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UK Police Raid Party After Seeing "All-Night" Tag On Facebook 628

An anonymous reader writes "Apparently the police like to spend their time trawling our private information on Facebook looking for criminals. 'Riot police stormed a man's 30th birthday barbecue for 15 guests because it was advertised as an "all-night" party on Facebook. Four police cars, a riot van, and a force helicopter were dispatched to a privately-owned field in a small village near Sowton, Devon in the UK on Saturday, ordering the party shut down or everyone would be arrested. The birthday barbecue was busted up before they even had a chance to plug the music in, reports the BBC. It was about 4pm when eight officers with camouflage pants and body armor jumped out of their vehicles and ordered everyone out about an hour into the party.' The event's organizer, Andrew Poole, said, 'The police had full-on camouflage trousers on and body-armour, it was ridiculous. There were also several plain-clothes officers as well ... they kept on insisting it has been advertised it as an all-night rave on the internet. The times on it were put as "overnight" in case people wanted to sleep-over, but after being explained this they were still banging on saying it was advertised on the internet. They wouldn't accept it wasn't a rave. It was in a completely isolated field.'"
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UK Police Raid Party After Seeing "All-Night" Tag On Facebook

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  • by ewhac ( 5844 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:25AM (#28738637) Homepage Journal
    Honestly, what's the justification for this nonsense? Are the local constabularies that bored? And what the hell was with the SWAT-like response? Do they seriously think Osama bin Laden is going to turn up and spin techno for three hours?

    Did the owner of the field give informed consent for the gathering? If so, then the police had no business being there. Apologies are almost certainly in order.


  • by Tokerat ( 150341 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:27AM (#28738647) Journal
    That's the other thing I never understood. I've never seen a rave turn violent. You could just sent one or two cars and break it up. 5 officers, MAX. It's not like partykids carry guns!
  • $100 BILLION (Score:1, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter ( 624760 ) * on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:46AM (#28738733) Journal
    "Honestly, what's the justification for this nonsense?"

    "War on drugs" ring any bells? - it's a euphemisim for oppression.

    High ranking police all over the planet have built beuracratic kingdoms around the idiotic idea of declaring war on a social problem. In the US where this moronic idea came from it costs $100 billion/year to police just pot alone, yes $100 BILLION every YEAR just to stop people smoking pot. $10 billion of that goes directly to the DEA who LOBBY legislatures to keep the status quo. One american is arrested and has their life ruined every 18 seconds just for smoking pot. UK, Australia, etc, are no different.
  • by Jurily ( 900488 ) <jurily&gmail,com> on Saturday July 18, 2009 @02:55AM (#28738773)

    The root of this all is the War on Some Drugs.

    Fixed that for you.

  • by Aeternitas827 ( 1256210 ) * on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:02AM (#28738813)

    "But local people, fearing a rave was going to take place after previous events with loud music at the same premises, alerted the police."

    Ok, so they may have gotten a little rowdy in the past; send patrols by to make sure things stay calm, and break it up after if it starts getting out of hand. Go up and ask questions a bit, make your presence known, to make sure it stays under control. There are ways of controlling a bad situation without much fuss, and without eliminating the possible bad situation.

    This was just plain horrid reactionary behavior that points out flaws in laws that, while have good intentions, allow for abuse and make people despise them.

  • by MartinSchou ( 1360093 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:19AM (#28738893)

    this bunch were notorious around town

    How do you figure? The reports say "after previous events [...] at the same premises", not "after previous events with the same people".

    How would you feel if you visited a bank the day after it had been robbed, and random people accused you of being a bank robber, just because you happened to be at the scene of a previous robbery?

  • Re:So... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:19AM (#28738895) Homepage Journal

    >>No, no, no, only raves: "playing amplified music wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats during the night".

    Interesting law. It specifies that it applies to people regardless of if they're trespassing, so they can be used to order people off their land, as long as a superintendent of the police thinks that 2 or more people are "making preparations" to hold a rave there.

    If they don't leave their own land, a constable can arrest them without a warrant.

    Crazy times.

    However, it does define a rave as a nighttime party of 100 or more people, and I think the 15 dudes BBQing under a tent during the afternoon doesn't look much like a nighttime rave. The police were acting against the law.

