “its okay because its us” is typical of the cavalier attitude and assumption of greater rights for themselves simply because they are police.

There was also an SBS crew along for the ride, we aren’t sure why.

First off, a message to police.

The government of whom you are a part have told us clearly and unequivocally that they do not support or foodvans and have refused to provide any support services for the Sydney Homeless community. In addition many homeless people perceive whether correctly or otherwise, that the police represent a clear and latent threat to them personally and the homeless community in general.Many tell of being bashed by police, detained for months only to have charges dropped and similar tales.On Thursday 19th June the Jefs Corner Foodvan service recoredd its smallest ever attendance with homeless people scattering in droves because you were there.The proirity of the foodvans is to feed homeless people.We actually think that what they do goes some way to reducing crime, by eliminating another reason for often desparate people to commit crimes to survive. We are NOT background material for your media presentations. Please do not use our members or services to promote your governments programmes.May we suggest using one of the government supported services, and allowing them to notify their clients in advance of your indended presence. But you would be hard pressed to find any homeless people using those services.

To The General Media;

Please understand that many if not most homeless people have a Tongan view of image capture.Tongan view? In The Kingdom of Tonga it is a criminal offence to take anyones photo without their permission. Look at our site. Do you think its almost totally devoid of photos because we don’t like the look? We simply respect the decision of homeless people NOT to have their images used. Because we ask, and usually get told no. Even by our own collective members and as it happens,this editor. The reasons for homeless and marginalised people not wishing to be identified publicly are as numerous and individual as there are homeless and marginalised people.

If you are doing a story at any homeless facility, please let the facility operator know.Its common courtesy.Please request that they notify their clients in advance. Please check with individual clients in advance of collecting your story info or photos. In general long distance crowd shots where the image is blurred and individuals are unidentifiable are more acceptable than close up shots. You wouldn’t like it if we walked into your home and took photos without permission. This is our home.

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