EQUINOX examines the rave experience from the technological point of view; the music, the lighting, the new video technology and the neuroscience of ecstasy, the drug that is an integral part of the rave scene. A technological view of the rave scene. Looks at American research on the longterm effects of ecstasy (MDMA) on the brain neurotransmitter serotonin. Dr Charles Grob of UCLA studies its use in therapy. Alexander Shulgin, the `father of ecstasy' creates psychoactive drugs in his garden-shed lab. Charts the evolution of rave and its technology. Moves from 3000 teenagers in an aircraft hangar in Kent, via an Orbital show in Amsterdam to 1000 techno-hippies in the Nevada desert. Examines the science and technology of the rave experience, considering the effects of the music, the lighting, new video technology and the neuroscience of the drug ecstasy. Features Dr. Charles Grob of UCLA, Alexander Shulgin, a pharmacologist, and ambient techno musicians the Future Sound of London.
Vigintitresology (the study of the number 23) appears, at first, quite humorous. But it does have the tendency to cluster seemingly unrelated facts into strangely beautiful patterns. 23 is one of the principles which weaves the web of Maya... The Human mind is a machine which creates meaning by structuring the meaningless "stuff" of which reality consists. For some reason, yet undiscovered, one of the rules built into this structuring machine is the Formula of 23; the possibility is here entertained that only now are we becoming aware of this enigmatic 23.
23 is a randomizing agent. As the spirit of Irony and the soul of Paradox, the Principle 23 is the ordering principle which creates reality. The key to understanding the meaning of 23 is in the I-Ching; the 23rd Hexagram is Po / Splitting apart. 23 presides over disintegration, dissolution, revolution, disasters, or, in sum, any radical change in situation. It is neither good nor bad, but always unexpected. 23 is the opposite of what appears to be inevitable. It is, therefore, the opposite to the tragic, perhaps more akin to the comic. — It is the essence of chance as change.
23 signals the chaotic state between two stable states. As such, it fits into the category of 'in betweenness'. It is therefore one of those things which is Not. 23 is one from the demonic hosts of Non-being about to invade Being. The 93 Current will split apart the unconsciously created world we inhabit. 23 is not identical with 93, but an emanation from it. 23 is the herald of the end which will be a new beginning.
Why Crowley's life can be so neatly aligned with 23 should now be obvious. His life points to the end which contains a new beginning. 23 stands at the point between dissolution and coming together. (Hence, it is a Magico-Alchemical Formula, as will be demonstrated below.) As an initiation, it is a rite of Passage; through initiation one passes through the state of duality (2) to a state of integration on a higher plane (3).
The following Gematiric delineation should reveal the Magico-Alchemical Formula contained in 23: The word V.I.T.R.I.O.L. is derived from the initials of the Latin alchemical phrase: Visita Interiora Terrae Rectificando Invennies Occultum Lapidem. ("Visit the interior parts of the earth: by rectification thou shalt find the hidden stone") The numeration of this Universal Solvent is 726 which equals 2 x 3 x 112 = 22 x 33 or (2 x 11) X (3 x 11)... All lending credence to the Magico-Alchemical Formula of 23 as expressed in, and identical to the regenerative process of IAO. In fact, 23 should be 'written' as 203 to reveal its full nature; for the zero is the essence of the Formula, as 23 is the heart of the A in IAO. But the zero is Nought and, hence, Not there until it begins its manifestation in consciousness.
Hence, Aleister Crowley's entire life — the 3 stages — is a manifestation of 23 (2 - 0 - 3) fulfilling the formula of IAO. This is not to say that each individual's life is not an expression of the Formula, but, rather, that Crowley's appears to be the most dramatic and poignant demonstration of the Web of 23... or the Great Work, as expressed in the Union of the 5 nd 6 which equals 11 = Abrahadabra = IAO = 203 = 23.
In effect , the above has demonstrated the correspondence of 11 with 23; but then, if 23 is capable of extension as 203, revealing its full nature, then 11 must also. So, we have 101 the sum of the first 10 prime numbers... 23 is the 10th prime number! This is all symbolic of the function of 23; with its arrival the pattern is broken and begins anew; the beginning is in the end.
People Who Do Noise' is a film about the experimental music of Portland, Oregon. Extensive interviews and intimate performance footage provide an intense portrait of the motivations, emotions, and methods that go into this uncompromising, sometimes brutal musical form. Unwavering in its focus, the film brings to light an art form unfathomable to many, with only the words of the musicians themselves providing any explanation for the pulsating sonic chaos they create. The unflinching cinematic style defies any trend-setting or commercial representation, opting instead for a stark portrayal of a musical underground at its most genuine and vital (IMDB)
23 is a 1998 German drama thriller film about a young hacker Karl Koch, who died on 23 May 1989, a presumed suicide. It was directed by Hans-Christian Schmid, who also participated in screenwriting. The title derives from the protagonist's obsession with the number 23, a phenomenon often described as apophenia. Although the film was well received by critics and audiences, its accuracy has been vocally disputed by some witnesses to the real-life events on which it was based. Schmid subsequently co-authored a book that tells the story of the making of 23 and also details the differences between the movie and the actual events. - wikipedia
Karl Werner Lothar Koch (July 22, 1965 – ca. May 23, 1989)
The movie's plot is based on the true story of a group of young computer hackers from Hannover, Germany. In the late 1980s the orphaned Karl Koch invests his heritage in a flat and a home computer. At first he dials up to bulletin boards to discuss conspiracy theories inspired by his favorite novel, R.A. Wilson's "Illuminatus", but soon he and his friend David start breaking into government and military computers. Pepe, one of Karl's rather criminal acquaintances senses that there is money in computer cracking - he travels to east Berlin and tries to contact the KGB. Written by Armin Ortmann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
“the people who run our cities dont understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit...
the people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff....
any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you ,, its yours to take, rearrange and re use.Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head..”