  • by Psychotria ( 953670 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:20AM (#28738899)

    From BBC news [bbc.co.uk] - "But local people, fearing a rave was going to take place after previous events with loud music at the same premises, alerted the police."

    In other words, this bunch were notorious around town for partying all through the night, playing loud music and generally being a pain in the ass to everybody else. They may have been just barbequeing when the police showed up, but the locals knew what was comming and decided enough was enough.

    Where did you get that they were "notorious around town" from? I don't see mentioned anywhere that the "bunch" were notorious around town for causing trouble. All I see is that a bunch of locals decided that they'd contact police. A bunch of locals giving police "information" is not reason enough for the police to respond in the way they did. Heck, if YOU lived in my neighbourhood I just might be tempted to get me and my friends to make up stories about YOU and get the police to raid your house. How would you like that? Not very much I am guessing.

    In case you don't understand what I just said, let me put it in another way. Lets just say I have a bunch of friends here on slashdot and that I got together with them to accuse you of being a troll. All of us (me and my friends) will agree and email the slashdot admins that you're a troll. Upon hearing this, the admins revoke your account and ban you. How would this be right?

  • by ildon ( 413912 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:22AM (#28738907)

    "We've gotten some complaints about parties around here in the past. If you don't keep it quiet and under control we'll have to break it up."

    Nope, too hard. Get the riot squad.

  • This just in..... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by stuartdb ( 1590329 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:29AM (#28738931)

    private information on Facebook

    Idiots think putting information on internet is private.....

  • Re:$100 BILLION (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShakaUVM ( 157947 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:30AM (#28738939) Homepage Journal

    >>Too bad it's from the government so his conspiracy-theory-addled mind will never accept it.

    Yeah... he's got a crackpot notion that our federal government has nothing better to do than pour billions of dollars into wasteful programs that won't make a lick of difference. What a nutjob, eh?


  • 15 friends (Score:2, Insightful)

    by otter42 ( 190544 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:32AM (#28738945) Homepage Journal

    He'd rented a sound system for 17 friends in a field? Well, I'm not going to judge before all the facts are in, but it seems a little excessive. And considering that local residents had complained about raves in the area before, it seems a little suspect.

    However, the fact that the police shut down the party before they had anything more than suspicion is still wrong, I think. If they had the guys assurances that it wasn't a rave, wouldn't it have been enough just to send someone back at 8PM and someone at midnight?

  • by decoy256 ( 1335427 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:40AM (#28738963)
    This garbage really pisses me off. The next time one of you whiny little maggots start crying about how some criminal got off the hook and you start to say "We should have 'tougher laws' to fix this", think about this story... this is what "tougher laws" get you... a super uptight nit-picking police force that busts up a RUTTIN' BIRTHDAY PARTY because it used the "wrong words" in the invitation.
  • Re:So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by wvmarle ( 1070040 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @03:54AM (#28739005)

    and I think the 15 dudes BBQing under a tent during the afternoon doesn't look much like a nighttime rave. The police were acting against the law.

    This is where the part making preparations comes in play. From the face of it the law is pretty much on the police's side. They see some people setting up a tent, building up music equipment, arranging some catering - there you go, looks just like preparations for a rave party.

    And of course ravers are very scary, extremely dangerous and highly aggressive people who are likely to be totally high on whatever drug is in fashion nowadays which is why there is clearly a need for a helicopter, body armour, and the rest. (/sarcasm)

  • by mgblst ( 80109 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:07AM (#28739039) Homepage

    Most people would be happy with this, less criminals, and the occasional party broken up.

    You can fight this, but you can't win. The world changes, has been changing for the last 200 years. Your kids are getting used to this, and think nothing of it. Just as there are many things you put up with, and your parents never would.

    Just make sure you are one of the ones giving out the soma, rather than forced to take it. This is all you can do.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:09AM (#28739047) Journal

    You see a lot of kiddies complaining along the lines of "a rave shouldn't be illegal". But in britain, it is. Yes, really. Not concerts or parties, but raves.

    The reasons are probably that overtime raves became a problem for some and they wanted something done against them. The other side was not intrested in fighting it and so things got passed into law and voila, you got a specific type of party made illegal.

