Date: Fri, 4 Jun 93 13:02:29 PDT
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Geoff White)
Subject: June Moon Tune
This months FMR was at Pulgas Water Temple, an eerie neo-grecco-roman outdoor promanade situated in the wilderness of San Mateo county. The site is actually the terminus for the hetch hetchy water acquaduct that supplies the reservoir system of San Francisco. The park is small but beautiful with a flat area for dancing, a long shallow reflective pool and an open dome or circular arch suppoorted by columns in the middle of which is a hole from which you can look down at thousands of gallons of swirling water. It was nice to play the mythical mind game of what a couple of kilos of sid could do... but then we have something better, the Vibe.
All of the parking along canada road is illegal (no parking signs everywhere) by when I arrived at 0300 most cars were neatly parked along the road, maybe about 150 - 200 cars, this was a relief to me as I usualy park cars for these things and it was good to see that the community can take up the slack if I'm not there.
Even though the site was secured and people had been arriving en-mass, by 0345 the sound system, though set up had not started yet, (The FMR seems to be plagued with sound system problems, it would be nice if they checked the stuff out before hand or arrived earlier, cuz it always takes them 45 - 1 hour to get the sound working) but by 0400 Garth was spinning the groove right along. The weather was just the right temperature, and even though the moon became obscured by clouds, we could still feel her presence. Garth started to kick some really funky tunes, and I could see that this could turn out to be another incredible/evolutionary FMR when... the Police showed up.
It was just a lone car at first, I saw him at the top of the hill shining his flashlight and whatever, I decides not to go up right away, let him take it all in for a bit (besides, I really didn't want to do it) but eventualy no one else was around who was gonna do it so I decided to make initial contact. I gave my sacrements to a friend for safe keeping and walked up the hill...
"Hi ya doin officer!"
"What's goin on down there" he says.
I say, "Well I think it's one of those rave party things, or something"
"Is this your party?"
Who me! NO, I'm just coming up to see whats happening"
He say "Well I sugguest that you leave right away cuz I just called my sargent and all of these people are going to jail"
I think to myself yeah buddy, you and what army, but I say "Well my girlfriend is still down there, let me go get her OK?" This works every time :)
"OK but I'd get her and leave right away if I were you."
So back down the hill I go, this is a usual first contact, next we let him sit for a while, see how many more show up. About 20 minutes later a LOT of crusiers show, CHP, redwood city, sheriff, SanMateo, maybe 13 - 20 cars. They start giving orders to disperse but the music is too loud, Garth is throwing down some vicious trax, no-one would be going anyplace anyway, even if they could hear the order. Next thing I know, they're putting on riot gear! Shit, well is this the time to make the headlines? OR what? I am a vetran of the 60's and 70's demostrations, I knew that Pulgas was an enclosed area with the only method of escape blocked by the cops. The whole area is fenced in. If they could keep us from leaving out the front, we could all be scooped up and arrested en masse (maybe not a bad idea) but some ravers would most likely climb the fence and try to escape into the wilderness behind them. There is an acquaduct and other stuff back there. Maybe defusing is in order. I go back up the hill and ask to speak to the person in command. They want to know If I'm in control of the crowd, if not, then I don't need to speak to anybody. I tell them that no-one is in control, (a fact they find hard to fathom) but that I'm concerned, I don't want any violence, to ensue and that I can carry a message to the group.
Someone said that we want you guys to leave, we won't hassle anybody if you just leave, I tell them that the riot gear is intimidating and unnecessary, we are a peaceful bunch but the riot stuff is scareing people and when they are scared, they would rather stay together as a Family I they were going to be clubed. Just at that moment so police officer turned on a high powered spot light that illuminated the area, some ravers got up in front of it and did some great "shadow dancing" the shadows were projected against the trees on the far side of the temple making dancing figures 20 or 30 ft high. Truely on of the best visuals I've ever seen at a rave! Even the cops got a kick out of it (those that could admit it) this seemed to chill them out a bit, a couple laughed. My hats go off to the dancers whoever they are, who made a truely transformational move in a scarey situation, it took courage! I go back down the hill and back into the crowd, people are talking about "sitting down" and stuff, well we'll see. Eventualy the cops send three or for officers in riot gear down to the DJ area and stop Garth from playing. Everybody claps and cheers for Garth but holds there ground. They didn't threaten the Police in any way, but they did send the message that we were a family. After the music stopped some people discussed what to do. I went back up the Hill to "negotiate" with the police. They agreed to not arrest anyone or confiscate any equipment so long as we leave now. I told them I thought that would fly but that It would take time to break down the sound system, when the sound system gets taken apart, people will slowly leave. Just as some consensus seemed to be reached. A female officer gets on one of their bull horns and starts in on people about how they have been nice so far but our patience is wearing thin, etc. I walked over to her...