Ahh.. good old Jimmy. I feel old thinking about the time he started creating music.. Sevenum Six is one of the artists I have witnessed grow from a front row seat. Evolving over the years into an excellent artist. I wouldn't want to trade in that front row ticket for anything else in the world.. it is amazing to see these guys live up to their potential.. enjoying it and blasting out mental vibes for for your ears to please. Even after getting his gear stolen twice!
At the the age of 17 Sevenum Six fell in love with the production of music. Inspired by the free party scene he started making some hardtek beats in Fruity Loops. After a while of messing arround he discided he wanted to bring his music to the crowd so he changed to Ableton Live. To make his sound more complete he added some hardware to his setup like the korg EMX, EAMK2, a Mopho and some midi controllers. By searching deeper into the world of hardware he discovered the magic sound of the TB303. Meanwhile over the years his sound evolved, getting more dark and mental. After 3 years he became a well known artist in the free party scene and played at party's all over the Netherlands, France and Belgium. Doing this he got the chanse to spread his sound in many places. As a result he got his first vinyl release in 2011 and many to follow... By getting involved with vinyl he also wanted to play them so he bought himself 2 turntables and the shit was really on !! Today Sevenum Six is actively working on bringing you an original sounding liveset and fresh vinylmixes.
And so his passion for the music keeps growing everyday…
How do you start a movement with a marker pen? What's the connection between the nun who invented disco, and file sharing? How did a male model messing with disco records in New York in the 1970s influence the way Boeing design airplanes? Does hip-hop really hold the secret to world peace? How did three eleven-year-olds revolutionize the video game industry by turning Nazis into Smurfs? And what's going to happen to Nike when it's possible for kids to download sneakers? The Pirate’s Dilemma tells the story of how youth culture drives innovation and is changing the way the world works. It offers understanding and insight for a time when piracy is just another business model, the remix is our most powerful marketing tool and anyone with a computer is capable of reaching more people than a multi-national corporation.
Ideas that started within punk, disco, hip-hop, rave, graffiti and gaming have been combined with new technologies and taken to new heights by the generations that grew up under their influence. With a cast of characters that includes such icons as The Ramones, Andy Warhol, Madonna, Russell Simmons, Pharrell and 50 Cent, The Pirate’s Dilemma uncovers, for the first time, the trends that transformed underground scenes into burgeoning global industries and movements, ultimately changing life as we know it, unraveling some of our most basic assumptions about business, society and our collective future. As a result people, companies and organizations are now struggling with a new dilemma in increasing numbers. As piracy continues to change the way we all use information, how should we respond? Do we fight pirates, or do we learn from them? Should piracy be treated as a problem, or a solution? To compete or not to compete – that is the question
that is the Pirate’s Dilemma, perhaps one of the most important economic and cultural conundrums of the 21st Century. The book is out in hardcover in the U.S. through Free Press, and in the U.K. through Penguin. The U.S. paperback came out spring 2009. - thepiratesdilemma.com
A quick reminder, never believe the media. Only a handful of corporations control what you can see on television. Feeding you a false reality and other crap all over the world. Turn of that television, your brain will be pleased!
LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES LIES!
Feel free to explore our tag TELIEVISION for more lies.
Well.. my free ftp access to users.skynet.be has been deleted after more than 15 years. So I thank you, Belgacom, for the free bandwidth abuse coming from our readers. May your corporate ass burn in hell.
Anyway.. the few images that had to be moved have a new home now and the blog has its good old look back. Carry on! Nothing to see here :D
The "Autumn Rain" books (The Mirrored Heavens, 2008; The Burning Skies, 2009 The Machinery of Light, 2010) by David J. Williams are less a trilogy of novels than a single novel in three volumes. Set on an early twenty-second century Earth struggling with grueling resource scarcity, their focus is on the central international conflict of the time, which is carried on between a United States narrowly rescued from collapse by a military dictatorship on the one hand, and a "Eurasian" coalition led by Russia and China, and including the non-Russian former Soviet republics and the Korean peninsula, on the other.
Book 1 – The Mirrored Heavens
In this thrilling debut, David J. Williams delivers a hard-hitting blend of military SF and dystopian cyberpunk, set in a futuristic landscape where hostilities rage from the Eastern and Western hemispheres to the outer ranges of space.
