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The Politics of Dance
August 23, 2005 12:22 AM   Subscribe

Pump up the volume: Utah, 8/20/2005. A small fully permitted outdoor Drum and Bass gathering called "Versus 2" was the scene of a surreal amount of excessive force and tactics of cultural intimidation. Approximately 60 armored, helmeted and camouflaged Utah County Sheriffs officers armed with Police dogs, Tasers, MP5 submachine guns, rifles, batons and tear gas stormed the DJ booth and the dance floor. Still and video camera operators were singled out for abuse, police violence and confiscation of image recording devices. At least one video clip has made it to the net, helping spread the news globally within the Electronic Dance Music community within 24 hours. (Video Links: please use the torrents here or randomly choose one server here (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ) to help spread out the bandwidth costs.) Flashback to 6/31/2005 in the Czech Republic. Flashback to 70 years ago. More coverage: Daily Kos - Utah Indymedia - Drug Policy Alliance - Democracy Now (Audio) - more.
posted by loquacious (196 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Double? But nice work nonetheless.
posted by nathan_teske at 12:27 AM on August 23, 2005


I agree...even though I posted it already, it's good to have torrent links up on the front page so everyone can access the footage. Because that's what t3h 1nt3rn3t$ is all about. Thank you!
posted by deusdiabolus at 12:32 AM on August 23, 2005


Holy crap, how did I miss that? I busted my ass on this post. :(
posted by loquacious at 12:34 AM on August 23, 2005


A small nitpick, but surely the event in question occurred on 8/20/2005, not 7/20 as your post indicates?
posted by RichardP at 12:34 AM on August 23, 2005


I guess I was too busy gathering links, talking on my local email lists and doing research to properly watch the front page.
posted by loquacious at 12:35 AM on August 23, 2005


Yeah, 8/20. I don't know how that happened either. It even reads 8/20 in my offline textfile and notes.
posted by loquacious at 12:36 AM on August 23, 2005


I was expecting a police riot, but not so much. However, what I did find disturbing was that the "police" were wearing paramilitary/military uniforms, as though they were some kind of commando/special forces unit moving into an al Qaeda training camp ready to liquidate everything that moves.

So long as they're not coming after you, I guess no one really cares.

If the trend continues, we won't have any freedom left for the terrorists to hate. It was a nice experiment while it lasted.
posted by Davenhill at 1:13 AM on August 23, 2005


I did it. I'm a sneaky ninja.
posted by bigmusic at 1:14 AM on August 23, 2005


Approximately 60 armored, helmeted and camouflaged Utah County Sheriffs officers armed with Police dogs, Tasers, MP5 submachine guns, rifles, batons and tear gas stormed the DJ booth and the dance floor and began swinging with the beat. Racing on ecstacy, juiced on Red Bull and Vodka, and goofed on skunk weed, most of the ravers at first thought the strangely dressed officers were part of the crowd and were just busting some new dance steps. Those shot by tasers thought the shock was mildly invigorating - and oddly appealing. Others remarked at how punk the military garb was. Only when the buzz started wearing off did they realize how terribly mistaken they were.
posted by three blind mice at 1:20 AM on August 23, 2005


the "police" were wearing paramilitary/military uniforms

It's called SWAT, "Special Weapons and Tactics".

Shutting down an unlicensed (from what I've read, they had licenses, just not *all* of the ones needed) rave with more than 500 people present (a large percentage of whom can be assumed to be under the influence of one substance or another) is a little different from giving out traffic tickets.
posted by mrbill at 1:24 AM on August 23, 2005


Yeah, they're generally more peaceful than your average traffic stop, from what I hear about traffic stops.

At the least you're not standing in dangerously fast moving traffic writing tickets.

In 15+ years of going to Electronic Dance Music events and gatherings, I've never seen violence. I've seen LAPD pin 2,500 people into an alleyway or parking lot and start firing rubber bullets and tear gas without just cause, and people running in sheer terror and panic, but I've never seen overt, unprovoked violence of any kind.

Regardless, these kinds of violent tactics on behalf of the police are inexcusable. The intimidation and psychology of wearing camo and armor and carrying fully automatic assault rifles is debatable, but the excessive use of force is not.
posted by loquacious at 1:34 AM on August 23, 2005


Shutting down an unlicensed (from what I've read, they had licenses, just not *all* of the ones needed) rave with more than 500 people present (a large percentage of whom can be assumed to be under the influence of one substance or another) is a little different from giving out traffic tickets.

Here's what I want to know, though. When was the last time that ANY policemen have actually been in danger of being injured by ravers? I could see tactical gear and attack dogs if we were dealing with a crowd of PCP-ed Hell's Angels, but these are people who probably had nothing harder than E and weren't carrying anything more dangerous than maybe a pocketknife.

And from what I read, the key to this whole thing appears to be the Mass Gathering license, which the promoters insist they had (with a document ID number to prove it). But if you keep busting events on technicalities, pretty soon the events stop. Then maybe the police will have something more worthy of their riot gear to deal with...like gang members toting semi-automatic weapons loaded with Teflon bullets. Take away the peaceful events and the kids will find something far less constructive to do.
posted by deusdiabolus at 2:03 AM on August 23, 2005


No matter how old I get, I always come back to the same conclusion that most cops (not all, but most) are fucking dicks.
posted by bk at 2:09 AM on August 23, 2005


When was the last time that ANY policemen have actually been in danger of being injured by ravers?

Dude. Hugs can kill.

Seriously, though, having been to many raves with people juiced up on a variety of chemicals (typically of the pretty color and love inducing varieties), the greatest danger I can see is the overwhelming collective buzzkill of the crowd.

Legalities or non aside, historically, aren't situations like these typically handled by riot police? Batons and helmets and shields and the like..not S.W.A.T.
posted by zerokey at 2:13 AM on August 23, 2005


It all comes back to the absurd "War on Drugs".
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:16 AM on August 23, 2005


"Land of the Free, Home of the Brave"?
More like "Land of the Afraid, Home of the Beaten".
posted by nightchrome at 2:21 AM on August 23, 2005


yeah, I've been waiting awhile to use that one
posted by nightchrome at 2:22 AM on August 23, 2005


carrying fully automatic assault rifles is debatable

an mp5 isn't an assault rifle, it's a fully automatic submachine gun. for all intensive purposes it's a meaner looking, fully automatic 9mm glock.

i know some of you are thinking, "what's the difference?" but if you've ever shot an assault rifle and a submachine gun, you understand.

i'm not saying what they did was justified or not, i'm just all about getting facts straight.
posted by bryak at 2:52 AM on August 23, 2005


*jaw drops*

Swing was the old D&B...

...and they sent the promoters of it to concentration camps...
posted by effugas at 2:58 AM on August 23, 2005


Culture wars indeed.
posted by effugas at 2:58 AM on August 23, 2005


"intensive purposes"

*sigh*
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:01 AM on August 23, 2005


Shutting down an unlicensed (from what I've read, they had licenses, just not *all* of the ones needed) rave with more than 500 people present (a large percentage of whom can be assumed to be under the influence of one substance or another) is a little different from giving out traffic tickets.

It's the unnecessary Counter Strike style theater of the police dude. It's meant to instill future fear not now fear. People are going to think twice now about holding such an event. People are going to think twice about everything they do now.

Mission accomplished, I'd say. And I'll just bet, other municipalities didn't take notice. Otherwise this might happen again! Gasp!
posted by crasspastor at 3:04 AM on August 23, 2005


I've beeen angry about that kind of shit for over 30 years; I first experienced it in 1978. Unfortunately, I've had to endure or watch it over and over -- because Americans keep taking it and/or wishing it on each other.

I should not have to say more than that.
posted by davy at 3:05 AM on August 23, 2005 [1 favorite]


Forget it, Metafilter. It's Utah.
And it's not just the War on Drugs: it's social control by
the local political and religious leaders.
posted by the Real Dan at 3:44 AM on August 23, 2005




"Approximately 60 armored, helmeted and camouflaged Utah County Sheriffs."

I could have taken them out with, like, 3 "armored, helmeted and camouflaged Utah County Sheriffs." And apparently armed with assault rifles.

This is totally staged for Bush to continue to drool re: "Keep the Course."

And Utah should move to a real state. Actually, no, they should stay in place with Moroni and be mocked.
posted by bardic at 4:00 AM on August 23, 2005


It's not just Utah. It's Los Angeles. And Europe. And NYC. And Portland. And Brazil. And Goa. And London. And Sydney. And Christchurch. Toronto, Beijing, Des Moines, Miami, Detroit. This kind of crap happens all over the world - in varying degrees.

I've gone to a lot of things like this. My number one fear? It has always been fear of the police that they'll show up and over-react and bust my head open. That's my foremost fear.

I've never been worried about getting bad dope, or overdosing, or being kidnapped or shot or jumped by random thugs or any of the things these Law Enforcement Officers are claiming to protect me from. I don't worry about human stampedes or panics. These things just don't happen with a great enough frequency in my experience to worry about, at all.

Remarkably, I do worry about thuggish behavior, trampling or rioting at mainstream concerts or sporting events. And cops. And overzealous security.

But not at a rave, dance party, outdoor or other gathering of my family and families.

Yeah, there are much larger and easily more news-worthy and terrible problems in the world, all over the place. AIDS. Hunger. Cancer. And more.

But how are we supposed to help them when our own supposedly free lands are sliding into what appears to be fascism, piece by piece by piece?

How are we supposed to become whole, active, creatively minded citizens when we can't even express ourselves as we see fit?

Yeah, it's just Utah. Just some 'kids' in Utah. But it's looking like this Utah thing might just be a simple little straw atop a pile of many, many pieces of straw, growing heavier by the moment.

Viewed as a single incident, perhaps it can easily be dismissed as a bad party, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. But it's not a single incident - it didn't happen in a vacuum.

People I know in my extended family all over the world are outraged about this. And their families, and their families, and so on, from tribe to tribe all over the globe.

We're pissed, we're mad as hell, we're sick and tired of it, and it looks and feels like we're looking around at each other, wide-eyed and pondering how much longer we'll sit still for this kind of abuse to any of our extended family anywhere. And it's not just a raver thing.

And I am not just some kid. I am not in Utah. I grew up in Los Angeles, supposedly a freedom-loving wacky melting pot of weirdness and creativity.

Why would I identify with these kids from Utah? Because I've seen the same things, but no one was there to document them. I've seen tear gas, rubber bullets and nightstick beatdowns by LAPDs finest.

I've seen epithets and hatred and fear of the unknown hiding behind armor and helmet, face shields and arm shields and nightsticks and guns. I've seen a complete lack of any attempt at understanding or empathy.

And I'm weary of it. Yeah, I'm emotionally invested. This is music and people and culture and art that I love with all my heart and soul, without which I wouldn't be who I am today, without which I'm not even sure if I would be alive today.

Last night a DJ saved my life - and that DJ was me!

Why does this have to happen almost every generation? Why is it that the next new wave of culture is almost immediately accused of attempting to destroy society as we know it, of being evil, unnatural, and worse? We are culture. Not sub-culture. We are culture. We are society, and you better get used to it unless you want to end up bitter, alone and waiting to die in a rest home.

The happiest, most complete moments of my life revolve around art and music and people sharing it with me. My happiest moments have been freely dancing myself into blissful inward-outward moments of zen-like oblivion, of moments effortless effort suspended against time and space itself. Once and for all able to see my own strength, my own truth, my own beauty in the face of the Creator or Cosmos that birthed and nurtured me.

And I'm tired of having to apologize for that.

And I'm sick and tired of being afraid. And I'm tired of being told I need to be ashamed. I'm tired of being told to feel guilty for feeling good.

I'm sick and fucking tired of being told that my attempts to make myself feel whole and complete and happy are wrong.

I'm sick and fucking tired of being told that my attempts to minister to my own body, mind and spirit as I see fit and that I find true and correct are wrong.

I'm no longer ashamed. I will no longer feel guilty.

Because I'm not guilty of anything except perhaps simply trying to be, and to be Human.
posted by loquacious at 4:37 AM on August 23, 2005 [1 favorite]


It's called SWAT, "Special Weapons and Tactics".

IT'S CALLED THE NATIONAL GUARD AND MARTIAL LAW.

