report by Bethany, 19th June 1999
Just thought some of you might be interested to know that the Mutant Dance party on saturday night was busted.....
We had planned to do the party at a quiet barn about 10 miles from Stonehenge, but due to uncontrollable rumours (not started by us) the police decided we were going to try to break into Stonehenge. (it did occur to us as a possibility, but only after everyone told us we were going to do it anyway!)
We were met at the meeting point by some of wiltshire constabulary... we knew we wouldn't be able to go to the site without being followed, so we decided to talk to them.
After hours of attempted negotiation, I finally spoke to the chief constable of Wiltshire constabulary (Andy Hollingshead) and he said to me "You have my personal assurance that we will allow you to take the convoy to your intended site, and any police officers or vehicles you see on the way will be merely spectating. We don't want to stop your party, we don't want trouble." No-one told the police where we were going.
We led the four mile long convoy from Amesbury carpark to the site (a wikkid setup with 5 barns miles from houses, and lots of trees around to stop the noise travelling), we were followed by a chopper, military police, and vans of police. Just as we pulled up, the police cut across fields and stormed the site, arresting myself and the other organisers.
They seized Dionisus sound system (from Milton Keynes), two systems from Bristol, and Stinky Pink System. We managed to laugh off the arrests, as they didn't seem very serious. (they did offer to un-arrest us, but that would have meant paperwork, so we settled for staying arrested, reasoning that they couldn't arrest us again that way). After they had read us the riot act we were turned around and we led the convoy back to Amesbury Carpark, past Stonehenge. At this point, the convoy slowed down to 5mph and the noise was deafening as people expressed their disgust to the assembled police.
We made it back to the carpark to decide what to do, closely followed by a few police vans. I was told of a travellers site on the wiltshire border where they already had system going and wanted us to join them. It seemed like the best idea, as police are often reluctant to venture too far into established traveller sites.
We tried to talk to the police, and explain that we needed to compromise (by this time we had gathered about 600 people) and that they wouldn't be able to get rid of everyone peacefully, we needed somewhere to go. The inspector turned round to us and said "what makes you think people will go if you tell them? You lot couldn't organise a piss-up...." etc.
A display of unity was needed. We called all the party people over to one end of the carpark, everyone got out of their cars, and stood silently to hear what we had to say. Cockney (another Mutant Dance rep and the one with the loudest voice) made a speach and told everyone what the situation was with the police... he told people we had an alternative site lined up on the border of Wiltshire, we would pass directions around the crowd discreetley and that we needed to leave in small groups. We had an hour to get out. 15 minutes later the carpark was clear and everyone was on their way to the party. Better organised that a military decamp. The Inspector looked suitably shocked. We call it organised chaos.
We now only had one system left (Junkchun 10 from Reading) and they were pulled twice and escorted out of the county. So with not rigs left we made our way to the site party, hoping to rescue some of the night.
Unfortunately, the site we moved to was not very nice. It was full of brewed-up crusties trying to make people pay a fiver for parking. there was a very dark vibe, and it started to rain. The police turned up (cos our phones were tapped) After an incident involving keys locked in a car, a broken window and my boyfriend getting covered in broken glass, we decided to call it a night and left. Sorry to anyone who was there and I didn't say hello to, I was beyond socialising.
I now hear on the news about a riot at stonehenge last night. BBC news is claiming that we were responsible for inciting people to riot. They claim our website was outlining plans to charge at the stones.... bollocks.
You can read the BBC report at: http://www.mutant-dance.org.uk/solstice2.html
None of the systems were impounded, but told they would be if they returned to the county. I am still under arrest (I think) And I can guarantee you will hear more about the lying bastard coppers as I intend to shout about it till everyone knows not to trust the police. Our phones are still tapped, and my emails are being scanned. (I was told by them that this was how they knew so much about our plans) Hello PC netplod by the way, hope you enjoy the story.
A word of warning: nothing is private anymore.... if you are into organising parties, landlines, mobiles and emails are NOT the way to do it.
We tried an experiment on saturday which involved being honest with the police, trying to negotiate and seeking a compromise. We were fuct over. May that be a lesson to us all.
Thanks to those that made the effort to come along, especially the guys with the systems. Maybe another time eh?
Have we been put off? Have we fuck. Our next party will be in a safer, quieter place, but we will be back!
©Bethany 1999. See more at the mutant dance website
urban75 disclaimer: we are not encouraging people to participate or get involved with illegal raves in any way. Oh no. We advise people to go to nice Government approved clubs like the Ministry of Sound where they can pay lots of money to be searched by burly bouncers and have their pockets lightened by over-priced drinks and water.
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