In the 22nd century, the first wonder of a brave new world is the Phoenix Space Elevator, designed to give mankind greater access to the frontier beyond Earth. Built by the U.S./Pan-Asian Coalition, the Elevator is also a grand symbol of superpower alliance following a second cold war. And it's just been destroyed.
The South American insurgent group Autumn Rain claims responsibility for the attack, but with suspicions rampant, armies and espionage teams are mobilized across the globe and beyond. Enter Claire Haskell and Jason Marlowe, U.S. counterintelligence agents, and former lovers—though their memories may only be constructs implanted by their spymaster. Forced to set aside the enigma of their past, their agenda is to trust no one. For in a time of shifting loyalties, the enemy could be anyone—from a shadowy assassin working a questionable mission on the dark side of the moon, to a Euro data thief working under deep cover and wooed into a dangerous pact.
As the crisis mounts, and the search for Autumn Rain spans both Earth and Moon, the lives of all those involved will converge in one explosive finale—and a startling aftermath that will rewrite everything they've ever known—about their mission, their world, and themselves
Book 2 – The Burning Skies In his electrifying debut, The Mirrored Heavens, David J. Williams created a dark futuristic world grounded in the military rivalries, terror tactics, and political wrangling of our own time. Now he takes his masterful blend of military SF, espionage thriller, and dystopian cyberpunk one step further - to the edge of annihilation . . . .
Life as U.S. counterintelligence agent Claire Haskell once knew it is in tatters - her mission betrayed, her lover dead, and her memories of the past suspect. Worse, the defeat of the mysterious insurgent group known as Autumn Rain was not as complete as many believed. It is quickly becoming clear that the group's ultimate goal is not simply to destroy the tenuous global alliances of the 22nd century - but to rule all of humanity. And they're starting with the violent destruction of the Net and the assassination of the U.S. president. Now it's up to Claire, with her ability to jack her brain into the systems of the enemy, to win this impossible war.
Battling ferociously across the Earth-Moon system, and navigating a complex world filled with both steadfast loyalists and ruthless traitors, Claire must be ready for the Rain's next move. But the true enemy may already be one step ahead of her.
Book 3 – The Machinery of Light With The Machinery of Light, David J. Williams completes his furiously paced, stunningly imagined trilogy - a work of vision, beauty, and pulse-pounding futuristic action.
September 26, 2110. 10:22 GMT. Following the assassination of the American president, the generals who have seized power initiate World War Three, launching a surprise attack against the Eurasian Coalition's forces throughout the Earth-Moon system. Across the orbits, tens of thousands of particle beams and lasers blast away at one another. The goal: crush the other side's weaponry, paving the way for nuclear bombardment of the cities.
As inferno becomes Armageddon, the rogue commando unit Autumn Rain embarks on one last run. Matthew Sinclair, an imprisoned spymaster, plots his escape. And his former protégé Claire Haskell, capable of hacking into both nets and minds, is realizing that all her powers may merely be playing into Sinclair's plans. For even as Claire evades the soldiers of East and West amid carnage in the lunar tunnels, the surviving members of the Rain converge upon the Moon, one step ahead of the Eurasian fleets but one step behind the mastermind who created Autumn Rain - and his terrible final secret.
The Wingnut is an anarchist collective house in Southern Barton Heights in Richmond, Virginia.
The Wingnut hosts all sorts of sober, all ages events, such as acoustic musical performances, craft nights, food not bombs, movie screenings, workshops, group meetings, copwatch, anarchist black cross etc.
An article concerning the Voodoo'z Cyrkle tribe and their struggle with the French authorities. This article was printed in Coda Magazine issue 04/1999. The Voodoo'z were formed by a group of friends when the free party lifestyle and music coming from the UK invaded France. It didn't take long for the French authorities to hit hard and make a statement. Despite being targeted by the pigs they continued their project and realized several free parties and traveled trough Europe.
There might be one or two that have been posted before.. but there can't be enough spiral in your life. Our collection on the Spiral Tribe era is still available, so don't forget to check it out if you haven't. Explore it here! Feel feel to contribute if you have anything to add so we can make sure it doesn't get lost in time.
59 Rivoli is a collective of 30 artists’ studios (20 belonging to permanent residents and 10 for temporary residents) that is open to the public year-round, Tuesday through Sunday from 1PM to 8PM. You do not need reservations (although large groups may want to call ahead just to give the studios a heads up), nor is there an entrance fee (although donations are welcome). You do not need to be an artist yourself, just walk in! On the ground and 1st floor is a gallery housing temporary exhibits, concerts every Saturday afternoon and frequent special events. This artists’ collective started as a squatters’ quarters in 1999 an abandoned bank building and was purchased by the city of Paris in 2002, marking the start of a partnership between the artists and the city. Now, the studios receive approximately 1500 visitors each week. (source)
The mid-1800s Haussmann era building at 59 Rivoli was an artist squat for years before being renovated by the city and returned to a collective of artists.
After Crédit Lyonnais abandoned the space, a group of artists called “KGB” (standing for Kalex, Gaspard, and Bruno) claimed the building in 1999. Despite the dead pigeons and syringes that littered the deteriorating structure, the group was soon hosting exhibitions and performances under the name “Chez Robert, électrons libres.” Although the space was illegally occupied, by 2001 it was getting 40,000 visitors a year, making it the third most visited center for contemporary art in Paris.
