>Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 22:59:48 -0500 (CDT)
>From: Errico Malatesta <email@example.com>
>Subject: Civil Disobedience and Rave Culture
> CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE AND RAVE CULTURE
> or, How To Fight For Your Right To Party
> by NULL of the Malatesta League (firstname.lastname@example.org)
> Over the last couple years, "civilized" society has found a whole new
>enemy for the war on drugs. Raves were originally underground parties
>that were cheaply available, centered around dancing, technically
>illegal (no permit was attained), and existed for one night only.
>People would come together, dance the night through, release their
> bottled-up energy, and then go home and await the next workday. For
>a while, everything was good. And then came the police state response
>to the peaceful gathering of young people.
> The truth is that busting raves is not about saving people from
> themselves, or noise complaints, or "disorderly conduct" or any of
> that. It's about making sure that our right to assemble doesn't
> exist. The status quo was threatened by these upstarts who dared
> consider the idea that people should be free to gather for a night of
> cheap, easily accessible fun.
> The police came in, they arrested who they could, they intimidated by
> passing bogus "anti-rave" laws or ordinances, they created a culture
> of fear that intended to make sure people stayed lawful and abiding
> in the privacy of their homes. Who needs social interaction, dancing,
> and music when you've got MTV, NBC, and CNN?
> And for the most part, ravers listened. Raves became corporate and
> "legal", and now cost anywhere from $30 - $50 each. Gone is the
> multicultural attitude based on Peace, Love, Unity, and Respect.
> It's been replaced with a homogenized environment based on Money,
> Money, Money, and Money. The whole basis of a rave has been lost.
> What if people fought to bring it back? What if people stood up for
> their right to assemble? What if people resisted and fought back?
> There's ways to do this, methods that after a half a century of trying
> to subvert, the governments and police departments of the world still
> have no real way to combat. It all goes back to civil disobedience
> and how to non-violently protest.
> Imagine, if you will, a rave out in the middle of a small mid-western
> town. The town itself has a total of about 8 cops on duty at any one
> time. They show up to bust a rave, expecting to arrest about 10 or so
> unlucky ravers who weren't able to run away. But yet, when they get
> there, posturing with their lights and their badges and fancy
> automobiles and machinery, people don't run. People sit down.
> And they refuse to move. They lock arms and non-violently resist
> arrest. If the cops manage to pull them out of the crowd, people go
> limp, so that it takes two or three cops to drag them to be arrested.
> With a large crowd, it could take hours before everybody has been
> moved. As this is happening, the press and the media show up, and
> take pictures and give interviews with non-violent ravers who are
> simply struggling for basic rights. Lawyers are contacted to come
> and observe police behaviour. As soon as the first few people are
> arrested, some people may decide to get up and sit around the police
> car or bus to make sure that they can't leave. All the while,
> mainstream society says to themselves, "I thought that ravers were
> supposed to be apathetic kids who only cared about drugs. What the
> hell is going on?"
> The police may leave and give up. At this point, these ravers will
> cheer louder than they ever have when they see the power that people
> hold when they stay together. But, the police may come back with
> re-enforcements. It has happened before, but all is not lost. In
> the end, someone has to foot the bill.
> When and if everybody ends up in jail (where will they even hold all
> these people?), the police find out that every single one of them has
> no ID on them, and they are all refusing to give their names, instead
> choosing to excersize their right to remain silent. Further,
> everybody insists on seeing a lawyer, and waving their right to a
> speedy trial. This is a small town, who is going to foot the
> incredible bill of arresting, jailing, housing, feeding, processing,
> and bringing to trial a huge amount of peaceful ravers? How many
> times will this have to happen before the system takes the path of
> least resistance, as most systems inevitably will do, and decides to
> let people party in peace?
> This is an option. Some people might be reading this, saying to
> themselves, "They're just raves. They're not worth all this trouble,"
> and I say that they are. Because raves represent the very basic right
> of people to assemble, have fun, socialize, and do all of this without
> paying large amounts of money to corporate, "legal" interests.
> Groups exist that can give guidance about peaceful protest,
> non-violence, civil disobedience, legal support, jail solidarity, etc.
> If raving as a political statement appeals to you, get in contact with
> groups like the Direct Action Network, Earth First!, or other radical
> organizations in your area.
> And remember: when we lose our right to have fun, society will
> crumble. And it won't be pretty.
> NULL, Malatesta League
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