Tuesday, January 04, 2011

No to AB74 - the proposed Californian Anti-Raves Act

A campaign is growing against 'anti-rave' legislation being proposed in the California State Assembly by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma. AB 74, also known as the Anti-Raves Act of 2011, is worded as follows:

'SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Anti-Raves Act of 2011.

SEC. 2. Section 421 is added to the Penal Code, to read: 421. (a) Any person who conducts a public event at night that includes prerecorded music and lasts more than three and one-half hours is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or twice the actual or estimated gross receipts for the event, whichever is greater. (b) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to a public event on private property if the entity that conducts the public event has a business license to operate a bar, club, theater, entertainment venue, or other similar business, or to conduct sporting events, and conducting the public event is consistent with the business license. (c) For purposes of this section, "night" means that period between sunset and sunrise'.

In effect the law, if passed, would prohibit raves on public property and prevent raves on private property unless a business owner has a license to host such an event. Ma claims that 'Raves foster an environment that threatens the health and safety of our youth... The introduction of AB 74 is the first step toward eliminating these dangerous events'.

The bill follows the death in June of 2010 of a 15-year-old girl died at a rave at the publically owned Los Angeles Coliseum, and of two people in May 2010 at the state-owned Cow Palace in Daly City. But as opponents have pointed out, the bill actually makes no reference to drugs and in any case drug dealing is already covered by existing laws. By targeting 'pre-recorded' music, the bill is explicitly singling out electronic dance music, with Ma stating: "The bill is not intended to impact traditional music concerts and sporting events. AB 74 is about cracking down on raves that harbor drug use and lead to teenage deaths."

Check out the Facebook group: Protect Your Right to Dance: Anti-AB 74

Here's a short film of people staging a Right to Dance protest rally in Los Angeles in 1997 during a previous campaign against state harrassment of parties:

Obviously there are similarities here too with the British Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 which notoriously legislated against unlicensed raves playing music 'predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats'.


Anonymous said...

this legislation is nuts! what are we in communist russia? no music at night? this is crazy, worst case scenario, parties just shift more towards the day time hours, and you see more live acts performing elecronica, do the dj's will be fightin for time slots even more than before and all the live acts will be getting booked left and right.. there are ways to get around this law, but i hope it doesnt pass because there is nothing going at these "raves" that hasnt been going on at concerts for the last 50 years

Anonymous said...

I'm appalled. Legislation has be come ignorant, narrow minded, and just as controlling as they say. Sure, let's pass a vague law banning something makes the black sheep of society happy and gives them something to live for. Let's take away one of the only peaceful things these kids have. What are they supposed to do once you take away one their only purposes? Turn to YOU for support? Please. Don't have such a high opinion of yourselves. If we had no respect or trust in you before, if we felt the need to rave and unite because we needed each other, WHY would we ever peacefully agree. ??