John Headstrong
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why repeal the CJA ? (Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994)
Categories: General

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg made a speech where he called on the public to nominate laws to be repealed, “we will repeal all of the intrusive and unnecessary laws that inhibit your freedom.”

Well, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 (CJA) came to mind, a law that I have mentioned on a past blog post. So while Nick was still finishing off his speech I started a facebook group called “repeal the CJA and all laws that affect free festival,raves and living free”  With very little promotion the group expanded to over 3000 members before Parliament had even started, many people posted on the group wall with really positive comments, inspiring videos and some excellent memories.

so, the question is “why repeal the CJA ?”  most politicians regardless of political party think the CJA stops all them squaters/raves/travellers/protesters from causing ‘trouble’ because that is how the main stream media has painted us. so lets have a look at the CJA from the other side, with a small dash of ‘spin’

Sections 61 & 62: “Trespassers on land” is a anti traveller section, it even gives the  police powers to seize vehicles.

Living a van, bus or truck is a fairly low impact lifestyle, you can get an old bus for a bargain , get a wood burner for heating maybe a windmill and solar panels for 12v electrical system and you have a mortgage free starter home.  So that is a sustainable housing solution.

Sections 63, 64 & 65: Raves

“A ‘rave’ is defined as a gathering of 100+ people, at which amplified music (‘wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats'[!) is played which is likely to cause serious distress to the local community, in the open air and at night.”

Amazing, we apparently live in a democracy, but we are not allowed to gather and listen to music. All we want to do is dance and talk. Indeed we need to talk, the world is in crisis environmentally and financially, we need to talk about how we plan to live in the future, it is far to important for it to be left to politicians.  So raves are ‘democratic  meetings’ where in the morning, when everyone has relaxed we can discuss the future.

Sections 72, 73 & 74: Squatters – and Protected Intended Occupiers

Squatting has long history in the UK, currently with the financial crisis there are more empty properties than ever. The facts are that  houses/buildings are kept empty until the price of that property get high enough for the owner/ speculator to sell on for profit, or neglect the building until they can knock it down and build something else. Squatting is recycling buildings, turning used property into homes.

repeal the CJA so that we can start making a more sustainable livable life NOW!

5 Comments to “why repeal the CJA ? (Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994)”

  1. A ‘rave’ is defined as a gathering of 100+
    people, at which amplified music (‘wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats’[!) is played which is likely to cause serious distress to the local community, in the open air and at night.”

    So an village faire with morris dancers dancing away to a band using a drum and amplifying their sound would be classed as a rave if it went on into the night. I know many people that would find morris dancing distressing.

    The only reason this law came in was to safguard the land of a handful of people, not even farmland and crops. Indeed, I have known of raves where the landowner gave their consent and even turned up! Also there is the small matter of tax, an outdoor rave does not make any and costs police power. I am sure that was a cosideration.

  2. Jayne Smalley says:

    In the nineties, regular alnight parties were being held at a local nature reserve in the midlands.
    I helped support some of these parties, attended them, got involved. We would bring dead wood on site to protect the reserve, stop people trashing live trees for fires. At one event, that was huge, we invited/ bought along St Johns Ambulance. There were huge drums of drinking water available and large old oil drums full of sand in case of fire incidents.
    The Police supported us because the local crime rate & antisocial behaviour incidents fell during the eve of the party and days, sometimes weeks after.
    I do not suggest that partys attract people with ill intent, only that a lot of crimes are a result of communities being bored, people falling out, being maliscious towards eachother, often under the influence of cheap alcohol, consumed to beat the boredom. Especially the young.
    At the majority of alnight music & dance partys
    ( raves) I’ve attended. people have come together to forget this boredom, to dance their depressive cares away. An affordable event when individuals have had so little, for so long.
    At partys, people have the opportunity, to recognise they are not alone, they are equal, not judged, not under scrutiny, not challenged, just part of a fun plan. An experince, that for some, helps to forges new friendships, can change their outlook on life, and provides a well needed escape from the confines of daily life.

  3. Annie Haz says:

    Just left this on the HM Government site as an idea. :
    It makes great sense to repeal the parts of the CJA that make dancing and listening to music a criminal offence. This has been taken to outrageous lengths by some counties with the loss of liberty, homes(in vehicles) and property that ensues. To find an area that has few near by residents and listen to music and dance all night, celebrating life, the beauty of our countryside and enjoying the company of friends should not be illegal, it should be encouraged. Clearing up afterwards should always be a part of the event and we shouldnt need a license or have to justify, or pay, for the privilege of being alive and happy to be so. Its rare that people are bothered or aggravated by parties more that one night a year, the locations vary as often as the weather and the attendees, so is being disturbed one night of the year really such a trial? where’s the tolerance? dont moan and complain, come and join us, you’d be very welcome.

    Why the contribution is important

    the CJA removed liberties and rights that have been integral to our country and its democracy for scores of years. The right to meet, to pass information, to enjoy the sound of laughter, music and the company of friends in the country that we live in and love, should be a joyous occasion, not a fearful “will we be beaten up by police or arrested for talking about it?” event. People who attend these events are referred to as “Them”, “they stopped members of the public enjoying peace & quiet”, WE are members of the public, we are not aliens or animals. We pay taxes, work in the community, drink water and play with children. Peace and quiet is destroyed on a regular basis by jugernauts and airoplanes. Divisive publicity, encouraging segregation and discrimination is not the way forward towards a happy and integrated society. I know I am not the only 55 year old Grandmother who enjoys dancing in the moonlight to the music of her choice, with friends and in the Country that I love,. surely this should not be a crime?

  4. zippy bass says:

    its not just party culture that we want to repeal>>
    th cja covers living in vehicles,hunt saboteurs,squatters,most types of protest from animal rights up to road protests>>
    headstrong and myself have been protesting since the early 90’s>>
    we have several ideas to show how draconian the laws are,but we cant say what how or when>>>
    if enough people get involved and sign the petition headstrong and myself WILL make sure it will get READ>>>
    apparently the pm’s wife came to protests and parties!!!!!(so i heard)
    zippy bass

  5. Unfortunately the CJA is about more than public gatherings…. Maggie Thatchers Government was taken by surprise by the Miners strike and subsequently lost a lot of support over the way it was handled…..and so plans were starting to be made with regard to the handling of such situations…the Labour Government ran with it and used it to protect their interests with regard to Agri and Pharacutical business against the A.R movement. The Labelling of all AR supporters by the Government as Terrorists made it easy for them to impliment. The police just use it against whoever they choose and bend the rules to suit their own purposes…they are just a Government run security firm…until the Government stop labelling the AR movement as terrorists the police will continue to be trained accordingly and so will see any group of people gathering for whatever reason as a potential threat to the Government as so must be quashed by whatever means necessary ….youtube footage proves it.