Police Cracking Down at Burning Man

Strongest presence in the festival's history

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    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Early arrivals at this year’s Burning Man, Nevada’s long-running art, music, and free expression festival, are reporting heaviest police presence since the festival began in 1986.

An August 21 post from Burning Man regular Aaron Muzslaski describes this year’s scene:

The pigs are here. And uncommonly badge heavy. Earlier tonight, the #BLM pulled over El Couchino for a registration violation. In 18 years on the playa, I’ve never seen a more aggressive police presence than what’s been going down today. Deeply upsetting, outrageous stuff. One DPW member was issued a $275 ticket for urinating on the playa, and threatened with being forced to register as a convicted sex offender. (A note for people not familiar with Burning Man, the “Playa” is what Burning Man attendees or “Burners” call the land that this event is held on.) I suspect this is fallout from the lawsuit BMORG won against the BLM earlier this year. Whatever the cause, know this: Law enforcement is going to be VERY AGGRESSIVE at Burning Man this year. Keep your shit as right as you do back in the world. Don’t give them any excuses. Be extremely cautious, and MAKE SURE TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Things are changing. #BM2013 #LEO #police IF YOU DO GET STOPPED: Make sure to file an incident report with Burning Man. And before you get here, LEARN YOUR RIGHTS. [1]

In response, workers and volunteers at the festival are calling for a general strike, refusing to continue setting up the festival unless the police promise to keep their distance and let them handle security inside the event.

READ MORE:
Hot Mess: An Oral History of Burning Man

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