to watch video of Utah military displaying the virtuosity of feeling safe. I took the liberty of including all of the available witness accounts, even though it gets lengthy and repetitive.
First hand account from Knick of Evol Intent...
Last night, I was booked to play an event about an hour outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. The hype behind this show was huge, they presold 700 tickets and they expected up to 3,000 people total. The promoters did an amazing job with the show.. they even made slipmats with the flyers on them to promote in local shops.
So, we got to the show around 11:15 or so and it was really cool. It was all outdoors, in a valley surrounded by huge mountains. They had an amazing light show flashing on to a mountain behind the site, the sound was booming, the crowd was about 1500 people thick and everything just seemed too good to be true really. Well...
At about 11:30 or so, I was standing behind the stage talking with someone when I noticed a helicopter pulling over one of the mountain tops. I jokingly said "Oh look, here comes big brother" to the person I was with. I wasn't far off.
The helicopter dipped lower and lower and started shining its lights on the crowd. I was kind of in awe and just sat and watched this thing circle us for a minute. As I looked back towards the crowd I saw a guy dressed in camoflauge walking by, toting an assault rifle. At this point, everyone was fully aware of what was going on . A few "troops" rushed the stage and cut the sound off and started yelling that everyone "get the fuck out of here or go to jail". This is where it got really sticky.No one resisted. That's for sure.
They had police dogs raiding the crowd of people and I saw a dog signal out a guy who obviously had some drugs on him. The soldiers attacked the guy (4 of them on 1), and kicked him a few times in the ribs and had their knees in his back and sides. As they were cuffing him, there was about 1000 kids trying to leave in the backdrop, peacefully. Next thing I know, A can of fucking TEAR GAS is launched into the crowd. People are running and screaming at this point. Girls are crying, guys are cussing... bad scene.
Now, this is all I saw with my own eyes, but I heard plenty of other accounts of the night. Now this isnt gossip I heard from some candy raver, these are instances cited straight out of the promoters mouth..
- One of the promoters friends (a very small female) was attacked by one of the police dogs. As she struggled to get away from it, the police tackled her. 3 grown men proceeded to KICK HER IN THE STOMACH.
- The police confiscated 3 video tapes in total. People were trying to document what was happening out there. The police saw one guy filming and ran after him, tackled him and his camera fell, and luckily.. his friend grabbed it and ran and got away. priceless footage. That's not all though. Out of 1,500 people, there's sure to be more footage.
- The police were rounding up the staff of the party and the main promoter went up to them with the permit for the show and said "here, I have the permit." The police then said, "no you don't" and ripped the permit out of his hand. Then, they put an assault rifle to his forehead and said "get the fuck out of here right now."
Now.. let's get the facts straight here.This event was 100% legal. They had every permit the city told them they needed.
They had a 2 MILLION DOLLAR insurance policy for the event. They had licensed security guards at the gates confiscating any alcohol or drugs found upon entry (yes, they searched every car on the way in). Oh, I suppose I should mention that they arrested all the security guards for possession.
Oh another interesting fact.. the police did not have a warrant. The owner of the land already has a lawsuit against the city for something similar. A few months ago, she rented her land for a party and the police raided that as well. And catch this, the police forced her to LEAVE HER OWN PERSONAL PROPERTY. That's right. They didnt arrest her, but made her leave her own property!!!
Don't get it twisted, this is all going down in probably THE most conservative state in the USA. And this is scary.. a gross violation of our civil liberties. The police wanted this party shut down, so they made it happen. Even though everything about this event was legal. The promoters spent over $ 20,000 on this show and did everything they had to to make it legit, only to have it taken away from them by a group of radical neo-con's with an agenda.
This was one of the scariest things I have ever witnessed in person. I can't even begin to describe how surreal it was. Helicopters, assault rifles, tear gas, camoflauge-wearing soldiers.... why? Was that really necessary?
This needs to be big news across the USofA. At least in our music scene (edm as a whole)... this could happen to any of us at any time. When we're losing the right to gather peacefully, we're also letting the police set a standard of what we can get away with. And I think that's BULLSHIT!
The system fucked up last night... They broke up a party that was 100% legal and they physically hurt a lot of people there at the same time. The promoters already have 6 lawsuits ready to file with their lawyers and the ACLU is already involved.
I'm sure some pictures (and hopefully some video) will surface soon. I'll make sure to post them up here on 404, so you can see the Police State of America at work.
Here is a collection of information I've compiled regarding the incident. Regardless of what your opinion is, people were hurt and violated by the people who are supposed to be our protectors. That shit is not right anyway you look at it. I am seriously trembling from all the anger I have inside.
First Hand Account From Syze...
Last night was one of the worst nights of my life. I am still incredibly shaken up by what happened ....enough to the point of where I'm still having problems talking about it. So I will tell you my side in a few words then link you to a more detailed version of how Knick explains it .
I was playing in Salt Lake City about 1 hour away at a massive outdoor event. 700 presold tickets, and by 11:20, there were 1400 kids there already.... all in all total expected... 3 - 4k. This was an all drum and bass event, held on private land, with an amazing view of the mountains surrounding us. This event was fully contracted with the city. They had all permits, a huge insurance policy and they were paying taxes. you have to know this is because of what happened next. And in NO MEANS is this story exaggerated. word for word this is what happened.