They had the permits and the army thugs tore the papers up. And for all of you want to promote the "raver" stereo-type, please do some research and read what these people have to say before being as irresponsible as the media. This was a drum and bass event, hardly a mecca for hard core drugs... sure there were definitely drugs there but there are drugs at all types of music events and everywhere else, everyday.

This attack was pre-meditated to instill FEAR, plain and simple. They could have easily stopped the party from happening earlier in the day but they waited and waited so they could run their psychological war campaign and get this "soon to be blue state?" back in line, in time for the President's visit.

It's the Fascism, stupid.
posted by GrooveJedi at 4:42 AM on August 23, 2005



If I was a cop I would kick ass.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 4:51 AM on August 23, 2005




an mp5 isn't an assault rifle, it's a fully automatic submachine gun

Apparently MP5s were also there, but if you look at the video that's out there around 1:20 a guy with a rifle comes on. Something related to an M-16 with a 30-round clip probably, but it's certaintly not an MP5.
posted by queen zixi at 4:56 AM on August 23, 2005


Namaste, loquacious..
posted by borq at 5:01 AM on August 23, 2005


Meanwhile, the largest protest in Utah since the '70s happens in Salt Lake City.

That's exactly why they raided this "rave"

an mp5 isn't an assault rifle, it's a fully automatic submachine gun

Which is standard issue for police officers and SWAT right?

:)
posted by GrooveJedi at 5:14 AM on August 23, 2005


i know some of you are thinking, "what's the difference?" but if you've ever shot an assault rifle and a submachine gun, you understand.

One fires bullets?

The other one fires bullets?
posted by raena at 5:22 AM on August 23, 2005


Shutting down an unlicensed (from what I've read, they had licenses, just not *all* of the ones needed) rave with more than 500 people present (a large percentage of whom can be assumed to be under the influence of one substance or another) is a little different from giving out traffic tickets.

It is, but just like a traffic violation, it is not an offense that justifies violent action in any way. It's a fucking missing form. Make those responsible pay a fine or whatever, but physically attacking the guests (who by the way have neither knowledge nor responsibility for the missing papers)? Come on.
posted by uncle harold at 5:23 AM on August 23, 2005


Could somebody direct me to where I can read the cops' side of the story? This sounds way too heavy-handed. One or two cops could've shown up to check the permits (and not tear them up), look around to make sure nobody was wigging out on drugs...you know, just uphold public safety without adversely affecting it. Reading all this, I get the impression (hopefully mistaken, but I'm too aghast to be sure) that a big, friendly and relatively peaceful dance party got treated like -- well, actually turned into -- a riot for no good reason that I can see, really not even any decent pretense at an excuse, even.
posted by alumshubby at 5:24 AM on August 23, 2005


Could somebody direct me to where I can read the cops' side of the story?

There were some links in the original thread. I don't think their side of the story, even if it were true, justifies the disproportionate use of force seen here.
posted by grouse at 5:31 AM on August 23, 2005


i know some of you are thinking, "what's the difference?" but if you've ever shot an assault rifle and a submachine gun, you understand.

Just for the record:
HK MP5 9mm Submachine Gun ... Assault Rifle (AK-47)
9mm round ... 7.62 x 39mm round
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:31 AM on August 23, 2005


Official Sheriff's statement from Utah County.

It wasn't even a riot. It was a beatdown. People weren't even responding, they were just getting their asses kicked.

Unless asking "What's going on?" and attempting to videotape public servants 'doing their job' is now 'rioting', no?
posted by loquacious at 5:33 AM on August 23, 2005


Hey, those damnable hippies were damaging police property! They were headbutting the batons! That's a CRIME, mister.
posted by kafziel at 5:39 AM on August 23, 2005


The Revolution Starts Now

I was walkin’ down the street
In the town where I was born
I was movin’ to a beat
That I’d never felt before
So I opened up my eyes
And I took a look around
I saw it written ‘cross the sky
The revolution starts now
Yeah, the revolution starts now

The revolution starts now
When you rise above your fear
And tear the walls around you down
The revolution starts here
Where you work and where you play
Where you lay your money down
What you do and what you say
The revolution starts now
Yeah the revolution starts now

Yeah the revolution starts now
In your own backyard
In your own hometown
So what you doin’ standin’ around?
Just follow your heart
The revolution starts now

Last night I had a dream
That the world had turned around
And all our hopes had come to be
And the people gathered ‘round
They all brought what they could bring
And nobody went without
And I learned a song to sing
The revolution starts now

Steve Earle
posted by nyxxxx at 5:46 AM on August 23, 2005


I never believe that either side is being truthful when I hear of such happenings.

I'm sick and fucking tired of being told that my attempts to make myself feel whole and complete and happy are wrong.

I'm sick and fucking tired of being told that my attempts to minister to my own body, mind and spirit as I see fit and that I find true and correct are wrong.


Y'know, if everyone followed this system, a lot of people might end up dead.
posted by Dagobert at 5:59 AM on August 23, 2005


How many people have died for not following their own impetus? How many have died because of the drug war? How many people have died from wrongheaded or lackadaisical state-sponsored or state-mandated "drug education"? How many have died in due to the actions of organized crime? Smuggling? Overdose or accidental ingestion of undesired impurities? How many people have died in prison? How many are still in prison?

How many have died due to incarceration rather than rehabilitation and education?

Y'know, since we're talking about "what if"?

I was speaking for myself, and myself alone. No one else.

Oh, and hi Fark! They're watching us.
posted by loquacious at 6:12 AM on August 23, 2005


Anyone taking bets on a stormtrooper shutdown of Burning Man next week?
posted by melt away at 6:29 AM on August 23, 2005


That video could have passed as an outake from Brazil.

I can't imagine that that's a good thing.
posted by Otis at 6:30 AM on August 23, 2005


How many people have died for not following their own impetus?

How many have died because others have followed their own impetus?

How many have died because of the drug war?

How many have died of drug use?

How many people have died from wrongheaded or lackadaisical state-sponsored or state-mandated "drug education"?

OK, that's a fair point.

How many have died in due to the actions of organized crime? Smuggling? Overdose or accidental ingestion of undesired impurities? How many people have died in prison? How many are still in prison?

Again, excellent point. But surely you can't belive that simply by decriminalizing drugs will make all of these ills go away.

I was speaking for myself, and myself alone. No one else.

Well, if it's such a good idea, shouldn't we extend these rights/responsibilities to everyone?
posted by Dagobert at 6:31 AM on August 23, 2005


How many have died because others have followed their own impetus?

Many. Some died exploring the globe. Some died leaping from cliffs, or surfing, or riding off-road vehicles. Many die playing team sports - some of them children.

We all die, in the end, don't we? Hopefully we die taking risks we believe in.

How many have died of drug use?

Illicit drug use? Less than car accidents. Less than drinking. Less than legal, by-the-rules prescribed drugs. Less than drug interactions. And certainly far less than abuse of prescribed drugs.

If sometimes-lethal sport, experimentation or exploration involving bodies is encouraged and legal, why isn't usually non-lethal exploration of our minds, bodies and spirits the same?

Why is it that we advocate inherently subjective chemical experiences through physical confrontation and exertion - but as a culture we eschew meditative or chemicals ones?

Why is one more "real" or "valid" than another?

Is it a pervasive culture of violence and physicality?

But surely you can't believe that simply by decriminalizing drugs will make all of these ills go away.

Simply? No. Nothing human is simple. Harm reduction and real education - including real education about the physiology and psychology of addiction? Yes.

Also, embracing and extending tangible, worthwhile, creative and constructive experiences would also be a good start, rather than the emptiness and unfulfilling nature of the status quo. (IE: Vicarious living through television and other mediated, passive experiences.)

Well, if it's such a good idea, shouldn't we extend these rights/responsibilities to everyone?

Isn't that pretty much "personal responsibility"?
posted by loquacious at 6:47 AM on August 23, 2005 [1 favorite]


Recumbent bikes! Recumbent bikes!

*intents and purposes*
posted by Pecinpah at 6:48 AM on August 23, 2005


Something related to an M-16 with a 30-round clip probably, but it's certaintly not an MP5.

Clearly, the officers were armed with MP3s to combat the drug influence of the music.
posted by jmccorm at 6:50 AM on August 23, 2005


I still don't like raves.
posted by jonmc at 6:51 AM on August 23, 2005


Anyone taking bets on a stormtrooper shutdown of Burning Man next week?

I'm actually very concerned about this. Burning Man is such an isolated event, with so very little understanding of it spread beyond that 4-mile radius, that it would be painfully simple to "educate" a group of military or police on why it's evil, get them riled up, and fly out there to kick ass.

I'm very, very concerned that this could happen and get very, very out of hand.
posted by odinsdream at 6:52 AM on August 23, 2005


Then you don't know what rock and roll and punk rock is, jon. It's alive and well. It's just changed.

Let me know if you ever come out on the West Coast or Southwest. I'll change your mind, and you'll have fun besides.
posted by loquacious at 6:53 AM on August 23, 2005


Dagobert - you seem to be focussed on the dangers of drug use here rather than the rights and wrongs of the forcible closure of this particular rave. Is your contention that a suitably large amount of drug use would justify this approach, and that in your judgement this amount was present? Personally, I am made suspicious by the apparent arrest of two of the security guards (who were confiscating drugs on the way in) for possession - that seems to suggest that steps being taken to limit and control drug use are not being encouraged.
posted by tannhauser at 6:54 AM on August 23, 2005


er, this was Utah. Did anyone *not* expect that sort of jackbooted behaviour from the police there?
posted by clevershark at 6:56 AM on August 23, 2005


loquacious, I'd be the last person to deny you your fun or defend these Gestapo tactics (and as a law enforcement buff and former aspiring cop, those are terms I don't use lightly), but it's just not my bag, and I'm older now, my idea of fun is sitting on a barstool singing along to Tom Waits and old Stones records, plus my lower back couldn't take the dancing.

But you enjoy, my freind.
posted by jonmc at 6:58 AM on August 23, 2005


er, this was Utah. Did anyone *not* expect that sort of jackbooted behaviour from the police there?

What is the point of this comment? Why is it at all important that someone may have expected this beforehand?
posted by odinsdream at 7:00 AM on August 23, 2005


Anyone taking bets on a stormtrooper shutdown of Burning Man next week?

Some people are taking bets, yeah. But the word on the grapevine is to gear up with video gear and back up networks.

Also, Burning Man is packed full of rich snobby people. Like the Google founders. And lots of others from Silicon Valley and all over the Bay Area. With really expensive lawyers.

Plus there's embedded mainstream media all over the place, from all over the world.

I'm actually very concerned about this. Burning Man is such an isolated event, with so very little understanding of it spread beyond that 4-mile radius, that it would be painfully simple to "educate" a group of military or police on why it's evil, get them riled up, and fly out there to kick ass.

I'm very, very concerned that this could happen and get very, very out of hand.


No kidding. All those hopped up fun-fur wearing dope fiend weirdos armed to the teeth with killer robots and flame throwers. It'll be a massacre in the Thunderdome.

Besides, they'd have to deal with the Black Rock Rangers as well. Burning Man folks aren't all flower-humping hippies. A whole lot of them like big guns, cheap domestic beer, power tools, big trucks and fast cars.


One postulation that has made the round over the years about Burning Man is that 'it would be an excellent place for a "terrorist organization" to set off a nuclear device and wipe out a huge swath of cultural activists in one go'. Paranoid? Probably. But not unimaginable.

That worries me more than some paramilitary hand-to-hand small arms kinda thing.

The core Burning Man demographic is pretty hyper aware of this sort of thing.
posted by loquacious at 7:03 AM on August 23, 2005


Why do people keep calling a drum'n'bass event a "rave"? Is this an American thing?

I haven't heard people say "rave" since the early nineties.
posted by dydecker at 7:04 AM on August 23, 2005


We not up the newfangled lingo, dydecker. But you kids seem far out and groovy. Just stay off my lawn.
posted by jonmc at 7:05 AM on August 23, 2005


I only use the term "rave" 'cause people here in the states get confused when I started throwing "gathering" "party" or "electronic dance music event" around interchangeably.
posted by loquacious at 7:15 AM on August 23, 2005


locquacious:

While I understand and empathize with your belief that curiosity, exploration (both physical and metaphysical) and expression are positive aspects of a healthy person and vibrant society, I also believe that such tendencies without appropriate guidelines/limitations will, eventually, prove to be detrimental to the person/society and those around them.