    England, believe it or not is still democracy. More so now then in the last couple of decades because it is no longer ensured who is going to win an election in a region. Safe seats aren't that safe anymore.

    If YOU don't fight for your rights, then someone else wins with their rights. The problem with raves is simple, it is the struggle between the neighbours who want a quiet night and the party people who don't. Both have rights but they can't both excersise them fully without restricting the other.

    So either the ravers turn down the music or the neighbours give up their quiet night. Ideally, both sides should work this out but as you can see on this side, working things out ain't part of human nature. The anti rave laws have come into being to deal with "illegal" events being held at random location with absolutely no care being given for the consequences. This doesn't just upset the neighbours, it upsets others in the entertainment industry. Not entirely fair is it that a local pub has to spend a fortune on sound isolation but a random group can just hold a rave anywhere, break every law that exists, not pay taxes and get away with it?

    The law didn't come into place because YOU played techno in your yard and the neighbour complained. It came into being from 1000+ parties being held in location with no fire safety, no securty, causing serious disturbances. Not just noise, but traffic and things like fights breaking out.

    The ravers suffered the public wrath and did NOT regulate themselves to fit into society. Of course, that is not a rebel thing to do but it is the thing to do if you don't want society to turn against you. Because as silly as this story is, the average voter (that is people who actually do vote, not just people who can vote) doesn't give a shit. They just see the tabloids depiction of ravers as crazed druggies, heared from someone at work how a rave is a warzone and are all in favor.

    Democracy is just another word for dictatorship of the many. The raves that got out of control created these laws, which weren't oppososed by the ravers themselves and now you got this silly situation.

    Most laws are silly, but exist because people are silly. If a lot of rave parties didn't cause such a nuisance (you could hold a rave party the same as any other concert and follow laws of fire safety, drugs laws and noise pollution) then there would be no desire to have them restricted. There are laws that says you can't drill into your wall after or before a specific hour in a building that isn't standalone. Why? Because someone found it neccesary to drill all night in an apartment block. Well not SOMEONE. A LOT of someone's. The apartment block is actually a good example, an old flat might easily have several hundred of apartments and drilling in one sound through the entire building. If a person only drill once every 3 years, it takes less then 1000 people to have drilling going on day in day out.

    That is the reason there are rave laws and lots of others. Because without them people just can't be consider the affect their action have on others.

    Want to protest that? Then don't say "it shouldn't be illegal". You should made sure when the laws were introduced that it didn't become illegal by doing the same thing the petitioners did. Make your case and show that YOUR case benefits the greater good (gets the most people to vote for you).

  • by SputnikPanic ( 927985 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:15AM (#28739067)

    I've never been to the UK but over the years I've read no small number of stories coming from across the pond that just leave me shaking my head: the ever-present cameras, the citizen databases, the monitoring and surveillance, etc. How are the good folks in the UK not in the streets about all this? Maybe I'm wrong -- in fact I hope that I am -- but the UK seems to be barreling down the road to Big Brother. To see a Western nation going down this path truly disturbs me.

  • Re:$100 BILLION (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anti_Climax ( 447121 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:15AM (#28739075)

    Not that I think your figures on the DEA budget are wrong, but stopping folks from smoking pot involves a lot of additional enforcement costs shouldered by local police, border patrol, coast guard and the courts. The DEA typically, though not always, spends their budget going after growers and trafficers and in the process they utilize a lot of local resources.
    When you consider the cost of that local utilization, the cost of jailing these non-violent offenders, the costs incurred in public defense, prosecution and lost productivity (in the courts and in the lives of those being tried) - I'd be inclined to think it's much closer to 100B nationally than to 1.9B - still hyperbole but not just hand-waving.
    I'd honestly be interested in seeing what those costs total out to nationally but I'd doubt there are numbers that would allow for a decent projection of those costs as they relate to marijuana and not all drugs combined.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:32AM (#28739131)

    And what the hell was with the SWAT-like response? Do they seriously think Osama bin Laden is going to turn up and spin techno for three hours?

    To paraphrase for the modern day, "when you have a nice new shiny expensive hammer, all problems tend to look like nails."

