Post RAVE act, post PATRIOT act America
August 22, 2005 1:29 AM   Subscribe

Krick of Evol Intent offers a firsthand account of the events that took place at a party that he was scheduled to play August 20th in Utah. The event was fully licensed, fully legal, and non-violent. Halfway through the party, authorities arrived in full riot gear and ended the event like a full-scale riot (tear gas, attack dogs, and assault rifles). One attendee managed to escape with actual video footage of the shutdown. Another DJ at the event who goes by Syne offers her own account of the same event, and the Utah Raves forum is lit up like a switchboard. Lawsuits are pending...
posted by deusdiabolus (92 comments total)
 
I didn't believe it until I had [tear] gas thrown at me.
A familiar phrase. Funny how this seems to be how a lot of people get into politics. It certainly is what made me start to take a non-casual interest in politics. I wonder whether the tear gas or the rubber bullets are more effective at increasing participation in the process of self-government?
posted by hattifattener at 1:47 AM on August 22, 2005


Related thread.
posted by Rothko at 1:50 AM on August 22, 2005


Why was this event shut down? The links seem to suggest it was stopped for no reason at all, but surely that is only one side of the story. I would like to hear what the police have to say.
posted by dydecker at 1:54 AM on August 22, 2005


What the police had to say... They said there was no permit issued. I think it is shit when police want to play soldier and kick some ass instead of doing things correctly. Regardless if there was some illegality involved with a few partygoers, it is not grounds to use such force. I hope they get the bejesus sued out of them.
posted by JJ86 at 2:02 AM on August 22, 2005


Even if there was a problem with the permit, that's a hell of a lot of effort to put in to make a point. Why not just call the promoters and say 'Hey, call it off." To me, a telephone call would be in order before spending thousands of dollars on helicopters and tear gas and transport for the arresters and arrestees and whatnot.

And though this particular event sucked muchly, I'm glad to hear that drum and bass is alive and well in Utah.
posted by yentruoc at 2:11 AM on August 22, 2005


It seems that the promoter set this ugly sequence of events in motion by neglecting to apply for the neccessary permits for the event to be legal. If the promoter had in fact applied for a permit would it have been issued?
posted by dydecker at 2:15 AM on August 22, 2005


I only found one related article on Google News: 60 arrested at canyon rave party, third heading down. The sheriff's spokesman says the party didn't have "county commission approval", which is apparently needed if you want to assemble in a large group. A brief hunt suggests Utah County Code §13 4.2.1 (PDF) may be what they're referring to: large parties lasting longer than 12 hours need extra permits. Much of the permit seems to be about proving that the people will have somewhere to sleep, go to the bathroom, have potable water, etc. So maybe the guys in cammo and face masks were from the health department, to inspect the porta-potties? The rifles are needed for the giant flies that hover around the toilets. The county code says that unpermitted gatherings are "public nuisaance[s] and may be abated as such". Does this normally involve teargas? Anyway, this only applies to parties lasting longer than 12 hours; since it's summer, it'd presumably be full daylight by then and not very rave-y, so 13 4.2.1 wouldn't really apply in the first place. Maybe there's some other ordinance hidden in there.

Utah County has a curfew for anyone under 18, too, though the list of alleged crimes didn't include curfew-breaking.

On preview: JJ86's sltrabune link pretty much matches my news link and is more detailed.
posted by hattifattener at 2:27 AM on August 22, 2005


You know, dydecker, has it occurred to you that maybe the police would have found ANY reason to do the exact same thing? Yentruoc's point stands: if there was a permit issue, there are better ways of dealing with this than going right to "riot mode" immediately.
posted by hincandenza at 2:30 AM on August 22, 2005


It seems that the promoter set this ugly sequence of events in motion by neglecting to apply for the neccessary permits for the event to be legal. If the promoter had in fact applied for a permit would it have been issued?

You would think so. But this from the Syne link in the first post:

They had all permits, a huge insurance policy and they were paying taxes.

And what everyone else said. Why? Why be such assholes? What is that going to achieve? Why are raves so bad… if you compare what other "crimes" the police could fight using the same amount of time, money, and manpower?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 2:31 AM on August 22, 2005


For playing really bad techno that the rest of the world gave up on five years ago I think the promoter should count himself lucky he got off so lightly.
posted by ciderwoman at 2:36 AM on August 22, 2005


You know, dydecker, has it occurred to you that maybe the police would have found ANY reason to do the exact same thing?

I do not live in Utah, but police in civilized places do not have the right to make such decisions. They are there to enforce the law. If the party was legal, and hattifattener's link suggests it was, then I'm all for suing the police.
posted by dydecker at 2:45 AM on August 22, 2005


Krick also had this to say regarding the promoter and the permit (boldface is mine):

The police were rounding up the staff of the party and the main promoter went up to them with the permit for the show and said "here, I have the permit." The police then said, "no you don't" and ripped the permit out of his hand. Then, they put an assault rifle to his forehead and said "get the fuck out of here right now."

I'm concerned that this is going to become the M.O. for any event that someone finds subversive. Drug use is irrelevant - you can find drugs or drug use at any major musical event. The key here is technicality. Soon any event of this nature will have to be so permitted and licensed that anything "undesirable" will be counted as a violation if the authorities show up (or when they show up). And regarding what hattifattener said: that's the exact sort of thing I'm talking about. A friend of mine had a party shut down because when they acquired the permit, they were not made aware that it only applied until midnight for the event in question (apparently the idea was to get a two-day permit). So of course at right around midnight, the police showed up and dispersed everyone (and arrested a few).

I wonder what it would take to get the authorities to show up to a Promise Keepers rally?
posted by deusdiabolus at 2:47 AM on August 22, 2005


The key here is technicality. Soon any event of this nature will have to be so permitted and licensed that anything "undesirable" will be counted as a violation if the authorities show up (or when they show up).

deusdiabolus it seems like any event of this nature (large, pre-planned music festival) already HAS to be permitted. It's not entirely clear that the promoter was acting within the four corners of the permit.

That being said, the heavy-handed police action doesn't seem justified, but "force protection" seems to be as much a part of police tactics as law enforcement.

