Yes, but what can we DO about the police presence?

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booster
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Yes, but what can we DO about the police presence?

Post by booster » Tue Sep 15, 2009 12:46 pm

In hopes of diverting from the previous post "The Police Can Have BRC" to a more constructive vein, I've started this thread in hopes of generating ideas of influencing the current situation, which I think most would agree feels very oppressive. Let us focus here on what we can DO not merely accepting what IS.

I run a good-sized theme camp at BM and I've been struggling with the issue of the police presence at this year BM where it seemed more intense than previous years. Two of my peeps got ticketed for smoking in their tents (however they were camped next to the street and so lighter flashes could be clearly witnessed from the outside). Two others were profiled and foolishly allowed their persons to be searched without a warrant and were subsequently arrested for possession of ecstasy. And I heard at least a dozen similar stories from other camp leaders.

Clearly, I cannot argue with jaded folks like Unjonharley that state the obvious, “cops are part of the BM experienceâ€

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Re: Yes, but what can we DO about the police presence?

Post by Paraflier » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:08 pm

booster wrote:... Two of my peeps got ticketed for smoking in their tents (however they were camped next to the street and so lighter flashes could be clearly witnessed from the outside). Two others were profiled and foolishly allowed their persons to be searched without a warrant and were subsequently arrested for possession of ecstasy. And I heard at least a dozen similar stories from other camp leaders.
I understand what you're saying, but.... Really? The LEO's ticketed someone for smoking in their tent? Because it could be seen.

Don't get me wrong. I am not a big fan of a lot of LEO's (not all, but a lot). Power corrupts...etc. But of you make it easy to get arrested...You can't really complain. :D Well...you can, but it won't do any good.

LEO's will be looking for drug use. No question about it. And if you can see a lighter flick on and on and on, and on.... anyone (especially LEO's) are going to put 2 and 2 together. I, myself, don't smoke the Left Handed Cigarettes, but if you're going to do illegal things... use your head. :) Don't let people see you smoking pot. And if you have illegal items on you, don't give LEO's an excuse to find it. (Per http://www.burningman.com/preparation/e ... ement.html "If a law enforcement representative requests to enter your home - in this case, your tent or RV - you usually do not have to admit them unless they have a warrant signed by a judge. Under come circumstances, however, an officer may be able to search your premises without a warrant. One exception is when the evidence of criminal activity is in plain view from a public place, such as through a window or open door. Another example is when the officer has "probable cause" to believe that a crime has been or is being committed but the situation is urgent, such as when a suspect is poised to destroy the evidence or a search is necessary to protect the public. Both sight and scent of illegal activity may be held by a court to represent probable cause.")


I know that they have to do their job, and a lot of times we think they get in the way. But has anyone been detained, or arrested that was not engaging in criminal activity? I haven't seen the post that started, "There I was...Sitting at camp, having a PBR and chasing it down with a helping of bacon when I was arrested and taken away." Or maybe no one has posted it yet... :wink:

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flatlander13
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Post by flatlander13 » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:17 pm

Seems to me that you are complaining about the same thing that I hear every year…….My friends got caught doing/smoking/snorting. The reality is if people were only a little bit smart they wouldn’t be caught doing anything.

Take this example……Monday night I’m greeting…….I tell these guys in a camper, “Remember, if you’re going to drink and drive, be sure to park first.â€

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Re: Yes, but what can we DO about the police presence?

Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:37 pm

[quote="booster"]- Start a camp of BRC “crime reportersâ€
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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:46 pm

booster,

BMorg has invited all burners for input.. See Jack Rabbit Speaks..

They also ask you to report "any" contact at center camp..

I suggest you find out for yourself how many police were inside BRC..

I suggest you find out for yourself what dutys the police intend to preform inside BRC..

You come out swinging like a troll in your # 1 post.. please explain.

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Kinetik V
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Post by Kinetik V » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:47 pm

I thought the ORG already had a LEAL team in place that can bridge the gap between us participants and law enforcement....has anyone made contact with them? How about offering direct feedback to the event via email?

[soapbox] This is a community of artists and talented people. Seriously if you're going to smoke or do your illegal stuff out there why not spend a few minutes designing a camp that will help shield your activities from public view? Strategic use of tarps, alternative consumption systems such as edible cannabis, etc. A few minutes of thought is not asking too much of a community of artists and other creative types, IMHO. [/soapbox]
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Da Mule
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Re: Yes, but what can we DO about the police presence?

Post by Da Mule » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:48 pm

oops

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Artemis
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Post by Artemis » Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:49 pm

theCryptofishist wrote: Starting last year, we were supposed to be able to file a report with BRC Rangers about law officer behaving badly. Does anyone know if that was in place again this year? And if it's leading to anything?
Yes, feedback form was in place this year. Not sure if it's leading to anything.