    Seriously, that sort of response is the result of the increasing militarization of the police in almost all 1st world countries. Because of fear-mongering and patronizing politicians that want to appear to be "tough on crime" police departments are getting all kinds of funding for over-the-top military training and equipment (simultaneously ignoring the pedestrian stuff that actually cuts down crime like simply putting more cops on the beat).

    Since the situations that actually require that sort of a response are so few and far between it is inevitable that it gets applied to cases where it is unnecessary and even ludicrous. Fortunately nobody was killed this time, but as part of this same "tough on crime" stance, oversight of the police seems to be consistently weakend such that when someone innocent is killed it is ultimately shrugged off as the police followed "proper procedure" and it was just an unfortunate accident - with no significant reduction or revision in the militarized procedures that are the scapegoat.

  • by salmacis2 ( 643788 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:38AM (#28739157)
    There are all kinds of stories of the lunacy going on in the States, too. Anybody reading slashdot / digg/ reddit etc would get a completely distorted view of what America is like, just as you seem to have with the UK.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:43AM (#28739167)

    Since Thatcher took exception to the actual all-night raves that went on in the early nineties. ...

    Mrs Thatcher had been out of power for 4 years when that bill went through Parliament.

    Guess you were too busy popping pills at those all night parties to notice though ;P

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JordanL ( 886154 ) <jordan.ledoux@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:43AM (#28739169) Homepage

    This is due to the neo-Liberal tenet that people are entirely selfish entities, plotting and scheming against one-another, the only way they should be able to express themselves is through the free market.

    Isn't that argument against a lot of Liberal and neo-Liberal programs, such as socialized healthcare or the like?

    I thought these people couldn't take care of themselves, not that they took care of themselves too much.

  • A little trust (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Roger W Moore ( 538166 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:08AM (#28739263) Journal
    While its true that recent governments seem to have lost a sense of what is "reasonable fun" I think that is only part of it. With the UKs increasing population and the decreasing cost of amplifiers part of the issue is that parties are now loud enough and frequent enough to disturb far more people than before.

    What troubles me more with this is not that the police turned up in force (everyone makes mistakes) but that they persisted in shutting down the party once it was explained to them what was happening. What happened to reasonable policing and a little trust? Take the guy's details if needed and if it did turn into a rave then at least you would know who was responsible. The police are supposed to use discretion when using their powers. Examples like this make us remove and restrict those police powers and that means that when they really do need them they won't have them available.
  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fuzzix ( 700457 ) <flippy@example.com> on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:20AM (#28739305) Journal

    I have of course heard of the comedy program 2.4 children.

    That was comedy?! Jesus...

  • Re:A little trust (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kreigaffe ( 765218 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:33AM (#28739357)

    If the party is too loud, I'm quite sure there would be existing laws on the books to deal with that. Noise ordinances and the like, specifically aimed at people who are just too loud, especially too loud late at night.
    If the party was held somewhere illegally -- hi mr. warehouse -- there is also a set of laws to deal with that. Trespass laws.

    No, this law was passed to stop people from having raves when it was held on private land, with permission, in areas where nobody would be calling in complaining about noise. Because of the evil MDMA and K and pot these kids were taking. It's all for the children, understand, they need to be protected via jail time and criminal records.

    We in the US had a similar deal pass, but it's not nearly so draconian or invasive... but then again, Brits will be Brits and if there's anything British it's draconian and invasive police forces (I kid, but only *slightly*).

    Why didn't they use discretion? Because that would be admitting wrong on their part. Like that would fucking happen -- nosir, it matters not that they were expecting glowstick-wielding pacifier-chewers and found 30-somethings with a grill and beer. They came to break up a party and by god nothing is going to deter them from running around in their ninja get-up barking orders at confused and upset people. You've gotta feel like you've got a big dick somehow, and admitting they goofed and called all their buddies to come help for no reason is about as far opposite a big-dick feeling you can get this side of your gramma applying ice to your boys wearing naught but a sheer negligee.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:44AM (#28739399)

    Come on, citation please.