Bear in mind, if the reports are coming out it does sound like the police in this situation acted well beyond the appropriate response. But my gut is telling me there is quite a bit of info that we are not privy to. Is it that hard to believe that some unsavory people were at the event purely for a cover story?

tannhauser:

My points were more intended as a devil's advocate to the statements that locquacious made, not a general indictment of the rave in Utah.

In the long run, I'd probably be with jonmc, provided some Patsy Cline is playing too and I have a short walk to the bathroom.
posted by Dagobert at 7:21 AM on August 23, 2005


From the sheriff's statement: the crowd was ordered to disburse

Now they've really gone too far.
posted by gubo at 7:43 AM on August 23, 2005


gubo, Dagobert; there is a video available, you know. Have you watched it? It sure would help to answer your nagging questions of "well lets just wait and see what the real story is... yea?"

because.. you know... there's a video of all this stuff... that you can watch.
posted by odinsdream at 7:52 AM on August 23, 2005


People I know in my extended family all over the world are outraged about this. And their families, and their families, and so on, from tribe to tribe all over the globe.

We're pissed, we're mad as hell, we're sick and tired of it, and it looks and feels like we're looking around at each other, wide-eyed and pondering how much longer we'll sit still for this kind of abuse to any of our extended family anywhere. And it's not just a raver thing.


BWAHAHAHAHAhhahahahaahh!

Stupid ravers are mad because they can't go do illegal drugs without getting police entanglements. And don't lie about what this is about. It isn't about music or expression. It's about drugs. The rave scene would never be hasseled if it wasn't a big drug scene. So don't pretend that this is about anything else. You want to use your illegal drugs without consequence. You want to live according to your id. And because you can't, like a kid in a candy store being told 'no,' you are ranting forth about what you want. And your "family" is all outraged too. But come on. Be honest. "It's not just a raver thing"---you have got to be kidding or naieve if you think the average man on the street gives one tenth of one shit about what you and your fellow rave kids want to do.

That really is the start of a noble worldwide revolution. Go forth brave Ravers.
posted by dios at 7:52 AM on August 23, 2005


"The happiest, most complete moments of my life revolve around art and music and people sharing it with me."

loquacious, i couldn't agree more with you. having seen, been, loved and lived it - from electronic sunrise zen oblivion to unnecessary vindictive police violence - thanks for the post, but more particularly for your eloquent, incisive, heartfelt and true commentary.

greetings from the sydney tribe.
posted by soi-disant at 7:56 AM on August 23, 2005


You know, some sick part of me would almost like to see Black Rock City assaulted. I'm sure that some secret BRC defense society or militia that has been preparing for a siege would show themselves.

Of course, the cops would be fools to show up only in riot gear. They'd all be roasted alive ... and maybe even grilled.

Actually, that would all be horrifying. I'll go back to my main fear that those porta-potty-clogger assholes will continue their campaign.
posted by redteam at 7:57 AM on August 23, 2005


I've never been worried about getting bad dope, or overdosing, or being kidnapped or shot or jumped by random thugs or any of the things these Law Enforcement Officers are claiming to protect me from.

loquacious then you're doing it all wrong.

Loosen up a little, have some fun.
posted by three blind mice at 8:01 AM on August 23, 2005


dios, Jazz was considered a big drug scene. Rock is still considered a big drug scene.

Using overwhelming force against defenseless revelers at a harmless and sanctioned (in good faith, if not totally, completely, 100% legal) dance party is just wrong.
posted by redteam at 8:02 AM on August 23, 2005


"And don't lie about what this is about. It isn't about music or expression. It's about drugs."

dios - i'm afraid you missed it entirely. it's never been about the drugs, or perceived illegalities. they're a means to an end which is apparently beyond your comprehension, as perhaps it is to "the average man on the street". personally, i've never been interested in average people.

your condescension cheapens you, and sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.
posted by soi-disant at 8:06 AM on August 23, 2005


And go to bed old man!
posted by Otis at 8:11 AM on August 23, 2005


Don't bother with dios. It's a prime example of someone who posts not to present a different opinion, but just to ruffle a few feathers.

I don't think any dios could get any cheaper, and his wit is nonexistent. He's nofundy's polar opposite, only more annoying.
posted by kableh at 8:11 AM on August 23, 2005


personally, i've never been interested in average people.

Roger Miller put it best I think...

Basically, in a huge increasingly Balkanized society, there are no average people, thus we are all average people. or something.
posted by jonmc at 8:15 AM on August 23, 2005


dios: You're cute. Let's make out.
posted by loquacious at 8:15 AM on August 23, 2005


make out what?
posted by jonmc at 8:17 AM on August 23, 2005


dagobert :

While I understand and empathize with your belief that curiosity, exploration (both physical and metaphysical) and expression are positive aspects of a healthy person and vibrant society, I also believe that such tendencies without appropriate guidelines/limitations will, eventually, prove to be detrimental to the person/society and those around them.

And if you hold the pedal down for long enough, you'll run out of gas. So?

When did societal guidelines and limitations ever stop a person from doing what they strongly wanted/chose to do?
posted by plasticpool at 8:21 AM on August 23, 2005


it's never been about the drugs

Bullshit.

If ravers only cared about the music, they would set up these raves as a drug-free environment and enjoy them within the law. Then they would never get shut down or hasseled. But something tells me, that if the rave scene divorced itself from drugs, it would die out very quickly. But I'm willing to give the benefit of the doubt. If you are sincere and go to rave scenes only for the music, then start internal reform to rid the scene of drugs so you can do your raves within the law.

And yes, I have no sympathy for people who try to tell me that they are "enlightened" and allowed "to express themselves" when they are merely stoned/high/tripping/whatever. It's asinity. You aren't "enlightened"; your "high." And if you want to get high, then fine. Do it. But do it with full understanding that you are breaking the law and accept the consequences. It's like choosing to speed or run a red light. Or choosing to urinate outside. It's a cost-benefit analysis. But don't take your simple vacant-headed desire to get high and pass it off as some great mystical moment that should be treasured by all society.

a means to an end which is apparently beyond your comprehension, as perhaps it is to "the average man on the street". personally, i've never been interested in average people.

your condescension cheapens you.
posted by soi-disant at 8:06 AM PST on August 23


How does one type these two sentences back to back without laughing?
posted by dios at 8:24 AM on August 23, 2005


You're a fucking idiot dios, and a disingenuous one at that.

Drugs get used at rock shows, rap shows, pretty much any event where music gets played. Go to any club or bar and someone is bumping coke in the bathroom.

So why is a "rave" any different?

I don't go to parties any more, but there were always plenty of "straightedge" types who didnt drink or drug. I'm sure they're still there today.

The promoters had their shit together. They had permits, insurance, security, the works. How much more can they honestly do to ensure a "drug free zone"?

Nothing. You're full of shit. Crawl back into the hole you came out of.
posted by kableh at 8:33 AM on August 23, 2005


Boring.
posted by dydecker at 8:34 AM on August 23, 2005


Is it that hard to believe that some unsavory people were at the event purely for a cover story?

Right, some people might sell drugs at a highschool, so lets burn down the whole thing with all the students inside, waco style.
posted by delmoi at 8:34 AM on August 23, 2005


directed at dios of course.
posted by dydecker at 8:35 AM on August 23, 2005


Now your patrons have all left you in the red
Your low rent friends are dead
This life can be very strange
All those dayglow freaks who used to paint the face
They've joined the human race
Some things will never change
Son you were mistaken
You are obsolete
Look at all the white men on the street
posted by jonmc at 8:38 AM on August 23, 2005


Drugs get used at rock shows, rap shows, pretty much any event where music gets played. Go to any club or bar and someone is bumping coke in the bathroom.

Are you assuming Dios' attitude wouldn't be consistent with these others events? Because otherwise I don't see how your comment is really that relevant. We're not talking about a rap show here.

I mean, fuck, I was stoned last night. And while I certainly enjoy the mind altered state, I can't help but agree that tying to pass it off as a transcendental experience is probably stretching it. I just wanted to be fucked up.
posted by Cyrano at 8:42 AM on August 23, 2005


I can't help but agree that tying to pass it off as a transcendental experience is probably stretching it. I just wanted to be fucked up.

This I agree with. Getting loaded needs no justification, and pretentious and silly ones hurt the cause of sensible discussion on drug policy.
posted by jonmc at 8:43 AM on August 23, 2005


Would baseball or American football be as popular as it is without beer?

Would you advocate punishing the majority of sports fans because some of them used illegal drugs before, during, or after the event?

I'm not asking all of society to treasure my mystical moments. I'm asking society to allow me to treasure them and experience them for myself and make informed decisions.

I won't argue at all that the most visible segment of electronic dance music and it's culture aren't drug oriented. Culture itself is drug oriented. Art, music, literature and more.

Even politics. What do you think tea and caffeine is? Y'know, the stuff they talk about in grade school history class? Boston? Taxation? It inspired a revolution. And the freedoms we enjoy today.

If choosing to simply "get high" on (specifically) psychedelics, entactogens and empathogens is akin to "running a red light" or "urinating outside", what does that make having a beer or twelve and watching the Super Bowl? Explosive diarrhea and driving roughshod all over town in a stolen armored vehicle? What does that make all the idiots who drive drunk? All the life-long alcoholics?

Enlightenment doesn't come from drugs. It comes from what's already inside you - and a tangible change in the way you perceive and interact with the world at large.

Empathy and introspection is a start. I argue that specific kinds and classes of drugs and chemicals help some to focus upon, foster and discover these attributes. I argue that some of these specific drugs increase ones sensitivity to perception and introspection, rather than dull them and wash them away.
posted by loquacious at 8:44 AM on August 23, 2005


Cyrano, do you think police would storm a rap show in riot gear with assault rifles, just to arrest a few people with joints? That's the relevance. This was an unprecedented amount of force for the circumstances.

Go to a party, clean and sober, and dance your ass off. That, my friend, is a transcendental experience.

FWIW, I used to spin drum and bass, I've been to plenty of parties like this, and the crowd is much different from your typical candy raver, e-tard type.

dios is a cunt, and doesn't know what he's talking about. His consistency or attitude towards other shows is irrelevant.
posted by kableh at 8:49 AM on August 23, 2005


Go to a party, clean and sober, and dance your ass off. That, my friend, is a transcendental experience.

I no longer wish to transcend, merely abide. I don't know whether this is enlightenment of ebcroaching middle-age.
posted by jonmc at 8:51 AM on August 23, 2005


Considering the amount of middle-aged people I see soberly dancing their asses off at parties, I'd say you're just giving up. ;)
posted by solipse at 8:57 AM on August 23, 2005


I'd say you're just giving up.

*shrugs, cranks up "Don't Stop Believin'"*
posted by jonmc at 8:59 AM on August 23, 2005


My understanding of this is that the security guards who were confiscating any illegal drugs and alcohol were in fact busted for posession.

Words fail me.
posted by bashos_frog at 8:59 AM on August 23, 2005


odinsdream: just making fun of the spelling error, is all. I am against the use of violence to compel dispersal or disbursement.
posted by gubo at 9:03 AM on August 23, 2005


Cyrano writes: I mean, fuck, I was stoned last night. And while I certainly enjoy the mind altered state, I can't help but agree that tying to pass it off as a transcendental experience is probably stretching it. I just wanted to be fucked up.

I pity the fool that takes something like DMT because they just want to get "fucked up". Or the one that expects to be entertained in any sense of the word. There is only one reason to take such a substance, and it is not for fun.
posted by solipse at 9:03 AM on August 23, 2005


You're a fucking idiot dios

You're full of shit. Crawl back into the hole you came out of.

dios is a cunt
posted by kableh


Is this kind of insulting, offensive and personal attacks necessary? No. Can you keep yourself from behaving that way?

If you aren't mature enough to discuss this top with someone without being extremely offensive and personally insulting to someone who takes the opposite positions, then you shouldn't be on here.

Grow up or shut up.
posted by dios at 9:05 AM on August 23, 2005


My understanding of this is that the security guards who were confiscating any illegal drugs and alcohol were in fact busted for posession.

