The fight against law enforcement in attaining our freedom

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

The fight against law enforcement in attaining our freedom

Postby sktELEMENT » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:04 am

So I have been thinking of how to keep law enforcement off of our backs at Burning Man. I believe the reason they are busting more and more people and the bars is because the state is broke and this festival brings in so much money on a variety of levels. I was wondering if, as a message, if they skipped putting it on for a year, they would lose so much money that they would stop trying to suck us dry for every penny and let us do or thing...

Yes? No? Any other valid and SERIOUS ideas for how to fix this problem? Because seriously... it is becoming a big problem, and every year it is worse.
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Postby Eric » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:52 am

You want to keep law enforcement off your back? Stop pretending BRC is an "autonomous zone" It's not. Personally, they're not on my back, so I don't have the same issue.

The reason people are getting busted is because they somehow think that the laws of the county, state & country don't apply in BRC. They do.

If you're going to do drugs, use the same precautions you would in Reno or Las Vegas- or better yet in Fernly.

There is nowhere in the US, Canada or Mexico you can throw this event without police. Nowhere. State police, tribal police, federal police......
You throw it on private property and try to keep the police out? Plague of undercovers, worse than anything we have now.

You want to have the event somewhere with no police? You have a great time in Somalia, I'll stay where we're at.

Otherwise- learn to modify your behavior for the reality we live with, not how you want it to be. My Burn has yet to be affected by the police presence, and I've heard plenty of stories about whats going on out there, and was even approached by a probably undercover looking for "hippie cigarettes".
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Postby Mosin » Sun Sep 12, 2010 1:04 am

Ditto. What he said. Exactly...
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Postby K-mom » Sun Sep 12, 2010 11:56 am

Eric wrote:There is nowhere in the US, Canada or Mexico you can throw this event without police. Nowhere. State police, tribal police, federal police......
You throw it on private property and try to keep the police out? Plague of undercovers, worse than anything we have now.

You want to have the event somewhere with no police? You have a great time in Somalia, I'll stay where we're at.


We could take it out to international waters and bring back the monkey knife fights. Those were swweeet.
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Postby ygmir » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:04 pm

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_R69--wjoY&feature=related[/youtube]

just sayin'.........
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Postby Kinetik V » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:19 pm

<soapbox> Wow, we have such a narrow view of things here. Keeping Law Enforcement in check is so much more than a Burning Man issue. If you try and focus on the cops that work in BRC you're wasting your efforts. You have to work at a higher level and push for change with local elections and moving on up to ballot initiatives and the like.

If you like your drugs then fight for legalization starting with medical marijuana and then push for full legalization of it without the medical aspect. Then society will identify the next substance that should be legalized. This is what's being done at the state level now...and the more people that join the fight the better the odds are of success. </soapbox>
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Postby Lassen Forge » Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:50 pm

Funny, I don't seem to have an issue with LE at BRC. And I run a bar.

Maybe it's because I don't put up with illegal stuff in my place. And I even have a hookah in plain sight.

Maybe it's because when I see them drive by I wave and smile.

maybe it's because if they walked in I'd ask them for ID and offer them a beer.

you get 30% who volunteer to go so they can do the burn and get paid to be there (with accomodations at Bruno's Hotel)

You get another 30% who get assigned to cover it, who would rather be home during the week balling thir honey and dealing with the work they're doing at home.

And you get 30% who are still in rookie asshole stage who do tis as a chance to fuck with people and get away with it.

The other 10% - are undercover. They have their own fucked up issues, and are pretty clueless about shit, even tho they think of themselves as hip slick and cool, they're idiots. I know - I married one. BLEAH!!!

Anyway, I work really hard to try to bring the 40% asshole rate into dropping their shit, and the middle 30% into realizing it;s work, but roll with it and you might have FUN, and cater to the rare 30% who are cops, but they're also BURNERS and proud of it! (Hell 3 or 4 came back by, off duty, in civvies, and knocked back PBR and did vodka shots with us. Can you beat that shit???)
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Postby FireShaman » Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:00 pm

While I don't mind the cops, this 'hey, please please please gift me some drugs because blah blah blah' entrapment bullshit has GOT to stop.
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Postby Lassen Forge » Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:05 pm

I just tell them, um,,, what is it I say to people like that??...

Oh yeah...

FUCK NO. GO THE FUCK AWAY!!! DON'T COME BACK.

I think that's it. Seems to work.
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Postby Eric » Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:53 pm

FireShaman wrote:While I don't mind the cops, this 'hey, please please please gift me some drugs because blah blah blah' entrapment bullshit has GOT to stop.


I just say "only idiots and cops asks for drugs. Which are you?" then walk away.
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Postby Trishntek » Sun Sep 12, 2010 7:25 pm

While on the street hawking Superman's cock, Ranger Retro stopped and took note of our signs posted in plain site, "No persons under 21 allowed, ID required." He asked to take a picture and said it was a good example that we are "trying" to comply.