  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:48AM (#28739417)

    WTF? Why should they shut it down in the first place, or have me pay the cost? I have a party, it's going all night, where's the crime? Did I miss when it became illegal to celebrate?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @05:56AM (#28739443)

    Yes, but that relies on the police and courts being sensible and that sure as hell ain't gonna happen.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Saturday July 18, 2009 @06:00AM (#28739459) Homepage Journal

    Us English are incredibly apathetic. Not just about the laws themselves, but about informing ourselves about what is going on. We would rather read rubbish the The Sun and The Daily Mail and have our opinions given to us rather than think for ourselves.

    It all boils down to never having had any kind of revolution or defining moment. Most "modern" countries have had some kind of defining moment where they laid down the values and ideas on which they define themselves. The French Revolution, loosing WW2, overthrowing a dictator... We never had anything like that (our civil war didn't do much to help) so we have nothing to base our modern self-image on. We try to apply the mythical "British" values of the old world to the new one.

    Ideas such as freedom and liberty don't hold much weight here, as we never had to really struggle to get them. There is no clear divide between freedom/democracy and subjugation/imperialism for us.

  • by Ash Vince ( 602485 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @06:03AM (#28739471) Journal

    Thatcher did this, four years after she left office the prime minister's office (1990), and two years after she left parliament (1992)?

    Yes she did, laws take time to be passed. Firstly, she appointed Michael Howard who had this crock of shit drawn up and then introduced it to parliament. John Major only kept him in the cabinet, she promoted him originally and probably gave him the mandate to oversee this being drafted as he was a barrister.

    Also remember that one of the major events that brought this law into being occured 9 years before the bill was passed:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Beanfield [wikipedia.org]

    It was this that event and the way it was portrayed in the media that led to this bill sailing through parliament and onto the statute books.

    And to top it all off, Major was just another of her chronies anyway. I never actually beleived that anything changed about who governed Britain when she left office as it was still the same party in power. She was so authoritarian in the early days of her leadership that she moulded that party into her image. It has taken them 10 years of oposition to get some fresh blood in that is even slightly willing to look at things differently.

    I am still not convinced they have changed much now, but that is a different issue we can find out at the next election, since they are probably going to be back in power soon.

    Perhaps with all the citations and links you could have at least made sure your leading claim lined up with some dates. All your grand ideas about 'government approved this' and 'capitalist that' seemed like the drug-induced foggy ravings of someone who doesn't even have their dates right.

    Oh, and a lovely insult to finish your post off, how charming.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @06:08AM (#28739489)

    > How are the good folks in the UK not in the streets about all this?

    Because the vast majority are inside, rotting braincells by watching so called "reality" tv shows, iroically called "Big Brother". They just don't care, unless it stops them:
    a) smoking
    b) drinking
    c) watching tv
    d) having sex

    And the people who do care get slagged off as terrorists/paedophiles/etc, or just plain ignored.

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @06:23AM (#28739525) Journal

    It became illegal about 15 years ago - from TFA, it states Section 63 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 [opsi.gov.uk]. This basically criminalised raves (which at the time were being demonised from hysteria and moral panicing from the tabloids and the politicians), even if they are held on legal ground.

    AFAICT, it criminalises any gathering of over 100 people in a public place where music is played (defined infamously as "sounds wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats"), unless they have obtained the appropriate entertainment licence, but furthermore, any it allows the police to disperse any gathering of 2 or more people if the police think they're preparing a rave, or 10 or more people if the police think they're waiting for a rave.

    No evidence, no courts, no right to appeal.

    Of course, the police deserve criticism for applying the law in a case that was clearly not in its original spirit, but let's not remember the law they used to do it is broad and draconian. The worrying thing is that the police haven't backed down and acknowledged it as a mistake - they still believe that anything advertised on the Internet as an "all-night party" should be illegal. What is this, a curfew? Telling us when bed time is? Talk about nanny-state - it's like the strict rules my college used to have about parties, where you needed permission, and parties had to be over by midnight.

    From TFA, the polic: "far more resources would have been used to police the event". In my experience of Cambridge's Strawberry Fair, these resources would predominantly have involved the police doing a fishing expedition [urban75.org] in order to catch people with cannabis on them [bbc.co.uk] (I experienced this first hand when travelling through Cambridge Train Station that day - even though I wasn't going to the fair, every single person getting off the train that day was detained for about 30 minutes for stop and search for drugs).