And it serves their stinking asses right. Back in the day, concert security would no more confiscate your stash than show up for work sober.
posted by three blind mice at 9:09 AM on August 23, 2005


I mean, fuck, I was stoned last night. And while I certainly enjoy the mind altered state, I can't help but agree that tying to pass it off as a transcendental experience is probably stretching it. I just wanted to be fucked up.
posted by Cyrano at 8:42 AM PST on August 23


Cyrano is the only one who gets my point.

I'm not against drug use. I'm just against people who whine about not being able to take drugs legally and then try to couch the basis for their reasoning that society isn't respecting their efforts to reach transcendental enlightenment. If you want to get high, then do it. But realize its against the law and be willing to pay the price.

I drink. Probably too much. Last night, I watched the Cowboys football game at a sport bar (Ware is a god). I had too many drinks, which probably broke some law. But I chose to do anyway. And when it was time to leave, I had a choice about driving home. I know drinking and driving is illegal, but the choice to do it is a cost-benefit analysis. If I get arrested for public intox or dwi, its my own damn fault. To sit there and bitch and whine and say "I should be able to do whatever I want" like some 5 year old in a candy store isn't a justification for my actions. Nor is "But I was trying to get to know myself, and I could only find that at the bottom of the glass of booze, so don't persecute me."

If you want to do something illegal, then do it. But don't sit there and tell me that I "don't get it" because you are on some elevated plane of spiritual understanding because you took two hits and listened to something a computer could have generated with an algorithm while jumping in place.
posted by dios at 9:14 AM on August 23, 2005


Is this kind of insulting, offensive and personal attacks necessary?

In your case, yes.

posted by dydecker at 9:14 AM on August 23, 2005


Let's not fuel the dios-fire, shall we? All oppositional motivations aside, dios is exactly the sort of heart and mind I'd rather win over with logic and/or empathy.

But dios, you're honestly surprised after all the thread-shitting you do on a regular basis? Grow a hide.
posted by loquacious at 9:16 AM on August 23, 2005


Is it that hard to believe that some unsavory people were at the event purely for a cover story?

You mean drug dealers? Of course. Any gathering of large numbers of people, especially involving music - of any sort - is going to attract people to sell drugs. Street corners attract drug dealers, bars attract drug dealers, Tom Petty concerts attract drug dealers. You going to send a team of heavily armed police and helicopters all those places? Kick all of the people out of them and jail them if they aren't moving fast enough?

I also believe that such tendencies without appropriate guidelines/limitations will, eventually, prove to be detrimental to the person/society and those around them.

And that's really what this is about, isn't it? Appropriate guidelines and limitations. No one really denies their fundamental goodness, we're just arguing over what exactly they should be. The arguement put forth: that a gathering of people listening to music should not be limited by "If you (possibly) forget even one permit, we will come in with a full-out SWAT team and helicopters, throw you off your land, arrest you and throw you in jail". Or perhaps one's use of psychoactive substances should not be limited by throwing them in jail for simply using ones you don't want them using. Don't give me the safety bullshit and don't give me the addiction bullshit. Alcohol and tobacco are more addictive and detrimental when abused than any street drugs. Methamphetamine, methadone, cocaine, morphine, dexedrine (speed) and ketamine (special K) are all legal drugs (Rx-only). And perhaps the amount of abuse one can do to oneself or loved ones as a result of drug addiction should be limited by caring, understanding, and informed health workers rather than by sending out those who are sworn to serve and protect to break into your fucking house and force you to spend years of your life in jail. I'm all for legalizing drugs, but I don't want them thrown out into the streets like candy in a 4th of July parade. I want them regulated, I want them distributed by people who know what they're doing, who won't give them to kids, won't adulterate them, won't knowingly give people lethal doses. I want people to be able to send their friends to the hospital if they OD without fear of going to jail. I want people to be able to get help without the stigma of being a "dirty junkie". I want scientists to be able to study psychoactive drugs so that we actually know how to use them safely. You know, appropriate guidelines and limitations.

Furthermore, I want dios to realize that if he comes in and shits on everyone in a thread, he shouldn't be surprised when they call him out on it. That when he laughs at people's culture and their honest opinions, they are perfectly right to call him a shithead, or even perhaps a douche, or a troll. I want dios to find something better to do than put people down all the time and make inflammatory comments. But most of all, I just want dios. That's right, I said it. His no-nonsense hardcore reasoning makes me hot. And I'm sick of hiding it.

The DUI tickets strike me as particularly absurd. Go to a party, make the intoxicated people leave, and then arrest them when they do. I mean, what were these people supposed to do? Call a cab to the middle of the woods? Sleep in the ditch?
posted by nTeleKy at 9:21 AM on August 23, 2005


I'm not against drug use. I'm just against people who whine about not being able to take drugs legally and then try to couch the basis for their reasoning that society isn't respecting their efforts to reach transcendental enlightenment.

Would you also say that the Native American Church is an elaborate lie, created so Indian 'heads could get high without being busted by the Man?
posted by solipse at 9:22 AM on August 23, 2005


And when it was time to leave, I had a choice about driving home. I know drinking and driving is illegal, but the choice to do it is a cost-benefit analysis. If I get arrested for public intox or dwi, its my own damn fault.

And if you kill someone? Especially considering lots of times DUI accidents the DUI driver survives? Ponderous! How can you even argue what you're arguing then go and freely admit that? Logic and reason is obviously not one of your strong points.

The people that I personally know adamantly choose not to drive intoxicated, be it drink, smoke, or other.

But what the fuck are you supposed to do when the cops show up and say "GO HOME" when you've got 4 hours left to go before it's safe for you to do so? Or even a half an hour because you just got done with your 3rd beer?

And that's the part you're not getting, dios. There are people that do actually understand the risks, and the difference between risking themselves and risking others without their permission.

And I do "get" what you and cyrano are saying - and I agree with it. There's a difference between getting high and introspection. They're neither mutually exclusive nor inherently combined. They can exist independently of each other. They can also exist together.

*adds dios to the killfile for the duration of this thread unless he actually says something that makes sense or is defensible.
posted by loquacious at 9:24 AM on August 23, 2005


That when he laughs at people's culture and their honest opinions, they are perfectly right to call him a shithead, or even perhaps a douche, or a troll.

That's a perfectly reasonable thing to say, and I hope people will remember it next time we have a thread on say, NASCAR, Southerners, Christians, Heavy Metal fans, etc.

Just sayin'.
posted by jonmc at 9:30 AM on August 23, 2005


dios writes: Stupid ravers...
like a kid in a candy store...
you have got to be kidding or naieve...


dios writes: If you aren't mature enough to discuss this top with someone without being extremely offensive and personally insulting to someone who takes the opposite positions, then you shouldn't be on here.

dios writes: How does one type these two sentences back to back without laughing?
posted by prostyle at 9:34 AM on August 23, 2005


A good post, loquacious, but I like your comments best. Questions of justice and civil rights aside, the police in SLC have better things to do with riot gear and bored officers looking to put the hurt on some citizens. Personally, I'd put being hit with a stray bullet from a gang war as just a wee bit more worrisome than being glomped by a stray e-tard.
posted by hackwolf at 9:35 AM on August 23, 2005


I drink. Probably too much. Last night, I watched the Cowboys football game at a sport bar (Ware is a god). I had too many drinks, which probably broke some law. But I chose to do anyway. And when it was time to leave, I had a choice about driving home. I know drinking and driving is illegal, but the choice to do it is a cost-benefit analysis.

so, dios, if the police were to come with helicopters, submachine guns, etc. etc. to stop you and the other drunk patrons of that bar from getting into your cars and driving home, i take it you'd be understanding? ... if a movement to outlaw sports bars and even sports altogether came about because some of the spectators indulge in alcohol and often drive drunk, you'd be ok with that?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:37 AM on August 23, 2005


But what the fuck are you supposed to do when the cops show up and say "GO HOME" when you've got 4 hours left to go before it's safe for you to do so? Or even a half an hour because you just got done with your 3rd beer?

Well speaking as a drinker, you do the same thing you do at closing hour loquacious. You catch a ride with a friend, or a stranger, or call a taxi, your wife, or a very good friend to come and pick you up, or put your keys in your pocket and sleep it off in the car.

If the cop knocks on your window (as has happened to me on more than one occassion) and tells you you are trespassing and can't sleep in your car, you tell him "I've been drinking, I can't drive." Frankly most cops accept that and leave you alone... with a reminder that they will be driving past to see if you leave before you are sober. And they usually do.

And if said cop still has a hardon about you sleeping in the car (which also has happened), and you don't fancy a night in the grey bar hotel by refusing to vacate the premises, you get out of the car, lock the doors and start walking. Yeah, it's a drag, but it ain't more complicated than that.

Dios good on you for being honest, but bad on you for the DUI. It's never cool and never OK.
posted by three blind mice at 9:39 AM on August 23, 2005


Dios good on you for being honest, but bad on you for the DUI. It's never cool and never OK.

One of the great things about living in NYC is that I can drink myself insensate and never have to wrestle with the DUI dilemma. God bless the MTA.
posted by jonmc at 9:41 AM on August 23, 2005


I know drinking and driving is illegal, but the choice to do it is a cost-benefit analysis. If I get arrested for public intox or dwi, its my own damn fault.

But dios, in some areas, if you hit a pedestrian, the bartender could be liable (under some existing or proposed laws) for allowing you to leave and drive drunk. Presumably people went to the bar/restaurant where you were to act reasonably -- have fun, drink a few beers, etc. If you're claiming that the reason the bar exists is to drink, as you called it, "too many drinks," then the place could be shut down. It's a public nuisance to have a place where the main reason for its existence is to get overly intoxicated without any cautionary measures to stop its clientele from doing stupid shit.

I personally think that there were likely a number of people at this gathering who were there to enjoy it in a legal manner and events could be set up where this can happen. Like bars, these events are not a public nuisance by means of their existence.

While it was on a different scale, my city recently had an event with about seven stages, mostly DJs for entertainment, playing some music that would be the same as this festival. The timing was different since it started in the afternoon and outside events ended at midnight, but it continued at a few indoor venues until 2AM. Since it was free there were no security checkpoints and no one was searched for drugs or anything else. There were a couple police officers at either end of the block for the outdoor stages. To my knowledge, there were no major incidents and the worst I saw happen was a few people were stopped when they tried to carry open drinks away from the event.
posted by mikeh at 9:41 AM on August 23, 2005


Nicely put together, loquacious.
posted by fenriq at 9:43 AM on August 23, 2005


TBM: I agree with all of that, including leaving the car to be destroyed or towed if that's the safe thing to do. But I don't own a car, so I'm kind of biased.

However: I will disagree with all of that if walking/sleeping/waiting means getting my ass kicked by a community college phys-ed dropout with a gun, a taser, and an insatiable case of wood for hurting people, and would advocate trying to leave via vehicle as safely and as "normally" (IE, driving because it's what they want you to do, hell or high water) and nominally as possible and seeking safe haven elsewhere as soon as possible.

Which happens. And I can't even fathom why cops think it's a good idea to send a bunch of impaired people out on the road in the first place.
posted by loquacious at 9:47 AM on August 23, 2005


Holy crap! New video! Now I know why it got raided. :\
posted by loquacious at 9:55 AM on August 23, 2005


mikeh,

I thought my point is clear: if I abuse something and there are consequences, I have only myself to blame. Again, it I want to do something stupid, illegal, self-defeating, dangerous, or inconsiderate, then I can do it. But I have no grounds to complain about the repercussions. Nor should I complain and say that I have some special reason for taking the mind altering substances that justifies my actions.

So take your example about what happened in your city. That is great. I hope it was a good time for you. But if the people who attended it were fans of the particular DJs and wanted to have them come back at some late date for another show, but these fans engaged in massive amounts of drug use, then they have little reason to complain when it gets shut down and the djs aren't invited back.

Basically, I am just taking the position of accountability. Own up to what you are doing and the negative attendant consequences. If the consequences are more than you are willing to accept, then don't do the action. Accountability is a respectable position; whining, complaining and trying to justify indiscretions when one knows them to be such and get punished for them is not.

So, if I ruin the joy of the sports bar by drinking too much, then its my fault. I should decide which part of the experience is the one I value more. Likewise, if I like a DJ, but "my family" or "tribe" or whatever takes too many illegal drugs, and thus the whole scene is ruined, then its my fault. I should decide which part of the experience is the one I value more.
posted by dios at 9:56 AM on August 23, 2005


If you aren't mature enough to discuss this top with someone without being extremely offensive and personally insulting to someone who takes the opposite positions, then you shouldn't be on here.