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Post by misfit » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:03 pm

the BLM and LEOs are very interested in feedback,,, fill out the forms and return...
Be happy while you're living, For you're a long time dead.

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:04 pm

Kinetic V wrote:I thought the ORG already had a LEAL team in place that can bridge the gap between us participants and law enforcement....has anyone made contact with them? How about offering direct feedback to the event via email?

[soapbox] This is a community of artists and talented people. Seriously if you're going to smoke or do your illegal stuff out there why not spend a few minutes designing a camp that will help shield your activities from public view? Strategic use of tarps, alternative consumption systems such as edible cannabis, etc. A few minutes of thought is not asking too much of a community of artists and other creative types, IMHO. [/soapbox]
your wasting your time.. these brick head users @ BM.. they want to insist the cop all leave..

as a very young person i run boot leg.. every one got busted.. i didn't get busted.. i rented a guys old lady, his snoty nosed kids, the family dog and his beat up station wagon.. i was stopped once.. pulled the choke and killed the engine.. acted piss and made the cop help get me started.. he never tryed to look under the pile on dirty cloths in the back.. pulled the same stunt with a over loaded log truck..

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Post by booster » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:23 pm

I agree with all the good wisdom around "scope before you dope". As a community leader in BRC I'm constantly reminding peeps to use common sense with substance use and keep it as private as possible.

So no arguements there and I hope that closes that thread without the need for further discussion on that point.

I'm more interested in collaborating on ideas that support the greater sense of freedom that BRC offers from "the man", specifically around the growing police presence.

It's really a psychological thang right? In the default world we have to hide illegal drug use from the cops, we have to bow deferentially to their power on nearly all levels. But what I'm asking is what can we do differently in BRC, a place where the norm is not merely assumed? Where challenges to conventions are celebrated? And do it in a way that's clever, fun, and where no one gets arrested yet still leaves us feeling like we still own BRC instead of the cops?

How can we involve creativity and playfulness to regain a sense of ownership and empowerment back from the LEOs?

For example, what if every citizen greeted the cops with a toke gesture? As if, in BRC that's how we greet cops. With just a little irreverence, we send the message that we're not completely cowed into obedience. Then we feel better because we gave it back to the man, and their presence doesn't feel so oppressive.

Maybe to citizens that don't smoke this gesture would feel inauthentic, so perhaps that's not the answer but you get the idea. How do you feel about using some method, camp, negotiation, gesture, slang, expression, something to communicate our playful resistance to The Man and His infiltration of our community?

We are not the default world. We built something different and we all know it. How do we serve to protect that vision? Simply practicing good evasive techniques, albeit effective, doesn't feel in alignment with the values of radical counter-culture expression that BM was founded on...

But maybe I'm completely off my rocker, which is why I'm coming to you good folks, my fellow BRC citizens to help me out...

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Post by Sham » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:23 pm

I can only speak for myself on this, but last year the police were in my face the entire week. They never found anything illegal, but they were really getting annoying by the end of the week. This year, I barely saw the police at all. Each morning we would get a camp drive-by and I would shout my morning greeting to the nice policeman---"no naked people here officer"! I am hoping that they felt a little creepy after hearing that a few times.

There is too much money in this event for the police to go away or to lighten up. The pressure is on from the leaders to make whatever busts they can so their presense can be justified. Imagine having that many police out there and only having a few arrests? These poor bastards are running themselves ragged for the week trying to justify their existence there and to keep the cashflow coming next year.

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Post by booster » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:31 pm

Unjonharley- we can benefit from your wisdom and experience here bro, I look forward to your positive contributions. How do we shine instead of hide?

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:34 pm

Shambala,

How would you explain your post if the arrest for 08 were in the 20's??

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:42 pm

booster wrote:Unjonharley- we can benefit from your wisdom and experience here bro, I look forward to your positive contributions. How do we shine instead of hide?

First of all, Everyone stop telling these damn tall tails..


The Oregon Country Fair (was one wild party). The local DA forced them to declare it clean and sober.. I is now run by and attened by yuppys.. The hippies are there to sell junk and give the yup's some thing to talk about.. like>.hey joe I saw a hippy..

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Post by booster » Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:47 pm

What if we started a trend for all citizens to carry whistles, which they blow whenever they see a cop? That way a ring of whistles constantly surrounds the cops wherever they go?

Not only would it be effective way of warning folks but it would be fun too! Where else would you ever get to blow a whistle at a cop?

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unjonharley
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Post by unjonharley » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:04 pm

booster wrote:What if we started a trend for all citizens to carry whistles, which they blow whenever they see a cop? That way a ring of whistles constantly surrounds the cops wherever they go?