Then again, there are no real police in American any more... the gun lobby has created an environment where the police are nothing less than heavily armed paramilitary organisations.
posted by three blind mice at 3:00 AM on August 22, 2005


When did we decide it was okay for our police to require a "permit" to exercise our liberty? Seems there's something in there about freedom of assembly. Requiring a permit allows the government to decide what assembly to allow or not. I've wondered about this every time I've heard about 'permits' being required to have a demonstration.
posted by Goofyy at 3:02 AM on August 22, 2005


"For playing really bad techno that the rest of the world gave up on five years ago I think the promoter should count himself lucky he got off so lightly." - ciderwoman

Thanks for such an insightful and intellectual comment- you really added to the community as a whole. The exit for trolls is to the left and down the stairs, and mind the last step, it's a doozy. Okay? Goodbye.

This exact situation happened to a party in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a few years ago. Kids were injured while police attacked in full riot gear including tear gas and tasers (!). To me, it seems like the police are just looking for an excuse to execute their power- practice for future crowd control or something.

A very disappointing state of affairs for sure, and I sincerely hope the county gets it's balls sued off- promoters nowadays (and trust me, I'm in the Colorado scene and I know) take this shit seriously- they attain proper permission, notify authorities and cover their own asses. After the RAVE act was passed, you cannot do it any other way- it's underground again, in private warehouses, forests, mountains, fields and public land.

I'll keep an eye on this for certain- if everything was set and legal, then the promoters have every right to sue, and to win.
posted by id at 3:04 AM on August 22, 2005


This is scary stuff, and sooner or later it will stop for the same reason many cities don't have goon squads kicking in doors anymore for drug raids... some kid is going to freak, pull a gun; and split a storm troopers head open.
Yes, it is a rave, peace, love, music; but this is a statistic that will reveal itself in time.
posted by buzzman at 3:06 AM on August 22, 2005


Young people don't have much political or economic power. Either they aren't old enough to vote or too often don't. They generally aren't busines owners or have any capitalistic clout. So, they can be pushed around at will without much repercussion (compared to their elders).

As for the drugs and such: I'm not saying I think it is healthy to put what are basically poisons into the body, a little perspective is due. There are drugs at the vast majority of all "large public gatherings of people". Football games, Allman Brothers' concerts, Britney Spears, Brooks and Dunn. Whatever the flavor, there is some flavor of drug taking going on. When it really comes down to it, what difference does it make if Bubba is shitfaced on moonshine, Martha is stoned, Mr. Stock Broker is zooming on Cocaine, Ted is puking Budweiser in the bleacher seats, or Billy is dancing in circles on E? It appears that one of the major differences is that one warrants tear gas and the rest receive corporate sponsorship.

Permit problems are often the same as a cop pulling someone over on a weekend night, or in a "bad side of town" for a broken tail light when they wouldn't have looked twice on a Sunday afternoon or the rich neighborhood, or when a bully beats some kid up for sitting in "his seat" in the cafeteria. They are excuses, rationalizations for power and control.

Government and their forces do have the right and the need for governing its people, but there has to be consistency and equality in order for there to be legitimacy as well as trust and faith by the people they are governing. Ramble Ramble 3am...
posted by Sir BoBoMonkey Pooflinger Esquire III at 3:10 AM on August 22, 2005


President Bush is visiting the area today, the Monday after this incident. I doubt this is a coincidence.

I don't know what message the authorities were trying to send, but this incident was clearly planned for a maximally violent showdown.

Maybe they want headlines about Utah's drug problem on Monday, so they get more federal funds. Or maybe it's just the sort of crackdown that occurs before VIPs arrive.

Some posters on utrave think that it's meant to scare anyone thinking of protesting Bush's visit. I'm not so sure -- in my hometown, that would actually cause a worse protest. But maybe Utah is different.
posted by brevity at 3:11 AM on August 22, 2005


Why the hell is it about electronic music that terrifies The Man so much? What exactly does "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" mean? This shit infuriates me.
posted by Astragalus at 3:13 AM on August 22, 2005


doh.
posted by Astragalus at 3:14 AM on August 22, 2005


Jesus id, lighten up. Maybe you got out of bed the wrong side today and are a little cranky because that was just a joke, hardly troll material. Now breathe deeply and calm down.

And if you're interested we had all the police action against raves here in the UK in 1994. Semms the police and repetitive beats just don't mix.
posted by ciderwoman at 3:43 AM on August 22, 2005


More info here
posted by ciderwoman at 4:08 AM on August 22, 2005


Utah gets a bad rap for dozens of things it doesn't really deserve, which is fine by me, as it probably keeps the state a better place. But one of the things I'm frequently amazed and angered by is the way in which some local authorities not only do not get local music and entertainment, but are actively hostile to it. The number of stories I'm familiar with involving venues or events that have just been harrased by city and county authorities until they finally give up and shut down is not few. I'm not just talking about raves... though fear of raves and the associated drug use is often what drives the ordinances and rule-making. Utah county really sucks for a variety of venues and entertainment in part because of this very hostility. Even though I'm no particular fan of raves or associated drug use, I'd love to see authorities slapped good for this, hoping that it'd crank up the respect a small notch, but I doubt it's gonna happen.
posted by weston at 4:52 AM on August 22, 2005


Police want parents of teenagers to know the dangers of illegal, clandestine rave parties. Gilbert said that in addition to heavy drug use, raves attract sexual assaults, violence, theft and promote unsafe driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Thanks.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 4:59 AM on August 22, 2005


yeah, it's not like any other activities where humans gather together attract those things.

luckily, people voluntarily choose the risks to enjoy the trappings of the event.

i see this as nothing but young vs. old, same old story
posted by Lectrick at 5:32 AM on August 22, 2005


I always wondered why the police didn't really do that at the parking lots of Dead shows. My theory was that the people pumped too much money into the local economies for the local police to go chasing them out of town. So maybe the raves just need to get bigger.
posted by flarbuse at 5:43 AM on August 22, 2005


Why the hell is it about electronic music that terrifies The Man so much? What exactly does "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" mean?