In 2006, the city of Paris acquired 59 Rivoli as part of its effort to bring legality and building safety to popular illegal artist squats. After renovations, it reopened in 2009 with studios for over 30 artists who pay minimal rent. The six stories of 59 Rivoli and its exhibits are free and open to the public. While the wild art that once covered the facade is now much more tame, there are still whimsical and expressive installations that turn up on the stone exterior.
So far I have been neglecting to post about Noam Chomsky, since I figured that most of you would know about him. Then again I have read a few of his books and loved them. Maybe there are some of you out there who still have to discover Chomsky. I am not going to paste a wiki here.. or describe who he is or what he does..
Discover him yourself.. if you want to.
Noam Chomsky - America's War on Terror Noam Chomsky - Anarchism and Marxism Noam Chomsky - Chomsky On Miseducation Noam Chomsky - Class Warfare Noam Chomsky - Media Control - The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda Noam Chomsky - Media Control - The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda Noam Chomsky - Philosophers and Public Philosophy Noam Chomsky - Preventive war, the supreme crime Noam Chomsky - Profit over People Noam Chomsky - Secrets, Lies and Democracy Noam Chomsky - War Against People Noam Chomsky - What Uncle Sam Really Wants Noam Chomsky - Who are the Global Terrorists Noam Chomsky - Year 501 The Conquest Continues Noam Chomsky - on Afghanistan
One of the powers of art is its ability to convey the human aspects of political events, ranging from war to revolution to sexual liberation. Art can also transform society, a theme that pervades this fascinating survey on art, artists, and anarchism since the nineteenth century.
In numerous essays, Allan Antliff interrogates moments of engagement when artists, poets, philosophers, and critics have confronted pivotal events over the past 140 years. The survey begins with artist Gustave Courbet and writer Emile Zola's activism during the 1871 Paris Commune (which established the modern-day French republic), and ends with an examination of anarchist art during the fall of the Soviet empire. Other subjects include the Neo-Impressionists and their depictions of the homeless in the 1890s; the Dada movement in New York City during World War I; the decline of the Russian Avant-Garde during the 1920s and 30s; the West Coast Beats of the 1940s and 50s; the Modernists of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s; and anarchistic responses to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 by visual artists.
Exploring art's potential as a vehicle for meaningful social change from an anarchist perspective, Allan Antliff throws new light on what it means to be radical.
Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future is a 1985 cyberpunk television movie created by Chrysalis Visual Programming Ltd. for Channel 4 in the UK to provide a back story for Max Headroom, a computer generated TV host. A British produced, yet American broadcast, television series, Max Headroom, was later developed from the original film.
The film introduces Edison Carter (Matt Frewer), a television reporter trying to expose corruption and greed. In the movie, reporter Carter discovers that his employer, Network 23, has created a new form of subliminal advertising (termed "blip-verts") that can be fatal to certain viewers.
While attempting to flee the network headquarters with proof, Edison suffers a serious head injury, caused by striking a low-clearance sign labelled "Max. Headroom". Believing him killed, the network's chief executive orders Bryce Lynch, an adolescent genius working as a scientist for Network 23, to digitally record Carter's mind. The recording will then be used to create a computer-based replacement for Carter in order to hide his death.
However, Bryce's programme is flawed and apparently broken — burbling "Max Headroom" over and over again (from the last object Carter saw before being knocked out, and the first thing the albeit-primitive Max says while twitching into what would become his smooth latex form). Bryce instructs his hired goons to dispose of both Carter and his virtual clone, but they simply sell them on — Carter to a body bank, and the machine copy to pirate television station ("Big Time") owner Blank Reg.
After a bit of nurturing from Reg, the resulting program achieves a somewhat eccentric life of its own, crackling out rapid fire gags, hosting his own show, and sending Reg's ratings through the roof.
Meanwhile, a merely unconscious Carter escapes from becoming a premature organ donor. With the help of colleague Theora Jones (Amanda Pays), and the distraction provided by Max, Carter eventually defeats Network 23. - wikipedia
Max Headroom - Episode 1
Max Headroom is a British-produced American science fiction television series by Chrysalis/Lakeside Productions that aired in the United States on ABC from March 1987 to May 1988. The series was based on the Channel 4 British TV pilot Max Headroom: 20 Minutes into the Future. The series is often mistaken as an American-produced show due to the setting and its use of an almost entirely US cast along with being broadcast in the USA on the ABC network. Cinemax aired the UK pilot followed by a six-week run of highlights from The Max Headroom Show, a music video show where Headroom appears between music videos. ABC took an interest in the pilot and asked Chrysalis/Lakeside to produce the series for US audiences.
The show went into production in late 1986 and ran for six episodes in the first season with eight being produced in season two. - wikipedia
The first story which caught the magic of the number 23 written by William S. Burroughs. Later picked up by Robert Anton Wilson and the rest is history. Today I am still caught in the 23 enigma. What about you?
If you wonder why the number 23 is embraced by the tekno movement you might want to read our guide to the number 23.
