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About the rise and repression of the free festival movement

We document here an article from the magazine DATACIDE, from Christoph Fringeli:

Radical Intersections

It is about:

The rise and repression of the free festival movement in the UK and some intersections with radical anti-politics.

This article is based on a series of talks held in Basel, Berlin, Graz and Rome in 2007, and has been revised for this issue of datacide.
It doesn’t attempt to present a definitive history, but follow some tracks of contamination and inspiration. Some readers will already be familiar with some of the described historical frames, others not at all. It was written in a way that should be accessible without prior knowledge in terms of the facts and factoids, but under the assumption of an understanding of the validity of counter cultures as possible antitheses to the capitalist culture industry.
It also leaves out many other strains that contributed to this antagonism, such as left communism, surrealism, lettrism, the situationists, communes, sexpol, anti-psychiatry, neoism etc, as it focusses on the festival.

“The festival is apt to end frantically in an orgy, a nocturnal debauch of sound and movement transformed into rhythm and dance by the crudest of instruments.” (Roger Caillois, 1938)

The ancient monoliths of Stonehenge (1) always had a special meaning in pagan circles in Britain, since it is the largest construction of its kind, and there were neo-pagan meetings there since at least the beginning of the 20th Century, although the “Ancient Order of Druids” had already been founded in 1781.
In the 1960’s the marginal pagan movement was reinforced by the growing interest in esotericism, paganism and occultism with a new generation of Hippies, and the site of Stonehenge became a place of pilgrimage especially around summer solstice.
At the beginning of the 1970’s these congregations were turned into the Stonehenge Free Festival, where revellers would listen to live bands and freak out.
They became an important mark in the development of a counter culture that was trying to disassociate itself from the state and bourgeois society, going hand in hand with the popularisation of a psychedelic anti-Capitalism inspired by Timothy Leary et. al.
The Hippie congregations at Stonehenge soon became a thorn in the side of the authorities. In 1974 a confrontation ensued, as the hippies didn’t just come this year, but stayed: They occupied the area permanently.
In Britain a land- or house-owner has to press charges against specific persons and name these in order to remove them from the property. Since on the other hand there is no duty to carry ID cards, it was possible that the hippies all adopted the multiple name Wally with the intention to turn the court case into a farce.
They not only succeeded in this, the Wallies also got a lot of media attention, especially “Wally Hope”, Phil Russell, a Hippie drop-out from an upper class family who held the opinion that he had met Christ and who acted as a kind of leader.
Although they lost the case, all they had to do was move on a few yards and there the camp existed until towards the end of the year.
In the first months of 1975 preparations began for the next festival. Phil Russell was also out and about promoting.

A little later there was a home search by the police which apparently had nothing to do with Russell directly, but he was present and was searched closely enough for 3 acid tabs to be found. He was arrested and after questioning put into a mental hospital where he was pumped full of such high doses of neuroleptics that he wasn’t only temporarily turned into a zombie. He also suffered some of the worst effects of neuroleptics: dyskenesia, a lasting motoric disturbance.
Russell was released a few days after the next Stonehenge festival had taken place. He died only a few weeks later, a broken man, suffocating from his own vomit after an overdose of sleeping pills.

A year later someone turned up at the Stonehenge festival with the ashes from Russell’s cremation. His ashes were scattered across the stones by a bunch of Hippies.

But Stonehenge was by no means the only festival. In fact there were 70-80 such festivals around the year. Of course this also created its own economy. Many travelling families lived off selling all kinds of merchandise at these events. It also dominated a life-style: People were following the festivals all year round, meeting up, trading goods and stories.

Christ – The Album
In the years 1975-77 the punk movement established itself. Supposedly there was a clean break with the hippie traditions, and many young punks proudly displayed “Never trust a hippie” buttons. But this was only partially true. One punk band that at least to some degree came right out of the Hippie festival milieu was the explicitly anarchist band Crass.
With their 1982 record “Christ – The Album” they set out to create a monument to Wally Hope. The liner notes feature an extensive description of Russell’s story, written by Crass member Penny Rimbaud, who had been involved with Wally since the early 70’s.

Nigel Ayers of Nocturnal Emissions is putting this into perspective elsewhere (2) and even accuses Rimbaud of creating a death cult around Russell. Russell is clearly described as a martyr by Rimbaud. In fact, according to Ayers, it was Rimbaud who had arrived at that Stonehenge festival with Russell’s ashes and distributed them over the celtic stones…

Around the time they recorded the album, Crass had to go through an unpleasant experience at a Stonehenge festival. Several hundred punks – who usually would have stayed away from such Hippie events – were attracted to the festival due to the fact that the band was playing. According to Rimbaud it came to a sort of blood-night when a gang of bikers started to hunt down punks and brutally beat many of them up.
Thus, at the beginning of the 80’s, the different sub-cultures were not yet coming together in a way as it would happen a decade later, when hippies, ravers and crusties started congregating at festivals in the countryside playing acid and techno.