Authoritarians find Temporary Autonomous Zones (such as raves) to be quite threatening. Since Utah is one of the more conservative states in the country, I am not surprised at the hostility of its response; it is an almost natural reaction.
posted by solipse at 6:01 AM on August 22, 2005


Oh noes!!!111 Here come the black helicopters!!!!
posted by mrblondemang at 7:40 AM on August 22, 2005


President Bush is visiting the area today, the Monday after this incident. I doubt this is a coincidence.

We have a winner.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:40 AM on August 22, 2005


My bottom line is, you can tell me it's all fine and good and there were reasons, but i never want to hear anyone say we live in a free country. I'm serious, I've had it, you can't have your cake and eat it too.
posted by 31d1 at 7:46 AM on August 22, 2005


Utah isn't just "one of the more conservative states in the country"; it's a theocracy. Roughly 90% of Utah's state legislature is Mormon, as are the governor, the House and Senate delegations, and a majority of the state's supreme court and federal judiciary. (via CJR)
posted by nicwolff at 7:48 AM on August 22, 2005


P.S. The video is getting hit hard, I got some bandwidth to spare, so I mirrored it.

A quote:

"when i first read this i admit i was like "whatever another stupid rave gets broken up"...
then i watched that video. holy fuck."

posted by 31d1 at 7:49 AM on August 22, 2005


Coral Cache of the MOV file. ... still not working, but hopefully if enough people move over to it, it might start working.
posted by odinsdream at 7:49 AM on August 22, 2005


Coral Cache of 31d1's mirror.
posted by odinsdream at 7:55 AM on August 22, 2005


flarbuse: they chased the Dead out of the city I live near (Worcester, MA) back in the early 80s (wouldn't let them be booked in city limits). I don't think they added much money to the local businesses, and certainly not enough to offset the amount of law enforcement for the problems the fans created. Since when did hippies (or Dead Heads) have money anyways?

Reading up on the rave in question, it definitely looks like an abuse of force. You don't attack people because of one permit issue, especially when they weren't responsible for the pulling of said permit.
posted by inthe80s at 7:55 AM on August 22, 2005


This reminds me of the veishea riots that happened here a few years ago. Police trying to break up a party that was "to loud" (they recived exactly one noise complaint) used teargas to force the crowd onto a street called 'welsh ave' which is where all the bars are located.

It also happened that the street was closed to traffic, and food stands/rides/etc/concerts had been setup along the way. Thousands of people had been enjoying "taste of VEISHEA" along that street. Many of them not intoxicated. This was an 80 year tradition, fully embraced by the university.

Anyway, once the drunk partiers were herded to Welsh via teargas, the police basically tear gassed Welch ave, and the hundreds of innocent people. This was at about 12pm, when I heard hundreds of people screaming and running down welsh.

As you can imagine, this caused a Riot. (mostly people yelling at police, who tried to gas them, but didn't understand the concept of 'wind' which blew all the teargas away from the crowds). Eventually some light posts were knocked down as well.

I saw the whole thing through my dorm room window. Craziness.

Police can start riots, mostly by being their usual careless selves except to a large group of people rather then an individual.
posted by delmoi at 7:57 AM on August 22, 2005


Why are raves so bad… if you compare what other "crimes" the police could fight using the same amount of time, money, and manpower?

Because ravers don't vote, and voters aren't ravers. Mostly.
More importantly, I don't think the police officers in question were ravers.
posted by spazzm at 8:02 AM on August 22, 2005


(also, after the veishea riots, there was all this "oh no we're so sorry" from some of the students, all of this "This was horrible that the students did this!" fromt he administration". It was rediculous and sickening. bleh.)
posted by delmoi at 8:03 AM on August 22, 2005


I dunno... the footage provided doesn't look any worse than any aftermath of a non-permitted protest I've seen. This is something cops do all the time. Basically, if you don't IMMEDIATELY, and completely, comply with an order to drop, put out your hands, etc., and you make negative physical contact with them on top of that, you will get your ass handed to you on a silver platter. (By negative contact, I mean, spitting, shoving, kicking, etc. whether or not you are successful in actually touching the cop, that's enough for them to take you to paintown)

My personal favorite is the footage of a cop who took down a felon after a long car chase that had injured of of his fellow officers. The guy is hand cuffed, on the ground, not moving, but several cops are still restraining him. One of them, though, is still pummeling the crap out of this guy screaming "Stop Resisting!!!, Stop Resisting!" This dude is not doin' shit, and by couching it with the "Stop Resisting" call, the cop was able to beat the guy down on camera, with no repercussions.


Anyway, I sincerely doubt they had a qualified permit, as it would've been made public in the media (vs. a Pro-Rave forum). Still... the first option should have been to shut the power to the music, and make a call for everyone to disperse. (As they did in NY during an illegal street fair.... though that eventually degenerated into a similar situation) Megaphones are cheaper than tear gas, and use of a helicopter, last time I checked.

Failing that, THEN you do the Helicopter/Riot Guard crap.
posted by Debaser626 at 8:33 AM on August 22, 2005


My personal favorite is the footage of a cop who took down a felon after a long car chase that had injured of of his fellow officers. The guy is hand cuffed, on the ground, not moving, but several cops are still restraining him. One of them, though, is still pummeling the crap out of this guy screaming "Stop Resisting!!!, Stop Resisting!" This dude is not doin' shit, and by couching it with the "Stop Resisting" call, the cop was able to beat the guy down on camera, with no repercussions.

This is easily explained by the adrenaline rush that anyone involved in a long car chase is going to experience. That doesn't justify it, but it does explain it.

However, looking forward to this situation (please view the video if you haven't already - the police are in full war-style gear, it really looks like Iraq meets Burning Man) it's obvious that there's a misplaced sense of danger, or fear, on the part of the cops. In order to get this insanely riled up, they have to really be afraid of this event, for god knows what reason, too.

Like other debates on metafilter about the use of force, we're running afoul of the "but it was illegal, so whatever the cops did is expected!" type argument. No, it isn't. Use of force should be equal to the threat faced by the cops. In this case, there is little to no threat, and it was irresponsible of the cops to handle it this way even if they were technically justified in handling it this way.

