By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik September 4, 2004 at 10:32AM
I realize that not all filmmakers and indie-film lovers hate the Bush administration as much as I do, but how many of you care about being watched and monitored by our government? As if Ashcroft and his extremist band of prosecutors and judges haven't done enough to destroy our civil liberties, you couldn't walk around New York City during RNC week without being watched from above -- by the Fuji Film blimp.
If you looked closely at the blimp that had been circling the city and hovering over its widespread protests (to presumably take snapshots and surveil the crowds), you'd see the NYPD logo emblazoned underneath.
While it should come as no surprise that corporations would do the government's bidding, shouldn't there be some law against such an explicit collusion between public authorities and private companies?
The Associated Press reported that "Police officials refused to say how the blimp was being used, but Fujifilm spokesman Tom Shay confirmed Monday that NYPD officers were on board, free of charge, at the department's request."
"When it's been possible to provide the blimp for surveillance, we've done that,'' Shay said. "We normally would be flying anyway at the convention to give our brand name exposure."
Perhaps it hasn't crossed the minds of the folks at Fuji Film, but from now on, I will associate the "Fuji brand" with police intimidation, Big Brother surveilliance, and the end of civil liberties in America. If you're a filmmaker with a conscience, as I trust most of you are, you might think twice the next time you purchase film stock from Fuji, the unofficial film of the NYPD and GOP.