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mweiss

Rave In Utah Raided

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I happened across a Blue Room (for democrat/Liberals) posting on DSLReports.com, a place where I frequently hang out, reporting on an event of disturbing nature in Utah.

Before I get into this, I should state that I don't have any interest in, nor care about "Raves" and the associated people. To me, they're freaks; twisted, perversions of humanity who live hedonistic existences.

That said, I read the articles and then read the accounts from various attendees of the event. It seems that the promoters made an effort to obtain the legal permits to operate, it was done on private land with the permission of the owners, and the event was taking place reasonably peacefully. Then after about 11:30pm, SWAT teams descended upon the patrons and performers, as if raiding a terrorist camp in Iraq. What could be deemed as excessive force was documented on video by one or more of the staff/fans. The personal accounts told tales of verbally-abusive behavior on the part of ALL law enforcement on the scene (about 90-100 of them according to the eyewitnesses) and physical violence against a lesser number of persons by a smaller number of police/SWAT team members.

In my mind, this gets filed as yet another experiment by our government, to test the reaction of the public to martial law and dictatorship. Waco, Ruby Ridge and other events are but tests in a longer, more sinister plan to move us toward a police state. I think that such abuse is calculated and planned, not accidental. There is just too much evidence and consistency in the statements obtained from the event-attendees.

Much information is posted on some web site run by these Rave people and it's listed below:

http://www.music-versus-guns.org

Statements from attendees can be found here:

http://www.music-versus-guns.org/versusstatements.html

There is also some video on the site, for those curious.

I find the whole event to be yet another step into a grand experiment with administering martial law on a civilian population. My hunch is the the Utah authorities saw this Rave, in an isolated mountain basin, as an ideal testing ground for their tactics. It was out of the way, out of sight of the general public, and easy to contain the spread of information. They were confiscating cameras, smashing cameras and arresting the owners and otherwise taking drastic measures to suppress the gathering of any physical evidence on the tactics being used. The whole thing sounds fishy to me.

What do you think? Are we seeing pockets of despotism in America?

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What do you think? Are we seeing pockets of despotism in America?

I see a pocket of despotism in Utah. I spent a good chunk of my life living in Utah, and from my personal experience, the state is run by puritans--people whose greatest fear that someone, somewhere, is enjoying themselves.

I went to a private invite-only party held at a 'bar' that had not yet had its alcohol license granted. Any alcohol there was on a BYO-basis. The bar owners had made sure that they had every permission granted to throw the party. The place still got raided by the state's division of alcohol control, and got shut down--not because we had underaged guests, or any drug-related contraband, but because the dart games were not properly licensed yet.

The state of Utah is run by Mormons, but ironically, it is Salt Lake City--where the Mormon Church is headquartered--that is turning into a place where you can live something approaching a real life, mainly because Mormons are in the minority.

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From what I can tell, the law enforcement personnel involved in this operation were SWAT team members and other local police, not regular US military. How is there a violation of Posse Comitatus?

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As I understand it, Posse Comitatus only applies to action taken against civilian Americans by the military. Even if the raid had been conducted by the FBI, it wouldn't apply. But I could be wrong on this.

Law enforcement raids on raves are nothing new, though.

I've attended several raves in my day, as I enjoy and oten produce dance music. Only a few of the attendees are "freaks; twisted, perversions of humanity who live hedonistic existences". Most are just people who like electronic music, DJ culture, and partying in baggy, flourescent logowear. And they're not even much like what movies or TV shows portray.

Yeah, there are a few who indulge in narcotics, even those who show up with pockets full of pills, but they're a minority. Most rave promoters take steps to keep out drug dealers and minors and hire private security for ID checks and pat-downs. Most of them are very successful averting trouble.

Promoters of larger parties sometimes even hire an off-duty ambulance & EMTs, should someone who's already consumed large doses of drugs, or others who become overheated and dehydrated, get sick on the property.

These police raids are a modern extension of what went on during Prohibition, when agents would break into speakeasies and arrest everyone on site. It's the official policy of many state governments to shut down raves that are held outside city limits or zoned entertainment districts as an application of the War on Drugs.