It is not sufficient justification that we "expect" cops to behave this way now. That just means we have bad expectations.
posted by odinsdream at 8:44 AM on August 22, 2005


I went to ~15 Phish concerts from 1995 to 2004, and the phrase 'Temporary Autonomous Zone' is the ideal descriptor for their big shows. The annual festival in Maine (they also held 'em in New York and Vermont) drew somewhere in the neighborhood of 70,000 revelers, and here's the thing: the rural community of Limestone loved us. Certainly the incidence of drug use was staggering, but while security at the gate was more than nominal, security inside was nigh-nonexistent. As the filthy (no, I mean literally filthy, like not having bathed in days, not 'filthy' as a term of derision, though I've been known to bust that out as well in moments of pique) faux-hippies filed through town, they goosed the local economy, swapped stories with the locals, and displayed the marked lack of aggression common to heavy users of marijuana.

In other words, they reached out from within their community to the communities that housed them during their (ahem) long strange trip in their parents' Volvos, and those communities reacted as they generally do to an outstretched hand: they took it. My trips up to Limestone, ME (one of the most remote locations in the continental U.S.) gave me a feeling of extraordinary Americanness - something increasingly hard to get these days.

The media's (easy, musically and socially only partially correct at best) rap on Phish was that they were 'heirs to the legacy of the Grateful Dead,' and because of that narrative, there was very little panic about Phish shows. They were banned from Red Rocks in 1996, but even within the fan community the 95-96 period is understood as one of rapid growth in the wake of Jerry Garcia's death - i.e. lots of new hangers-on looking for a traveling party rather than Phish's peculiarly attentive fan engagement.

So in response to Astragalus's comment:

Why the hell is it about electronic music that terrifies The Man so much? What exactly does "the right of the people peaceably to assemble" mean?

I'm inclined to say that in a lot of ways, the rave/techno/electronica 'scene' (such as it is - I'm not part of it) is threatening because it doesn't have the decades-long veneer of acceptability that the 'hippie'/jam band scene has acquired. When the Dead became a punchline, even conservatives could relax and treat them as the moneymaker they were (and Phish were even moreso, as their fans were likely somewhat better off financially on average). There's a lot that's worrisome about electronica, after all:
  • It's 'hi-tech', so raves awaken a certain technophobia in older observers, especially in a time when 'security' increasingly has murky digital connotations rather than pointing to the good ol' lock-and-key.
  • The music alone is totally foreign. Bands like the Dead drew on traditional American musical vocabularies; not to totally geek out here, but Phish brought 60's/70's Miles Davis and arena rock vibes to the table long after they were 'new'; punk is a known quantity, nothing more complicated than I-IV-V played fast and loud most of the time. Raves are tinged with a faint 'Euro' vibe, they favour beats and melodies that literally have no analogue in the American pop vernacular shared by grownups, and the goddamn songs are more than three minutes long(!!). It's hard for newbies to get ahold of electronica (believe me, I've given up trying).
  • The drugs are new and complicated! Loads of my college friends (I'm 26 now) had a yen for drugs that could only be identified by their chemical formulae, drugs that had yet to acquire street names. 'Booze' is about the least threatening word in the English language, and its effects are pretty well documented. 'Weed' is a boring word, and marijuana is by and large a boring drug, for commentators and the authorities alike. And just say 'crack cocaine' aloud and you'll see why it sounds so troubling. But when you need science just to get fucked up...it's no wonder the Mormons flip out about raves. I mean c'mon people we're talking about science here.
  • Warehouses are low-rent and worrisome. Same with the things that go on there, surprise surprise.
Presumably these observations aren't new, but it's like anything else: raves suffer from a perception problem (my personal feelings about 'em notwithstanding). And as usual, hardcore scenesters bemoaning the commercialization or mainstreaming of this or that 'vibrant musical/youth subculture' are missing the point: they're not underground because they're a threat, they're perceived as a threat because they're underground.

None of which changes the fact that 'fascism.mov', though extravagantly named, is not inappropriately named. What a horrifying video.
posted by waxbanks at 8:45 AM on August 22, 2005


re: Veishea

And the police blamed the students. But we didn't start the riots, they did. You have a student who is banned from all public Iowa universities for charges that were obviously fabricated. The police claimed he pulled a street sign out of the ground, and threw it at an officer. And he saw all this through a cloud of tear gas. It didn't hold up in court, but the fact that those charges were made was enough for the school to kick him out.

It seems that cops exist to prove cops exist.

/ot
posted by Homeskillet Freshy Fresh at 8:56 AM on August 22, 2005


Additionally, police don't act in large force unless a politician tells them to. Cops are just the tendrils of those in power, so someone wanted it closed down.

Blaming the cops is like blaming the nail that punctured your tire - better time is spent looking for the careless roofers.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:01 AM on August 22, 2005


You have a student who is banned from all public Iowa universities for charges that were obviously fabricated. The police claimed he pulled a street sign out of the ground, and threw it at an officer.

Bleh, that's ridiculous. I saw most of the whole riot from the window in my dorm room in Friley, it took several people to tear down each sign, and I never saw anyone throw anything at the police rather then canisters of teargas that had been thrown at them.

ISU's internal 'justice' system is depraved, I've had to deal with them recently over an even that happened off campus (my growing of a weed plant) and they were able to use evidence that had been acquired illegally without a warrant.

I ended up with a 1 year suspension. Fortunately I had already earned my degree, but still.
posted by delmoi at 9:12 AM on August 22, 2005


Why are raves so bad… if you compare what other "crimes" the police could fight using the same amount of time, money, and manpower?

Because ravers don't fight back as hard as Guns and Roses fans. Hey, nice crime fighting there. I think there's a riot going down at the local puppy kennel. Don't forget your body armor.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:17 AM on August 22, 2005


The Jesse Helms - that's getting pretty close to the old 'just following orders' excuse I associate with atrocities of all manners. Yes, the politician who wanted to put on a show for dubya is also to blame, but the cops who were beating kids on the groud need to be jailed/suspended/fired/whatever the court says.
posted by yentruoc at 9:18 AM on August 22, 2005


I do not live in Utah, but police in civilized places do not have the right to make such decisions. They are there to enforce the law.

And the police never ever ever break the law. Ever.

