Protest against the Church of Scientology [FZ50]

Started Feb 14, 2008 | Discussions thread
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Entropius
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Protest against the Church of Scientology [FZ50]
Feb 14, 2008

So, as many of you have probably heard, a decentralized group known as "Anonymous" has decided to protest the Church of Scientology because of their unethical practices. (In short: scamming members out of tens of thousands of dollars; suppressing discussion of their practices and information about their beliefs; illegal retribution against their critics; fraud; imprisoning members which has lead to their deaths; etc. See http://www.xenu.net for more information.)

Protests around the world took place on the morning of 10 February; me and my FZ50 were on hand to document.

This was one time I wished I had a faster RAW mode -- it would have helped deal with the insane dynamic range without introducing as many artifacts in the shadows, but it's too slow (and uses too much memory with my 2GB SD card).

I mostly do wildlife photography, and this was the first time I've "covered" an event as a photographer. Any tips for doing things like this?

Here are some pictures from the Tucson protest, most with shadow-boosting in Picasa to cope with the bright glary desert light, but with no "careful" PP.

51 people showed up; here's the group that was directly in front of the CoS building. There were more elsewhere.

The CoS agents had been patrolling campus for the previous week tearing down fliers, but they missed one closer to home:

Lots of people chose to cover their faces with masks to escape retaliation, since according to the CoS's "Fair Game" policy, critics "[m]ay be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed." This scared people into disguising themselves.

A popular disguise was as Guy Fawkes / V, because of the symbolism associated with Anonymous:

Another Panasonic shooter showed up to document the event (the local news).

The Scientologists hired this videographer to record the protest for some nefarious reason (yet another Panasonic!):

He claimed he wasn't working with them, but the FZ50's optics picked him up inside the building: (processed to remove glare from the glass)

... along with this guy, who was filming the protest the whole time from inside:

This lady (later identified precisely by the Tucson Anons -- she's the senior Tucson CoS member) was on some sort of phone the whole time. She tried to tail one of the protesters on the way out, following her around the block three times before the guy ran a red light to lose her:

The Tucson police were on hand in case anyone tried anything. Nothing happened here -- Tucson CoS is fairly small -- but they were needed elsewhere. (A Scientologist in Australia was arrested for assaulting a protester.)

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