Getting rights on paper is only the first round of an endless battle.
Here is the experience of a qualified bidder on a local government contract trying to photograph potential job sites which happen to be Miami-Dade Metro stations:
Transit Miami, Wacken-“Nuts”, Reflections on the First Amendment.
At the first station I had no problem doing my work, I took my photographs and moved on. As I walked up to the second station I was greeted by two power-tripping guards that quickly welcomed me into the reality of the horrors of governmental and private company unions and their inane bureaucracies. To be clear, at all times I had in my possession the plans and contract book from Miami-Dade County stating the job description, locations, and purpose. I also identified myself and my intentions at every stop. It was at this stop where the debate and discussion on one’s constitutional right to photograph in public blossomed. I spent about one hour trying to get into the station to photograph the area, which I was not allowed to do.
At subsequent stations I already knew what to expect. Once again, I approached the station and introduced myself and explained myself. This guard appeared to be calm and wise, at least I thought based on his calm, non-emotional, respectful tone of voice. All that changed after he began talking about his “interpretations” on the law.
At this point, I was just so amazed and shocked that I wanted to hear more on his rationale. This guard had some of the best quotes of the day. Some of them are: “Miami-Dade Transit is not Public,” “The Constitution does not apply on Miami-Dade Transit grounds,” “The County Ordinances supersede the Constitution,” and the best justification for those lovers of the expansion of the police state…”9/11,” yes he said, “Now, after 9/11 your constitutional rights are different.” At this point, I was in shock that a Wackenhut Security Guard was stating this was the policy of the county and Wackenhut. He spoke with so much confidence and belief in the absurdities he was uttering that I said to myself, “This country is doomed.”
No, but maybe we need more lawyers?