26 September 2005

Ravers: Police Brutality? Gimme a break!

The thing I can't stand about our culture is America's propensity to hysteria. You see it on the 10 o'clock news all the time. The deep voiced announce-over comes out of the tv with a darkened and fuzzy picture of a vegetable juicer and you hear, "Tonight : what you didn't know about your juicer could kill you! Bambi Cums has the special report."

Reading about the Utah ravers who were "terrorized" by the police smacks of hysteria and hyperbole. Frankly it looks as if the police acted in a reasonable manner and with restraint.

As I read the story, it came across like I was talking to someone who had been caught in a suspicious situation - like you find someone sitting in a darkened car out behind your garage and when confronted, the driver just starts rambling on and on about how his car broke down, he ran out of gas, his cousin lives on the other side and he was just waiting for him, he's not doing anything wrong, he is a good person who works, he just had a baby and his foot has a bunion that really hurts....etc. The driver knows that it looks suspicious, he knows that a reasonable person would look at it that way so the driver has to keep talking to make points on why he's there. That is the essence of the Ravers story line. These were just "good kids" who wanted to hang out and dance all night, rrrrr--i--g--h--t !

The Utah police chief knew better.

Anyone who knows anything knows that Raves are all about the "X." Raves are free-for-alls where kids do do drugs, do have sex, and do drink. Excuse me for pointing out the obvious but all those activities are illegal. If you do it and get caught - Too bad. You shouldn't have been there.

Even though it was a "legal" Rave, apparently elements there were providing drugs and alcohol to some of the attendees. The police had undercover officers there who witnessed transactions. That's when the "fascists" moved in with their one helicopter and their "jack-booted government thugs."

Obviously this writer (Farhad Manjoo) never had to descend into a melee of 1,000+ 16 to 24 year olds who, at any time, could turn violent. When the cops are out-numbered and in a volatile situation, they tend to get a little antsy. Do you blame them?

There is an automatic assumption that the police are at fault. They used "too much force" and they "over-reacted" - are some of the knee-jerk comments that I hear all the time. Most of the time the reporters just do not have all the information. Many times that is because an investigation is on-going and to leak every little detail about an incident would interfere with prosecuting the crime after an arrest is made. This writer is obviously not pro-law enforcement. He is pro-"Do whatever feels good." Even if it comes at the detriment to the health and welfare of the kids that are there. There are very good reasons why exstasy is a banned narcotic. And they have the audicity to claim that their "constitutional rights" were interfered with by not being able to attend the Rave.

If they had a Rave in which 1,000 young people got together to listen to Patriotic music, to read excerpts from the Constitution and to honor and defend this Great Nation - and not just re-enact some naive fantastic version of "woodstock" then they'd get some sympathy.

Here's a novel idea - Why doesn't Salon write a story entitled "Police Raid Rave: Hailed as Lifesavers"

Nah, no one wants to hear the truth.


Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows anything knows that Raves are all about the "X." Raves are free-for-alls where kids do do drugs, do have sex, and do drink.

Nice generalization. It's like me saying all republicans are inbred hicks, which only accounts for about a third of the party. ;)

You'd be surprised how many people going to raves are *gasp* straight edge! Oh, and all people that I know that go to raves actually go to dance. And, um, being a touring musician, I know quite a few. God, if you Jesus-freak neo-cons and bleeding-heart liberals would stop living in your respective echo chambers, the U.S. wouldn't be in such cultural dire straights.

Anonymous said...


I organized well over 200 "raves" (we never called them raves) and we never, ever had anyone hurt, overdose, and we had plenty of cops that came to our events and never had a problem with what went on. We hired off duty police to work our events anytime our budget allowed.

If we found anyone doing or selling drugs, we immediately removed them.

I'm now 33 and while I don't really participate in this activity anymore , mainly because I did see drug use rising among young people and didn't want to be associated with it, I still am in love with electronic dance music. So are most of my friends, none of which do drugs.

Your comments are ignorant.

Anonymous said...

I was born and raised behind the "iron zion curtian" of Utah and the police ARE that scary. They are known for their excessiv force against anything they do not give their whole consent or agree with completely. They have assaulted and charged many of my friends with bogus charges for merely stating their mind or asking a question. The domination that they hold so dear is nothing but an intimidation tactic to enforce their version of "right".
Its a holy crusade against anything that can be called "not holy". And oh, howmany things can be put into that category...
But hey, Utah cops HAVE the free time. "Break out the camos, helicopters, automatic weapons, tear gas and dogs, we gots us some teenagers to get."

Anonymous said...

