ACLU Camp for 2009

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Sham
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ACLU Camp for 2009

Post by Sham » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:08 am

For the last several years, Burning Man has become a virtual magnet for every law enforcement officer in a several hundred mile radius to come and reap lots of overtime pay for "keeping order" at one of the most peaceful festivals I have ever attended. Every LEO has been salivating at the prospect of getting their hands on some of that ticket money, and work to find ways to get more every year.
I have not seen the actual official arrest figures for 2008, but understand that they are extremely low for the amount of people attending the event. This is not due to a strong police presence, but rather relatively low illegal actvity among the participants.
The roads that lead to Buring Man are heavily patrolled and "burner vehicles" are stopped for minute if not fabricated infractions and then sometimes searched based on the gut feeling of the LEO.
I have seen the police basically trample our basic rights and do this unchecked and with complete disregard for the law. BMorg has requested participants to document their interactions with LEOs in hopes of having a "dialogue" with them to get the problems fixed.
A better suggestion would be to have an office with representatives from the ACLU in Gerlach as well as a "camp office" for the ACLU set up near center camp. This will allow immediate reporting for these gross abuses by the police and accurately log these incidents to be used for defenses later should the need arise.

I am looking for thoughts on this and the possiblity of actually making this happen for 2009. IT'S EVOLUTION BABY!

.

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Post by gyre » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:37 am

I like the idea.

The government creates enough bad vibes to run a hoodoo factory.

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Post by Elderberry » Mon Dec 08, 2008 9:10 am

I'm certainly not against it, but I have to say that I have never felt that my rights were violated or that I have been mistreated by any LEO at BM or anywhere else, for that matter.

So, it's easy for me to be skeptical.

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Post by Toolmaker » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:51 am

Is there really abuse by LEOs? I have found with my experience that LEOs at BM are rather polite and cordial compared to other cities. I was under the impression that LEOs at BM were just looking for drug dealers and potheads to silly to make cookies and brownies. As intoxicated as I get I have never been bothered about public intoxication or disorderly conduct. I have also heard that compared to population increases actual arrests and fines are down overall.
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Post by Dr. Pyro » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:18 pm

I agree with Toolmaker. If anything we need less presense from the likes of the ACLU rather than more. Talk about inhibiting ones' freedoms.

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Post by joel the ornery » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:26 pm

enough with the nanny state behavior.

tell the aclu to stay home, along with all the whiners.

eta: how do you think the LEO pay for christmas? sheesh. what a bunch of haters.

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Post by wedeliver » Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:53 pm

Lot's of Law Enforcement attend BM as participants not just the ones working the event. Perhaps there could be a LEO camp near the ACLU camp and then we could see who could play the music louder!

Laguna Del Sol in sacramento is a Clothing Optional resort. Half the people there on any given day either work for the Sacramento Govt or are in Law Enforcement. That is where Steven Stayner got caught.

One night we were in the hot tub (big concrete tub) and as we were leaving with 3 other couples someone asked if a cup left behind belonged to someone who was leaving. The person held up the cup and said, "it has Chico Police Dept written on it", the people we were with all replied, "no one here from that department". (we had a sheriff, a two jail people with us)

Another night we were in the indoor hottub talking with this guy who had been in Law Enforcement all his life and was retiring in a couple weeks, when in walks this young guy and girl, the guy has a cast on his arm. A while later he explains that he had just arrested someone who caused the injury.

As an aside to the above I have been told that firemen have bigger balls then policemen. Right?



(thats cause there are more firemen then policemen so when they have a "ball" the fireman's ball is bigger)
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Post by Simon of the Playa » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:15 pm

there is actually a Camp Bad Cop, Good Donut for those LEO's that have gone Native.
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Post by DaftBrian » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:17 pm

I haven't had any interactions as of yet with the LEOs in black rock city. But all of the Rangers I've met and talked with on and off the playa seem pretty reasonable, creative, and inviting. They're a great first step in most sorts of happenings that a LEO would pounce on. Oh and a buddy of mine walked back into camp around sunrise on tuesday morning and was proclaiming the BRCFD were "the shite"..they must be pretty cool too.
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Post by Sail Man » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:32 pm

My interactions with LEO's were positive. One gifted my 6 yr old stickers, which he can't never seem to get enough of, so he was in heaven. I work with diff. officers on a reg. basis, and most are really cool. Even many of those that give off the "bad cop" aura, once I've gotten to know them are cool. I think they look at Burning Man as a cherry assignment, and are looking to have as much fun as they can, when they can. Though it wouldn't surprise me if the Res. Officers on the way in are looking to pad the coffers a bit. It has been writing in the papers in these parts that even our local LE agencies are upping their ticket writing to make up for lost revenue. I say no to the ACLU.
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Re: ACLU Camp for 2009

Post by Lambic » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:03 pm

Shambala wrote:This is not due to a strong police presence, but rather relatively low illegal actvity among the participants.
Now, thats just a lie.