Not only would it be effective way of warning folks but it would be fun too! Where else would you ever get to blow a whistle at a cop?
that would make it rain cops all over BM.. Whistle blower would be getting a short bus to Reno

This place comes under Home Land and they have the power.. even the milatry if want to make the call..

i go to bm to have fun.. leave the cops alone..

i do a think with 800 other people every xmas.. the cops are all over us like stink on shit.. they can't touch us.. we stay on the side walks and cross in cross walks.. i can't help it if traffic stops and some chick jumps out to give me a hug..two rules, don't fuck with kids and don't fuck with the cops..

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Roberto Dobbisano
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Post by Roberto Dobbisano » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:08 pm

in total agreement, unjon.


dont fuck with them or their JOB and they won't fuck with you.


show some respect, it will be reciprocated. Mutual respect goes a long way, no matter where you are.


booster, me smells an agenda coming out of your posts.....

it stinks like shit, too.
"10 principles? you cant HANDLE the 10 principles..."

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Post by Paraflier » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:13 pm

booster wrote:What if we started a trend for all citizens to carry whistles, which they blow whenever they see a cop? That way a ring of whistles constantly surrounds the cops wherever they go?

Not only would it be effective way of warning folks but it would be fun too! Where else would you ever get to blow a whistle at a cop?
Sounds like a fast way to need a baton-ectomy. I'll pass.

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Post by AntiM » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:28 pm

The feedback will take some time, i imagine.

As for circling cops and blowing whistles, are you kidding? Personally, I have better things to do, like sitting around camp BSing. Engage them in conversation, yes, that I have done, but because I was interested in them as people, not in warning flakes to hide their drugs.

You notice that folks who were successful in enjoying recreational drugs at Burning Man aren't posting here. Why? Because they know LOEs read this board year round. So the reporting is skewed.

As for extra rangers to hover around the cops, aaaahh, um, yeah. Right. I don't have to think much to know the response. I know my ranger buddies would tell you to get bent and practice radical self-reliance. You want cop hoverers? You be one.

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Post by Rev Heartshine » Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:43 pm

I hear some fear in these folk...

Sure do feel like the Law's got a firm grip over BRC. That's too bad. I like yo spirit Booster!

Not sure folk are up to that level of dynamite shine tho brutha, feels to me like maybe these folk been burned by the cops before. They still feelin' it. Got the feelin' there are more than a few grey whiskers in this place, and probably more than a few scars too. Wrasslin with the police is a young man's job!

Ain't no shame in keepin' yo head low. No shame at all. But yo right that it ain't shine and it should would feel nice to get one up on those law daddys! I get you son. I do. Be gentle tho, folks is scared and what you talkin' about may be too close to the sun. Careful yo wings don't melt, you get me Mr. Rocket?

I'll tell you what, you blow the first whistle and if yo still standin, I'll blow the next one. Ok?

Bless All the Good Citizens of Black Rock City! Remember: You Ain't Got to be Right, You Just Got To Be Bright!

Rev Heartshine
BRC's Porta-Potty Preacher

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Post by Boijoy » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:03 pm

Isn't it the BLM who requires a certain amount of law enforcement for the event?
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Post by AntiM » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:08 pm

Boijoy wrote:Isn't it the BLM who requires a certain amount of law enforcement for the event?
Bingo. LEOs of any jurisdiction cost money. The tickets and drug busts are peanuts compared what it takes in per diem to have an officer out there. Most cops don't like the paperwork a bust involves. If the BLM didn't demand their presence, most agencies would put their personnel to better use.

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Post by Token » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:14 pm

Never in my 9 years on the Playa have the cops infringed on any of my freedoms. I can blast my bullhorn, I can run around naked if I so choose, I can spin fire without getting a permit, I can build and operate large flame effects ...

Cops in BRC or cops on the Sunset strip in Hollywood or cops in the Upper Haight ... They just don't mellow my harsh because I don't give them cause.

If you are looking for a free range drug fest, I'm afraid BRC ain't it and will never be.

I actually like greater enforcement of drug laws. I hate the fucktards puking all over the art car "cuz I just took some wicked shrooms bra", as if their eniteled little asses can justify shit with drug use.

Fuck em and let them pay the stupid tax.

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Post by Paraflier » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:18 pm

Token wrote:"cuz I just took some wicked shrooms bra", as if their eniteled little asses can justify shit with drug use.
:lol:

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Post by Sham » Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:30 pm

unjonharley wrote:Shambala,

How would you explain your post if the arrest for 08 were in the 20's??
I'm not exactly sure what you mean. The police were everywhere last year, but were coming up empty handed in most cases. Sure, lots of tickets for driving with open containers, but for the most part, they were not finding too much bad stuff to make arrests. 50,000 people and arrests in the 20s.