Since search and arrest warrants won't be issued without probable cause, and since the warrant has to specifically mention what's being looked for, they can't be obtained very easily. So law enforcement agents, "knowing" that there are drugs on the premises, find any little excuse to raid - licenses aren't in order, capacity has been exceeded, the property isn't zoned for entertainment, they're violating noise or parking ordinances .... anything to shut the rave down. Then comes the invariable "oh, look what I found, Lieutenant!" when pills are found on someone there.

Then it hits the papers the next day with a banner "DRUG RAVE BUSTED" headline, and the voters can go back to bed comfortable in the knowledge that we're winning the War on Drugs.

The most frustrating thing for these promoters is when they get shut down, yet everything was in perfect order, and no laws were being broken, and no drugs were found. (Seriously, this has happened a lot.) They don't get their equipment back, or any cash confiscated from on-site vendors. They lose, and the State doesn't have to take responsibility for it.

In 2003, President Bush signed that Amber Alert law, upon which the Rave Act (deemed too intrusive to pass alone) was attached. It reads like the PATRIOT Act, but more forceful and less filler-material.

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As I understand it, Posse Comitatus only applies to action taken against civilian Americans by the military. Even if the raid had been conducted by the FBI, it wouldn't apply. But I could be wrong on this.
In part you are. The law states "Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both". So this only prohibits the use of the Air Force and Army, not other branches of the military. And even then, Congress can specifically authorize the use of the Army for a purpose, such as busting up raves, if they want.

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Before I get into this, I should state that I don't have any interest in, nor care about "Raves" and the associated people. To me, they're freaks; twisted, perversions of humanity who live hedonistic existences.

This is exactly the kind of attitude that allows laws like the RAVE act to exist. People think "rave" and automatically images of evil ecstasy dealers corrupting their children come to mind. This is very far from the truth. The vast majority of people who attend raves or listen to electronic music are not depraved hedonistic individuals. But, as long as people continue to have that sort of attitude, the majority of people will applaud those "heroic" thugs who busted up that "evil drug party."

I find the whole event to be yet another step into a grand experiment with administering martial law on a civilian population. My hunch is the the Utah authorities saw this Rave, in an isolated mountain basin, as an ideal testing ground for their tactics. It was out of the way, out of sight of the general public, and easy to contain the spread of information. They were confiscating cameras, smashing cameras and arresting the owners and otherwise taking drastic measures to suppress the gathering of any physical evidence on the tactics being used. The whole thing sounds fishy to me.
It is far past just being an experiment. The law they probably used to bust it up has been around for a few years now. And like I said above, it's not about how far they can push the envelope because they are just doing what most people want them to do. People hear the word drugs and they want you strung up instantly. The fact that it wasn't even a drug party is irrelevant. As long as the cops can tie the word drug to their little mountain adventure, the people will give them all the leeway they want.

What do you think? Are we seeing pockets of despotism in America?

This isn't just pockets of despotism. Although, I have heard it's a lot worse in Utah than most other states. These rave type laws are federal law. So it happens all over the country.

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Hal    0
This is exactly the kind of attitude that allows laws like the RAVE act to exist. "
No, I dont think this is true. Believing that raves/ravers are evil/morons/hedonists does not commit one to supporting laws banning them. The existence of the RAVE act is due to the tendency of people to equate "immoral" with "should be illegal". The solution isnt to try and persuade others that ravers are actually decent people - its to make them realise that the morality of raves is a completely seperate question from their legal standing.

Personally I think that raves/ecstacy can be both enjoyable and moral, but this has nothing to do with my supporting or opposing legsilation, since legal questions have nothing to do with the morality of the action and should only consider whether rights are being violated. There are many things that I find immoral/depraved that I would strongly oppose outlawing (Christianity for instance).

Edited by Hal

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No, I dont think this is true. Believing that raves/ravers are evil/morons/hedonists does not commit one to supporting laws banning them. The existence of the RAVE act is due to the tendency of people to equate "immoral" with "should be illegal". The solution isnt to try and persuade others that ravers are actually decent people - its to make them realise that the morality of raves is a completely seperate question from their legal standing.

Personally I think that raves/ecstacy can be both enjoyable and moral, but this has nothing to do with my supporting or opposing legsilation, since legal questions have nothing to do with the morality of the action and should only consider whether rights are being violated. There are many things that I find immoral/depraved that I would strongly oppose outlawing (Christianity for instance).