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Re: ACLU Camp for 2009

Post by Sham » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:44 pm

Lambic wrote:
Shambala wrote:This is not due to a strong police presence, but rather relatively low illegal actvity among the participants.
Now, thats just a lie.
I read somewhere along the way, that there were 8 arrests this year. I am not sure if that number is correct, but I saw a huge amount of police activity along the Esplanade. There were searches being done quite often. I was stopped more than once and my art car was stopped, searched and the plates were run. (nothing was ever found) My point is, with all the activity of trying to find illegal drugs, why were there so few arrests? Can the police just stop you and search you because they want to, or because you look suspicious?

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Post by Lambic » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:58 pm

The police can do whatever they want, likewise, so can you. There are consequences on both sides.

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Post by lovefish » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:29 pm

inside the event the LEO's all seemed pretty chill to me, i even had a few conversations with them. and one gave my brother a "get out of jail free" card after he launched a flying monkey into his vehicle. i felt alot more bad vibes on the drive in where i saw a vehicle pulled over about every half mile. our car was reprimanded by a cop who was yelling at us and waving her arms ordering us to slow down and we were going 2 mph over the speed limit...

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Post by wedeliver » Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:41 pm

Lovefish, she was yelling at you to slow down so that NOBODY gets hurt. On the way in we can all get a bit pushy and we (me tooo) need to slow down, realize that any delays I have once I am in view of BRC, are ok. Last year, coming in on monday during that great weather, I probably could have chilled a little rather then driving in that shit.


And on the subject of LEO camps, we met a BLM who showed us his laminate for "The Naughty Rangers Camp". we have run up behind Pershing county sheriffs, making siren noises, pulling them over and giving them a citation (gift, bumper sticker..etc) and getting those cool transfer tattos they got that are a badge. sooo cool..
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Re: ACLU Camp for 2009

Post by zabsinth » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:42 pm

Shambala wrote:
Lambic wrote:
Shambala wrote:This is not due to a strong police presence, but rather relatively low illegal actvity among the participants.
Now, thats just a lie.
I read somewhere along the way, that there were 8 arrests this year. I am not sure if that number is correct, but I saw a huge amount of police activity along the Esplanade. There were searches being done quite often. I was stopped more than once and my art car was stopped, searched and the plates were run. (nothing was ever found) My point is, with all the activity of trying to find illegal drugs, why were there so few arrests? Can the police just stop you and search you because they want to, or because you look suspicious?
There were few arrests because the LEO's on the playa really aren't out there to ruin anybody's burn.

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Post by BAS » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:48 pm

Actually, I think I may have been mistaken for a law enforcement officer by a few people the time I went to Burning Man... :roll:

Anyway, I kind of like the idea of an ACLU camp, as a way to educate people on their rights. (Of course, I wouldn't mind an IWW camp to educate people on an alternate way for unions to be run in the USA..., but that is another story.)
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Post by Sham » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:04 pm

Lambic wrote:The police can do whatever they want, likewise, so can you. There are consequences on both sides.
I disagree with this statement. Neither can do whatever they want. Illegal drugs are still illegal and and should not be condoned. Likewise, unwarrented searches should not be allowed either. Any participant that does anything in the open or acts stupidly to draw attention of the police should be dealt with accordingly.
What I witnessed this year was an extreme disregard of the law by the LEOs. I have never seen things to this extent before. There are lots of threads covering the specific incidents including this one.
http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... eo&start=0
Over the past 8 years I have met dozens of various police who were great people. I just wish they would pay attention to the laws of the land when it comes to searching people without cause.

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Post by AntiM » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:10 am

I've always had pleasant interactions with the LEOs. Most of them are grinning ear to ear and lovin' every minute of it. Thye don't want to bust people, that's work.

I wonder how many of the more enthusiastic drug busts were made by rookies?