Dydecker, you must be one naive motherfucker.
posted by krash2fast at 9:21 AM on August 22, 2005


Dydecker just doesn't get out much. Tip: Reality is not ideal, don't expect it to be.
posted by odinsdream at 9:32 AM on August 22, 2005


Another question from a naive motherfucker: could the event promoters be arrested and held criminally responsible for the drug use at this event under the 2002 RAVE act?
posted by dydecker at 9:34 AM on August 22, 2005


dydecker: yes, unfortunately. The act is impossible to comply with and it's dispensation is totally up to the prosecuter. For contrast, any Clear Channel event could be (but of course won't be) prosecuted under it.
posted by 31d1 at 9:47 AM on August 22, 2005


hardcore scenesters bemoaning the commercialization or mainstreaming of this or that 'vibrant musical/youth subculture' are missing the point: they're not underground because they're a threat, they're perceived as a threat because they're underground.

nice post, waxbanks.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:05 AM on August 22, 2005


This government seems to be intent on creating enemies and terrorists all over the world, even in it's own borders. People will only take so much of this before all hell breaks loose.
posted by monkeyboy_socal at 10:10 AM on August 22, 2005


I have a question about the cameraperson. Once the police go into "riot mode," does he/she not have a right to stay there and tape it? You hear the police keep saying "turn that camera off" at the end of the video. Do they have any right to enforce that? I understand they can make him/her disperse the area, but can't he/she film as he/she goes?

Is videotaping against the law?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:11 AM on August 22, 2005


"Tip: Reality is not ideal, don't expect it to be."

True. Doesn't mean you can't work for it. And it doesn't mean there is any excuse for reality not being the ideal. It's that way because someone wants it that way and someone else lets it be that way.

To quote Michael Corleone: It's all personal.

Find the people responsible. Put them through changes. Eradicate the behavior.


"some local authorities not only do not get local music and entertainment, but are actively hostile to it."

Yeah, they don't fuck hookers standing up out there because they don't want to look like they're dancing.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:18 AM on August 22, 2005


Anyway, I sincerely doubt they had a qualified permit, as it would've been made public in the media (vs. a Pro-Rave forum).

Actually, I'm much more inclined to believe the DJ. Why would you be inclined to belive hearsay over direct testimony?
posted by mrgrimm at 10:24 AM on August 22, 2005


"Is videotaping against the law?"

Technically, no. But i have seen many photographers and videographers get tackled to the ground and their gear confiscated stolen and tapes/film erased.

I try to live under the radar now, i used to be a more high profile activist, but the man ground me to a nub. Maybe more people will begin to see the police state around them, and act...but will it be too late?
posted by schyler523 at 10:25 AM on August 22, 2005


Man, I miss Utah.
posted by gramschmidt at 10:27 AM on August 22, 2005


According to a police officer posting at utrave.org who was part of the raid, the event was illegal as promoters failed to obtain a Utah County Mass Gathering Permit from the County Commission. Partygoers dispute this and say the police confiscated the permit and wouldn't give it back. I guess the county commission will have copies and the truth will bear out pretty soonish.

Here is the thread.
posted by dydecker at 10:30 AM on August 22, 2005


I do not live in Utah, but police in civilized places do not have the right to make such decisions.
Two points at the outset. Utah is a civilized place by any but the most ignorant or self-righteous standards. Have some decency and respect for the state and its residents.

Secondly, free will indicates that any individual has the right to do anything they want. It is society who limits the exercising of this right with norms, like laws. It is the institutions of society that enforce norms with sanctions, both positive and negative, that might be imposed on someone for exercising free will. Thus, the police officers have the right, like you and I do, to do whatever it is they want, even if it's illegal or morally corrupt. Whether or not sanctions are imposed against the police, the promoters or attendees depends on how this plays out in the judicial system and the court of public opinion.

On preview of my own comment, the simple answer may turn out to be the right answer. If the permit was not applied for, then the police had the legal right, possibly even the obligation, to do exactly as they did, even if it turns out that the ordinance can be overturned and the promoters rewarded for the damages they incurred. That is how our legal system works.
They are there to enforce the law.
One eyewitness account of the event says the promoter had the permit in hand when the police arrived. One of the officers took the permit and told the promoter that he did not have the permit. Whether this means he did not have the right permit or not is unclear. The permit process would leave a paper trail. If they had the permit, it will be relatively easy to produce evidence of it.

Furthermore, a lawyer who specializes in this kind of law over at Daily Kos suggested that this ordinance is flawed and could be challenged successfully in court like others he has worked on.
posted by sequential at 10:32 AM on August 22, 2005


If the permit was not applied for, then the police had the legal right, possibly even the obligation, to do exactly as they did, even if it turns out that the ordinance can be overturned and the promoters rewarded for the damages they incurred. That is how our legal system works.

This keeps happening on Metafilter threads about this topic. I guess people like saying stuff that isn't true, and pretending it is.

First off, if you haven't watched the video, watch it. Okay, now... how does "not getting a permit" equal "full war fatigues, helicopters, tear gas, and physical violence"? And what gives you the slightest notion that this is "how our legal system works" ?

This is not how legal systems work. Real legal systems work by matching the punishment to the crime. In this case, not applying for a piece of paper (which, by the way, they arguably did - we'll see soon enough), should equal polite interference from the police who calmly shut down the event, by, for example, cutting off the power, asking everyone to leave, and then ensuring people do so. Considering the type of crowd this was, it's hardly worth explaining how easy this would have been.
posted by odinsdream at 10:44 AM on August 22, 2005


'If the permit was not applied for, then the police had the legal right, possibly even the obligation, to do exactly as they did,"

Yeah, I'm going to have to go with odinsdream on that. This sentence can be inserted anally.
If I'm jaywalking the cops don't have the legal right or obligation to club me sensless and stick me in the cooler for 24 hours, deny me bail, etc. etc.
I have no conception of this 'free will' crap in relation to the law, but way back when the country was founded we had this here social contract thing to sort of avoid friction in general and violence in particular.
Later on someone said some neat things about right to petition the government for redress of grevances, right of assembly, and something about any rights not spelled out were delegated to the 'people' side of that social contract, not the 'authority' side.