Well said, dios. Let's remember that in future threads, ok?
posted by norm at 9:58 AM on August 23, 2005


After reading the statement of the sheriff's department, the biggest question I have has to do with law enforcement tactics. The police were aware of the event well ahead of time, were aware that they were missing at least one permit, and had undercover officers on the scene well before moving in to execute the sweep.

I would like to know why the officers did not contact the operator of the event prior to the party in order to advise them of the necessary legalities that they needed to secure. My concern is less that this was a heavy handed exercise in controlling the undesirables (although a compelling case can be made for that hypothesis) and more that the police were deliberately letting an unlicensed event to proceed in order to justify a whole lot of overtime and potentially career advancing drug busts.

Your tax dollars at work, people.
posted by norm at 10:06 AM on August 23, 2005


Is this kind of insulting, offensive and personal attacks necessary?

Please start this sentence with "Are these", or make "attacks" singular.
posted by freebird at 10:09 AM on August 23, 2005


Basically, I am just taking the position of accountability. Own up to what you are doing and the negative attendant consequences. If the consequences are more than you are willing to accept, then don't do the action. Accountability is a respectable position; whining, complaining and trying to justify indiscretions when one knows them to be such and get punished for them is not.*

*except for politics.
posted by Balisong at 10:12 AM on August 23, 2005


And I can't even fathom why cops think it's a good idea to send a bunch of impaired people out on the road in the first place.

Dude, I got to say, this seems like hyperbole. Almost every cop has done time on DUI patrol and spent some nights scraping dead people off the road surface as a result of DUI. If you think cops are hard on dopers, they are 100 times harder on DUI and for damned good reason. (And so should the rest of us be.) I just don't buy that someone says to a cop "I'm too drunk to drive" and cop sends you out on the roads.

It seems to me that those people who got DUIs choose to drive while intoxicated and they deserve what they get.

Like I said, I'm a drinker - I love drinking - but I don't drink and drive and I have zero tolerance and no understanding for those who do.
posted by three blind mice at 10:12 AM on August 23, 2005


dios, just so we're clear, you're saying that the people who enjoy it and don't feel the need to go overboard by taking illegal drugs need to take control of the situation by making sure security is tighter? I could buy that. I don't think anyone who's reasoning this out here is claiming that this particular event was undoubtedly in the right. I think that they probably did have permits and some security, but whether there they had the right permits and whether they were doing their jobs is yet to be seen. The main outrage here is how this was stopped and the methods used to confront the crowd, not the fact that the police showed up. If there was a legal issue, that's their responsibility.

Likewise, if I like a DJ, but "my family" or "tribe" or whatever takes too many illegal drugs, and thus the whole scene is ruined, then its my fault.

No, it's the fault of the assholes I don't know who are taking the drugs, the corrupt promoters who are letting them in (if this happens), etc. I've been to few large-scale outdoor events like this, but the circumstances are the same in different ventures: everyone knows about a club or bar that gets repeatedly busted for serving underage kids, what places have a reputation for having a certain clientele, what concert venues are more interested in selling drinks than running sound for bands.

To once again bring it back to another sort of music: when I go to see what I know should be an excellent show and I show up and see a run-down venue, hear bad sound, and the crowd sucks, then the music hasn't failed and neither have I. So stop blaming "the scene" or "my family" or "the tribe." There can be good groups that hold on to the little that works in any sort of music venue, along with anything else in life.
posted by mikeh at 10:13 AM on August 23, 2005


Loquacious, I just wanted to say that you made some wonderful posts in this thread (particularly this one). Thanks, seriously.

dios, I generally agree with your feelings on personal accountability, but I find it hard to make the connection from the personal accountability of the drug users to all of the attendees at the event. I understand that if you get a DUI it's your fault. I also understand that if someone gets arrested for possession it's their fault inasmuch as they broke the law and they knew it. But I find the arguement that this is about drugs and not people hard to buy. This wasn't a national drug-lord convention, it was a concert. If they wanted to get the drug users they could've done it without shutting down the event and even if they wanted to shut down the event they could've done it in a more appropriate way. I've been to one rave in my life and the police were sitting on the highway going up to it and pulling people over all night long - with the rave still going. Someone I knew got pulled over for a burned-out license-plate-light and ended up with a posession ticket that he paid and then got on with his life. I still happen to think that's lame, but it's way better than busting in with a fucking SWAT team; and as much as I don't like it, I realize that they had a legal right to do so. But this? Not so much.

Also, on re-reading my comment I feel I should qualify this statement: "Don't give me the safety bullshit and don't give me the addiction bullshit. Alcohol and tobacco are more addictive and detrimental when abused than any street drugs." Many drugs are addictive and carry safety risks. These risks are not to be underestimated. However, there is little evidence that illegal drugs per se are significantly worse than legal drugs per se and there's lots of evidence to show that education and risk-prevention are much more effective than prohibition. And that should say "Alcohol and tobacco, when abused, can be just as addictive and detrimental as street drugs."

jonmc - Point taken. I agree that in many cases people (to the detriment of both parties) criticize and ridicule rather than trying to understand. And of course people are allowed to trash-talk any particular subculture they want, but to then expect those people to not respond in kind is silly. Or, what you said.
posted by nTeleKy at 10:18 AM on August 23, 2005


I can't wait to see the SWAT teams rush in and assault the next RNC convention, after some reports of cocaine use.
posted by Balisong at 10:18 AM on August 23, 2005


Is this kind of insulting, offensive and personal attacks necessary?

Believe me dios, I get sick of the whiny leftism that seems to dominate this site at times, too. And at times, I've appreciated your contribution of an opposing viewpoint.

This wouldn't be one of those times, and the way you shit on this thread leads me to believe you have nothing to contribute other than stirring up a shitstorm.

And a Bush-loving sycophant preaching accountability? Comedy gold.
posted by kableh at 10:23 AM on August 23, 2005


The difference is that the culture there embraces rampant drug use. In fact, it is almost a central tenet of the culture. And until the culture changes and rejects drug use at the events, then they are going to have hassles. It isn't like this was one or two people ruining it for fun. We all know what the culture is like; we have people defending it in this very thread. Drug use is embraced.

Imagine you are at a symphony, and someone sparks a joint. The other guests will likely tell them to put it out or harass the offender. The attendants will likely come and make the person leave. Or the police will be called to remove the lone offender. The people at a symphony are there for the music, not the drug culture. And when is the last time we had a symphony broken up?

If you want to be a part of a musical culture that embraces drug use, then you have little ground to stand on when the legal consequences of that use occur. If you are really there for the music and the dancing, then you should actively oppose the embracing of drug use in the culture or do whatever grassroots type stuff you can think of to change the culture so that you can enjoy the music without the people that are going to cause problems.
posted by dios at 10:24 AM on August 23, 2005


BTW - the comment from me above was in response to nTeleKy and mikeh.
posted by dios at 10:26 AM on August 23, 2005


kableh, can you honestly not envision someone having an opposing viewpoint about drug use or must anyone who says different from you on this topic be someone who is disingenuousing "shitting" on the thread? Such bad faith.
posted by dios at 10:27 AM on August 23, 2005


three blind mice: Again, I agree wholeheartedly and entirely with the blanket statement of "no DUI ever. period." - up until the theoretical point where "doing the right thing" may immediately jeopordize your own life and safety.

It's an extreme (and thankfully mostly rare) case and hard to fathom, but I've seen it. Mainly two places: Southern California deserts (involving clueless local small town LEOs) and Southern California inner cities (Involving very angry LAPD cops in riot gear), where the safest place is shielded inside your car and moving away from the scene to somewhere very close by, less populated, and more quiet.

Arguably, there should be a designated driver anyway - which is certainly the norm among my peers. But shit happens. People get split up, lost, unduly arrested, etc.

I guess I'm arguing a difficult to defend and extremely thin line of gray area.
posted by loquacious at 10:29 AM on August 23, 2005


Parents need to be aware of the type of illegal activities that occurs at these type of gathering. Sexual assaults, rapes, overdoses, drugs, alcohol abuse, thefts, and firearms violations. The sale of drugs at these parties is so prevalent that at this particular Rave party drugs were offered to a local off duty emergency medical service personnel who were contracted to be there. In addition two security personnel hired by the promoter were arrested for possession of cocaine and ecstasy (1)
In other words, parents should know that the same activities that happen in the public school system also happens at these type of gatherings, just without the guise of education.

(And if it hasn't been pointed out, the security officers who were arrested for possession were allegedly arrested for possessing drugs they confiscated within the scope of their professional responsibilities.)
And if you want to get high, then fine. Do it. But do it with full understanding that you are breaking the law and accept the consequences. It's like choosing to speed or run a red light. Or choosing to urinate outside. It's a cost-benefit analysis. (2)
As much as dios tends to word things in a way that provokes reaction, intentionally or not, this basic premise is sound.
posted by sequential at 10:32 AM on August 23, 2005


Ah I see! So in the strange with-us-or-against-us binary world of right-wing sports-bar leaning American, I am accountable for the drug consumption of the person dancing next to me. Yeah, right.
posted by dydecker at 10:34 AM on August 23, 2005


This is precisely why the second amendment exists.
posted by knave at 10:37 AM on August 23, 2005


dios, with just about anyone else but you.

You're either disingenuous, or have poor reading comprehension.

You're bemoan this culture as being one that embraces drugs. I'd say you have limited knowledge of said culture, especially in the case of the event we're discussing.

I get sick the lefty back slapping that goes on in this site, too. I get sick of dissenting viewpoints getting shouted down, too. But every post I've seen you make, save a few, has been inflammatory to the point I can't help but think it is deliberate.
posted by kableh at 10:37 AM on August 23, 2005


Freedom of Association
Freedom of Assembly
Freedom from Unreasonable Search and Seizure
posted by sonofsamiam at 10:40 AM on August 23, 2005


But every post I've seen you make, save a few, has been inflammatory to the point I can't help but think it is deliberate.

There's usually a debatable point buried in his comments, but unfortunately his shit-stirring side tends to bury it. I think (and I may be wrong) that what dios is trying to say is that while the rave scene may not be "all about," the drugs, ecstacy and other drugs of that type have been hyped (from within and without) as being central to the whole scene, that a large event like this might bring out a large "let's score some E and watch babes dance topless," contigent that could be difficult to manage. He may have a point. However plenty of punk, metal and rap shows could draw a similar contingent.
posted by jonmc at 10:43 AM on August 23, 2005


So in the strange with-us-or-against-us binary world of right-wing sports-bar leaning American, I am accountable for the drug consumption of the person dancing next to me.

As someone who spent the better part of last night leaning against a sports bar, I'd advise you not to use stereotypes to shatter stereotypes.
posted by jonmc at 10:44 AM on August 23, 2005


a large event like this might bring out a large "let's score some E and watch babes dance topless," contigent that could be difficult to manage. However plenty of punk, metal and rap shows could draw a similar contingent.
There are other reasons to go to metal shows?

*runs*
posted by sequential at 10:46 AM on August 23, 2005


If you want to be a part of a musical culture that embraces drug use, then you have little ground to stand on when the legal consequences of that use occur.

Agreed. But "legal consequences" and "the swat team comes in with huge weapons and beats people to the ground" are two separate things, in my eyes. Like I said, I've seen police presences that are a lot less threatening. It may be that someone tried to get violent, but that wasn't what I saw in the video clips or pictures. If someone tries to attack a police officer, then that officer should be well-trained to deal with that.

As far as I can tell, dios is espousing the belief that personal accountability is the law of the land, but if the majority of a group seems to be into illegal behavior, then you need some group accountability. That's fine. Just be careful how wide your generalizations go and call off the dogs for crying out loud.
posted by mikeh at 10:47 AM on August 23, 2005


There are other reasons to go to metal shows?

*strangles sequential with Pantera t-shirt*
posted by jonmc at 10:48 AM on August 23, 2005


The difference is that the culture there embraces rampant drug use.

while the sports culture often embraces alcohol abuse and resulting illegal actions

yes, dios, you go on about personal responsibility, but it's with the smug belief that you're going to get away with what you do and the ravers aren't going to get away with what they do

you support this kind of police action ... as long as it's directed against those you don't identify with ... just as long as it isn't your lifestyle that's messed with

that's what pisses me off about the right wing ... many of you only want the law enforced against those you dislike for reasons that have nothing to do with the law
posted by pyramid termite at 10:50 AM on August 23, 2005


There are other reasons to go to metal shows?

