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US Authorities' Attempts to Jail Rave Promoters Are 'Censorship'

Author: Skruff
Tuesday, March 13, 2001
US Authorities' Attempts to Jail Rave Promoters Are 'Censorship'
American Civil Liberties Union (the ACLU) have blasted the forthcoming prosecution of 3 US club promoters for holding 'raves', branding the authorities' actions as 'censorship'. "The prosecution by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is part of a novel -- and entirely unconstitutional -- strategy to curtail use of the drug ecstasy, which has been associated with raves, by using federal 'crack house' laws," said Arthur Lemann, a local attorney who is representing one of the defendants.

"Holding club owners and promoters of raves criminally liable for what some people may do at these events is no different from arresting the stadium owners and promoters of a Rolling Stones concert or a rap show because some concertgoers may be smoking or selling marijuana," said ACLU director Graham Boyd. "If the government is successful in shutting down raves, what's to stop them from applying this tactic to other music genres, such as hip-hop, heavy metal and jazz, where drug use is known to exist-"

The three promoters involved, including legendary promoter 'Disco Donnie' (real name James D Estopinal) are pleading 'Not guilty' and seek dismissal of the case, though if found guilty face up to 20 years in prison and US$500,000 fines.

"We are very fortunate that Robert, Brian and Donnie will challenge these charges, preventing a national precedent from taking place," a statement from the newly established Electronic Music Defence and Education Fund (EMDEF) said. "The DEA and local law enforcement have used an unprecedented tactic of arresting the promoters and venue management for alleged drug use by patrons. By singling out electronic music events, the DEA has threatened the viability of the electronic music industry, and community." (Fund raising for the threatened rave promoters) (US civil liberties organisation) (Harm reduction site, US) (technical & scientific drug information)