"Excuse me, mam, um, mam, that's not helping". I start to have a talk with her, (sending her the Vibe in a big way) I told her that these kids were peaceful, there is no need for beligerence, the riot gear and helmuts are scaring people. she totally GETS IT! She takes of her helmut to reveal all of this thick, beautiful, long, blond flowing hair! We walk down the hill together and I tell her about the scene and why we have the full moon parties, she notices and comments on how there are people from every race present and every one seems calm and happy, they aren't sending her any bad vibes. I tell her that is what it's all about. This isn't about gangs, it's about Love, I watched her lighten up before my eyes. She told me her name was Ali and I told her mine, we walked along and I told her that we tried to choose places that were remote so that the not just the cops but other negative elements would have difficulty finding us. I told her that there is no hard drug use, maybe a little pot but nothing like crack or heroin (I didn't mention the e word), I told her that our scene is about Unity and we welcome everyone. I invited her to come to one when she's off duty, provided she won't arrest anyone :). By this ravers are going around picking up trash (this blew her away) and cops and ravers are at least being plesant to each other. I thought to myself, wow I really charmed this big blond police officer, she's about my age, maybe ... nayh , it would NEVER work :) So I said goodbye to Officer Ali and told her that I hope if we meet in the future, it will always be on plesant terms, she thanked me for walking with her and chatting. We left it at that.
The FMR was moved to candlestick, I didn't follow.
I consider what happened there to be a success, a confrontation was avoided (it was not the place to engague this issue, someday maybe) and I know at least some police were educated about raves and ravers, (I am sure officer Ali has a different viewpoint). The important thing is a change in consciousnes occured both for the ravers and for the police. Ultimately when all of the rhetoric is said and done, it personal and individual action that makes the biggest difference. I saw Ali talking to some ravers she seemed to have pulled over (two young girls) I just hope that my talk had some influence in what ever business she had to conduct with them.
"They might stop the party, but they can't stop the future"
--PGP Public key available upon request--
Subject: FMR review, part 2
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 93 14:23:24 PDT
Well, after the bummer of having that beautiful party shut down by the rediculously over-prepared cops, I proceeded up to candlestick park to enjoy what more I could... and I'm so glad I did! The location was also beautiful--on the water front--and the music and the vibe were AMAZING!!! After a couple hours it started to rain. I was afraid that this would mean the end, but they just covered the turntables with tarps and kept going! The beautiful rain got everyone on their feet dancing hard! It only lasted for about 15 minutes.. at the end everyone was clean, refreshed and happy.
The music turned off at about 11:30 and I went home feeling warmer and fuzzier than I can remember being in a long time. The only bad thing that happened was that my friend took a hit of nitrous, konked out and fell and hit his head on a rock! Poor boy. But he recovered.
I hope this goes through, my server has been down for a couple days... Anyway I and a friend went over to Cindy's to wait for directions while Apple Pie spun behind us, we had our own personnal DJ. It was great.
We left about 2 to arrive at a small grassy field which almost looked like an amphitheatre at first. You walk down a small hill to a large stepped up planter where everyone was hanging out. Behind it was the field for about 30 feet where there was a small lined pond (kinda like the one in front of the Washington Monument but smaller) and then behind that was a fountain underneath a large Romanesque structure.
We hung out on the steps and I got to meet alot of you. Let me see, there was Geoff White, Bob Ramstadd, Twitch (Mike), Jessicaand probably a couple others I can't remember, sorry. The system arrived by 3:30 and Garth started his set by 4. He mixed in a lot of hip hop beats which I liked but around 5 his set took off. Everyone was dancing and up,up, up... But of course, all good things come to an end, and I saw a cops search light peer over the hill. I wonder what he was thinking right about then (ohh shit look at all these people.) Several ravers took advantage of the light and danced in it as their images danced on the trees behind us. Great natural visuals. Everyone was yellin and clapping to this. Garth's set was gettin so good but then about 20 cars pulled up and out came the police some with helmets on as if they would need em. This is when the highest energy radiated out as we all cheered and clapped to show them what a good time we were hoping that they would leave.
Of course they didn't and eventually Garth got cut off but the beat continued as several people pounded away on their drums, another guy wistled away while we all continued dancing and clapping to the beat. This lasted for atleast 15 minutes till the cops got impatient and stopped the drummers. Everyone just hung out a while while word said it was gonna get moved to Candlestick Park.
I didn't get the chance to go cause I had to get back to Davis, but I will bet they had fun there too. Overall it was a great time though of course I wish it had lasted longer.
Hope you all had a good weekend...