Shut Up and Dance’s 1991 hardcore LP ‘Dance Before the Police Come’ was released at a time when the UK authorities were struggling to contain the massive explosion of raves. Thousands of people each weekend were playing a cat and mouse game with the police to party in fields and warehouses, and if the state was often outwitted by meeting points in motorway service stations and convoys of cars, it tried to keep the lid on the phenomenon by staging high profile raids. In 1990, for instance, an incredible 836 people were arrested at a Love Decade party in Gildersome near Leeds in the north of England.
Since then the global spread of Electronic Dance Music has generally been accompanied by the flashing blue light, the siren, and that moment when the music is abruptly turned off and the order given to clear the building. Indeed, let’s face it, the frisson of illegality has sometimes added a pleasurable edge to partying – the thrill of overcoming official obstacles just to get there, of getting one over on the authorities. And even the most mainstream of commercial club promoters like to pose as underground outlaws because they once got told to turn the music down by a man in uniform.
But police raids are serious business – often involving arrests which can lead to imprisonment, people losing their livelihoods and, in some parts of the world, social ostracism. People get injured, beaten and sometimes even killed. This article looks at a sample of police raids in recent times to get a sense of the current state of play between cops and dancers in different parts of the world.
For those at the receiving end of a raid it has often felt like a simple case of the police wanting to stop people enjoying themselves, or more simply of ‘the grown ups’ being down on ‘the kids’ like something out of the 1984 film Footloose – set in a small American town where dancing is banned and people get ‘busted for boppin’’.
It is certainly the case that there continues to be some straightforward moral disapproval of what people get up to in clubs and parties. For instance, in Redlands, California the Chief of Police denounced parties being held – and raided – at Pharaoh’s Lost Kingdom, a defunct amusement park, stating: “I do not believe a rave is consistent with the values of our community. I do not believe that raves are good for young people’.
Such positions usually have a religious basis. Generally in the US and Europe today, the impact of Christian fundamentalists on nightlife is relatively marginal outside of small communities and institutions in which they are dominant. Nevertheless absurdities still arise – such as the case of a 17 year old suspended from a Baptist school in Ohio for breaking its ‘no dancing’ rules by attending his girlfriend’s prom. Or the Mississippi High School that cancelled its prom rather than let an 18 year old lesbian student attend with her girlfriend.
Elsewhere religious intolerance is a bigger deal. Islamists have banned musical ringtones in Somalia, murdered singers and forbidden mujra dancing (a traditional women’s dance deemed as sexually explicit) in Pakistan, and banned Bollywood films in Nigeria because they feature singing and dancing on the screen. In Iran, 80 young men and women were arrested at an illegal gig for “lustful pleasure-seeking” in May 2010.
In Iraq, the rise of the religious right has led to a clampdown on nightclubs – at the start of Eid in November 2009 ‘hundreds of Iraqi police and soldiers stormed each of Baghdad’s 300 or so nightclubs. Officers from the most elite units stood outside as soldiers slapped owners’ faces, scattered their patrons and dancing girls, ripped down posters advertising upcoming acts, and ordered alcohol removed from the shelves. They left many of the clubs with a warning – any owner who tried to reopen would be thrown into prison, along with his staff’ (Observer, 5.12.09).
Still it is hardly the case that the police authorities of the world are engaged in a systematic attempt to stop people dancing. After all, commercial nightclubs are an important part of many city economies and watching TV adverts quickly demonstrates that dance music is used as a means to sell a vast range of commodities.
Social dancing as such is not viewed as a threat to order, but it is seen as something that needs to be regulated. The combination of crowds, noise, chemicals and sex is too unstable a cocktail to be just left alone. Regulation can take many forms – from elaborate licensing regulations to informal corruption, whereby nightlife is only permitted if bribes are paid to police or officials.
When parties take place in defiance of these regulations they can face the full force of the state. On Christmas Day 2008, police in Uganda raided a dance at the Alikua trading centre in Nyadri district to enforce a ban on night discos that had been imposed by the local authorities. They opened fire and a secondary school student, Stephen Enzabugo, was killed.
The use of live ammunition is rare during police raids on parties, but around the world people out dancing can face various degrees of force. In Sydney (Australia) riot police with dogs closed down an illegal warehouse party in September 2008, turning over 1000 people on to the streets. According to one witness: ‘’I was at the party on Saturday night, standing directly behind decks on the drum n bass stage when the riot police invaded…and smashed both turntables and attempted to smash the mixer (about $5,000 worth of damage) and then they pushed and shoved and bashed everyone they could get their batons on’.
In Britain, police have closed down free parties in many places, but the front line has been in the East of England, where police in the counties of Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk have been waging a ‘zero tolerance’ campaign against ‘raves’ for the past few years.
In December 2008, ten people were jailed for ‘violent disorder’ during clashes with police raiding a party at Great Chesterford, Essex two years previously. They were captured after being featured on Crimewatch, a national television programme which encourages people to identify suspects and inform the police. No police officers were charged, despite eye witness accounts of a wall of riot police setting upon a party in the middle of nowhere and inflicting ‘savage beatings’.