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @06:55AM (#28739615)

    1.66 children born/woman (2009 est.) is not the same as children per household. More to the point the 2.4 children stat was the one time average number of children per family. Many households have single people in them, not families.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @07:17AM (#28739683) Homepage

    On one hand, we have a government that is entirely too willing to "Control and Defend" (what ever happened to "serve and protect"?) and on the other hand, we have short-sighted people who are all too willing to request and expect such things from government.

    It was "the locals" who contacted the authorities to have this birthday party cancelled according to the articles. (I wonder how much we can trust the articles to actually be telling the truth in this matter?) If this is true, then "we have only ourselves to blame" in that we are begging government to protect us from just about everything.

    No amount of any single thing will back this problem out. Soccer moms and elderly don't give a rat's ass about freedom and self expression. They want the world to change for them, not the other way around. And I have to admit that I have my own "the world offends me" perspective from time to time... especially when I am driving and the person in the passing lane is moving too slow and I get blocked in by two or more drivers who don't seem to notice or care that they are impeding traffic. (There are those moments when I actually wish I could slap a police light on my car, whip out a badge and a gun and get crazy on their asses... but at just about that moment, I remember that this is exactly why I don't own any guns -- I might use them! And frankly, I know I'd have much to regret if I ever did.) I can identify with the world offending me in any case, but here's what I do about it:

    I try, as often as possible, that in order to protect my own rights, I have to make allowances for and respect the rights of others and that [especially] includes the right to be DIFFERENT. I think that somehow, the world of people at large has forgotten that when you try to take the rights of "some people" away, you invariably harm the rights of ALL people. Perhaps I am showing my age, but there was a time when we taught this sort of wisdom in schools... civics or social studies... not sure what they might be called today, but it seems pretty obvious to me that people of my age, older and younger either never had such classes or didn't learn from them.

    But here I sit with a real problem. Because I am in the clear minority in this position as are many slashdotters who probably agree with me. On this issue, the need to see that rights are to be protected and respected for ALL or NONE, I am a member of a minority group. The rest of the people don't understand or even care about their rights and freedoms. I want the world to change for me... but really, for us all... but primarily, for me.

  • Re:Must suck (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @07:20AM (#28739695)

    Wait. You mean "free" xor you mean "democratic"? If the majority of people through democratic voting can institute laws like those, then you're not living in a free country, if they can not - it's not a democratic country. You can't have both.

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @07:46AM (#28739779) Journal

    And of course, if they were really "illegal raves", why was a new law needed. They were legal raves criminalised by the law...

    (It's a shame we don't seem to have these sorts of marches and protests over the even-increasing authoritarian laws we have now.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @07:54AM (#28739809)

    The thing that would concern me most about a law like that isn't the nanny-state implications, but the ability to use it to break up political rallies.

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @08:17AM (#28739887) Journal

    Indeed, that too is very worrying. I'd argue these issues are connected as well - many grassroots political activism and protests grow from people who are connected via social networks. If you can break up people being able to meet up for pleasure, you break up any potential for political activism too. People don't go on a protest because they read about it on Slashdot or the news or wherever, no matter how enraged they are - they go on a protest because they hear about it from their friends, and it's all the same people they know who go along to them. Consider, the large numbers of people protesting this law would have I imagine been made up of the people who attended raves.

  • by Ilgaz ( 86384 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @08:44AM (#28739997) Homepage

    I think everyone misses the point that no law is impossible to change or remove.

    So blaming John Major even after Blair elected and did nothing about it doesn't make any sense.

    I would be just like Obama, keeping Guantanamo open even with more torture and blaming W. Bush for Guantanamo while he can easily close it down. (which he did or something)

  • by Hurricane78 ( 562437 ) <deleted@slashdot ... minus physicist> on Saturday July 18, 2009 @08:50AM (#28740017)

    Well, this all can be boiled down to one simple rule: Nobody gets hurt by those "raves", and even less so by the party. So it is not illegal. Period. The law is illegal. The makers and enforcers are illegal.

    Now you could say that this only works, because they are stronger.
    But are they really? I mean count the people in the whole UK. Minus most of the police forces and politicians. (And maybe the army too.
    Then take all those Police/Army/Politicians, and compare them to the rest.
    I bet you are getting something between 50 and 1000 people per P/A/P person. And if you think they could stop that many people, you are seriously brainwashed. ^^

    So what is the real reason? That nearly all people still find this behaviour* "just ok"/"awww-right"?