I agree with you 100% on that. What I meant by that remark is that most people do not separate the morality of raves from their legal standing. That is the heart of the problem. mweiss, morally disagrees with the rave culture but he also had a problem with shutting down the rave. If you present this story to the average American, he will not separate the moral from the legal issues as mweiss did. And most people have the attitude that ravers are depraved (they are not), therefore they should be illegal. So yes, the solution absolutely is to convince people to separate the moral from the legal.

Since most people associate raves with immoral behavior, the people allow laws like this. That's what I meant. The average American will allow the government to do anything as long as it makes them feel warm and fuzzy. If people knew that not all ravers were depraved hedonists then they would not stand for such a law to begin with.

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After reading the testimony of the kids at the party, I noticed that they all tell the story with different details. The testimony’s starts off with mentioning there were several police with guns. Then more people come out and said that the police had Guns, Clubs, and tasers. Later accounts claimed they had Guns, Clubs, tasers, tear gas, dogs, M-16s, AK-47s and I quote “came in out of the grass, like some Vietnam shit”. I couldn’t help think that youth groups were sensationalizing this. I also noticed that there were no legitimate news reports mentioned and no official word from Utah authorities. I found a local news report (http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=96651) that says the party took place both on privet and public land and that they failed to maintain the proper permit. It also mentioned they confiscated drugs, guns and counterfeit money. It’s possible that there was excessive use of force (I wouldn’t put it pass Utah) but I’m still on the fence regarding this incident.

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I'll attempt to address some of the issues/comments here..

I think the Utah Daily Herald brought up a core issue with their article on the matter:

http://www.newutah.com/modules.php?op=modl...ticle&sid=63032

"Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracy seems to see things differently.

In an interview with the Daily Herald on Wednesday, he indicated that he believes law enforcement has the authority to assume a violation will be committed, and officers may therefore go straight to writing a citation.

That is what happened Saturday night at an outdoor music concert and dance in Diamond Fork. "

So we're dealing with the ominous spectre of law enforcement by assumption. Many of us may recall the Odd Couple with Tony Randall, and the court episode where the plaintiff "assumes" and Tony's character dissects the word ass-u-me for the judge and jury and points out the ridiculousness of the complaint, thereby winning his case. It is just as absurd in real life in Utah, according to the paper.

That said, I have a few other issues I'd like to touch upon:

Drug use: I consider it immoral, because it is anti-life. It destroys man's reasoning capability, may pose long-term dangers to the body and mind and often results in tragic accidents that take a toll on both the individual and society. Yes folks, someone from the state has to come out and collect the body when it all goes catestrophically wrong, and that comes out of the taxpayer's wallets. So the little drug rave is no longer being done 'at one's own expense', but at the expense of others without their consent.

Whether or not move raves are events of joy and music gathering is not the focus of my point. I don't see much if anything of moral value in those events. I don't consider the sounds they make to be "music" either. It has all the lustre and spectacle of a nightmare, in my opinion. I'm sure there are qualified musicians here who can define what music is, and the sounds at Rave events are not fitting with those definitions.

I may have misjudged the jurisdiction of SWAT teams, but it sounded like the National Guard was in there too, from some accounts. At any rate, the use of military grade force was probably excessive. A proper way to shut it down is to go in politely at first, with military force in the wings, just in case. They just barged in and treated everyone like they were Osama bin Laden.

As for permits, they had obtained all the permits and their contracts indicated that they would be done before the statutory 12 hour period ended for gatherings of 250 or more. It appears that this case is exacty as synthlord describes it here: the majority behaving, pockets of drugs and sex, and permits in order, but the cops digging for any slight technicality that they can use to justify shutting it down.

And finally, the religious zealotry in that part of the country could very well have had something to do with the degree of the law enforcement actions. Funny how religion breeds policy brutality, isn't it?

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I think the Utah Daily Herald brought up a core issue with their article on the matter

op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=63032]

Good find! I knew there had to be more to this story.

What I don't understand is if the sheriff was so sure that they would be there longer than twelve hours why didn’t he just wait? Is the state doing anything about this?

Edited by Rearden_Steel

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I don't consider the sounds they make to be "music" either. It has all the lustre and spectacle of a nightmare, in my opinion.