In summer 2007, a raid sparked a riot outside Great Yarmouth police station in Suffolk. It all started when police seized a van carrying sound equipment to a party on a local industrial estate. People who had gathered at the site for the party formed a convoy with their vehicles and tried to stop the police car leaving with the sound equipment. They then demonstrated outside the police station, throwing bottles and cans. Meanwhile the party went ahead in a factory yard, and people barricaded themselves inside when police turned up. Cops used CS gas to force people out.
Since these events the local police forces have mobilized every effort to stop parties taking place. Norfolk police have stated that ‘we will use all necessary resources to prevent, disrupt and close down illegal raves in this county…We will continue to take a hard line against them and seek to prosecute and seize and destroy the equipment of anyone found to be involved in their organisation’. As well as the usual raid tactics they have started stopping and searching vehicles of party goers – after a party near Feltwell in Norfolk in October 2009, 150 vehicles were stopped and people were arrested for vehicle and drinking offences. There were further clashes between police and party people at Haverhill in Suffolk the following month, when police trying to break up a warehouse party were pelted with missiles.
The courts have also used their powers to back up the police. After police raided a party at Gayton Thorpe (Norfolk) in August 2008, one of the DJs was given a two year curfew by the court, requiring him to stay at home from 8pm to 6am seven days a week for six months. The court ruled that he had broken an earlier community order that required him ‘not to attend a rave or other unlicensed musical event’.
In an act of ritual sacrifice pour l’encourager les autres, police in Norwich issued a March 2010 press release publicising that a ‘seized sound system will be placed into an industrial shredder at Delmonte Garage on Concorde Road in Norwich tomorrow at 3pm. Inspector Mike Brown said; “This is a clear message to rave organisers. The date is significant as it would be foolish for anyone to hold an illegal event over the Easter period’.
The Criminal Justice Act in Britain
In Britain, the main police powers used to shut down unofficial parties derive from section 63 of the Criminal justice and Public Order Act 1994. This notorious legislation, passed by the Conservative government in the face of mass protests, put the word ‘rave’ into law – defining it as ‘a gathering on land in the open air of 100 or more persons’ and with music ‘predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats’. When Labour come to power they passed the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003 which amended the definition so that now only 20 people have to be present for a party to be defined as an illegal rave. Police have powers under the Act to remove people and to seize vehicles and equipment.
An absurd example of the use of the Act occurred in Sowton, Devon in July 2009 when four police cars, a riot van and a helicopter were mobilised to stop a birthday party barbecue. The host commented: ‘We were nowhere near anyone, we weren’t even playing any music… What effectively the police did was come in and stop 15 people eating burgers.”
Section 63 notices were issued by police to disperse the May 2010 UK Teknival at Dale Aerodrome in Wales. The massive police operation included automatic number plate recognition, police photographers, helicopters and even a surveillance plane. Hundreds of thousands of pounds’ worth of equipment and vehicles were seized, and ten people were later found guilty under the Licensing Act 2003 for holding an event without a license.
Despite this pressure, free parties have continued. In the north west of England, sound systems like GASH Collective and Daylite Robbery have successfully outwitted the authorities. The latter’s party at Rivington Castle (Sept 09) went on all night, with the searchlight from the police helicopter paradoxically helping people locate it: ‘we got there before the coppers had blocked the road off, if it weren’t for that helicopter we? wouldn’t have found it’.
Most parties have been on a limited scale – hundreds rather than thousands of people – but occasionally bigger events have taken place, particularly on bank holiday weekends: around 4000 people attended a party near Warminster, Wiltshire in August 2009. Despite the powers available to the police, parties are often left to continue, sometimes because the combination of crowds, terrain and limited police resouces make it impossible to close down every technically illegal gathering.
In London, the highest profile squat party was Scumtek’s Scumoween, held in October 2010 in a multi-storey building in Holborn, central London with thousands of people and up to 30 sound systems taking part. The police originally tried to seal off the building and used tasers and batons against revellers trying to get there. But they were eventually overwhelmed by the crowd and the party went ahead until the next day without further incident.
The police seem set on revenge for this high profile humiliation, and before the next planned Scumtek party (Strictly Scum Dancing party in December 2010), people involved had their houses raided and the event was closed down before it started when police entered the warehouse in Enfield, north London, and seized the sound system. There were clashes between police and frustrated party-goers in the surrounding streets
In Italy meanwhile, more than 100 people were still appearing in court last year, 4 years after a party in a disused furnace at Caldè near the shores of Lake Maggiore in June 2006. They had been arrested at police roadblocks as they were leaving the party and charged with complicity in aggravated invasion (trespass) of the land.
In the USA, a politician in the California State Assembly is currently proposing an ‘Anti-Raves Act 2011’ along the lines of the British legislation. If passed it would prohibit raves on public property and prevent raves on private property unless a business owner has a license to host such an event. The type of gathering covered is defined very broadly as ‘a public event at night that includes prerecorded music and lasts more than three and one-half hours’. That would surely cover a huge range of parties.