Where are the parents? Of course kids are going to look for a way to become adults, outside fo the home, and this will include the use of drugs and alcohol . I defy any of the deluded dittoheads out there to pontificate with a straight face that they are without offence in this respect. Were their heads kicked in by the over-resourced local constabulary? Doubtful, since only those spared such inidgnity would be so willing see it visited on others. Illuminates as well the ease with which the same set are so able to empower themselves, from the authoritative comfort of their armchairs, with the re-arrangement of the affairs of other nations.

The real shame here is the lack of a(p)parent involvement in this event. All local regulations, bylaws and registration proceedures seem to have been satisfied. The promoter had gone to obvious lengths to assure the safety of the ticket holders. Any concerns on behalf of the local constabulary could easily have been assuaged with a posted presence at the gate, with little to no constitutional OR optical fallout. Offenders of the law could have been apprehended prior to entry, and the ridiculous exercise of storming the prom need never have occurred. Should my own offspring have been to subjected to so irresponsible and potentially life-threatening an action as was perpetrated on these young people by this irresponsible "lawman", the civil response would be swift and unmitigated: a full reckoning in a REAL court of law, with full accountability from authorities the minimum result. It's the least I could do for my kids.

MakesKidsKill said...

You are a god damned moron. You obviously have never been to a rave, and should keep your piehole shut. There is also absolutely NO good reason that ecstacy is illegal, none at all, except that the fascists in washington like to keep all their sheep medicated on the same drugs, like prozac, paxil and wellbutrin, and can't stand people freeing their own minds.

I hope you die of bone cancer.

Anonymous said...

Bienvenue, I suppose I can't blame you for being completely ignorant about this topic, but that's exactly what you are.

Anonymous said...

you're a dope

fyi having sex is not illegal. You should try it sometime. It's kinda nice.

Anonymous said...

one more testimony to the ridiculous idea of enforcing right and wrong with violence instead of the many kinder and more humane tactics. Ask any of those pigs when the last time they danced all night was...

-crimethinc dancing brigade

Anonymous said...

Rue St. Michel, you need to admit that you don't know "the truth."

You know what, I would LOVE to hear the truth of went on that night in Utah ... I'm sure you've heard the expression: "There's his story, there's my story, and then there's the truth."

In fact I'll bet you're even a big fan of that expression.

So why are you so quick to dismiss the accounts of the people who were there? I don't imagine you actually sought out the videos of the raid.

And while we're on this--what really alarms me is not the reports of brutality etc--what alarms me is that cops can apparently confiscate your video camera ... what? Huh? Excuse me?

Why on Earth should we, as Americans whose FIRST amendment is freedom of the press, tolerate such nonsense.

YOU, Mr. Constitution--if you were truly as objective as you say you are--should be alarmed too.

You also claim, in your opening paragraphs, the ravers had something to hide ... But ahem, who was confiscating footage there bub?

Who really had something to hide?

The truth is in the details my friend--not in your (frankly laughable) assertions of such.

And I think I speak for a lot of people on the Internet and talk radio who've simply had it with blanket statements from people who really don't have the experience or authority to speak so boldly.

You've never been to a dance event. You've never had a frank conversation with people who have. You weren't at the event, nor talked to those who were (including the raiders) ... so, uh, what qualifies you to speak the truth besides those three Coors long necks you had when you wrote that?

Please, spare us "the truth" until you have a valid reason for sharing it.

Kind Regards,
The Lone Raider

Joshua said...

"The thing I can't stand about our culture is America's propensity to hysteria."

For once I agree! The worst is that once in a while even wise, noble Utahn police chiefs get caught up in the hysteria and raid parties based on consensual, non-violent, safe drug use. The Drug War is the greatest example of the dangers of hysterical thinking in the history of American political life. Almost all drug-related crimes are crimes that would not be illegal without the war on drugs. Did the kids at the rave commit any crimes other than possessing drugs? No! By your logic, we could make any behavior illegal and then maintain our morality as we enforce it. We could even call attempts to challenge the law "hysterical" and write, with an entirely straight face, that the mere fact that people gather together to do drugs and have sex justifies a police raid. And that's where you really go astray. You claim that the police should raid such parties just because people have sex at them! You set the time machine for 1606 and came out in 2006: sex isn't illegal!

I suppose you're also a big fan of the brutal police raids on "known gay establishments" in the 1950s, where men's heads were bashed in by our kindly policeman for no greater crime than drinking martinis and telling dirty jokes. After all, sodomy was illegal, therefore brutalizing sodomites is perfectly acceptable and praise-worthy.

Down with hysteria! Down with the failed, unwinnable and morally bankrupt Drug War!