no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics

“People should be able to dance where they want”

June 9th, 2008

Last week, heavily armed cops dressed in commando-style uniforms burst into the west-side Detroit art gallery. (permalink PDF)

The raid carried out on the non-profit Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit wasn’t a well-coordinated sting operation to bust known
criminals. It wasn’t a mistake; the cops didn’t kick down the wrong door, which I suppose makes the situation all the more frightening. No, this vulgar display of force, done in the name of law and order, was carried out to prevent people from peacefully congregating and enjoying some artwork and refreshments with like-minded individuals.

Despite not finding any drugs, weapons, or people with outstanding warrants in attendance, Johnny Law stands to collect more than $50,000 in punitive fines and impound fees, so it wasn’t entirely unproductive. On the contrary, it was probably quite profitable. Bravo, lads. Bravo.

To the police, CAID was a blind pig, where people were buying beer after hours. They handed out 130 tickets for loitering in a place where alcohol was being sold illegally and impounded 44 cars, which cost $900 to get back.

To serve and protect, indeed. One point of contention is that CAID has not obtained a dancing permit from the government. Another is that some people were drinking or selling beer without a permit. The very existence of such requirements is preposterous.

Free men do not ask for permits to congregate peacefully and express themselves (both, by the way, rights enshrined in The Bill of Rights). A permit is a signal of obedience. It is accepting the State’s line, that without the permit, you don’t have the right to do something.

At least CAID gives no immediate indication of backing down: A CAID spokesperson said that, “People should be able to dance where they want.”

Damn straight.

no third solution

Blogging about liberty, anarchy, economics and politics