Oppose Culture War Against Raves!
In the 1960s, hippie culture was seen as threatening, irresponsible and primarily about drug use. Even though most of those young people came together because of a mutual interest in peace, adults of that era labeled them as criminals and troublemakers.
A new kind of social event that mixes an electronic music concert, light show and dancing--popularly known as raves--has been similarly stigmatized. The media often portray raves as dangerous, sinister drug fests and the people who attend them as criminals who only use the events to sell drugs to youth. Raves, however, are a legitimate cultural event just like rock concerts, art exhibitions and film screenings, and are an important outlet for youth culture today.
In a misguided spin-off of the "War on Drugs," the Senate is considering legislation that targets raves and would have the effect of classifying common rave items like glow sticks and massage oils as drug paraphernalia. The Reducing Americans Vulnerability to Ecstasy (RAVE) Act, S. 2633,
introduced by Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), would also impose huge fines and even prison time on the owners of venues into which customers bring controlled substances. No matter how much security is put in place, they could be held responsible for the actions of just one customer.
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. Unless a loud and powerful objection to this legislation is voiced, an already misunderstood community and culture could be criminalized. Urge your Senators to oppose attacks
on youth culture! The RAVE Act threatens free speech.
If S. 2633 becomes law, property owners may be too afraid to rent or lease their space for events rightly or wrongly perceived as attracting drug users -- essentially any event that attracts a young crowd. Out of fear of massive fines and prison sentences, law-abiding business owners may stop hosting raves and other musical events, driving them further underground and away from public health and safety regulations. The RAVE Act is too broad and puts business owners at risk.
While supporters of the bill claim that innocent business owners do not need to worry because it only applies to people who knowingly own property for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using a controlled substance, the terms are too undefined to provide adequate protection to innocent business owners. Despite good security, restaurant, bar, nightclub, dance and music venue owners could all be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars and forced into bankruptcy if a customer sneaks in drugs. The bill will endanger the lives and safety of youth.
Under this law, business owners who host raves would be reluctant to enact important measures to protect their customers. By insinuating that selling bottled water and offering "cool off" rooms is proof that owners and promoters know drug use is occurring at their events--as the Senate bill suggests--the bill could make business owners too afraid to implement such harm-reduction measures and the safety of young people will suffer. TAKE ACTION!
Article can be found here http://www.aclu.org/action/rave107.html
and if you want you can take action at that link