    * No, I'm neither from the UK, USA, Ireland or any other English-speaking country. So I don't know about the fine differences. (But from what I see, we will soon all speak English only here in Germany. ;)

  • by JPLemme ( 106723 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @09:28AM (#28740225)
    I don't think it's a coincidence that handguns are virtually illegal in Britain. It's a hell of a lot easier for a cop to maintain order over 1,000 people when the only way the civilians can "defend" their freedoms is by asking the government to give them a little more running room on their leashes.
  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @09:35AM (#28740275)

    the police get even more declawed, demoralised, and afraid of doing thier job

    Are we living in the same world? Declawed? Half the shit they pull off today as routine would at the very least have resulted in a severe investigation a quarter century ago.

    Demoralised, yes. I give you that. Mostly by the way people look at them less and less as "serve and protect" and more and more as "stasi on crack". Mostly because of news like this, where they act not only like they're above the law, but like they are the law with no review and nobody to answer to.

  • by mdwh2 ( 535323 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @09:56AM (#28740395) Journal

    Someone inevitably brings this up everytime there's an article about the UK. But there are also news reports of other, also worrying infringement of people's liberties, going on in the US. So how come the handguns never stop them? Has there ever been a case where people got out their guns, and the police said "Oh dear, we'll back down then and ignore them"? Or does it just end up in bloodshed, with the citizens being either shot dead, or arrested for far more serious offences?

    Don't get me wrong, I do agree with the principle of bearing arms to defend against the Government, but I don't see that this would prevent things happening such as those in the article. What are you expecting them to do, shoot down the helicopter?

  • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @10:04AM (#28740455)

    If the cops showed up at your birthday party and told you you had to shut it down, you'd shoot them if you had a gun? Seriously? And you think that's a good thing?

  • by White Shade ( 57215 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @10:51AM (#28740777)

    Regular beat cops in the UK don't have guns, but if you think they're more than one radio call for backup away from a fully armed squad, you'd be sorely mistaken!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday July 18, 2009 @10:51AM (#28740787)

    What a load of bollocks. Our freedoms aren't being removed by the idiots PC's on the beat, and shooting them wouldn't result in anything but a life sentence or a bloody shoot-out in either the UK or the States.

    Our freedoms are being taken by law makers, politicians and lords. We don't require handguns to stop them, we just require the general public to sit up, take notice and grow a pair.

    The simple fact is that a lot of the country don't have a problem with the laws as of yet. They don't gather in large groups in public, they've never 'done drugs' and have no desire to do so - they feel safe, they are happy. I think their total twats, but then part of the downside of living in a democratic country is have to put up with the twats and recognising that not everyone feels the same way I do. Or I could take your suggestion, buy a gun and assert my demand for freedom by... shooting people that are carrying out their (albeit dubious) jobs/duty?

    Even with 50-1 odds in favour and legalised handguns would we stand a fucking chance against a fully trained and specially armed police/army joint force? No. If they had the inclination to do so, they would annihilate us - if they didn't have the inclination, guns wouldn't be needed anyway.

    If you have trouble understanding any of my reasoning by the way - try asking yourself how the American people have managed to lose so many rights will still gripping onto their handguns? Ever wonder if they waved the guns in your face to distract you while they made off with your liberty?

  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by houghi ( 78078 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @11:08AM (#28740899)

    some people with a few speakers,

    And that is it. They will play music for an audience without paying to the local RIAA. It is almost like Sicilian Security.
    The next thing they must do is go by the houses, see who has invited friends for a BBQ and arrest say daddy Fawkes in front of little boy Guy (Guido), so he learns what a bad person daddy is and he won't go against government.

  • Re:Wow (Score:4, Insightful)

    by st0rmshad0w ( 412661 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @11:34AM (#28741097)

    No one was arrested.

    So the police went over the top ape-shit and actually staged a helo-insertion raid that cost god knows how much to do when they didn't even have any crime to charge anyone with?

    What, they didn't have a desk-jocky somewhere they could have told to drive out and ask about the BBQ?


