Monday, June 26, 2006

[Israel] Israeli Cops Assault Tel Aviv Partygoers

Israeli Cops Assault Tel Aviv Partygoers
יום שלישי, יוני 27, 2006

"Dance, Dance Revolution"
by Empress Eyesis, reporting for Orthodox Anarchist

For video of this incident click here; Eyewitness video to follow

We knew ‘Poetic Terrorism’ was revolutionary and though I would never would want to offend Hakim Bey in using the term “revolution” to describe our creative outlet for the disgruntled youth of the world, due to the dramatic reaction of the Israeli authorities at an illegal rave in Tel Aviv 2 weeks ago – it seems there is no other fitting word to describe the events of that night.

On June 16th our crew, Street Freedom Sound System, organized an illegal party in Tel Aviv featuring 2 stages, one with live punk and ska bands and the second with DJ’s playing jungle, tekno and hardcore electronic sounds. Interestingly enough, the party was dubbed “Viva la Revolution” and was described as a squatting party on the flyer, which was widely distributed throughout Tel Aviv.

Upon entering the party’s location, which was a dry riverbed next to a train station closed for Shabbat, I noticed myriad punks hanging out near the entrance to the party, close to a nearby bus lot. Immediately it reminded me of outlaw parties in New York getting busted because of intoxicated and insensible people hanging out at the entrance to the party and drawing attention to what would otherwise be an empty lot, abandoned airplane hangar or any other derelict location where generally large groups of people are not to be found randomly hanging out. Members of the crew tried to draw people inside the location of the party to no avail. Kids were too careless and drunk to give a f*ck about the seriousness of the events that could ensue, should the police come.

Generally, having organized dozens of illegal events similar to this one, the police will come, check out some id cards, politrick and tell us to nicely pack up and go or they can take it a step further and confiscate sound and make some arrests. Never had we made an illegal event that had drawn so many punks at our rave parties and never had we experienced such chaos in dealing with the authorities. Usually, when we get shut down, we quietly pack up our stuff and go.

Around 2am, the police arrived in full force. A riot squad with helmets, shields and batons drawn arrived minutes after the conventional police force came to tell us to shut the party down. It was obvious they came ready for action and unfortunately some idiot from the crowd gave them the green light to proceed. Everyone was leaving according to police orders until one or two people from the crowd threw a rock at the cops.

Immediately thereafter, the police and riot squad began to beat anyone in sight of them, indiscriminately beating boys and girls alike, many of them teenagers and highly intoxicated on alcohol and/or drugs. People that were not resisting, on the floor and obviously hurt were continually pounded as if it were a scene of a G8 protest, West Bank withdrawal or Gaza strip incursion. Tear gas was used on the crowd that was simply following police orders and trying to get the hell out of there. Anyone without a press card that had a camera to document the police brutality was targeted.

Numerous partygoers were sent to the emergency room with injuries as severe as punctured lungs and broken limbs. Many arrests were made, including the party organizer from our sound system. Ironically, those arrested are currently standing trial for police brutality even though they are not the ones that threw the rocks to begin with. Even the media reports that followed described the police as using excessive force against the people. Unfortunately, the police aren’t on trial here but rather the people who could be said were ‘at the wrong place at the wrong time’ and had no hand in the rock-throwing which popped-off this situation in the first place.

A few months ago, the Israeli dailies reported that the Israeli National Police created a task force to combat the ‘punk problem.’ Obviously a discriminatory sect of the police department, which distinguishes their targets according to their hairstyle, dress and musical preferences, one would think that this newly formed task-force should be trained in dealing with disgruntled youth, who drink a lot and frankly, don’t give a shit about anything. These cops, it seems, should be taught to be sensitive in their dealings with this sub-culture of discontented young people. On the contrary, the worst bully’s and tuff guys were hand-picked to beat the crap out of people who should be shown instead that the system may not be as bad as they thought. Sadly it seems, the punk ideologies are being proven right.

We create these parties to celebrate DIY culture, taking music and communal gatherings out of the discothéques and into the streets, abandoned buildings, empty lots and open fields. We are punks, in that we are dissatisfied with the system we live in and therefore create an alternative for ourselves and like-minded people, but we also try to live in harmony and respect with our surroundings. A line must be drawn between belligerent behavior for the sake of anger with the system, which is a knee-jerk reactionary lifestyle and doing illegal actions for the sake of the beauty, which emanates from the creative freedom of chaos.

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