Go for the discourse, but stay for the exegesis.
posted by freebird at 10:50 AM on August 23, 2005


*looks up exegesis*

huh?
posted by jonmc at 10:51 AM on August 23, 2005


"The difference is that the culture there embraces rampant drug use."

So what you're saying is that it has nothing to do with personal accountability - it has to do with a culture that is antithetical to your culture, and hence should be disallowed from existence. And I think you'd be surprised to see what they really embraced if you ever bothered to take them seriously.

If you are sincere and go to rave scenes only for the music, then start internal reform to rid the scene of drugs so you can do your raves within the law.

Maybe the people that attend these events would rather not "rid the scene of drugs" because they know that it's the same thing as "ridding the scene of drug users". Maybe they actually accept personal responsibility and although they eschew drugs themselves, believe they have no right to stop others from using them and accepting the risks thereof.

I'd really like to see another event, with all permits if possible, or with no permits if need be where the DJs would remix news and original footage into their songs/video displays. And then if/when the cops came, they would all just sit down - how long would it take to physically remove 1500 people? If I could get some vacation time I'd drive out there for that.
posted by nTeleKy at 10:52 AM on August 23, 2005



*looks up exegesis*

huh?


"exegesis of blood"

surely you've heard of them?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:56 AM on August 23, 2005


Oh yeah, from Tampa or Sweden or some fuckin' place...
posted by jonmc at 10:58 AM on August 23, 2005


“more that the police were deliberately letting an unlicensed event to proceed in order to justify a whole lot of overtime and potentially career advancing drug busts.”

I'm with norm.
Buncha wanna-be’s playing with their shiny new mp-5s (Oooh, just like the special forces commandos use!)
/even tho the Steyr Aug is superior...but don’t get me started.
...against a bunch of soft targets instead of any real resistance so they can feel manly and stand strong against crime...blah blah blah.
Same shit different scene, why would an armored riot cop beat up an unarmed opponent? It’s happened over and over and over. Yes, it’s SO appropriate to stomp a pacifist for the horrific crime of using marijuana or hallucinogens, ooh, your so righteous and big and strong. (The 60s come to mind)
Same thing here but with words. The tough guy accountability go it alone those are the breaks life is tough bullshit vs. the let’s understand this but express it poorly because we’re overwhelmed with emotion crowds.

We can debate what constitutes drug use and abuse all month.

This was an inappropriate response. Period.

Upholding the law means adhering to not only the letter but the spirit of the law.
To do otherwise encourages lawlessness.

To avoid departmental responsibility for the violence done here is more egregious a crime than any drug usage or illegal activity that was otherwise taking place.
Respond to a minor infraction with overwhelming force (Rodney King comes to mind) and pretty soon you’ll have people heaving molitov cocktails at Utah squad cars (or at the very least swabbing the door handles with DMSO & LSD)
posted by Smedleyman at 11:07 AM on August 23, 2005


This was an inappropriate response. Period.

Shit, even I know that.
posted by jonmc at 11:10 AM on August 23, 2005


As someone who spent the better part of last night leaning against a sports bar, I'd advise you not to use stereotypes to shatter stereotypes.

You're not really one to be advising against stereotypes, jon, but thanks.
posted by dydecker at 11:13 AM on August 23, 2005


You're not really one to be advising against stereotypes, jon, but thanks.

I've come a long way, dydecker.
posted by jonmc at 11:17 AM on August 23, 2005


Indeed - while most people go to metal concerts for the enjoyable rhetorical sparring, and discussion of critical theory in relation to historicity, I find the performance itself the most poignant cultural document. From wikipedia:

The word exegesis means "to draw the meaning" out of a given text. Some contrast exegesis with eisegesis, which means to read one's own interpretation into a given text.

A simple example, using a classic text from the Early Neoromantics:

"Our brains are on fire
with the feeling to kill
And it will not go away
until our dreams are fulfilled...
seek and....SEEK AND DESTROY!"

Thus, at first blush, a telling portrayal of the angst-ridden world of today's youth, indeed, one feels "18! I'm a boy and I'm a Mannnnn!". But digging deeper, let us examine this trope of fire. Fire generally being a destructive elemental symbol form, one first sees a simple, self-destructive portrayal of conciousness - perhaps even a desire for oblivion: "one wants to be sedated", to paraphrase a seminal work in this domain. Yet the use of "Our" brains includes the listener in this diorama of flame - hence the whole world. What seems a simple statement of teenage frustration is seen as an elegant and powerful portrayal of A World on Fire.

The remainder is left as an exercise for the reader, but surely it's clear that a world which won't go away until our dreams are fulfilled references Jungian dreamscapes, and the inescapability of language. That which we "seek", we must surely "destroy" in finding, for it's meaning lies in the search itself.
posted by freebird at 11:19 AM on August 23, 2005


This was an inappropriate response.

That may very well be the case. I don't know that we know enough to properly assess this, though. Given the sheer numbers of expected people, the prospective drug use, etc., one has to know what calculations the police made regarding the sheer number and armament of the force that went out there. But it could very well be the case that it was too much; that is, not appropriate from a sheer resource allocation standpoint.

The physicality of the police officers may have been too much, and that is something that should be investigated. But again, we don't have enough information to assess this. We don't know if some people were resisting or fighting back. We don't know what led to some of the actions. But it could very well be the case that some police officers when too far, and they should be dealt with accordingly.

But the fact that a police force may have been over-armed based on a worst-case scenario level of planning, and that some police officers may have been too aggressive and should be punished if it wasn't justified, does not reflect on whether the action by the police was justified in the abstract. Nor would should facts suggest that ravers should be left alone to do what they want. If there was abusive police, the remedy is to train the police to not be abusive in that scenario. The remedy is not to let potential criminality go on unchecked.
posted by dios at 11:22 AM on August 23, 2005


\m/ \m/!

it's "searchinnn...SEEK AND DESTROY!"
by the way. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to kill my parents and rape my dog.
posted by jonmc at 11:24 AM on August 23, 2005


You want to use your illegal drugs without consequence.

I know, I know, them hooligans on heroin, drugs and criminals, those thugs are the pinnacle of the downfall of society !!!
posted by funambulist at 11:27 AM on August 23, 2005


Congratulations, dios, you've successfully derailed another thread. Do you put a big black hashmark on your bedroom wall every time you do it?

The only possible correlation between this incident and your being pulled over for drunk driving would occur if the cop forces you out of the car, throws you onto the pavement and with his knee on your back, beats you with a nightstick 20 times while yelling "Stop resisting! Stop resisting!"

And also the fact that your personal decision to drive drunk puts you at more risk of killing yourself than any drug user at the rave, and astronomically more risk of KILLING SOME OTHER INNOCENT PERSON. Defending your drunk (and otherwise impaired) driving make me sick, and is so perfectly in character for a sociopath like you.

Personally, I'd like to see the pervasive DRUNK culture removed from the practice of watching NFL football, but I would not reccommend sending storm troopers into sports bars.

Or maybe, I, who would like to enjoy watching football sober and having safe streets to drive home on should call in the law to force you to straighten up.
posted by wendell at 11:32 AM on August 23, 2005


Respond to a minor infraction with overwhelming force
The police justification for their actions is spelled out quite clearly in the Utah County Depratmental News. They were not responding to a minor infraction, at least if you're inferring the allegation about not having the mass gathering permit.

The police used an umbrella of reasons to justify their intent and the means by which they chose to shut down the party:
1) From several previous experiences with Rave parties of this size, a large amount of drug use and underage consumption of alcohol occur. In addition reports of sexual assaults, overdoses, firearm violations, vehicle burglaries, and numerous individuals drive from the party under the influence of alcohol and or drugs.
2) Utah County Sheriff's Office Detectives interviewed several females that had attended a prior rave party in the Utah county area in the past month that had been sexual assaulted.
3) In the last year alone one near fatal shooting was investigated by Utah County Sheriff's Office at a similar party.
Before attempting to shut the party down:
Major Crimes observed numerous illegal activities. Which included illegal use of drugs, distribution of drugs, and underage consumption of alcohol.
Why they continually refer to the alleged permit infraction as the reason for shutting down the party is beyond me. In Utah, is it legal to have a party of less than 12 hours with fewer than 250 people that involves the following recreational activities:
weapons offenses, DUI, illegal underage consumption of alcohol, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of ecstasy, distribution of ecstasy, resisting arrest, assault on a police officer, and disorderly conduct.
I'm not defending their claims or their actions, but to frame this entire thing as a reaction to a permit violation is disingenuous, even on the part of the police.. The permit was simply a convenient "legal" tool.

And let me point out an inconsistency in their public disclosure. The first paragraph says they knew about the party four weeks prior it taking place. The seventh paragraph says they only discovered the location of the party a mere 9 hours before the event was to begin. That doesn't sit well with me. If they knew about it for four weeks and felt it was the kind of event that would require the use of military style force to shut down, the police were negligent in not taking steps to prevent the event from happening. It would not have been difficult to do. Furthermore, why didn't they know the location when they found out about the event? Was the event moved? Was the location not decided until late in the event planning process? These things are not uncommon with raves, but I've read nothing indicating either is true in this instance.

On preview, I freebird.
posted by sequential at 11:33 AM on August 23, 2005


that should be "makes me sick"... and I do not post drunk, and will submit to a breathalizer test.
posted by wendell at 11:35 AM on August 23, 2005


Or maybe, I, who would like to enjoy watching football sober and having safe streets to drive home on should call in the law to force you to straighten up.
posted by wendell at 11:32 AM PST on August 23


Yes, you should. And if I break the law and get caught because of your tipoff, then I have no one else to blame and nothing to complain about.

I didn't drive home drunk last night. And I usually don't ever drive if I had anything to drink. What I said was when it was time for me to leave, I had a decision to make about driving and breaking another law. The consequence was left for me to choose. So please understand the point of what I was saying instead of using it as a launching pad to make attacks and judgments against me personally.

Sorry if I 'derail'ed the thread. I don't see how I did that. Unless "derailed" means I didn't say the things in response to this story that you wanted to hear. Otherwise, everything I said in this thread has been perfectly topical and in reaction to comments in this thread.
posted by dios at 11:37 AM on August 23, 2005


Nor would should facts suggest that ravers should be left alone to do what they want. .... The remedy is not to let potential criminality go on unchecked.

If they have the permits, why not? This was a music event, just like any other, with the exception of the choice of music.

But don't sit there and tell me that I "don't get it" because you are on some elevated plane of spiritual understanding because you took two hits and listened to something a computer could have generated with an algorithm while jumping in place.

Ahh, so the truth comes out. You don't consider it music - a lot of old farts don't (no offense Jon =D) - thus the standard rules of engagement don't apply.

Forgive me if I think you're being disingenuous.
posted by kableh at 11:38 AM on August 23, 2005


Unless "derailed" means I didn't say the things in response to this story that you wanted to hear.

Telling people shit they don't want to hear, takes finesse. and practice.
posted by jonmc at 11:38 AM on August 23, 2005


You don't consider it music - a lot of old farts don't (no offense Jon =D) -

I've actually heard a few electronica outfits that I enjoyed (and the creators seem to share my affection for old "rare groove" music). You'll still never catch me at a rave. And I'm not as old as you think I am.
posted by jonmc at 11:40 AM on August 23, 2005


Dios means I didn't say the things in response to this story that you wanted to hear.
posted by Balisong at 11:41 AM on August 23, 2005


And sequential, you have fallen into dios' evil trap... it's not about whether it was legal to break up the drum-n-bass event, it was whether the extreme paramilitary force (along with concerted efforts to destroy all video record of the action) was proper, legal, in any way justified or worthy of what we laughingly call a "free" country.
posted by wendell at 11:41 AM on August 23, 2005


I still happen to think that's lame, but it's way better than busting in with a fucking SWAT team; and as much as I don't like it, I realize that they had a legal right to do so.

Why does this keep getting said as if it were true?!

Police officers have no such legal right. See the constitution for details, if you can find a copy any more.
posted by odinsdream at 11:48 AM on August 23, 2005


Dios blathers: The remedy is not to let potential criminality go on unchecked.