Large festivals are subject to even more regulation than clubs and parties. In England, the Licensing Act 2005 gives the police extended powers to dictate how festivals are run. If they do not comply, they simply do not get permission to go ahead. In July 2009, the Big Green Gathering, expected to attract up to 20,000 people, was cancelled at the last minute following an injunction by Mendip District Council, supported by Avon & Somerset Police. Police demands included a steel fence, watchtowers and perimeter patrols, and wristbands for twelve undercover police. Very similar police manoeuvres led to the cancellation of the Grassroots Festival in Cambridge, planned for September 2010
A new development has been the use of the Misuse of Drugs Act against people organising festivals. This Act was amended by the UK Government in 2001 to make it a criminal offence for people to allow other people to take drugs on their premises. After the 2009 Thimbleberry Music Festival in County Durham the organiser was charged in court for permitting ‘the use of cannabis on his premises’. Although the charges were later dropped, the Council withdrew the festival’s licence so it could not go ahead in 2010.
One factor in the increasing regulation of nightlife is the gentrification of cities – the kind of run down inner city areas where clubs and bars have flourished are now increasingly being remodelled to meet the housing and leisure preferences of the wealthy. In Paris, a group of music promoters submitted a petition in January 2010 complaining that ‘The generalized law of silence that is battering down upon our events and our living spaces is soon to relegate the City of Lights to the rank of European capital of sleep’. In the city, for instance, the police have begun enforcing a long-overlooked law requiring establishments to hold a ‘night authorization’ permit in order to stay open past 2 a.m.
In Rome, the (ex?) fascist mayor Gianni Alemanno has also tightened up on nightlife – in November 2009 33 clubs were closed for violation of alcohol regulations. In New York, clubs have not recovered from the assault launched on them in the later 1990s by then mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The current mayor has somewhat eased up on this campaign, but the arcane 1926 cabaret laws restricting dancing remain in place despite promises to scrap them.
In the never-ending ‘war against drugs’, the dancing body is a key battleground. As well as seeking to control what substances individuals put inside their bodies, laws about drink and drugs have always been a way of controlling the places where people do these things, giving the state a reason to enter clubs, pubs, and parties and regulate the ways in which people come together.
In many countries, police drug raids are accompanied by mass arrests and compulsory on the spot drugs testing. In Mumbai, India police raided a ‘rave party’ at a Juhu pub – all 240 people present were held overnight and made to undergo blood and urine tests (Oct. 2008). The Anti-Narcotics Cell of Mumbai police have set up a telephone line for people to inform them of raves, which have become increasingly popular with IT and call centre workers in the city: ‘The next time you get a whiff of a rave party in your neighbourhood or see a hippie-looking character trying to pass on drugs to youngsters, just dial a number and help the police’.
In Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, police raided the Laiketong karaoke cum mini discotheque in September 2009, where 118 revellers were screened for drugs, of whom 37 tested positive. A local paper complained that it ‘was shocking was that more than half of the revellers inside the mini disco were Muslims who were either drunk or under the influence of drugs and showed no respect for the Holy month of Ramadan’. In the same country a few months earlier, police raided the Raptor discotheque in Jinjang. The 300 revellers were each given a small plastic container and ordered to submit a urine sample for drug testing. As a result 70 people were arrested, ironically including five off duty cops including an inspector who tested positive for ketamine and amphetamine.
Meanwhile in Vietnam, the state announced it was considering banning dancing in karaoke bars with a government official stating that ‘Ecstasy always goes with wine and music… karaoke is a cultural activity which is always latent with social evils’ (May 2009).
Sometimes these raids are justified by rhetoric about protecting the health of clubbers, but it is obvious that they actually put people’s health at risk. For instance in the panic of a police raid, people may increase the risk of overdosing by swallowing in one go any drugs in their possession. And causing panic in a confined space has its own risks, as was demonstrated in June 2008 when police in Mexico City raided News Divine nightclub in a crackdown on underage drinking – with the police blocking the exit there was a surge and crush in which 12 people died.
Raiding Gay Clubs
June 28th 2009 marked the 40th anniversary of the police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York, which famously prompted a gay riot and heralded a new phase in the gay liberation movement. On this very day in the US, police and agents from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission raided the Rainbow Lounge, a gay dance club in Fort Worth. One man suffered a fractured skull after officers slammed his head into a wall and people were made to lie face down outside in the parking lot. Their alleged crime – being drunk in violation of public intoxication rules.
There were similar scenes in Atlanta, Georgia, when police raided a gay bar called The Eagle a few months later. A cop shouted “Shut the fuck up!” when bar patrons asked why they were being forced to lay face down on the grubby floors. Police were also heard to say “I hate queers,” and “This is a lot more fun than raiding niggers with crack!”, as well as demanding to know who was in the military and threatening to report them. Eight staff members were detained for the crime of ‘Dancing in their underwear without a permit’.
If events like this are possible in a country with a well-established and open gay clubbing scene, things are worse in parts of the world where violent homophobia is still an organised political presence. In Serbia, plans for an LGBT Pride parade in September 2009 had to be abandoned when police said that they would be unable to protect it from attacks by homophobes, fascists and rabid nationalists. In the Ukraine, police raided a gay club called Androgin in April 2009, detaining more than 80 people at a police station, where they were photographed and fingerprinted. In Saharanpur (India), 13 gay men were charged with ‘obscenity in a public place’ after police entered a party in December 2010.