Even while gifting absinthe on the street and LEO driving by several times a day, we never had a single one stop or question what we were doing in any way. I personally have no complaints about LEO except their fucking headlights on the playa.
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Postby CornStar » Sun Sep 12, 2010 10:30 pm

The only inherently illegal thing most burners could get in trouble for is doing drugs ... so if half of the folks in BRC stopped being wooks and provided their own drugs, and did them discreetly and didn't bother asking around for them, the busts would probably drop quite a bit. If you a need a year off to figure this out then be my guest
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Postby Fire_Moose » Mon Sep 13, 2010 9:16 am

Fer cereal, the cops were out of control this year!!

I had one OUTSIDE the event that pulled me over, sure i was speeding, and sure he dropped it down to 10 over and was totally cool, but who does he think he is stopping a BURNER on his way home?!

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Postby bluesbob » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:05 am

I had no problems with law enforcement. My only interactions with them came when two stopped by my neighbors camp to look at their vehicle. (It was an awesome get-up) And when I waved at others while traversing the playa and they waved back.

But, by what I've heard and read, I believe law enforcement is a problem at BM. It appears every crime takes a back seat...an extremely back seat...to busting people for drugs. Assault, sex-assault, theft...who cares, it doesn't bring in revenue. Arrest, transportation, prosecution costs the agency. But the drug busts bring in money. It seems to be the LEOs only focus.

As of right now, my views can change, but it seems law enforcement is a cause of problems...not a solution. The Rangers do a better job than them.
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Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:29 am

(Yeah, well the Rangers get the easy jobs and get to pass on the hard stuff to LEO.)

Does anyone have any numbers on arrests and tickets issued for this year, and how it compares to previous years, pro-rated for attendance?
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Postby Lassen Forge » Mon Sep 13, 2010 10:32 am

Fire_Moose wrote:Fer cereal, the cops were out of control this year!!

I had one OUTSIDE the event that pulled me over, sure i was speeding, and sure he dropped it down to 10 over and was totally cool, but who does he think he is stopping a BURNER on his way home?!


Hell, that was Nixon, that's how the town survives the other 51 weeks!
We know how they are (at least you didn't get a doublewhammy from the Walker River rez...)

Someday make the right at the Nixon store. That High School - Burners made that possible. And it beats the SHIT out of the old Quanset hut they used to have. I remember when the PL Rez was flat broke and didn't have shit. I'm glad they're finally up and coming.

I've had 2 interactions with the TP - one was when I broke down and they were there in minutes, blocked behind me, made sure I was OK and on my way. Second was as a kid, got lost on the dirt roads outside the res and ended up in the res, lost, disoriented, and stupid.

The cop (heavy guy, "Jim" or "John" or something) came up in his beat to shit jeep (the old days) and gave me 2 gallons of gas, got me and the car back to Nixon, and while I rehydrated and destressed told me all about the Paiute, his family, his kids, and the tribe's dreams of "someday"

(Oh yeah, that one cost me too, trespassing off highway on private restricted Nation land or somesuch - an abhorrent (as I remember - this was decades ago) something like $105 - but he let me pay it at $10 a month, which was mighty cool. For saving my ditzy (then) butt, I considered it a bargain.

We burners - through the Nixon and Sutcliffe sotres, through our permits, and through these tickets,, even buying the tacos and doing the carwash and trash dumps, are making their dreams - held for decades - finally come to fruition. But yeah... I still am super careful when I'm on Tribal land (5 under)!

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Postby kman » Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:17 pm

Trishntek wrote:While on the street hawking Superman's cock, Ranger Retro stopped and took note of our signs posted in plain site, "No persons under 21 allowed, ID required." He asked to take a picture and said it was a good example that we are "trying" to comply.

Even while gifting absinthe on the street and LEO driving by several times a day, we never had a single one stop or question what we were doing in any way. I personally have no complaints about LEO except their fucking headlights on the playa.


HEY, was that your camp, next to the Yum! cart and across from the Cock & Waffles camp? I hit that a couple of times, wish I'd known you were there!

I agree with the feeling that the cops are mostly there to bust people for drugs and NOT there (as much, at least) to provide other law enforcement functions.

That said, I also agree that as long as you're not stupid, and take care of your own needs in your own safe spaces, there shouldn't be much to worry about. Although the reports of cops busting people behind camp walls after spying through with infrared goggles and such are more than a bit worrying.

As for the idiot undercover cops wandering around asking for free drugs in moronic terms, well, better that than people who are REALLY good at their jobs and could actually manage to convince someone who isn't an idiot that they're on the up and up. My group of playa wanders were approached no less than three times by random "strangers" looking to score something from us... as if any of us were stupid enough to carry anything around the playa.

