Newsbrief: French Government Moving Against Raves 8/23/02

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A looming confrontation between French authorities and the country's rave movement last weekend ended with ravers retreating across the Italian border to hold an event billed as challenging the French government's "genocidal war" on youth culture, electronic music and large raves. The Teknikal rave, organized by British-born French rave culture maven Allan Blinkhorn, was originally set for the French Alps, but when French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to seize the sound equipment used at unauthorized raves, the equipment owners and operators refused to venture into France.

According to Blinkhorn, French ravers are willing to negotiate with authorities over permits and had worked to do so. "But this new government will not talk to us sensibly at all," he told the Independent (London). "Their attitude is against youth, against liberty. They want to commit genocide on the rave movement."

Indeed, the new center-right government in Paris, elected in part on a tough anti-crime stance, has engaged in a series of draconian measures since in took power three months ago, including rigid application of the rave permit laws. Sarkozy also went after Blinkhorn, charging him and several other rave organizers with "furthering the use of illegal drugs," but the government has so far produced no evidence other than the fact that they helped to arrange raves.

The French government will drive the rave scene back underground, predicted Blinkhorn, endangering harm reduction measures now in place at large raves. "Sarkozy says he is cracking down on crime," Blinkhorn said, "but he is making us all into criminals."

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Issue #251, 8/23/02 Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead: Bob Barr Defeated in Georgia Primary | Canadian Government Backs Away from Medical Marijuana, But Advocates See No Big Defeat | NJ Weedman Jailed for Exercising Free Speech Rights -- Advocating Marijuana Legalization Violates Parole Conditions, Says State | Seattle Hempfest Draws 150,000 for Smoking, Shopping and Rabble Rousing | Newsbrief: State Dept. Official Forced to Eat Crow on FARC-Al Qaeda Link | Newsbrief: Nevada Marijuana Initiative Campaign Gains Ally | Newsbrief: French Government Moving Against Raves | Newsbrief: Baltimore's "Federal Day" is No Holiday for Some | Newsbrief: Afghan Opium Boom Continues, Second Crop Coming | Newsbrief: SAMHSA DAWN Study Out, Drug Czar Quick to Spin | Newsbrief: DEA Wants to Schedule 2C-T-7 | Newsbrief: Can We Make That a Line Item? Alabama County Gets Blatant on Asset Forfeiture as Revenue Enhancer | Newsbrief: Wichita Judge Scolds Drug Squad for Misconduct | Media Scan: New Scientist, JAMA, Forbes, ReconsiDer, MTF, BJS, CASA | Legislative Alerts: Rave Bill, Medical Marijuana, Higher Education Act Drug Provision | The Reformer's Calendar

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