I agree with you on most everything else. Lay low, don't blow whistles or make pig grunting sounds. They are just out there doing their job. Don't do stupid things that are going to get you in trouble and if you really feel the need to do something illegal, be as discreet as your drug numbed brain will allow!

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Post by sparkletarte » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:43 pm

I met a few of them and we had some chats. A couple on Tuesday night near my camp, I learned what a BLM does exactly (I'm from Canada and am not used to being at places with so much law so it's a bit weird and I wanted to know what they did). One has been for a few years, one was new, so I spanked him. Then I ran into the new one at the man burn (he actually recognized me- hey you spanked me!), so we chatted a while again about how the week was going and I met his partner for the night, who was also new.

Saturday night I saw a couple who were Forest Service, so I chatted with them too, to find out what they were up to and why they were there (called in for reinforcing the BLM).

So my experience was- be nice, friendly, and smart, and they will be likewise.

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Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:53 pm

booster wrote: For example, what if every citizen greeted the cops with a toke gesture? As if, in BRC that's how we greet cops.
Stop it right there. I have better things to do than play cute games with cops. In fact, I'm basically sick of 4:20 "culture"--pretending it's some sort of principled resistance to oppression ala Montgomery Bus Boycott, or wearing a yellow star like the King of Denmark in the Second WW, or refusing to name names in front of HUAC, when it's basically a tissue-thin excuse to do what you want to do anyway. (I do exempt the medical marijuana movement, although at times reluctantly.) And I hate hate hate the money it sends into the hands of people who are many times more evil and oppressive than the cops at Burningman. Assholes who deface public lands to grow weed or poppies and who make it unsafe for regular Americans to use their lands in harvest season.
So, if you want to play some sort of counter-culture James Bond game, that's your choice, but don't assume that the rest of BRC wants to clutter up their burns with your issues.
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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Post by booster » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:53 pm

Jeezuz guys... you make it sound like I'm talking about confrontation. I'm not. I'm talking about a little irreverence with a celebratory spirit. You see a cop and you cheer, throw your hands up and make some noize! Blow party noise makers, whoop and holla, and blow whistles if ya got em. This doesn't have to be Tiananmen Square.

Besides there's nothing illegal about expressing your 1st Amendment rights to Free Speech. It's just like flashing your headlights to warn other drivers of speed traps, only as pedestrians.

And guess what happens? People always know where the 5.0 is at. And maybe that's one less that gets a $550 ticket for enjoying a bit of puff on the sly. Or one less that gets hassled or handcuffed and has their burn ruined.

And guess what happens? The cops may get trickier, they may go deeper undercover, I have little doubt that they will do whatever it takes to keep their coffers full of citation income. So what. It doesn't matter.

Because something will have changed for US. The simple act of whistling and whooping frees each of us from that stifling feeling of being disempowered, which is the real threat anyway. The real reason that they're there is keep us down.

Paranoid? Well, we know they're not there for justice. I haven't done the math but I'd bet a shiny penny that there are far fewer violent crimes per capita committed in BRC than the cities these LEOs are coming from. Efficient use of resources? Only if profit is the motive. That and cultural domination.

I liked Token's spirit. He gives them no reason to quell his Shine. Sweet, let's all do that! The freedom to use drugs is tangential, yeah I'm a bit baffled that smoking ganj is so intolerant (coming from Denver where the city decriminalized its use, you can see where I get that notion from).

But I'm much more triggered by the unchallenged presence in my city of tyrants set on teachin' us good citizens lessons in obedience. Fuck. That. Shit. Thanks but I live that 358 days a year. I want BRC to be FREE!

And freedom is simply a state of mind. It's simply refusing to shut down, be dimmed, and silenced. [i]You're ignoring the larger significance of what we're doing in BRC, of what we're building, of what we're practicing if you fail to acknowledge that allowing police to operate with the same impunity they do in the default world is corrosive to the spirit that burns the Man down every year.[/i]

We don't have to stop a single arrest or limit one extra ticket, so long as we laugh in the face of every tyrant that seeks to dim us, be that tyrant a cop, a ranger, or a soup nazi.

Stepping off the soapbox now. The good reverend musta got me all spun up...

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Post by theCryptofishist » Tue Sep 15, 2009 7:55 pm

AntiM wrote:As for circling cops and blowing whistles, are you kidding? Personally, I have better things to do, like sitting around camp BSing.
In fucking deed. I cannot think of a finer group to bs with, now that you mention it.
The Lady with a Lamprey

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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri

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