Ironic...an admitted drunk-driver talking about the 'criminality' of people who isolate themselves in the wilderness to Do Their Thing. Very ironic.
posted by solipse at 11:51 AM on August 23, 2005


Sorry if I 'derail'ed the thread. I don't see how I did that.

Well, let me explain it: The thread is about the excessive use of force to control a situation that could have been dealt with in several more reasonable ways. It isn't about the morality of the people involved, nor is it about whether the participants' actions were illegal or not.

Why? Because even if they were using drugs, that still doesn't mean police can use excessive force (remember, the subject of this thread?)

Secondly, when someone does ask you what you think about the subject, you claim you "don't have enough information" to make a statement. That lack of information certainly didn't stop you from letting us know your opinion on unrelated matters, such as what you think about drug users, drug culture, and music events that you, clearly, have no experience with.
posted by odinsdream at 11:51 AM on August 23, 2005


No odinsdream: that is what you wanted to talk about in reaction to this story. However, you don't get to define what the proper reaction to this newstory is. So it is extremely inappropriate for you to fascistically demand that all coments must be in line with your view of how the thread should go or else they are "derails."

Another perfectly relevant reaction would be that the people shouldn't have engaged in lawlessness anyhow. All of my comments in this thread are topical. Some of you seem incapable of hearing a differing opinion without trying to marginalize it as a derail or troll or whatever pathetic avoidance word you want to use.

And to answer your question about the cops, the cops DO have the right to come in there and break it up. Nothing in the Constitution protects you from police action when you are breaking the law. There is no constitutional problem with the cops breaking up an event and arresting people who broke the law.

As for my comment about reserving judgment: perhaps you should too. You have an extremely one-sided view of this situation as presented above. All the sources we have are people who are on or sympathetic to the people who were at the party. Then you lambaste me for making judgments while lacking information? That's weak.

Solipse, see my comment to Wendell before playing that card.
posted by dios at 11:58 AM on August 23, 2005


Who's playing a card? I'm just slapping a tedious troll.
posted by solipse at 12:04 PM on August 23, 2005


No odinsdream: that is what you wanted to talk about in reaction to this story.

Actually, I wanted to talk about jellybeans, but.. instead, I noticed what the subject of the post actually was, and went with that information. See, I love jellybeans... but, they don't have anything to do with raves, just like your drunken hijinks don't have anything to do with it.

I tried to explain it to you, maybe someone else wants to take a shot. Without a doubt, though, you are derailing the thread.

the cops DO have the right to come in there and break it up.

You're right, they do. Do they also have a right to use teargas and physical violence under any circumstance? No, they don't. There has to be a reason, and that reason would be a full riot by everyone in the crowd. Teargas can't discriminate.

All the sources we have are people who are on or sympathetic to the people who were at the party.

With, you know, photographic and video evidence. That does matter somewhat... after all, most of us are discussing this after having viewed the video. Can you say the same?
posted by odinsdream at 12:06 PM on August 23, 2005


“I don't know that we know enough to properly assess this”

Other than the video? Other than the lack of further video?
It’s legal to observe any peace officer in the execution of his duty at a distance (typically set by local ordinace) that does not interfere with his duty. The demand to stop recording a public official at a public event is itself evidence of illegal activity and can be construed as a desire to cover up futher illegal activity.
-
“The remedy is not to let potential criminality go on unchecked.”
Agreed. Most certainly on the part of the officers involved as well as those responsible. Assault is criminal, as is battery as is descriminatory deprivation of rights, as is a whole lot of other things done here. It’s worthy of investigation. If found guilty it’s worthy of loss of the badge and jail time.
I would agree that if - if - they did not have a permit, the police had the right to break up the concert. This was the wrong way to go about it. I would argue based on how these things are typically done, it was a negligent, irresponsible, and criminal way to go about it.

jonmec, it was an inappropriate response! Don’t you get that!?
/oh, wait, you do.You’re a Metallica fan? Far out.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:09 PM on August 23, 2005


As someone who lives in Utah County, I keep hoping the press will play up the private property aspects of this incident.

People around here have their priorities a bit twisted. They won't care if some kids got their heads busted but they'll go ballistic if they think private property rights were violated.

And after seeing the cops rush in, dressed as if they were storming a compound in Sadr City, the black flag within me almost wishes a few CCW holders would have taken some shots at them. I wouldn't normally advocate shooting a cop but this was so over the top, a bit of armed resistance was called for.

Live free or die used to be the ethos of the west and I hope this idea makes a rapid return.
posted by pandaharma at 12:10 PM on August 23, 2005


Sorry jonmc, I keep getting you confused with your cyborg: jonmec.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:10 PM on August 23, 2005


Being an inflammatory asshole and being topical aren't mutually exclusive, dios.

As for my comment about reserving judgment: perhaps you should too. You have an extremely one-sided view of this situation as presented above. All the sources we have are people who are on or sympathetic to the people who were at the party.

I'm sympathetic to the people who were at the party because I've seen this kind of nonsense time and time again, albeit never to this extent. I also know the types that frequent drum and bass events, and they are quite different from the percived "raver" stereotype.

You have an extremely one-sided view of this situation as presented above.
posted by kableh at 12:12 PM on August 23, 2005


Sorry jonmc, I keep getting you confused with your cyborg: jonmec.

He's the one with the bionic liver, right?
posted by jonmc at 12:12 PM on August 23, 2005


odinsdream, you may want to re-read my post. My reference to "within their legal right" was re: waiting on the road outside the rave event I attended and pulling people over for minor traffic violations, then searching their person. I was under the impression that was legal (though shitty), am I missing something or did you think I was referring to actions taken by the Utah police?

And let me point out an inconsistency in their public disclosure. The first paragraph says they knew about the party four weeks prior it taking place. The seventh paragraph says they only discovered the location of the party a mere 9 hours before the event was to begin.

Frequently raves (more commonly when they're held illegally) will send out a flyer weeks in advance with a phone number on it. The day of the event the phone number goes live with directions to the venue. I'm guessing that's what happened. Sometimes it's also done because the promoters haven't yet figured out where they're going to hold it or just for fun.
posted by nTeleKy at 12:34 PM on August 23, 2005


Thanks for the post Loquatious, and the profound statements.

And while Dios makes several good points about accountability and personal responsibility, there is a definite lack of understanding about what electronic dance music culture is.

The idea that raves and EDM events are all about rampant drug use is an idea that is about 12 years behind the times. I seem to remember seeing images of police at a Doors show. LSD and Rock Music were implicitly linked for a decade, but that association is gone now.

It is true that the rise of modern dance music and the proliferation of Ecstacy did evolve together, but I can't emphasize enough the idea that the two are not dependent on one another.

It is true that large numbers of people initially used all manner of drugs in excess years ago while at gatherings. However, true fans, the oldest members of "tribes" or "scenes" left their excesses long ago and truly embraced music and dance over excess and abuse.

I think at the root of what dios initially posted is that this group is whining over the opportunity to use drugs and get away with it.

Being a veteran dj myself, my own personal experience has shown me that anyone that wants to drive out into the middle of the desert in the middle of the night, to listen to drum and bass (not the most drug friendly music, BTW) is definitely driven by a purpose that goes beyond a desire to engage in unlawful drug use. The farther you have to go, and the longer the travel, the more you question your reason for going, and the more you value others that made the trek.

The decisions made by the Utah law enforcement did not demonstrate a desire to stop the gathering before it started, or to enforce public safety (just ask the girl with her face kicked in). Their decisions reflected a prejudiced and misguided view by those in power, and an unwillingness to accept that the world around them is changing, regardless of their beliefs. EDM culture is the future, get used to it.


"music is the language, love is the message"

posted by djdrue at 12:40 PM on August 23, 2005


Not saying I agree with the severity of their reaction, but as I said in the other thread, no one saw what those two people did to initiate the beatdown by the police. That happened off camera. Cops can be rough in a crowd control situation, and if you push back, or god forbid, hit or kick back... well you're going to be taken down hard. It's just a fact of life. I've seen it happen at all sorts of protests and illegal gatherings. (and I do believe this gathering WAS illegal.)

Speaking solely for myself here, I just don't get some "scenes," whether it be EDM, Goth, Punk, whatever. Large gatherings of people where minor crimes are being commited (i.e. blocking a street to protest racism, war, inequality) which result in arrests, tear gassing, etc., at least seem worth it to me

I view this as an impotent move by a fed up council to scare kids into never holding one of these events again (as I stated before, a retarded Shock and Awe campaign), hence the guns, helicopters, and camo.

Still... it's just a party for chrissakes... It's not like it was a peaceful anti-klan protest. The vast majority of people made it home just fine, and if anything, it shows the ignorance of the powers that be, as this will probably cement the drive to have MORE events... hopefully next time styming the cops as they will be more careful about underage drinking, drugs, and permits.

Just like most people at a sports bar don't drive home drunk, we know that while many people there weren't tripping or drugging, I'm sure there was a significant portion who were. Fuel to the fire. While it may sound ABC After School Special of me, (as I probably wouldn't have taken this advice when I was a teenager), if you know people are dropping tabs or E and smoking dope, then you see a police helicopter fly in, well... you should probably hightail it out of there.
posted by Debaser626 at 1:07 PM on August 23, 2005


Live free or die used to be the ethos of the west and I hope this idea makes a rapid return.

Uh, isn't that the ethos of New Hampshire? In Utah, I believe the ethos is "you will live on your knees before the Mormon church and you will like it."
posted by telstar at 1:29 PM on August 23, 2005


Just like the events in the 60's gave cause to a generation to right a great deal of legal wrongs, I think the events that are happening today are providing a great deal of incentive to this current generation to involve themselves in careers they might otherwise have reconsidered such as law, law enforcement, corporate law, human rights law, politics, religion, etc.
I think this generation and the older generation is getting a good hard lesson at what happens when a group of people become complacent and accepting of their good fortune and let their government and authorities run rampant over them.
I think that when this has run it's course, and that generation grows into adulthood and begins to take the reins of power in whatever career they pursue they will be taking a good long look at the influence of the police, the military, our judicial system and our system of politics as well as the influence of religion on our government and society and they will start enacting reforms to make sure that no undue influence and abuses of authority that have taken place in Utah and around the country and around the world are allowed to happen again.
Because I believe in the flying spaghetti monster and the goodness of it's noodly appendeges.
posted by mk1gti at 1:35 PM on August 23, 2005


“Large gatherings of people where minor crimes are being commited which result in arrests, tear gassing, etc., at least seem worth it to me”
Ah, so since not all but some people will drive home drunk the police should tear gas the sports bar. Indeed, some of them may be smoking dope in the john. If you question them as to why they are interfering with your otherwise lawful right to be there they can smash your teeth out with a club. We must trust the police are acting in good faith when they kick a young barmaid in the stomach since we don’t know what she may have done to attempt to harm a large group of well trained armed and armored men, since we should not have videotaped evidence. Criminal deterance justifies the maximum usage, even potentially lethal usage, of force. Since smoking dope or driving drunk are such henious crimes, the police can liberally crush the civil and property rights of others at will.
Got it.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:40 PM on August 23, 2005


Frequently raves (more commonly when they're held illegally) will send out a flyer weeks in advance with a phone number on it. The day of the event the phone number goes live with directions to the venue. I'm guessing that's what happened. Sometimes it's also done because the promoters haven't yet figured out where they're going to hold it or just for fun.
That just doesn't fit with the stories being told by either side. There is, as of yet, no evidence that this is true.

Back when raves were commonly held completely underground, I'd get flyer with a date, time and instructions to look for the clown on the corner of streets A and B. The clown would have the exact location of the event or further instructions to seek another person with additional information. This scenario doesn't fit in the least bit because this event was insured and did have permits. Those events were often held illegally in buildings that were condemned or did not have the express permission of the owner. The permits would take time to get and almost certainly could not be applied for and approved the day of the event.

My point is that the police didn't take this seriously when they found out about it. It would not have been difficult to diffuse a situation they believed would require military style force to contain. They could have called the number or used their powers as officers of the law to find the promoter and preemptively prevent the need for calling in special units.
It is true that large numbers of people initially used all manner of drugs in excess years ago while at gatherings. However, true fans, the oldest members of "tribes" or "scenes" left their excesses long ago and truly embraced music and dance over excess and abuse.
That doesn't explain why the police arrested people for "DUI, illegal underage consumption of alcohol, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of ecstasy, distribution of ecstasy".

