February 3, 2016   |   Michaela Whitton
February 3, 2016
(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — If you thought the British rave scene died out with luminous lycra and whistles, you would be wrong. Despite over 20 years of government crackdowns to prevent people having fun in a field and certain sections of the 1994 Criminal Justice and Public Order Act, specifically designed to suppress the free party scene — the community lives on.
These days raves are called “free parties” — not because they don’t charge for tickets, but because they’re free from restrictions and exist outside the boundaries of law. That said, does anyone else think it’s a little weird that a petition requesting their legalisation has generated almost 35,000 signatures?
Upon further examination, the petition — started by Christian Morrison and addressed to U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May — has been doing the rounds for a couple of years. It has picked up speed in the last few days and garnered thousands more signatures.
While legalising free parties kind of defeats the point, the petition suggests less trouble would occur if they were under tighter regulation:
“We request that you address, in parliament, the appeal for the legalisation of free parties and celebrations of a similar manner. We believe it would be in the interest of all involved to allow the control and regulation of said gatherings rather than merely confiscating thousands of pounds worth of equipment and falsely persecuting a majority of those involved.”
It requests that those who attend or set up parties are no longer prosecuted for doing so, and that their equipment is no longer confiscated under the anti-social behaviour act.
A Bank Holiday rave last May turned to chaos after riot police attempted to shut it down and local press reported that over 20 officers were injured after coming under attack from 200 of the 1,000 revellers present.
In contrast, the police turned a blind eye to two free parties last October. A party in Northamptonshire where 1,000 people gurned the night away on a disused airfield was allowed to continue, as was a party in central London where 500 ravers partied undisturbed for 36 hours.
Who knows what ministers will make of the call for the free party atmosphere to be transferred into a legitimate setting? What is clear is that the post-club scene was always about dodging the law, that was the whole point. Regardless of your view, and whether you sign the petition or not, we know you will enjoy this video of an outdoor rave on Clapham Common in 1989.
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