Thursday, August 25, 2005

music versus guns

the promoters of the Utah rave that was violently broken up (now I hear tazers weren't used, but stun guns were present, and possibly used) have set up an official website, with more videos, including videos from teh helicopter, and interviews with the security team, as well as roughly compiling the statements of events given so far is the site you should go to . It's a nice domain name.


okay, something slightly more cheerful in the news.

AAAHHNOLD booed to his face by Rolling Stones Fans, and publicly mocked by Mick Jagger at the concert in Boston.

From CalNurses via the RockRapconfidential listserv

There was "No Sympathy" for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger" Sunday night as he sought to turn a Rolling Stones concert in Boston into a fundraiser only to be picketed by registered nurses from California, Illinois and Massachusetts outside the stadium and loudly booed by thousands of rock fans when introduced inside.

Inside sitting nearly alone in his private box, Schwarzenegger must have been looking for Wild Horses to drag him away. Hundreds of fans held up the CNA signs. When Stones lead singer Mick Jagger welcomed the governor, he was lustily booed, and even Jagger mocked Schwarzenegger noting "As a matter of fact, he was seen out in front of Fenway Park tonight raising funds by scalping tickets and tee-shirts."

yer going down, you corrupt sexist asshole!

Monday, August 22, 2005

brutality in the US (+new links!)

No time for a serious update, I'm afraid. But I can't let this pass without more publicity.

A completely legal rave in Utah was brutally broken up by, apparently the Utah National Guard, in full camo gear (with guns and, from what I've seen, chemical weapons on them), in helicopters, using teargas, tasering, beatings and attack dogs. Tasers, already kind of a questionably "safe" crowd control weapon, used on people who might be on drugs that affect heart rate? Oh that's murderous. And attack dogs? possibly the lowest thing ever, to manipulate animals so that they attack people, and always, ALWAYS a sign that they consider the crowds less than human themselves. this is disgusting.

It's in the same pattern as the Czechtek event (see below). Actually, this one was even more legitimate by legal standards (if not as venerable a tradition). What is going on?

So far there are only a few images online - some photos and a video
and here is a list where people are posting accounts of their experiences.


big up Canton for making a webpage about it here
hopefully updates can continue there as well

Thursday, August 11, 2005

print words

There's a new music mag around, with a lot of good peeps involved. New England centered, as far as creation goes, but scope is worldwide, musically. And they were kind enough to invite me to write a semi-regular column, which is working out to every other month this summer, but maybe I'll be more on the ball come fall (when my workload goes down a bit).

I've got one in the July issue, and hopefully one in the September issue. You'll recognize the themes from this blog, if you've been reading here.. but I do try to add somenew analysis, tighten up the writing and do some research as well.

the magazine is called SONIC HEART and you can order it or check out selections here

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Report from CZ

There's a lot more video and photo footage, as well as reports, at this site:

including this testimony which may have the story of the guy who was killed by being hit by a car, that has been variously reported as a "normal car accident" or other stuff.

Below is a report from my friend Aleche Trash, who throws amazing free breakcore parties in Praha and elsewhere, and is a really brilliant guy. He's pretty close with the whole Czechtek scene, and his words confirms what I thought might be a bit of rumor-mongering on indymedia (I love indymedia but it can be a rumor mill). It does seem to have been pretty awfully brutal.

Later, I'll post some really interesting political analysis he wrote to me. Seems like the aftermath of this could be make it an interesting time in Czech politics...

"A lot of friends of mine and people around were really fucking badly injured by police. i don t want to make it bigger that it is but that s simple true. that was a massacre, a war game. during the nite police they were catching people in the wood, they beat them with batons there and some of them they put in the police cars and beat them inside much more harder. many many of them. and you know what.. no matter woman or man. they beat everybody.. no mercy. and for what?
for a party which was on legal place. for example.. the cops also stolen bottles of hard alcohol from the sound system bars and as my friend heard and saw the leader of the police action there said "take some stuff and be hard". after he said "good job, boys"..

"the problem that lot of stuff will be unwritten and unspoken, there several personal stories, really rude and cruel like putting the gas bombs in the cars while people were inside after the cops broke the windows..

"now seems a bit of political gamming here because right wing opposition criticize the assault as well as the president and ex-president Vaclav Havel. but the question is what will happen and how the assault will be when opposition ODS will be rule the country now. so to believe the opositional politicians and they words which play our notes is an reactionary act.

"the assault was long time planned with minister of security and our prime minister Paroubek. so this assault has a political motiviation, it s not just about to stop "illegal" party which was in fact legal (what the owner of the area confirmed again!).

"today also showed up (in massmedia) that the police of CR systematically lied about everything from the begining. important point. also what is important is that all protests against brutal police assault until this moment were without any violent act from the public and demonstrators.

"media are mostly on our side and in fact there are really some votes, also many of them coming from the public that the assault was incorrect and as the president said it is a sign that something really bad is going here.

"these accidents made lot of people realised that we living in a police state.

"After IMF/WB protest what was an international protest the CzechTek 2005 was the biggest riot from 1989. and seems interesting to see how much it can possibly follow the protests before 1989.

"yesterday [last week, I think] after the demonstration there were several "illegal" parties in the streets. the first one in front of ministry of security, than it continued behind the ministry and later on there was a quite big free party near the stadion on Strahov..

by A-Trash/PRG"

Friday, August 05, 2005



that is awful. what a vicious and cruel thing to do. another scene from Czechtek.
the text and a few more photos here

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Massive police violence at Czechtek

(I edited out some more musings on the larger significance of traveller/squatter culture and its relatively minimal presence in the US, mostly through American dominance of ideological/cultural weapons and promises, though with some important exceptions for focused brutality. )

The more I saw of the police actions in Czech republic this past weekend, the less able I am to distance myself with critiques about the significance of freetekno culture etc etc (or the significance of this relatively minor event to the massive and ongoing brutality the US is perpetuating worldwide.) Maybe later I can break down more of that. But I'm too angry now.