Not much later – in 1985 – the Stonehenge festival was made illegal. On June 1st that year traveller convoys were attacked by hundreds of police in what would go down in history as the “Battle of the Beanfields”.
Vehicles were vandalized by rampaging cops and many travellers – including pregnant women – were beaten, some in front of running cameras.

In the 80’s conservative Thatcher government was waging a class war from above. The combative working class and minorities were on the defensive. Again and again this lead to eruptions of social revolts, like in the “Summer with a thousand Julys” of 1981, when rioting tore apart some of the inner cities. The traditional radical working class movement suffered a heavy defeat in the Miners Strike of 1984/85.
By the end of the decade the government tried to introduce a poll tax where every person had to pay the same amount regardless of their income.
According to police about 200’000 people came to the demonstration against its introduction on March 31st 1990. It came to massive street fighting and mass militancy.
One consequence of the Poll Tax was that by 1992 about 1.8 million Britons had “disappeared”, i.e. were not in any way registered anymore.

Tribes and Posses
In the meantime, fundamental changes were happening in the music scene as well.
One of the consequences of Punk was on the one hand the establishment of countless independent labels and on the other hand changes in the general reception of new pop music. This expanded the possibilities of experimental productions. There is no doubt that particularly the first years of post-punk saw an explosion of creativity.
Some bands in the post punk scene were touring the country with a “tribe” of followers, such as Adam and the Ants, something that was somewhat commodified in the spin-off of Bow Wow Wow (with Malcolm McLaren as impressario), but also with bands such as Southern Death Cult.

Very quickly there was also a tendency to adapt conventional marketing techniques and create new ones.
While there were always those who attempted to counteract this development, the general development was clear by the mid-80’s. The “independent” market had started to reproduce itself more and more through the same mechanisms as the “mainstream”.

In this sad situation came unexpected innovations.
Lured by the obscure promise of pleasure by a flyer, you could find yourself suddenly in a warehouse in the industrial quarter at a party. A DJ who often was somewhere in the corner at the turntables – sometimes invisible to the party-goer – had replaced the performer.
Strobes and smoke contributed to the disorientation of the senses.
As strange as that may sound these days, it was really something crazy, new and different.

The whole mechanisms of mediation of music were turned upside down. The party was an event that unhinged the accepted hierarchies of the music business.
But not only was the DJ somebody in the corner who contributed to a whole experience without being in the centre of it, she or he also played all these records that as white labels had no author in the classic sense.
Like this the record was not a product that would be promoted in a conventional way so as many people as possible would buy it, the set of the DJ was not advertisement.
Rather the record was a tool for the DJ and the result of the set owed something to an exchange with the audience.
Just as important: The geography where this took place was mostly occupied urban space.
And: The sound systems which accomplished this were at least tendentially egalitarian collectives, trying to realize a collective practice.

Of course it didn’t happen from one day to the next that Acid House and Techno were just there, but it was the result of a process which again was social as well as musical. The social aspect was the use of urban space for so called warehouse parties. Initially – in the mid-80’s – the music that was played was Funk, Soul, early Electro and such (3). Certain aspects of electro were radicalized with the development of electronic instruments and through the fact that they became less and less expensive.

Important in our context is that – predominantly in London at first – the warehouse parties were starting to be a mass phenomenon around 1987. Not only that, it also drew the attention of the mass media which often turned into panic mongering, not too dissimilar to how Hippies in the first place and Punk later was received. (The Labour MP Marcus Lipton had said in 1977: “If pop music is going to be used to destroy our established institutions, then it ought to be destroyed first.”)

Mind you, the warehouse parties that started attracting regular numbers like 10’000 in North London were not free parties, nor were they even cheap. A rather large underground economy developed from this where a quite Thatcher-compatible entrepreneurial spirit developed. The ideology of anything-goes capitalism was extended to dealing drugs and organizing large scale events.

On Top Non Stop
Around this time, ca. 1990, there were new developments. Crews of people got together who were socialized both through the Hippie festivals and the urban Acid House events. Often these were squatters. Also there was a fluctuation between squatters and travellers as many travellers moved into town in the hard winter months into occupied houses or industrial areas.

Another historical line that comes into play here is the history of the Jamaican Reggae and Dub sound systems, which I can only mention in passing (4).