Look, neither of your assertions are entirely true. EDM is not about drugs and EDM concerts have not significantly cleaned up their act since raves first came to the states. I wouldn't be surprised if individuals matured and became more subdued over time, but the culture of raves is still deeply steeped in drug culture. Music is only one element of this culture and it is entirely separate from the drug habits.
posted by sequential at 1:48 PM on August 23, 2005


I think what's really important here is the semantic implications of the phrase "broke up" (as in, "the police broke up the drum-and-bass event") in relation to "broke down" (as in "my car broke down" or "word, that DJ broke Sweet Home Alabama *down*!") and even "beat down". How can you stand idly by while this assertion of superposition and linear ordering goes unchallenged!?! That's the real crime here, not some tawdry clubbing of a clubber, no matter how undeserved!

In the entire thread above, even those of you decrying the Totally Totalitarian Tendencies of the Troopers continue to use their terms? Do you not realize that by allowing Them to choose the linguistic framing of the discourse, you abdicate any hope of eventual victory? You are as a wandering soldier trapped behind enemy lines, and trading his rations and ammo for a quick drink from The Bar of Coopted Rhetoric, which comes served in a plastic coconut shell with an umbrella imprinted with a copyright symbol!

In the long run, you are constructing your own prison - building a panopticon out of the mirrors you thought were just for reflecting smoke!
posted by freebird at 1:59 PM on August 23, 2005


Telstar,

The mormons, historically, have every reason to distrust the gov't.

Sadly, they now ignore the historical precedents and consistently vote republican.

But there is still a strong 'live let live" thing in the west, less so in Utah, but still here, at least as far as guns and property rights go. They're also really lenient on speeding.

If only the kids had gone a few miles down the road, Juab or Wasatch county doesn't have the resources to handle this massive raid.
posted by pandaharma at 2:03 PM on August 23, 2005


Ah, so since not all but some people will drive home drunk the police should tear gas the sports bar. Indeed, some of them may be smoking dope in the john. If you question them as to why they are interfering with your otherwise lawful right to be there they can smash your teeth out with a club. We must trust the police are acting in good faith when they kick a young barmaid in the stomach since we don’t know what she may have done to attempt to harm a large group of well trained armed and armored men, since we should not have videotaped evidence. Criminal deterance justifies the maximum usage, even potentially lethal usage, of force. Since smoking dope or driving drunk are such henious crimes, the police can liberally crush the civil and property rights of others at will.
Got it.


I'm not sure that you understand what I was trying to say. And I certainly don't understand what you're getting at.
Purposefully putting yourself in a situation which can end up in your arrest is more understandable to me if it's for a greater cause than a party. And... if you're operating a sports bar with a valid Tax ID and Liquor license, then the cops wouldn't have a reason to raid your location. As far as smoking dope in the john, you can't even smoke cigarettes in the john anymore. However, if you were running a gambling den or whorehouse, through a front of a bar... you deserve a possible arrest for frequenting such a place.

I don't agree with the police using excessive physical force under any circumstance. I have found, however, that if you tacitly and completely follow their instructions to the letter, remain polite and mature, they will treat you with equal respect. By no means does this apply to EVERY law enforcement agent, but for the most part, these men and women are not out to "get" you, they're just doing their job. No one like to have someone tell them what to do, especially when in an altered state... "By God, you're infringing on my LIBERTIES... I KNOW MY RIGHTS!!!" etc. etc. etc. However, it's not like they're going to drag you off somewhere and execute you for partaking in an illegal gathering. Remain, cool, calm, and collected, (which I assume most of the people who left and went home did) and you'll soon be home too. I could, of course, be completely missing your point, and if so, I would appreciate it if you could clarify it for me....
posted by Debaser626 at 2:13 PM on August 23, 2005


That just doesn't fit with the stories being told by either side. There is, as of yet, no evidence that this is true.

I just noticed this: "Tickets were sold through a Salt Lake vendor, Uprock, for $20.00. Tickets could be bought in advance and directions to the exact location of the Rave would be provided on the day of the event."
posted by nTeleKy at 2:46 PM on August 23, 2005


nTeleKy, I saw that as well. It just doesn't add up. If the permits were obtained and this event was held legally, the police would have had no trouble finding the exact location of the event well before the event took place. Moreover, the police could have called Uprock and asked for the name of the person or company selling the tickets. If I understand the ordinance correctly, before promotion of the event can occur, the permits must be obtained.
13-4-2-1. Required.

No person shall permit, maintain, promote, conduct, advertise, act as entrepreneur, undertake, organize, manage, or sell or give tickets to an actual or reasonably anticipated assembly of two hundred fifty or more people which continues or can reasonably be expected to continue for twelve (12) or more consecutive hours, whether on public or private property unless a license to hold the assembly has first been issued by the County Commissioners. (pdf)
For the sake of clarification, I'm not saying anyone is lying or intentionally misrepresenting the truth, though that is possible. The story just doesn't add up to what happened that night, especially considering the video footage of the event.
posted by sequential at 3:06 PM on August 23, 2005


more updates on the permit issue
posted by mk1gti at 3:45 PM on August 23, 2005


Debaser626
“Purposefully putting yourself in a situation which can end up in your arrest is more understandable to me if it's for a greater cause than a party.”

We disagree. I think you should only be in a situation which can end up in your arrest when you are doing something illegal. If you read the rest of the thread, there was not the expectation on the part of the attendees that the event was illegal. There were other people there perhaps doing something illegal, but if you allow for mass arrests of otherwise lawful citizens to nab a few wrong doers, you are in favor of a police state. Not what I think your saying. I believe you are giving general rules for avoiding arrest and trouble. Perhaps appropriate, but sometimes the cops will pound you for no good reason. This appears to be one of those.

“I don't agree with the police using excessive physical force under any circumstance.”
We agree on that. I personally prefer physical force to lethal force, since you can remedy a mistake made in the former. But that’s splitting hairs.


“I could, of course, be completely missing your point, and if so, I would appreciate it if you could clarify it for me....”

The point of that former post? Sarcasm mostly. Humor. I was unaware you were in earnest. Often a problem with posting. No inflection, no facial cues, no body language, etc. which I tend to use in about a 50/50 mix with words, so often only 1/2 my gist gets thru. Sorry.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:59 PM on August 23, 2005


I wanna know where I can order one of those slipmats ;)
posted by starscream at 5:37 PM on August 23, 2005


Why is it that we advocate inherently subjective chemical experiences through physical confrontation and exertion - but as a culture we eschew meditative or chemicals ones?

this is a trick question, right? anyway, i'll bite: puritanical christianity. puritanical, where physical pleasure is equated with sin. christianity, where (exactly opposite of jesus' teachings) it is not permissible to seek a direct, personal relationship with god. to allow that would circumvent the monopoly of the priesthood.. if it's ok to go find god by yourself without the church's help, the offerings dry up because people realize the priesthood isn't needed.

exploration (both physical and metaphysical) and expression are positive aspects of a healthy person and vibrant society, I also believe that such tendencies without appropriate guidelines/limitations will, eventually, prove to be detrimental to the person/society and those around them.

Dagobert: do you think there are too many or too few guidelines in place (in general, not just the US), and do you think they are more or less restrictive than necessary?

I think if an action only directly impacts the actor, we should probably allow that action to occur, barring strong evidence of significant indirect harm to others.

I believe we should err on the side of freedom of action. Can't make an omelette, etc.. but apparently most people would rather not grow up, and instead choose to have the government act as a surrogate parent that stops the bad things they don't like.
posted by ulami at 7:01 PM on August 23, 2005


The point of that former post? Sarcasm mostly. Humor. I was unaware you were in earnest. Often a problem with posting. No inflection, no facial cues, no body language, etc. which I tend to use in about a 50/50 mix with words, so often only 1/2 my gist gets thru. Sorry.


No need to apologize... like you said.. without inflection, it's kinda hard to tell if someone is being serious or sarcastic... rereading your post with afterknowledge it is quite clear.... Thanks for not flaming.... I didn't like it when my civil liberties were violated, but I do realize the police do have a tough job to do. Not that I think that they're validated in acting the fool, but I do at least understand their position. Had this been a protest for something I believe in, I would definitely take a different tack on it (not saying that EDM folks don't consider this serious infraction on their rights...) But I digress...
posted by Debaser626 at 8:39 PM on August 23, 2005


I agree that the police have a tough job to do, but I think they need more than a little practice at assessing their threats as they are clearly erring badly in assaulting non-violent protestors, music audiences and persons expressing their right to free speech in a peaceable and non-violent way vs. assaulting bikers at a biker rally, prisoners in a riot, etc.
It's time to roll back the abuse of power that's taken place over the last few years and make sure it never happens again.
Civilization depends on it.
There is absolutely no justification for the heavy handed skull bashing going on in this country these days and those who have authorized it and those who are dispensing it need to be held accountable.
posted by mk1gti at 9:18 PM on August 23, 2005


Yeah, WTF?
The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally just ended in S.D., and I didn't hear about a single blackhawk helicopter swooping in to bust them for coke, speed, meth, acid, and beligerent drunkedness that went on the last time I was at one.

I guess it might be that bikers are usually armed.
posted by Balisong at 9:44 PM on August 23, 2005


I'm sick and fucking tired of being told that my attempts to make myself feel whole and complete and happy are wrong.

I'm sick and fucking tired of being told that my attempts to minister to my own body, mind and spirit as I see fit and that I find true and correct are wrong.

I'm no longer ashamed. I will no longer feel guilty.


This is the part where you resolve to do something about it.
posted by deusdiabolus at 12:09 AM on August 24, 2005


Meanwhile, the largest protest in Utah since the '70s happens in Salt Lake City.

That's exactly why they raided this "rave"


But why the rave and not the protest? Was media coverage the only deciding factor?
posted by deusdiabolus at 12:11 AM on August 24, 2005


The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally just ended in S.D., and I didn't hear about a single blackhawk helicopter swooping in to bust them for coke, speed, meth, acid, and beligerent drunkedness that went on the last time I was at one.

I guess it might be that bikers are usually armed.


And less dippy than ravers.
posted by jonmc at 6:43 AM on August 24, 2005


Jon? Please just shut the fuck up. You don't even go to raves. You won't even consider accepting my offer of taking you to a real underground gathering with an absolutely exquisite array of sparkling, adult intellects in attendance.

The people I know are CalTech grads, engineers, scientists, filmmakers, biologists, kernel hackers, programmers, chip designers, industrial designers, satellite engineers and much, much more. And of course, musicians, artists and dancers. These are some of the smartest, most interesting most productive and useful people I've ever met.

Y'know what we sit around and talk about at the parties I go to? Philosophy. Cosmology. Psychology. Manned and unmanned pace travel. Computer science. Good food, cooking. Religion and spirituality of all kinds. Travel. All kinds of truly interesting and non-dippy shit.

So, sorry man. Over time here I've grown to like and respect you and your musical knowledge. But that stereotypical bullshit is offensive, because you're so willfully ignorant about this it's nearly an objectified stupidity.
posted by loquacious at 7:46 AM on August 24, 2005


loquacious: I was kidding around. Relax... I even said above that I've learned to like some electronica.
posted by jonmc at 8:04 AM on August 24, 2005


Sorry, I haven't had my coffee yet. :)
posted by loquacious at 8:23 AM on August 24, 2005


See, these ravers can't even think clearly without imbibing drugs.
posted by dydecker at 8:27 AM on August 24, 2005


Sorry, I haven't had my coffee yet. :)

That's OK. The old lady was out of town, so last night I went to my corner dive, drank 8 Buds and watched some aging barbag women shimmy around when "Highway To Hell," came on the jukebox. I'm not at my clearest either.
posted by jonmc at 8:35 AM on August 24, 2005


Side note: Sturgis is actually crawly with undercover FBI and DEA agents from what I've read. The like to document club members presences. But the bikers (weekenders and 1%ers both) spend a fuckload of money in Sturgis whereas the ravers are out in the woods. That might account for some differences in how they're viewed.
posted by jonmc at 8:37 AM on August 24, 2005


More from Versus.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:54 PM on August 25, 2005


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