Didn't see anything in there about the police's 'right' to bust heads - just that business about the people's right to bust heads when the authorities abuse their rights.
But y'know, it was put more eloquently.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:06 AM on August 22, 2005


Ravers in Utah? Who ever heard of such a thing? The cops probably just thought it was terroristspeak for "let's plan to blow up Utah" and responded normally.

Yeah, no, this is way over the top and overkill. No matter what's happened, there's no call to put an assault rifle to anyone's head and order them to leave. That's what pyscho's do to their hostages, not the cops.

The police involved should be fired and then indicted.
posted by fenriq at 11:37 AM on August 22, 2005


"Secondly, free will indicates that any individual has the right to do anything they want."
Uh, no, retard. Free will means that each individual can choose to do whatever they want, not that they have the "right" to.
I mean, not that I want to derail your awesome authoritarian apologea.
posted by klangklangston at 11:52 AM on August 22, 2005


Actually, I'm much more inclined to believe the DJ. Why would you be inclined to belive hearsay over direct testimony?

Well... I am more inclined to believe what was published in an actual newspaper (conservative or not) than what one of the DJs says in his on-line music forums. That said, I'm not saying that the DJ is lying, but as odinsdream said, if they did apply for a permit, there will be a paper trail. Even if the tinfoilers think the Utah officials would be willing to destroy the copies of the permit, at the very least the promoter should have evidence himself, at the minimum, a cancelled check or credit card statement.

As far as assault rifles held to people's heads, I didn't see that on the video, so I can't speak on that siutation. Fatigues and machine guns nonwithstanding, the cops were doing their job. (and please refrain from comparing tear gas, a night in jail (for most of those arrested) and a coupla whacks with a billy club to "I vas just followeeng orders.")

Dollars to donuts, the county officials (having dealt with this several times in the recent past (per the newspaper article) most likely chose to make an example out of this particular rave to dissuade (understatement!) party goers from attending future events in the area. I have had my civil liberties trampled on many a time by Police officers... however, each time I had been doing something wrong, or been in an area that I had no business in. Granted, the didn't see it, didn't happen rule comes into play here, but please stop with the "I was only AT the riot... it's not like I was rioting... I was passing through." statement. That works if you live/work in the immediate area, and are going home. But if you live elsewhere and a riot breaks out... LEAVE. Cop stops you. Don't get belligerent.

You'll note the video does NOT show what instigated that beat down. If the persons involved kicked, punched, or spit at the cops... well, what do you THINK is going to happen. If it was completely unprovoked, those cops should be removed from active duty at the least. Not like anyone can identify them through all that gear anyway...
posted by Debaser626 at 12:02 PM on August 22, 2005


"You'll note the video does NOT show what instigated that beat down."

But you will notice that the video DOES show police officers dressed like Special Forces, coming in with choppers and strapped up with automatic weapons. I've been witness to more than my fair share of police activity and this strikes me as way the hell over the top. What is this, Russia? North Korea?

Odinstream and others are right, there was an appropriate way to shut this down - this was not it.
posted by j.p. Hung at 12:24 PM on August 22, 2005


please stop with the "I was only AT the riot... it's not like I was rioting... I was passing through." statement.

I've never been arrested in such a situation, but it's been close. Just walking down the bloody street. Honest.

Those anarchists, man. They come out of nowhere.

You'll note the video does NOT show what instigated that beat down.

Which is why there should be ... more video! Why would the cops want to stop the video recording? I wonder ...

Based on the descriptions of the event, I'd *guess* that the beatdown folks were loaded with drugs (probably weed, if dogs smelled them) and tried to escape.

Democracy Now and the Drug Policy Alliance both picked it up, but I don't expect to see any AP coverage ...

I honestly don't think there's a connection (just another guess), but I hope this envigorates the Bush protestors today. Same shit, different politician.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:34 PM on August 22, 2005


More great Utah news.

TV Station Refuses to Air Anti-War Ad Days Before Bush Visit

Ah, what a civilized place.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:37 PM on August 22, 2005


But you will notice that the video DOES show police officers dressed like Special Forces, coming in with choppers and strapped up with automatic weapons. I've been witness to more than my fair share of police activity and this strikes me as way the hell over the top. What is this, Russia? North Korea?

First... let me make it absolutely clear that I agree with you. I don't know what uniforms ESU wear in Utah... but I doubt it's standard issue camo with assault rifles... Though I must say most of the cops in that footage did not have assault rifles... I think it was a show of force to make an example out of these ravers. Sorta like a retarded Shock and Awe campaign.

NYC's Riot Division ESU wear simple blue SWAT style garb, helmets, carry batons, (only some have guns, the ones not on the "riot-line" as the fear is that during a tussle a rioter or protestor will gain access to the weapon) have tear gas launchers, and shields.

As such, the mere presence of firearms in this instance indicated either a gross oversight by the police, or, as I am more likely to believe, they either knew the situation would not escalate or those guns were loaded with rubber bullets. Riot cops simply are not supposed to carry firearms with live ammo into a crowd control situation, for the same reason prison guards don't carry guns unless they're secure in a tower or turret.

By the way, as a tangent, are we 100% sure these are Utah Police? Was just wondering if the state had asked reservists or national guard for help on the situation.
posted by Debaser626 at 12:54 PM on August 22, 2005


Please note that this comment should be corrected as follows:
If the permit was not applied for, then the police had the legal right, possibly even the obligation, to do exactly as they did shut down the event, even if it turns out that the ordinance can be overturned and the promoters rewarded for the damages they incurred.
By not including my reaction to the video, my thoughts on the alleged police brutality or the method law enforcement chose to go about shutting down the event, in combination with this unfortunate choice of words, some of you have incorrectly read my post as condoning any or all of the above. This is simply false and conjecture on the part of several posters.