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Post by dr.placebo » Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:59 am

Personally I've not had any bad interactions with the LEOs. Not even a search. It may help that I bear a passing resemblance to Santa Claus and drive within the speed limit. The good interactions I've had with them were based entirely around safety.

There are quite a few stories abut bad LEO behavior, but I have to think that a free donut camp would be more productive than one that thrives on confrontation. If we could have an ACLU camp that did that then I'd be for it. And I'm an ACLU member.

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Post by fciron » Tue Dec 09, 2008 7:58 am

I think Dr. Placebo has hit the nail on the head. If there was a camp aimed at improving interactions with the LEOs that would be much more productive than simply polarizing the debate.

Plus why set up an ACLU camp to duplicate work already being done by the Black Rock Rangers who are available to mediate interactions with the LEOs and provide Law Enforcement Feedback forms at Ranger HQ. They have a long established relationship with local law enforcement.

The BMan mission statement promotes "moral relationships before politics"; Two of the ten principles are radical inclusion and civic responsibility; If the BRC Rangers handles this then we are including the LEOs in the BM community and establishing a cooperative rather than an antagonistic relationship.

So yeah, Donuts and Yer Rights Camp. Go for it. I'll come by and eat some donuts and shake hands with some cops.

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:38 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:I agree with Toolmaker. If anything we need less presense from the likes of the ACLU rather than more. Talk about inhibiting ones' freedoms.
Specifically?

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Post by Elderberry » Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:43 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:
Dr. Pyro wrote:I agree with Toolmaker. If anything we need less presense from the likes of the ACLU rather than more. Talk about inhibiting ones' freedoms.
Specifically?
Ya, I was wondering that too. How would, of all organizations, the ACLU 'inhibit' one's freedoms???

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Post by BAS » Tue Dec 09, 2008 9:58 am

I like fciron and Dr. Placebo's approach. That is kind of what I was thinking about-- teaching about civil rights, not necessarily getting in the face of law enforcement. The doughnuts are a nice touch, too. Doughnuts and coffee for all! :D
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Post by mojo » Tue Dec 09, 2008 10:34 am

Wouldn't it really depend on whether the ACLU is even remotely interested in such a project?

Frankly, I hope they have lots of better ways to use their budget than monitoring a private art festival where the participants publicly discuss drug use on their chat board.

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Post by klondike_bar » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:23 am

we could always build a tim hortons at the most remote corner of the city...

theyd never come to bug us then...

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Post by Ugly Dougly » Wed Dec 10, 2008 9:41 am

jkisha wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote:
Dr. Pyro wrote:I agree with Toolmaker. If anything we need less presense from the likes of the ACLU rather than more. Talk about inhibiting ones' freedoms.
Specifically?
Ya, I was wondering that too. How would, of all organizations, the ACLU 'inhibit' one's freedoms???

JK
They have upheld the civil rights of some unpopular groups. Such is the price of impartiality.

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Post by Elderberry » Wed Dec 10, 2008 10:31 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:
jkisha wrote:
Ugly Dougly wrote: Specifically?
Ya, I was wondering that too. How would, of all organizations, the ACLU 'inhibit' one's freedoms???

JK
They have upheld the civil rights of some unpopular groups. Such is the price of impartiality.

But they've done more for your civil rights than your AR-15 ever will do. ;)
Yup, totally agree. It's because people don't like it when unpopular groups have rights.

Oh, and I haven't owned or fired a gun since getting out of the service.

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Post by Simon of the Playa » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:57 pm

though originally founded by commies, for commies, the ACLU has evolved (theres that word again) into the last Bastion of the Bill of Rights.

the Nazi's MUST be allowed to march in Skokie, as offensive as that seems, because if we do not, it is our freedom that is eroded, and perhaps lost under the guise of "The Greater Good".

Individualism and the rights of the state must be balanced, and the ACLU is blind in the same way Justice is supposed to be.

I for one am glad they exist, and continue to do the work they do.


with that said, i dont think they need to be a "presence" on the playa to counter-act whatever so-called heavy-handedness some burners may feel the LEO'a employ.

treat them respect and they will do the same.
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Post by blyslv » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:35 pm

As a card carrying member of the ACLU and also a person who was married by Doc, I can say you may safely ignroe them when they try to stir up stuff with the liberuls.

But I agree, I've had minimum contact with LEO and it's all been positive.

The Rangers have a special LEO Liaison (?) team. I would check with them and their function before you do too much planning.
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