It was 1145... I had 30 min before my set, so I was running around looking at the mountains and the people dancing, laughing , the crazy visuals they even had projecting on the mountains. I will share photos once I can see them. All of the sudden a helicopter comes in with massive spot lights .. all on the people circling everyone ... and within minutes like out of some fuckin movie , soldiers with guns (fucking rifles )come in out of the grass, like some Vietnam shit. The police in full riot gear come in, big trucks ... next thing you know they are throwing tear gas at people, setting dogs on people, arresting kids. 4 big guys on one DNB fan kicking him down tying his hands .... making kids sit in the dirt with their hands tied all in a line, now you must remember in this whole time NO ONE was resisting arrest or making a big deal, everyone peaceful started to walk out... but yet they were throwing tear gas... it gets worst ... but what’s even more fucked up is hundreds of kids on drugs driving home on the freeway while they were just in major trauma.
I still cant even figure out what the hell happened, the promoter called me to make sure me knick and spor were ok and I broke down crying.. couldn’t breath, I was freaking out ..... why? Is this what our fuckin country has come to .... a point of someone making a fully legal show and STILL getting busted for WHAT?????? What did 3000 kids on private land in the mountains near NOTHING .. do to ANYONE?
The promoters have a massive lawsuit and they have so much evidence against the county that its not even funny, I will be present to testify against these fuckin pigs. And if you think this matter is a joke then all I have to say is . I didn’t believe it until I had gas thrown at me. I am going to make sure I keep you all posted on this, and let you know if there’s a way any of you can help.
FYI for all people who where involved last night. If you where arrested by any one in the national guards (if thay where there, and that is what i heard) please read this...
It states that united states troops can only aid(support) in local law enforcement and can not make arrests or direct participation.
I hope this helps.
First Hand Account From Dylan Elder...
It's interesting to note how one-sided a conversation can quickly become upon having a fully automatic weapon waved in your face whilst attack hounds bark the vicious roar of bestial ferocity intended to strike fear deep into the heart. Evidently, by way of my actions that evening, I was a criminal who's acts were so heinous that suitable reprecussions included incarceration, or attacks with deadly force upon my person, all in the name of retaining order in a fit of domestic terrorism. I am a criminal, and was treated as such, all because I went to a large scale, state approved, and peacefull public gathering. Having no weapons, no illegal substances, no malicious intent, nor any kind of political agenda for the evening, in retrospect this gross display of militant force seemed excessive for such a circumstance, yet with my hands in clear sight, no yelling nor raise in my tone at all, I was a threat to myself, those around me, and to our proud and honorable men and women in uniform. Just a small recount of my experience last night.
Details of the show are trivial to the underlying theme of this article, but to list a few, the name of the show was Versus 2, featuring two artists I was quite excited to see, being DMC Champion turntablist Craze, and Knick from Evol Intent, amount others. The venue was just outside Spanish Fork, Ut., at what I believed to be some kind of construction site or quarry, it was hard to gather details in the dark. I arrived at approximatly 10:15 PM or so. Everything seemed to be very well run. Two security checkpoints searching cars, multiple people in the parking lot directing traffic to ensure dense and well structured parking, and lots of portable restrooms and trash cans spread about, both of which being key details to obtaining a mass gathering permit (amoung others). I just so happen to know that, as it was explained to me by a county sheriff last year, which makes for an interesting story in itself, but will be left untold for now. I got out of my car, and I was excited. The setup looked great, the moon was big and bright, the weather was ideal, and I was ready to hear some great music, see my friends, meet new people, and dance the night away. The venue was set up in such a fasion that when you walked down a path from the parking lot, you came to the secondary stage, and if you kept going on the path, you came to a larger clearing where the main stage was set up.
I made my way down to the second stage, said a quick hello to a few friends that were there, and started walking up towards the main stage. I was about half way up the path when I heard the music cut out from behind me. I could still hear the generator running, so I couldn't figure out why the music had stopped, but I just assumed they were having technical difficulties and thought nothing of it. I thought I'd probably head back down that way in a few minutes to see if there was anything I could do if they were having problems with the equipment, but I still wanted to go find a few people since I had just barely arrived. As I start walking back towards the main stage, I overheard a random person in the crowd yelling that the SWAT team had arrived and were shutting everything down.
I've been to a number of shows, and seen a fair share of them shut down, but I couldn't believe it was happening tonight. It was my understanding everything had been handled to ensure proper permits, legitimate private property with complete consent and understanding from all angles. I heard many people later explaining just how far the promoter of this show went to ensure everything went smoothly. I looked to my right and noticed police officers trudging through the bushes towards the main stage. Local enforcement was obvious, but I still couldn't believe that the SWAT team was there. I got to the main stage, saw a few more friends there, and just waited for a brief moment to see how it would pan out. What I had anticipated, as had happened before, would be music shut down, an officer barks a few orders on the microphone, kids with paraphernalia are searched and/or arrested, the furor dies down, and usually a suitable compromise is made. We turn the music down a bit, kids are asked to leave, but those who are truely there to have fun, to enjoy themselves, be there only for the music, get to stay and pan out the rest of their evening. That wasn't the case this time around.
