Dispatch from Black Rock City: "The pigs are here" at Burning Man


Photo: Aaron Muszalski.

The forecast for Burning Man 2013: Cloudy with a chance of cops. SFSlim is, as he is every year, out at Black Rock City in the Nevada desert early for the annual fringe art-culture festival. He reports heavy rains and heavy law enforcement presence. Heads up, burners.

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. 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.
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Notable Replies

  1. Oh no, I hope nobody brought any drugs to Burning Man.

  2. I have been finding burning man and its culture more and more annoying as of late. "We're changing the world and bringing people together!" No, you're not. You're getting fucked up on drugs and dancing to shitty music in the middle of the desert. If you find that sort of thing fun, awesome, have fun, but it's certainly nothing of importance.

    SO many of my friends place SO much importance and spend SO much money on a party in the desert. It just astounds me.

  3. zikzak says:

    Honestly, I'm kind of glad. Though my heart goes out to those victimized by the cops, it's about time that Burning Man culture came face-to-face with the political repression that exists everywhere else.

    I'm glad because this is the last, best hope for saving Burning Man from becoming our generation's Disney. BM is not a party, it's not a vacation, it's not even "a way of life". It is an act of anti-establishment resistance. It is insurgency.

    Or at least it should be. It must be, if it is to survive. When the cops move in, they offer an unmistakable lesson, one that should have been learned long ago: You cannot escape from oppression by pretending it doesn't exist. Sooner or later, you will have to fight. The cops have made their move, now it's time to see if burners have the warrior spirit that will be necessary to protect their community. Are they willing to fully embrace the reality of being outlaws?

  4. Black Rock Solar. Burners Without Borders. The innumerable number of artists that receive grants . . . just off the top of my head.

    Oh, and to the fellow that said Maker Faire is more relevant: you're really not talking about a different community. A very high percentage of the people that founded the Maker community are Burners and half the stuff at the Bay Area Maker Faire in any given year still has playa dust on it.

  5. If Burning Man ain't your thing, cool. Find your own bliss. But why you have chosen to parade your ignorance in front of several million netizens?

    Her's one teeny-tiny example among many of "anything interesting or cool coming out of it"

    http://www.sftreasureisland.org/index.aspx?page=447

    Love,

    Tophat

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