If I were submitting this as a paper or to an editor, this error would have certainly been caught before it went in front of my intended viewers eyes. However, this is a post on a message board. Don't take it too seriously.
posted by sequential at 12:57 PM on August 22, 2005


Uh, no, retard.
Am I understanding correctly that your definition of "retard" is one who does not agree with your opinion?
Free will means that each individual can choose to do whatever they want, not that they have the "right" to.
We will have to disagree over the definitions of the phrase "free will" and the word "rights". I was not inferring a legal definition. Instead, I meant that the free will and rights are inalienable. Free will is highly internalized. Though socialization may teach us certain things are right and wrong, nothing, short of physical restraint, can prevent an individual from exercising free will. I made my comment about free will intentionally withholding any value judgement because I did not believe interjecting my beliefs would help me make the point to dydecker. In case it isn't clear, my point is that in civilized societies, like Utah, people maintain the right to exercise free will, even if that action is patently uncivilized.
I mean, not that I want to derail your awesome authoritarian apologea. [sic]
I can't believe that I took the time to reply to someone who started off by calling me a retard.
posted by sequential at 1:19 PM on August 22, 2005


Jesus. Have cops forgotten about the existence of video technology? How stupid do these dipshit Mormon Avengers have to be?

I hope those kids hit the Jackpot and sue the living shit out of the county until the counties forced to patrol BLM land in Mattel Big Wheel plastic tricycles. The whole could have been sttled with a ten minute conversation, a PA announcement, and unpluging the diesel generators.

Worse has happened to kids in Utah. My family is from SE Idaho and my sister and her kids live in the only sane fucking island in Utah - Park City.

Maroni blow your horn and get these assholes off the planet already!
posted by tkchrist at 1:23 PM on August 22, 2005


I read this earlier today before I could see the video, and thought, hmmmm, I guess a rave was shut down with a little too much force than was necessary.

Now that I've seen the video I realize how fucking insane and disproportionate the police response was to even what could possibly be alleged (gathering without a permit, drug use).

This is America???
posted by grouse at 2:05 PM on August 22, 2005


Looks to me like a police force who didn't have the right training and completely screwed up the situation. This wasn't a protest or militant group, it was a huge party. If you unplug the music, throw some bright lights on it, and leave the walkway clear, chances are that the majority would clear out. As it is, I expected to see a few humvees pulling in on the periphery and maybe some covering fire.

delmoi, I think in the VEISHEA incident last year (yeah, it was only 2004) the party was broken up by the police a couple blocks away from Welch but everyone was pushed toward campustown. Of course they got a little loud, at which point the police went nuts. I knew a couple guys who were arrested, including one who had just run for GSB president. He was actually trying to get people to stop messing with stuff and leave the area. My sister knows someone who was sprayed with pepper spray when he asked an officer which way he was supposed to exit. The whole thing was a fiasco and to my knowledge the police never acknowledged that they will handle future incidents in a calmer manner.

For contrast, there was a small riot in Ames, IA back in the 1999/2000 school year after a basketball game. A mob gathered around the Welch/Lincoln Way intersection and headed toward the stadium, pulling over a few lightposts along the way. The police eventually worked in from the back of the crowd and minimized the property damage, but not before the front of the crowd flipped a car over near the fraternities.

From my experience, crowds can be dispersed with a minimum of violence and property damage but only if the police remain calm and target only the individuals doing the damage. If random bystanders think they're being targeted, they're more likely to react and become violent themselves.
posted by mikeh at 2:09 PM on August 22, 2005


Iraqis take note: Some day, you too could have all the freedom that us 'murcans do.
posted by mullingitover at 2:16 PM on August 22, 2005


Bonds and permits or otherwise, this is dumb.

I've been to parties that were broken up by the police... generally it involved the music getting turned off, and everybody quietly shuffling off the premises.

I've never quite understood the logic behind forcing people to go drive their cars while they're peaking... but hey, I guess that's why I'm not a cop. To me it seems a lot safer to either kill it before it starts, or wait until afterwards and tell the promoter he's not welcome then.
posted by mosch at 2:20 PM on August 22, 2005


A significant minority of Utahns have their panties in a wad about non-Mormons drinking coffee and beer. You think they're going to place nicey-nice when rave drugs are involved?
posted by jonp72 at 2:29 PM on August 22, 2005


I don't expect them to place "nicey-nice", but I do expect cops to play by the rules.
posted by nomisxid at 2:42 PM on August 22, 2005


Wandering around the RedSox victory party last fall in which one girl was killed by taking a gas canister to the head, I noticed that the crowd was not especially raucus except when either a) very densely concetrated or b) near angry looking police.

My theory at the time was that some non-confrontational actors needed to be interspersed to prevent a critical mass. I even made the case to a friend that a bunch of somber, cheap suit-clad mormons would be the perfect crowd control mechanism. It seems I was wrong.
posted by allan at 2:42 PM on August 22, 2005


the camo? it's for sneaking up on them undetected, obviously. I was totally expecting to see one of them sniper dudes rising from the dust in front of the stage.

"did you film that??" why do you ask, mr police soldier, did you just do something wrong?

fuckers.
posted by mr.marx at 3:57 PM on August 22, 2005


I don't expect them to place "nicey-nice", but I do expect cops to play by the rules.

I think you misunderstand me. I'm totally libertarian on the rave drug issue, but I sadly know Utah enough that I'm not altogether surprised with what went down, given the state's longstanding history of weak support for civil liberties.
posted by jonp72 at 4:14 PM on August 22, 2005


This is the same state where rifle-toting SWAT-wannabes chase down teenage shoplifters who dropped their merchandise at the store.

No surprise here.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:36 PM on August 22, 2005


well, i'm not stunned. not even a little bit surprised. sigh.

i think that in addition to the impending Bush o' Doom that's coming to Utah having a bit to do with this... it might have an awful lot to do with all the Homeland Security monies making their way to all the backwaters of our fair land. after all, if you don't use the toys (like helicopters) Uncle Sam has bought you, you might not get any more loads of cash. thus, the increasing use of over-the-top, outrageously out-of-proportion-to-the-event kinds of police force we've been seeing of late.

gotta keep that tap open, after all...
posted by RedEmma at 4:42 PM on August 22, 2005


To follow on RedEmma's tangent FYI, where I work, at the Texas Department of Public Safety (state cops, driver's license, crime records, bunch of other stuff) they are setting up a whole new department for oversight of how law enforcement agencies are using Homeland Security money. Apparently they tried just a couple spot checks and found rampant abuse all over the place.

