Nice to see you again, Gerry, welcome aboard.
"I have held the belief for the whole of my life that I live in a free country - obviously I have been wrong!"
That's the kleptomaniac's defence; you'll have to think of something better.
I'm not a press shooter, as is well know, and neither do I have much sympathy for crowds and demonstrations of any ilk, and I do see how the powers-that-be can feel obliged to do something to try and ensure a return to some sort of state of calmness in the land at large. If blame has to be apportioned, then I think one could start by looking into the recent pan-UK riots that started (they say) as demos against the shooting of a guy who had a gun (which was totally illegal, of course), and that was a godsend for those indulging in the looting and destruction of property, both public as well as private, that took off as a consequence. I have always struggled with the connection between looting and political demonstration; apparently, the majority of the world sees the two as natural twins, the one absolving the other, as it were.
Regarding the actual work being done by press photographers. As far as I can see, the huge mass of those people seem to shoot zillions of images, of which nothing seems to appear anywhere, the real objective apparently being for the snappers to be seen on tv, the medium being the message once again, which really takes me back in the decades! TV crews are by definition something else than scruffy young bums trying to make a buck; the older press hounds have long gone, as even casual watching of news broadcasts reveals. The fact of the matter is, hordes of 'press' photographers do not a lot more than make up the numbers and cause the place to look terribly untidy, and where there is trouble incite, by their presence, those with the will to even greater acts of vandalism. I'd ban the lot of them from public areas. Why don't they take up PR photography instead?
This will, of course, be taken as implying some sort of blanket support for governmental despotism, but I think we are in a country other than that; it ain't gonna happen becuse the average Joe is usually a little more sensible than to follow any party quite as blindly as he used to do in, say, the 40s or 50s. Were this not so, the unions would have grown, not shrunk, and Labour would always have remained in power. The dangers of union power have been shown to everyone and his wife, and now the idea is to bribe the train guys from going on strike during the Olympics... boy, oh boy, some of us Brits could give the Mafia lessons in extortion.
As for legitimate professional photographers wanting to make images of/in places of note, there is nothing stopping them from applying for permission to so do, and that can even lead to access to advantage points, as I know from my own experiences in advertising; ask, and people often bend backwards to help you out. Courtesy doesn't cost anyone anything and is one of the best investments in his own public relations that a photographer can make.
I love photoraphy, don't you?