    Occam's law says they probably were setting up a rave.

    First off, its Occam's Razor, and secondly, you are clearly unfamiliar with it. Occam's Razor states that "entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily" therefor based on Occam's Razor less than 20 people in a field with a BBQ grill at 4pm in the afternoon are having a BBQ.

  • by u38cg ( 607297 ) <calum@callingthetune.co.uk> on Saturday July 18, 2009 @11:48AM (#28741191) Homepage
    And when did you last shoot a cop in defence of your rights?
  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DJRumpy ( 1345787 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @11:54AM (#28741221)
    And yet the BBC as well as the Police failed to mention that rave was found? Don't you think a situation as embarrassing as this would have prompted to the police to at least mention the fact that they found ANY rave gear at all to prevent this very type of public outcry?
  • Re:Wow (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jeff Carr ( 684298 ) <<slashdot.com> <at> <jeffcarr.info>> on Saturday July 18, 2009 @11:59AM (#28741267) Homepage
    A sound system for 17 people isn't ridiculous at all. I have frequently put up a sound system for parties just involving a few people. Mainly because many of my friends are musical. A party of just 17 friends can easily include a couple bands or a few DJ's without any difficulty at all.

    And $1,300 dollars is easily reachable for 17 people for a little party like that. The generator rental can be about $200, high quality liquor with a variety of mixers and decent beer can be an additional $500, good food for 17 people can be an additional $600 if you bring some steaks or something equivalent. That might be a bit excessive, but that assumes you didn't have to pay for the location, rent a large tent, or buy any additional gear or equipment. All it would take is the purchase of an additional speaker or a large grill to bring the costs down from excessive to pretty minimal.

    I know, as I've spent that much on parties even smaller than that even when I've already had the venue. Plus an event with 17 people confirmed will be lucky to have that many people show up due to cancellations, an event with 75 people confirmed might get larger, but still nowhere near what I would consider to be a rave.
  • Re:Wow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by st0rmshad0w ( 412661 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @12:58PM (#28741675)

    None of us here can judge one way or the other based on the news reports.

    And yet that is EXACTLY what you are doing. YOU started the assumption that the police were correct in their conclusions, based on their superior future-predicting ability, based on little detail in the reporting. The only facts we have are less than 20 people, a BBQ grill, 4pm in the afternoon, a 'sound system' (incidentally I've routinely seen DJ level sound systems used at people's backyard family gatherings around here so I think this is a complete BS detail to use anyway, maybe this dude knew someone who could get him pro-level gear for his BBQ?), a field, and NO CHARGES FILED. So there was in fact no crime committed. OR even about to be committed because they were NO WHERE NEAR meeting the conditions (100+ people, rave music, etc). But that wasn't good enough to stop the tac unit it seems. I still have no idea why just sending someone around in a squad car to have a word was so out of the fucking question. Incidentally, what if you were planning an all night party with rave music and had PROOF that only 50 people would be there? What would the police do then?

  • by pete6677 ( 681676 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @01:20PM (#28741857)

    This is exactly what the "if you have nothing to hide" crowd repeatedly fails to understand. Laws or procedures giving lots of power to a small group of officials with little accountability will inevitably be abused.

  • by dryeo ( 100693 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @04:04PM (#28743009)

    Bad example. The citizens weren't armed, they broke into an armoury and armed themselves with government arms. Something that in theory could as easily happen in England, especially right after the war.

  • by Anonymous Brave Guy ( 457657 ) on Saturday July 18, 2009 @07:09PM (#28744153)

    However if similar allegations were made against members of the public (especially if the alleged victims were police officers) they would undoubtedly have been arrested and their names and pictures splashed all over the media.

    Well, probably, but remember that members of the public don't have the convenient ability to declare the mere act of photographing them to be a terrorist activity and impose all sorts of summary measures against the photographer as a result.

    You have to keep a sense of perspective, you see. It's an important part of national security that the police be allowed to take their identification numbers off and arrest anyone who might be able to identify them by other means before they beat the crap out of innocent bystanders. Otherwise there might be unfortunate repercussions, and we need to ensure that the boys and girls in blue are protected from those so they can go on keeping us safe.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger