Somehow I think there has to be more to this story. What else was near the sign you spoke of? Was it by the bathrooms or anything?
I crack up everytime people in demonstrations/protests argue about me taking their photo. Just protest in your own house then if you don't want to be seen…
I agree with you.
I've been reading this post attentively since I also sometimes shoot people on the street (with a camera, not gun!), and even when not, carrying a big cam and lens does draw attention.
Now here is my interpretation of the situation:
8:30 in the morning, the little girl had to go for a pee. Her father took her to the bushes, and when he emerged with her he saw the guy with the camera and long lens pointing somewhat their way. He adds 1+1 and viola - the rest is history.
This story just sounds like some serious misunderstanding, or bad coincidence. The guy certainly overreacted. While I would probably resolve the situation more the way Frank suggests, I think the OP handled it very well.
Just wanted to clarify a couple of things on how it all went down. The direction I pointed was not near any bushes or bathroom of any kind. The park is in the middle of a square and is completely open on all sides. The direction I pointed the lens was at least 45 degrees from where he and his daughter were standing if not more. They had come from what I guess was his tent. He was simply going out of his way to be a thorn in my side because he saw the camera's around my neck, and I had one of them raised when he first saw me.
The whole protest was made up of mostly unemployed people on welfare/unemployment who probably didn't have the slightest idea what they were even protesting in the first place. In fact two days after I was confronted one of the protesters shot himself in the park. He died on the scene. Since then the city has forced them to remove their tent city from the park, and in retaliation they have been doing random acts of vandalism, and general mischief all over the city. It's all just a bunch of nonsense really.