So like, at least Texas is going to try to do something about that kind of thing. Or make a half-assed attempt for show so they can say they're doing something, take your pick.
posted by beth at 5:04 PM on August 22, 2005


Koo-Koo Bananas...Like in New York during the Republican Convention when they just put orange fences on both ends of a street and arrested everyone inside the 'net' and threw them in that old bus depot for 3 days. Including, protestors, people walking to work, tourists and even some Republicans (I wonder if they still voted for Bush?). No lawyers allowed either (and when a judge ordered that to stop, the response was 'eff you!'), some people were not given medical attention or their medications. Why? New York wanted to make it so miserable that people wouldn't protest anymore. I think it worked.

Same principle here. Don't need no stinking permit, just want to make sure you get the message your type ain't welcome here no more.
posted by UseyurBrain at 9:08 PM on August 22, 2005


What mosch and others said. Why not just turn off the generator?

My brother-in-law is a cop, and I really respecct him a lot, but just feel embarassed for him when this shit happens. He works in an affluent county near DC that many consider to be highly professional. He's taking extra training courses all the time. Two years ago he took a lengthy rifle course in order to qualify for one (in light of the sniper incidents). Now he's doing traffic accident forensics.

My point being, in a county next door, they've had about 20 years of corruption, graft, racially charged abuse, and just plain incompetence. It's not that poor a county either, just one that has had a string of asshats in charge and politicians who don't really care.

I get the impression these cowboys haven't had a fraction of the training that my bro-in-law has.

Cops can really suck. But I'm glad there are a lot of good ones, doing it for the right reasons.
posted by bardic at 9:33 PM on August 22, 2005


Cops can really suck. But I'm glad there are a lot of good ones, doing it for the right reasons.
-----------------------------------------------------
It's a shame the good cops aren't the ones getting all the press these days.
At this point this country is well on the slippery slope to fascism and I don't see anything anywhere that gives me hope it's crested a wave and is rolling back.
I just see more of the same: Ignorant power-hungry types who if they don't understand something they feel an irresistible urge to kill it rather than try to figure it out.
I find it really difficult to understand why a group of people who sit around and talk about things, reason about things, want the best for everyone rather than a small group can be seen as more dangerous than the most evil of evil empires. Is the power of thought really that frightening to them?
posted by mk1gti at 10:07 PM on August 22, 2005


mk1gti : "Is the power of thought really that frightening to them?"

I doubt it's the power of thought. That's ancillary (for example, the majority of the kids there were probably middle class, but I doubt it's the power of the middle class that frightens them). To be honest, I'm not sure if anything about the rave was actually frightening to them. Probably just that the playstyle of people who go to raves is so alien to them that they enjoy taking the kids down. Same reason that bullies pick on smart kids. It isn't because of jealousy or all the other crap that parents tell their kids who are getting bullied is the reason. It's that being intelligent is alien to bullies, and bullies enjoy taking down those who they find alien.

The causes at upper levels may be political (il Duche visiting soon), or may be due to the fear of drugs among parents, or a host of other reasons, but the immediate cause of, for example, using helicopters and rubber bullets probably comes down more to the joy (for the people who take joy in that kind of stuff) of "teaching people a lesson".
posted by Bugbread at 11:38 PM on August 22, 2005


Re mk1gti and bugbread, cops that get into it for the right reason strike me as guys and gals who saw stupid, criminal, obviously anti-human activity at a younger age, and want to stop it. But that's the can of worms right there--my b-i-l grew up middle class and saw lots of stupid things occuring in his neighborhood, barely could afford his BA in criminal justice, but took it on with loans and made it.

I actually have a great time hanging out with him and talking shit--we drink beer and talk politics (I am very left, he is right of moderate-right), but just hearing his stories and views provides me with a lot of perspective.

Cops tend to be the guys who pull you over for busted plates and speeding. You experience this. We all experience this. It fucking sucks. Cops can also be the guys who shut down your party, confuse you for a criminal, etc. I have experienced this. It is an opportunity for abuse on their part. But how about the guy/girl who shows up when an elderly person has died in their apartment, bloated for about a week, has no ID? Who makes those phone calls? Who smells that stink? Who does the paperwork? We don't tend to hear about this.

I couldn't do it, not for moral reasons, but for practical ones. I could go on about his stories, but for every clusterfuck along the likes of this post, there are tens if not hundreds of incidents where they're doing the right thing. Maybe down the road we can do a psych scan for cops who have a chip on their shoulder and just want to kick people around and those who pass out blankets to the homeless. It's kind of an allegory.

That said, Utah sucks. Stop trying to make your cops Yugolsav-type paramilitiary and spend time on the training it takes to communicate with the community, figure out what they need, and adjust your parameters to keep people as safe as possible.
posted by bardic at 3:42 AM on August 23, 2005


bardic
I'm not saying that your brother is a bad cop, just that for the most part those who go into the service, idealistic or not eventually succumb to a kind of burnout and alienate themselves from the public and only associate among themselves.
It happens with people in these types of occupations, such as IRA agents, law enforcement officers, etc.
Again, I'm not saying your brother fits this profile, but there was an article in Psychology Today some years back (early 80's if memory serves me correctly) that said that most persons who join the police force fit the profile of bullies or cowards in school. Those who like to control or those who in a roundabout way are getting back at society for all those years they were tormented. Something to think about at your next interaction with law enforcement.
As for myself, I've known good cops and bad cops, here's hoping your brother never experiences the burnout and disillusionment that happens in that kind of work far to often.
posted by mk1gti at 5:34 AM on August 23, 2005


Had the authorities really been concerned about the legality of this gathering, they could have easily set up road blocks as people arrived at the scene, or met with the promoter beforehand. Instead they acted like an invading force out of all proportion to the circumstances.

This really reflects the increasing militarism of our country, and the fact that some people are just itching for a fight even if they don't have a coherent "enemy". We now spend so much money preparing to defend against an outside aggressor, and in its tangible absence we've turned against ourselves. This is just like the red scare of the 50s.
posted by gallois at 9:33 AM on August 23, 2005


but I do expect cops to play by the rules.


HeeHee...bwahahhahaha...snort...

*sigh*

Thanks nomisxid...i feel better now.
posted by schyler523 at 3:09 PM on August 23, 2005


More from Versus.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:53 PM on August 25, 2005


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