>>> does anyone know which specific part of the criminal justice bill
>>> actually refers to music and dancing?
> The Criminal Justice and Public Order Act of 1994:
> Section 63. Powers to remove persons attending or preparing for a rave.
> Section 64. Supplementary powers of entry and seizure.
> Section 65.Raves: power to stop persons from proceeding.
> Section 66. Power of court to forfeit sound equipment.
> To be quite honest, I probably wouldn't support a campaign to repeal only
> the above sections of the CJPOA. The act also removed an arrested person's
> right to silence, whilst also criminalising squatting. These issues are at
> least as important as the criminalisation of raves, and should be repealed
> as well.
Trouble is, moral-panic legislation like this doesn't
actually get repealed, as I see it. I just did a search
on "Vagrancy Act" and found a March 2003 appeal from
something called Homeless Link for the repeal of the
remaining bits of the 1824 Act - 179 years after the
moral panic over hordes of unemployed soldiers
returning from the Napoleonic Wars and turning into
Travellers (and, I do not doubt, having parties in
barns and fields, with tribal riddims).
Seems to me that such legislation is caused primarily
by the need to be seen to Do Something. The CJA 1994
made the law a *little bit* tougher on parties and
on squatters: but its primary function was to say
(a) to the Mail, "look, we Did Something to Maintain
Order" and (b) to coppers "look, shiny new powers,
use 'em". Coppers already had, in fact, plenty of
At risk of rambling here. My conclusion is that a
reform(ist) campaign is going to be very subtle
and complicated. If I started thinking about wording
for an Act that'd be passable before the revolution,
it might look like a tidying-up exercise on the
fiasco that is music and dancing licensing, that
as a side effect made dancing in fields an
administrative matter like failing to prevent
your pub punters dancing. And something quite
different and politically much, much harder for
More likely, he say with the weight of great age,
is a repeat of what's happened with squatting:
it's there all the time, from time to time it
comes colourfully to the surface, a Criminal
Justice Act gets passed, it retreats into
dank obscurity for a bit, the last Act is no
longer new and shiny, it re-emerges on the
Note : I actually see two motivations for
the repetitive beats bit and similar moral-panic
stuff: legislators' fear of assemblies of young
people Not Properly Regulated By Law; and,
much more visceral and harder to cope with,
the Mail headline that appears subliminally
in every issue:
BE VERY AFRAID MIDDLE ENGLAND
YOUR DAUGHTER WILL RUN AWAY
WITH THE RAGGLE-TAGGLE GYPSIES
And she did.
Mike "been a bit shy since someone said 'icon'" H