Resistrance: Bristol System


Bristol police were decidedly lacking in festive spirit this Xmas, when they tried to squash and stop the seasonal celebrations of the local free party folks.


First, on Boxing Day, 12 people were arrested and their equipment seized when the police stopped them holding a party in a disused bingo hall. Details are sketchy as yet, witnesses are required. Come New Years Eve, a free party was organised to take place in a large, multi-roomed empty warehouse. Care had been taken to ensure it wasn’t near any residential properties (even though everyone stays up on New Years Eve!), and wouldn’t be problem to the locals.


Despite this, the police turned up in force and told us we wouldn’t be having a party. When questioned on what laws or powers they were using to shut us down (much to their dismay, the criminal Justice Act and the licensing laws do not cover free warehouse party’s). The policeman in charge replied: “What are you, a fucking Barrister now…? You’re not having a party because I SAY SO..!”


Numerous policemen then lined up in an attempt at preventing people getting into the warehouse. But when it became apparent that we weren’t going to be intimidated into not having a party, they waded in and began indiscriminately beating party people with their truncheons. As a result of this action, alot of people received injuries, some of them quite serious. One woman was on the floor being beaten by at least 3 or 4 policemen and one man was held down over a railway line by two policemen who repeatedly smashed his face into a sleeper until his nose caved in.


Thankfully, there is photographic evidence of some of these attacks. However the police attacked another photographer and `stole’ his camera. (editors note: These sort of stories will often be dis-believed without people making the effort to gather evidence. We never need to lie, but sometimes we do need to prove what goes on).


Needless to say, all this behaviour didn’t stop a lot of the people who wanted in, so a big shout and massive respect to all the party people who went for it and made the rave!! Police disappeared just after midnight to get to the pubs and clubs where they knew they were needed to deal with all the violence and drunkenness and crime that goes hand in hand with town centres, but is virtually non-existent at free party’s.


It goes without saying that despite the police operation against us numerous systems rocked until 8.30am, making sure that we had a wicked night anyway!!


In the morning, the police turned up again in force and started seizing equipment and arresting people. Though we managed to smuggle most of our gear out, the police succeed in seizing 2 soundsystems, 5 generators and arresting 11 people (that we know of). The police later claimed they were “hunting for the organisers” when they were making arrests. Oh! well, that all right then!! We will not be taking this lying down – but we need your support. Anyone who was arrested, assaulted, witnessed arrests and/or took photographs, please contact the number below.

Tony Stokoe (Solicitors) – 0181 549 4282


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