As raids on gay clubs demonstrate, the police do not indiscriminately target all dancing spaces equally. When clubs and parties are frequented by people from collectivities and communities with a history of being singled out for police attention, they are much more likely to be subject to raids and eviction. The collective presence of (mainly) young people from some social groups is likely to be viewed as a problem by the police even if people are just going out enjoying themselves on a Saturday night. Hence, social centres and squats associated with radical movements are much more likely to be raided than commercial nightclubs. In Greece for instance, police raided the Resalto social centre in December 2009 as part of an operation to pre-empt protests on the first anniversary of the police killing of Alexandros Grigoropoulos. In London, the rampART Social Centre was evicted in October 2009, having earlier in the year been a base for the G20 anti-capitalist protests as well as for gigs and parties. In the same months, Triesterstrasse 114, an old school building in Vienna was violently evicted shortly after being squatted as ‘a space for self-organised, non-commercial projects and communal living’.
Spaces where migrant workers socialise are another focus for repression. In Spain, police raided a disco in El Ejido during a crack down on Moroccan migrants, as a result of which 70 people were deported from the country in May 2009.
In London, the Metropolitan police have even tried to dictate what kind of music is played in a clubs. ‘Form 696’ is a document which the police ask premises to complete for all music events, including names and addresses of all DJs, artists, promoters and sound systems. Most controversially the form asked for details of the expected crowd, including its ethnicity, and in requiring details of the music to be played singled out kinds of black music, asking: ‘Music style to be played/performed (e.g. Bashment, R’n’B, Garage)’. There is anecdotal evidence that the police have pressurised clubs not to put on grime nights in particular. The police have claimed that the intent is not racist, but is aimed at preventing gang-related violence. While it is true that there have been a number of shootings in and around clubs, the police already have powers to deal with murder and assault without treating all young black people and whole genres of music as quasi-criminal. After protests, the police have taken out references to ethnicity from the form, but it remains the case that the police can use their influence to prevent clubs and bars getting a license for music and dance because they don’t like the crowd they attract.
A police officer told Lambeth Council Licensing Committee in 2010 that Mass in Brixton (South London) was ‘a problematic club and the main reason is the type of music that is played… ‘bashment’. We know it attracts gang members.” The club responded that they had ‘already agreed with the police not to stage further bashment… or funky house nights.’
The spectacle of humiliation
It is clear that the apparently simple act of people moving together to a rhythm takes place in a complex field of social relations characterised by the bio-political regulation of dancing bodies. Struggles over sex, drugs, noise, subversion, racism and class are all played out at that moment when police come pouring on to the dancefloor.
Once the raid is over, people carry on as before. But the fact that raids can never prevent the things they ostensibly seek to combat is hardly the point. The raid is a kind of performance to demonstrate the exercise of power and to define its victims as illegal, immoral or both. Hence the high profile police raid is invariably accompanied by journalists tipped off advance, and immediately followed up by a press release. As queer theorist Kane Race has argued in the context of drugs raids: ‘this drama seems more like high-profile posturing on the part of the police, designed to reassure middle-class voters that the state is tough on law and order, and driven more by the state’s desire to be seen to be “doing something”….For the point is the public spectacle of detection and humiliation, the making-suspect of populations, and the desire to create a demand for authority in the sphere of consumption. The state confirms its image of itself and its moral constituency in these forcible attempts to expose its other’ (The Pleasure Principle, Sydney Alumni Magazine, Summer 2009).
Still, people will not only dance before the police come, they will continue to dance after they have gone. More than 20 years after the first explosion of raves in the UK, people are still partying every weekend in defiance of the laws passed to contain them, and around the world no amount of police attention seems to be able to stop people people gathering to dance on their own terms.
There seems to be, in anarchist (and probably all radical) circles, this idea of The Revolution. A mythical day always just a few years away when the people will all rise up and throw off their chains, finally seeing the light and becoming truly free.
This comes from an idealization of past revolutions and is neither fair to the revolutionaries who participated nor is it fair to us. They were no “better” than we are, except perhaps in understanding that all the armchair philosophy in the world isn’t going to make things better.
That’s why they went out and did it. And by “it” I don’t mean a full scale insurrection, though that happened sometimes. I mean helping those who need it, forming groups to disseminate information to the public at large, working together to provide food and healthcare to those who couldn’t afford it, etc.
It is these “small revolutions,” these ways of taking back control here and now, that will inspire people. It is these small, itty bitty revolutions that show how we, not by handing over our desires to experts to tell us whether or not they’re feasible, but by finding a way to make shit happen, prove that voluntary cooperation is not only freer but more effective than anything the state attempts to do.
When Food Not Bombs feeds more people for less money than some state-funded soup kitchen, it not only creates allies, but it reveals the state for the hulking mass of ineptitude that it is.
Pirate radio stations, shared transportation, infoshops… these aren’t a joke. They aren’t “small time.” They’re the whole shebang. They’re the core of what we’re doing. They are anarchy existing under the state, and they are the slight hope that maybe, just maybe, once we get the ball rolling, we’ll get our Revolution after all.