Just wondering, but have you ever actually heard techno music? I think it's more "musical" than 90% of the stuff produced today.

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After reading the testimony of the kids at the party, I noticed that they all tell the story with different details.

There are several videos on the website that back up the testimonies.

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Drug use: I consider it immoral, because it is anti-life. It destroys man's reasoning capability, may pose long-term dangers to the body and mind and often results in tragic accidents that take a toll on both the individual and society.

So you never smoke or drink either, right?

I’ve never done ecstasy myself, but it seems far less harmful than daily use of “legal” drugs. That does give users a moral immunity, but I would judge them less harshly than I would judge those who use tobacco or alcohol on a regular basis. (Which includes a large proportion of Objectivists, I would add.)

(I should also mention that the impact of our actions on “society” is not a proper standard of morality – not that such a standard has any meaning in the first place.)

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Hal    0

On a sidenote, statements like 'drugs attack your ability to reason' arent really valid in the context of ecstacy. Ecstacy isnt a drug like alcohol or marajuana which fundamentally changes the way you think about the world - its effects are almost entirely physical rather than mental. It makes you experience certain pleasurable sensations, but it doesnt alter your thought processes in the way that the two drugs mentioned above do. I wouldnt be prepared to say that someone on ecstacy has their reasoning 'impaired' in any significant way - it isnt that sort of drug. Youre almost never going to wake up after a night taking ecstacy and think "oh god why I on earth did I do that - what was I thinking?!" the way you might after engaging in heavy drinking.

Thinking that all drugs share similar effects, or that you can make blanket statements like "all drugs do X", is fairly naive. The only thing that all illegal drugs have in common is that they are illegal.

Edited by Hal

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In my mind, this gets filed as yet another experiment by our government, to test the reaction of the public to martial law and dictatorship. Waco, Ruby Ridge and other events are but tests in a longer, more sinister plan to move us toward a police state. I think that such abuse is calculated and planned, not accidental. There is just too much evidence and consistency in the statements obtained from the event-attendees.

Are you saying these statements are evidence of your conspiracy theory, or that they are evidence of improper behavior on the part of the Law Enforcement Officers?

Also, what evidence do you have that this and the other events you mentioned are "tests in a longer, more sinister plan"?

As a member of law enforcement, at the field supervisory level, I'm being left out of these clandestine meetings orchestrating the police state of America.

[Edit: Spelling correction - RC]

Edited by RationalCop

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Yes folks, someone from the state has to come out and collect the body when it all goes catestrophically wrong, and that comes out of the taxpayer's wallets. So the little drug rave is no longer being done 'at one's own expense', but at the expense of others without their consent.
I've heared that some people die during sex because of heart problems. Sex is happening without the consent of others and "someone from the state has to come out and collect the body when it all goes catestrophically wrong, and that comes out of the taxpayer's wallets.".

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I don't think we are seeing a pocket of despotism... More accurately democracy in action. We are seeing the enforcement response to the contradictions in laws that pull different ways on individual rights.

Raves invariably attract a few people who want to enhance the experience with drugs. Drugs are illegal, so the people who use and sell them often break other laws that are considered by law enforcement officials to be more serious.

Because, due to substance prohibition, one primary source of a "gang's" income is drug sales, many people associate drugs with the initiation of force. In fact, drug dealers must take justice into their own hands during disputes. If a bottle of pills is stolen, a dealer can't go to the police. He now has to make the decision to accept his loss, or to use force to regain his property. There are no courts that will settle the dispute nonviolently.

One can see why many law enforcement officials associate drug users with violent crime, and extend this presumption to include venues where they can be fairly certain of drug activity. It is only proper that they use appropriate force to protect themselves when they expect a violent response is possible. They will also use what is referred to as "Verbal Jujitsu." It's a shame Johnny Law has to bring down the long arm of injustice.

If our country consistently protected everyone's rights, they would recognize the rights of substance users. Drug dealers would be legitimate business entities, not gangs. But, alas, majority opinion rules on this issue, which bleeds force into areas that wouldn't normally require it.

As far as "trial balloons" are concerned, I think every enforcement action is a test case. I would also like to note that I am disturbed by the allegations that some video equipment may have been destroyed. Cops should welcome additional accounts of the event if they were doing everything in a just manner.

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