After the main stage was shut down, the circling helicopter was getting closer to the ground, and that's when I saw the men in fatigues brandishing assult rifles. I had told a friend of mine to calm down, go with whatever happens, and we'll see how it works out. Thats when I spun around to see that innocent people on stage were recoiling in horror from having guns waved at them and orders barked. I can remember one officer in particular demanding that the record not just stop, but that everything had to be completely turned off, which people were scrambling to try comply with the demands, but that's not as easy to do when you're fearing for your life, I can only imagine. As people were rushing to try to collect their belongings, records, tents, audio equipment, the SWAT kept waiving their guns around and demanding microphone access after they had already had everything turned off and shut down. A man in uniform approached me and barked the order that I was to return to my car with no delay and leave. Even though previous experiences were less intense, I had been in that possition a time or two before, I feel a little veterened in handling such a situation. You win some, you lose some, I knew I was going home this time, but there's never any harm in a quick dialog between bystander and enforcement. In more words or less, I made it apparent that I was on my way out, I would passivly comply with whatever was needed to make this go easy, but I wanted to know under which grounds I was being evicted from my peacefull, private gathering. Usually when you show a voice of reason and zero threat of violence, you can at least talk with an officer for a bit. I was only able to ask my first question in a series that I had carefully planned, but the response I recieved was a curled lip, even more violent shouting, a gun pointed at me, and the threat that if I asked a single other question I would be detained or disabled my any means necessary. This is when I saw the dogs attacking people, and other kids being tackled by 3-4 of these "civil servents" at a time. I felt violated. I had done nothing to deserve that kind of treatment, but I felt I had to do what I could to try help other kids not get themselves in trouble. I told people to put there cameras away, I quelled a fair share of the anti-police sentiment amoungst the groups around me. Our small protest, albeit nonviolent, was better saved for another time.
I noticed in most of the shouting, many of the men in fatigues had trouble annunciating, indicating they were so full of adrenaline, who knows how itchy trigger fingers could have been. This full scale assult had obviously been carefully planned. I'm sure it took quite a bit of preperation to get this assult team properly geared up, get the helicopter ready, have probably every single bit of local enforcement that they could muster. There were even several reported sightings of morse code being blinked back and forth between opposite ends of the valley we were in. Many of these officers had also been recognized as being at parties previously, dating back as far as 2001 for shutting events down, and then being undercover at other shows later. Carefull planning indeed, but I am appalled. If you really felt you needed to, you could shut a show down with a handfull of cops and not a single gun comming unholstered. Although upset, there's no harm in being reasonable, there are so many other ways this could have been handled. I reprehend your execution on this one Utah County.
I suppose this is the result of a bored little army, but I feel dehumanized when treated like a terrorist when standing on the soil of a country I show patriotism for just as much as anyone. I've always been a big supporter of ending the war, support the troops, bring them home, yet suddenly a war of some nature is brought to me, and I am the enemy. Am I a criminal? Am I a terrorist? Verbage is freely open to interpretation, but there is no reprimand for such a severe punishment that was threatened upon me.
Had I inadvertantly said the wrong thing, or quickly moved my hand, or something that seemed imposing to one of these fatigued men, what's to stop me from quickly becoming a casualty of a battle that had no reason to happen in the first place? This night will bear the example of the most unnecessary act of force that Utah has seen all in the name of the Reducing American's Vulnerability to Ecstacy Act. Tax dollars well spent to ensure my safety, and the safety of my future children.
-Dylan L Elder
This is my account of events that unfolded while attending an outdoor electronic music event. I arrived shortly before 9 pm sharp. My two friends and i set up camp and headed to the stage. All was well and peaceful enjoying the music to the full extent while dancing. Around 11:30pm or so i noticed a helicopter flying above the main stage of the event. At this point i am confused. The chopper began to come in closer to the stage with a search light focused on the crowd. I got nervous and still very confused and walked over to find my two friends I had arrived with earlier. Just as soon as i did that I looked over at my friend and asked "whats going on". That is when I was greeted by a man in full army attire, gas mask and all. He said to leave. I said what whats going on, at which point i was brutally attacked. Thrown to the ground and in the scuffle punched in the face by swat. That was not it either. I suppose i posed some a threat as another swat member rushed over to subdue me to the ground puting his knee in my back and arresting me. At that point I am screaming to a patron "whats going on?" He is just as confused as I am. At that point another swat member came over and kicked me in the leg. Let me tell you that I also only weigh 130 pounds. I had three grown men attack and beat me and throw me to ground for absolutely no reason at all. Not to mention being dragged to a van and violently being tossed in and taken to jail.
Fined for resisting arrest and another outrageous charge. I do need to mention also that while this is all happening to me at the same time my two friends, a boy and girl were trying to reach out and stop them, at that point they were attacked and arrested as well.
That is my account. I have all the bruises to show. Our basic human rights were violated in a very bad way. We have to tell our story. Do all that you can and dont be afraid to speak up.