Wednesday, June 14, 2006

 

Waka Action Blog Launches

This blog has been launched in direct response to the actions taken by law enforcement during the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival in Lawrence Kansas. According to reports local, state, and federal agencies illegally and unlawfully searched vehicles and persons both inside and outside the festival grounds. A sobriety checkpoint of dubious legality was set up at the interchange of Interstate 70 and Kansas Highway 10 about three miles from the festival's entrance. At this checkpoint illegal profiling of out of state travelers was occurring along with a great deal of harassment by law enforcement in general. The check lane was funded in part by a federal anti-drug-trafficking grant, showing that this was a coordinated effort on the part of several agencies. It is not clear at this time how many people were specifically arrested at this checkpoint or if this number is being included in the total arrest count. According to Douglas County Jail records, more than 141 people from 28 states were arrested on alcohol and drug violations during the festival.

While one can certainly expect police to enforce the laws that society has deemed necessary, the heavy-handedness of law enforcement throughout the entire weekend has caused thousands of individuals to leave the state of Kansas with an extremely negative impression. People need to hear about what happened and a national dialogue needs to be started regarding intrusive police tactics before it is too late.

We are going to fight this thing with information. What we need to do is centralize all stories and comments about what happened in one location and then chart a course of action. (The ACLU is looking for plantiffs) Please send any and all stories of harassment, violent police behavior, dubious or illegal search and seizure tactics, or any other pertinent information you have about events to wakaaction@hotmail.com. This is especially critical if you have any sort of video or pictures of dubious law enforcement behavior. If you have already put your thoughts and observation on paper please forward them to us. This blog will be updated regularly and please feel free to post comments below.

Comments:
thanks for caring ---I will watch & see what develops here
Wakarusa 2006 was the most negative festival & law enforcement nightmare I have ever seen --& I've been to dozens of festivals--most much bigger than wakarusa ever will be. No one treats visitors like that!--NO ONE ELSE WOULD DREAM OF IT!!!---Kansas is INSANE!!!!
 
Howdy from Texas! While I only saw a couple of instances of law enforcement getting out of hand, there was a massive presence of law enforcement this year compared to the previous two years.

I saddens me to find out they rousted folks the way that they did and it's going to be hard to expect anything different in the future as long as the festival is on public land.

That's going to be the big identity hinge for the Wakarusa folks moving forward...because as long as the festival is on public land, law enforcement will go crazy whereas festivals like 10,000 Lakes and Bonnaroo don't have the same problem since they're on private land.
 
Break the law, get busted go cying to the ACLU???????
Grow up!!!!!
 
I think things might have been different if the guy with the health problems had received some friendly medical attention the day before his body was found last year - maybe if someone had called an ambulance - things might not look so bad. Yes people die in the streets of Lawrence every year from exposure - but not at festivals or state parks... have some pride!
 
I didn't even go to Wakarusa and I'm sitting here crying reading all these stories. The two anonymous posts above me are some of the of the most uncaring and uninformed views i've heard. 1. A lot of people wern't even arrested. Security just took thier contraband and let them go. Where do you think all the confiscated stuff went? Into a police evidence locker? I don't think so. All the "southern security" probably sat around at night and blazed out, telling various stories about how they (southern conservative republicans)fucked with a bunch of peace loving, pot smoking hippies. And to the people that did get arrested (not a single on for violence) I feel incredibly sorry for you. Did Keller play "Conservative Christian, Right-Wing Republican, Straight White American Males"? If he didn't, he should have. Good luck, cheer up, and I hope I see you guys at 10klf. Peace.
 
the guy last year died from a methadone/cocaine overdose. that doesn't really sound like a deathyou can blame on alcohol, pot, and music. later.
 
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