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Press release to battle the Bill

Discussion in 'Roll Calls' started by Kit-Kat, Jun 13, 2000.

  1. Kit-Kat

    Kit-Kat TRIBE Member

    Press release to battle the Bill

    The Party People Project (P3), a community organization formed by members of the rave scene in alliance with the Toronto Dance Safety Committee and the Toronto Rave Information Project, is outraged by the recommendations made in Bill 73, as we feel it attempts to homogenize the war on drugs with the legislation of raves.

    While both the Legislative Assembly and the TDSC are striving for a peaceful and safe protocol, the P3 believes that the Protocol for the Operation of Safe Raves, developed by the TDSC, which passed unanimously by Toronto City Council last December, is the stronger solution. If instated, we believe that Bill 73 will be retroactive, forcing the scene underground, escalating the number of safety concerns for all parties involved. Since the well-being of ravers is of paramount interest, we believe that knowledgeable individuals-those who are intimately connected to the rave scene and understand the nature of promoting events-should be involved in the regulation.

    Bill 73 defines raves as any event with paid admission, occurring in a private dwelling between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. where the primary activity is dancing. In attempt to broaden the public's understanding of these events, P3 has defined a rave as a dance party in which all the participants experience a sense of community through electronic music, dancing and camaraderie with others. Primarily, raves revolve around the DJs, who travel locally and around the world, mixing records onstage for dancing fans. Since most electronic music isn't commercially sold, DJs with a large following will draw crowds of thousands of people, some travelling great distances to attend. But unlike rock concerts, raving extends beyond any one event or show. It has bred a culture based on the the four pillars of PLUR-peace, love unity and respect, a dogma that ravers have actively maintained since 1987, when the scene was born in England-embracing anyone that loves electronic music regardless of age, class, race, or sexual preference.

    In the last twelve months, it is estimated that 50,000 to 60,000 people aged 19 to 43 attended raves in the Greater Toronto Area. Regrettably, Ecstasy has been implicated in the deaths of four individuals attending dance parties. There can be no reversal of these incredible misfortunes-the loss of people like Allen Ho, who collapsed at a rave in an underground parking lot last October. However, it is important to understand that termination of raves as a response to these deaths is not a solution. Ecstasy use is prevalent in clubs, at homes, and in all areas of society, even though "rave" is often equated with drug use. And while police assert that many participants of the rave scene use illicit drugs, in an attempt to build an affiliation, the only way to prevent the reoccurrence of fatality is to demand and assist rave organizers to hold their events in legal venues with adequate toilets, running water, and ventilation with 'Paid Duty' police officers, combined with drug and health education.

    Supporting the legislation in Bill 73 will only put tens of thousands of youth at risk.

    For more information on the Party People Project, the Toronto Dance Safety Committee, or the Toronto Rave Information Project we encourage you to contact:

    Alex D, (Do we use TDSC or PPP here?) - 416.778.4115

    Author: Katherine Balpataky kathbalp@hotmail.com - 416.963.8506

    (rough draft)for release ASAP (the week of June 11)
     
  2. Mark McC

    Mark McC TRIBE Member

    my proposed revision appears below. thanks for drafting this, Katherine. -mmcc
    ----------------------------
    The Party People Project Just Says No to _Footloose_ Bill 73

    The Party People Project (P3), a community organization formed by members of the rave scene in alliance with the Toronto Dance Safety Committee and the Toronto Rave Information Project, is outraged that Bill 73, the Raves Act 2000, may become law before the end of June with almost no input from the many diverse communities and cultural events threatened by its prohibitive legislation.

    Not only does Bill 73 confuse the separate issues of raves and drugs, its definition of a "rave" is broad enough to affect Caribana, Pride Day, the Unity benefit party, Fashion Cares, and many other cultural institutions that have made Toronto an internationally renowned tourist destination.

    While Liberal MPP Sandra Pupatello's Bill 73 purportedly offers legislation to make raves safer, the P3 believes that the Protocol for the Operation of Safe Raves (developed by the TDSC and passed unanimously by Toronto City Council last December) and the Ho inquest jury's recommendations present municipalities with a stronger solution for regulating all-night dance parties.

    Bill 73 defines a rave "as an event with all of the following attributes: 1. Any part of the event occurs between 2 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.; 2. People must pay money or give some other consideration to participate in the event; 3. The primary activity at the event is dancing by the participants; 4. The event does not take place in a private dwelling."

    This definition, and the proposed regulations which accompany it, clearly threaten many more dance events than raves alone. If it becomes law, Bill 73 will threaten citizens' rights to freedom of speech and assembly, and bestow disproportionate stop-and-search powers to police forces. Bill 73's prohibitive legislation could force raves underground, escalating the safety concerns of all parties involved. It is the PPP's position that the health and well-being of all party-goers can be maintained best by informed individuals with intimate knowledge of rave culture. To our knowledge, Ms Pupatello is the only member of the committee currently debating Bill 73 who has attended a rave, and she has not demonstrated sufficient knowledge of the scene to propose the manner of its regulation.
     

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