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Congresswoman steps up for photographers' rights

Eleanor Holmes Norton, a democratic congresswoman based out of the nation’s capital, has come out swinging after a television news segment showed photographers’ rights being violated at Union Station.

The news segment,which aired last week on FOX5, looked into why security guar


Eleanor Holmes Norton, a democratic congresswoman based out of the nation’s capital, has come out swinging after a television news segment showed photographers’ rights being violated at Union Station.

The news segment,which aired last week on FOX5, looked into why security guards were ordering photographers not to take pictures inside the picturesque train station. At one point, as the news crew was interviewing an Amtrak spokesperson, a security guard told them to turn their camera off.

However, he was unable to explain the policy that forbids photography inside Union Station.

Since that segment ran, Jones Lang LaSalle, the company which manages Union Station, provided a list of policies that declared the historical train station “private property”, ensuring they have the right to forbid photography.

This arrogant notion angered Congresswoman Norton, who stated the following:

“I’m astounded that Union Station would be declared private property, when we [Congress] issued the lease,” she said.”The Congress of the United States didn’t realize it was selling Union Station, and it is not.

“We’re going to have hearings because it’s going to be us, the Congress, or it’s going to be the courts. Somebody is going to sue, straight out, and I can tell you that the Supreme Court precedents are as clear as water on this.”

Click here to view a video of Norton’s entire comments.

Joel Lawson, a Washington DC photographer, activist and blogger who was interviewed for the original news segment, is confident that Norton will back her tough talk with tougher action.

“As a former congressional aide and DC civic activist, I’ve known and watched Congresswoman Norton for years. I can tell you, if anyone’s going to mess with civil liberties in any manner whatsoever, or claim ownership over property which the people of America and the District of Columbia in particular hold dear, Eleanor Holmes Norton will not let them pass. Her intellect is powerful, and it is wrapped in tenacity and passion.”

Lawson operates LightboxDC, in which he is “shouting from a lightbox instead of a soap box.”

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