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Amend the anti-rave sections of the Criminal Justice Act 1994

Comment 1st July 2010

I understand the desire of people to chuck revellers off their land if things get out of control. That is why I would suggest a new anti-rave act which understands the benefit that subcultures can bring to mainstream culture, not only through the evolution of new art forms but through creative protest and civil disobedience in the face of draconian legislations. I propose that new limits should be set. As long as the crowd remains under a certain size, and I would suggest a size of about 5,000 they should be legally and lawfully allowed to continue their celebrations until noon the next day, at which time the police or the event organisers should organise people to do an environmental clear up. In the event that no such clear up takes place, and the organisers are known, they should be heavily fined. If the event grows to a size clearly more than 5,000 people or does not appear to be disbanding after noon the next day, the police have the right to humanely usher people off the site and perhaps some extra perimeter area.

This single night 'allowance' would only apply for nights not followed by a working day, i.e. fridays, saturdays, and sunday's before a bank holiday monday. Provisions should also be made to legislate against genuinely unlawful activities such as breaking and entering and/or holding excessively noisy parties in highly populated residential areas. This new law should only be concerned with all-night parties playing loud amplified music. Other events such as street carnivals, impromptu day festivals, parties which end around 1am, and mass gatherings for protest should all be perfectly legal. If a party can be shown to be being considerate, playing quiet or unamplified music during the night and organising effective environmental clean up efforts over the period, it should be allowed a second night of continuance if that second night is not followed by a working day

Why does this matter?

Governments need to realise that schools are only one type of education. A good subculture can also be a very positive type of education and both can give birth to great creative minds and talents. I and many of my friends who were involved in this movement have since gone on to achieve great success with our lives, and not become the 'lost generation' which the adults of the day once thought. We did this thanks in part to what we learnt as creatives within that community.

Youth culture is desperately trying to escape it's cynical exploitation by commercial forces. Sub culture gatherings can be places where people form strong communities, learn new skills, develop artistic talents, and even learn vital lessons about environmental responsibility.

The subculture of the early 90's was one such creative hotbed which gave birth to many of the musicians, film makers, and artists who we admire today. By making it illegal for more than 100 people to gather anywhere and listen to amplified music, the government of the day sowed the seeds for this sub-cultures demise. In 2009, Section 63 of the Act was used by police to shut down a birthday barbecue held on legal property for 15 people. This, and other stupid stuff like stopping photographers taking photo's, is not what laws should be concerned with. It's ridiculous and it criminalised my generation and a whole identity of people, giving us the strong sense that our nation was sleepwalking into becoming a police state.

The kids want to play…. as long as they're not hurting anyone…let them play. Out of it you'll find the artists, musicians, designers, film makers, philosophers, and entrepeneurs of tommorrow will emerge.

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