These musings aside, I still feel these (freetekno or even better music) kinds of release are really important to people. For whatever reason (that many many musers have and will address). The early few videos are kind of amazing. These pasty white kids in their multi-black clothing, reddening not under the sun but from the grey clouds from cops.

The fact is, over 5000 people jumped ahead of, broke through or snuck through police blockades, many walked, left mostly junky but often precious and shared cars by the side of the road to dance before the speaker towers, behind police lines and under the helicopters. Something about this culture is incredibly important to people.. that in itself is kind of fascinating.

and perhaps with Czech republic's joining of the EU, that culture has to be repressed still more. For some reason (not even believably given), the police decided to shut down the event. -- welcome to the land of property -ueber-alles! Although it looks like this time they were even legally allowed to be on the land (i.e. they had rented it)!

So what exactly is being policed here? they only law they cite is (apparently inapplicable) property law.

Anyway shouts and love to all the lovely czech folk who have come out and shown love, and who keep doing good stuff - I've had the good luck to be well treated by Wakata, bassbeast, dread beat, the lab respekt Aleche Trash/panicsauce, the people of Milada... hope everyone got through ok.. remember bitter greens (like dandelion) help detox all that outta your system, that and whole dark grains, lots of water (even that fizzy stuff y'all drink out there).

I also want to note that the music (the soundsystem nearby) changes to jungle precisely as the first pops of teargas canisters being shot towards the crowd goes off. I heard those pops in my headphones and immediately started to shake - I'm shaking now- partly from memories of Miami in 2004 at the FTAA protests, and partly because the previous video showed a mother and baby smiling up at the videographer, and teargas is particularly not-good for infant lungs and eyes, as I'm sure you can imagine. The more I think about this, the more furious I get. So much so that I will probably rewrite this essay again later (not to erase this original, but to repost it).. But it's breaking news now, and I encourage you all to follow how it goes...

As the first gas (that most-favorite Gift from police to crowds) starts to reach the people, the dancers twist down a bit and put their faces in their hands, the soundsystem drops out, the video shifts, and then the bass and skitter of dubsounds filter through for a moment.

It seems too pornographic to continue with pinpointing the violence, and the soundtrack... Suffice to say, folks are unarmed and in tshirts and tank tops in a summer festival, and there seem to be hundreds if not thousands of armored and armed cops, a tank(apparently not used), flashes of light and sound that I'd definitely call concussion grenades, gas, staggering and a bit of swinging, water cannons (definitely used), and the music, nearly interminably continuing (but not quite, in the end). It's a strange scene.

Police violence at Czechtek festival
videos available in 12 quicktime segments, or via torrents
and mirrors listed here:

(from czech indymedia, further stories available (in english as well) from slovenia)(i think))
"The first soundsystems and visitors gathered, on legally rented land, near the city of Milec, on Friday Morning (29th July). From the early hours the police blocked the exits from the highway, D5, causing an 8 km long traffic jam. Eyewitnesses reported police trying to stop people leaving the highway based on their looks. Around 150 people sat on the road requesting to continue on their way to Milec. After 6 hours, following an ultimatum, at 13:00 the police used water-cannons and heavy force to clear the blocked highway. Abandoned cars were towed away. The police continued to block exits to the highway, as well as several routes around Milec."

"Official statements from the police said that the legal contract between the owner of the land on which Czechtek 2005 was to take place were invalid. The Czech Minister for Justice, Frantisek Bublan, a member of the social-democratic CSSD, also stated that the contract was invalid and claimed that the owner of the land had revoked it. Later on Friday the contract got to the media, as well as several inteviews with the legal owner of the land. These confimed his support of the event and the validity of the contract. Following his statement, Senator Jaromír Štětina and the Czech Green Party requested that Minister Buban stops the raid against citizens of Czech republic who have not commited any crime by gathering on legaly rented land. Nevertheless, the police continued to block the area without reason.

During the night several thousand visitors managed to pass the police lines, leaving cars behind on the road. The police received reinforcements from Pilsen, brought in vans and buses. By Saturday morning, the party had 5000 visitors and around 300 cars that had managed to make it. Music started to play from the soundsystems.
A spokesperson from the Czech police claimed that the visitors had damaged neighboring land whend trying to pass their blockade. The landowners filled a legal complaint against the organisers of Czechtek 2005. Citizens of �jezd pod P�imdou, a small town near the event signed a petition and handed it to the Police Commander requesting that the participants be allowed to continue on their way. The streets of the city were filled with cars and people who failed to go through the police street cordons.

Police redirected cars coming from the German border in Rozvadov to other border crossings. According to their statistics 105 out of 249 foreigners were turned back at the border on the basis of "coloured old cars, haircuts and tattoos".* The D5 Highway was closed on both sides between 128 and 135km."

*Ah, the old fiction of passports and visas crumbles still further. Some people always knew - or were rather taught from small- that hair and skin was enough..
no need to mystify with DNA, that to-do about genetic tracking is a new fear mostly for people whose bodies had until recently sent the right message to the borderguards. Not that these expansions of the state into that hidden genetic territory shouldn't be feared, but let's not discount the existing power of simple eyes (and dicks) who monitor us already, and how that's already shaped these borders new-like-EU and older, too.