It was more than a bit disconcerting to realize that you're the center of attention of no less than 5-6 cops, some uniformed, and some plainclothes, after digging into your backpack for some hard candies (Jolly Ranchers rock on the playa) to share with your friends while hanging out on a platform at Nexus. We wouldn't have had any issues even if they had searched all of us (it really was just hard candy), but it made for an unpleasant lingering sensation of being watched for the rest of the night. Made me all paranoid about digging into a backpack for the rest of the trip, too.
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Postby Trishntek » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:24 pm

@kman, yup that was us! YUM and the Cock n Waffle made great neighbors!

I did forget that, on Tuesday night, there was some straight lookin' dude came up to me and asked, "where's the party?"

I looked him in the eye,,,, turned as I pointed all around and responded, "This is it!" and kept walking. Do they really get results with such stupidity?
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Postby CapSmashy » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:55 am

When I had them on me, I was gifting any of the cops I saw some of the googily eyed bacon strips Rev G made for schwag his year.

I had a good laugh with several of them over the double meaning. One of the BLM Rangers pinned it on his uniform shirt like it was a medal.
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Postby velocirafter » Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:39 am

I agree about the undercovers, i'd prefer them to be blunt and stupit about it instead of thinking you're making a friend chatting for an hour and then BOOM you're in bracelets!!

If I felt that anyone I got chatting to could be a cop it would make me suspicious and less engaging with people, at least now they come up ask a stupid question, i say "no, sorry" and i'm on my way
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Postby TheJudge » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:36 am

You cannot have an event that brings in 51K people and not expect every cash strapped county in the surrounding areas to just sit there and do nothing.

Cops were less prevalent when there were only 12k people. But there were still cops.
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Postby Tin Halo » Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:40 am

CapSmashy wrote:When I had them on me, I was gifting any of the cops I saw some of the googily eyed bacon strips Rev G made for schwag his year.

I had a good laugh with several of them over the double meaning. One of the BLM Rangers pinned it on his uniform shirt like it was a medal.


I saw a picture of Indiana State Troopers lined up at the Pork tent at the Indiana State Fair this year. I lol'd.
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Postby Token » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:28 am

Oh, don't mind us. We are here to watch the plight of the rebellion.

See kids, over there, look at all that plight!

OK, now roll up your windows.
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Postby jerroc » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:16 am

I read a report says the U.S. Park Police report suggested 144 LEO should police the event while only 80 were used. Last year 65% of 287 tickets issued were drug related. I'm sure they were none to happy they did not get there way, and as a result they really steped up inforcement to be sure they get their way next year. from the way it looks we can expect to see more LEO for 2011.
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Postby C.f.M. » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:24 am

If I was the local police, and I knew what kind of profit I could generate from busting people at Burning Man, I'd sure be there.

You people make it way too easy for them.
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Postby Token » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:44 am

What do you mean: "You People"!

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Postby kman » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:17 am

C.f.M. wrote:If I was the local police, and I knew what kind of profit I could generate from busting people at Burning Man, I'd sure be there.

You people make it way too easy for them.

Did some stoner pee on your skirt during the burn? You seem awfully riled up about something that, by all rational measures, should definitely be every bit as legal as alcohol.

I rarely partake myself (and haven't purchased any of my own in over a decade), but I have no issues with those who do.
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Postby C.f.M. » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:45 am

kman wrote:
C.f.M. wrote:If I was the local police, and I knew what kind of profit I could generate from busting people at Burning Man, I'd sure be there.

You people make it way too easy for them.

Did some stoner pee on your skirt during the burn? You seem awfully riled up about something that, by all rational measures, should definitely be every bit as legal as alcohol.

I rarely partake myself (and haven't purchased any of my own in over a decade), but I have no issues with those who do.


Who, me? I ain't riled up about shit. People can do what they want to do - all of my best friends are stoners, growers and self-proclaimed "psychonauts."

But, if they know what they do is illegal, and they do it in a position to get caught, and get caught, they shouldn't whine about it.

Over and over. All over this board.

I mean, "attaining our freedom?"

You want to change the drug laws, join your local NORML chapter and make it happen. Replace the ignorance with education and facts. Don't sit around on the internet - or at Burning Man - complaining about how the Man is keeping you down.
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Postby Risky » Fri Sep 17, 2010 10:54 am

kman wrote: You seem awfully riled up about something that, by all rational measures, should definitely be every bit as legal as alcohol.


The point is that it IS illegal. Balance your idealism with realism.
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Postby kman » Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:46 pm

Risky wrote:
kman wrote: You seem awfully riled up about something that, by all rational measures, should definitely be every bit as legal as alcohol.


The point is that it IS illegal. Balance your idealism with realism.


... and that is the point, how?
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