Who was first to have the idea of taking a sound system to one of these festivals and to play techno instead of hippie music is the stuff of legends.
In any case at this time there were quickly some larger, and many smaller sound systems who started to do exactly that: Circus Lunatek, Circus Warp, Bedlam, DiY, Spiral Tribe.

Despite their legendary stature, the history of the actual Spiral Tribe – its original incarnation – is quite short.
Activities start around 1990 with a succession of parties and end – for a time – already in 1992 with the arrest of 13 key members after the festival of Castlemorton.

Spiral Tribe set themselves apart in several respects from the other sound systems by projecting a different image with their shaved heads, black combat clothes and their graphic concepts.
Their backdrops were designed with an extreme recognition value in silver and black creating a sort of corporate identity. There were the large Mercedes vans and a generally confrontative attitude.

Their ideology was shaped by a psychedelic messianism which had much more to do with LSD than with the Ecstasy that had fuelled the initial House scene, and thus reached back to the early days of the Hippie festivals while embracing the latest technology.

While other sound systems were more interested in surviving unrecognized, therefore more in tune with the sub-proletarian attitude of “ducking and diving”, one of the Spiral Tribe slogans was “on top non stop”.
A situation that is “on top” is one that is almost out of control. It is crisis, a state of emergency.

Easter Monday 1992 – Violent break-up of a Spiral Tribe party at Acton Lane by special police unit, the Territorial Support Group. After a bloody 2 1/2 hour siege, they break through the concrete wall, all partygoers are beaten down and made to lay on the ground, a boy who tried to escape to the roof was thrown off by police, breaking both arms and legs.
The next day the Spirals convoy is escorted out of London by a low flying helicopter.

Convinced to be part of a revolutionary new development, they were quite willing to seek the confrontation with the state power. And they wouldn’t initially reject the responsibility for something they couldn’t actually have done on their own, as was the case with Castlemorton.
But what they couldn’t know is that the state power wanted to get them for exactly that reason.

Castlemorton became the biggest free festival with at least two dozen sound systems – also thanks to the police who prevented another festival from happening and diverted thousands of visitors to Castlemorton who otherwise wouldn’t have even gone there.

Shortly afterwards, on June 4, instead of returning to the countryside Spirals attempted to do a party in Canary Wharf, right at the heart of capitalist London, which was swiftly stopped by police.

The court case about Castlemorton where Spiral Tribe were getting the blame for being the instigators became one of the most costly cases in British legal history and ended only two years later in 1994 with the acquittal of all defendants.

But this was by no means the only example of repression, already on July 22, 1990 – soon after the Poll Tax riot and before Spiral Tribe had even done their first party, 836 people had been arrested when police busted a rave party in Gildersome near Leeds, constituting one of the largest peace time arrests in Europe in the last century.

Another example – after Castlemorton – is “Operation Anagram”, when on January 31, 1993, Exodus Sound System in Luton were raided “to prevent a breach of the peace”. 36 people arrested, PA impounded. Between four and five thousand people surrounded the police station with the result that all arrested were released without charges.

Kill the Bill
A new Criminal Justice Bill (which eventually became law as the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994) was drawn up and began its process of becoming law. It contained a number of measures that were directed specifically against the scenes I’m describing: ravers, squatters, travellers, hunt saboteurs.
Ravers became a target insofar that their events were criminalised. In fact there are specifically musical criteria to justify the intervention of the state in the event of a rave taking place, defined through a “succession of repetive beats” in the presence of a certain number of people under clear sky.
The CJB was a document of class struggle against marginalized segments of society.

“Society needs to condemn a little more and understand a little less. New age travellers? Not in this age! Not in any age!” – John Major, Prime Minister.

7 June 1993 – Daily Telegraph editorial describes squatters and travellers as a “swarming tribe of human locusts”.

Despite the fact that the CJB also contained a number of segments eroding civil liberties under the guise of “anti-terrorist” measures, there was remarkably little criticism against the bill, particularly not from the left-liberal circles who should in principle have opposed it. However the Labour Party didn’t want at any cost to be associated with marginal elements in society after losing the elections of the 80’s and early 90’s and trying to profile themselves as a “new” people’s party.

Thus it was up to the concerned groups to fight the introduction of the bill.
In general, ravers, travellers and squatters were not per se politically organised. That being said, there were many political tendencies, probably too many to put under one umbrella.

A large one could be described with the then current term of “life style anarchism”. This describes a diffuse kind of anarchism with a rather instinctive hostility towards the state and the police. This attitude could be found with punks as well as travellers and ravers.
Another was a very mild psychedelic hippiedom which was more recruited from the middle class and was crystallized around the club Megatripolis. This scene also had direct connections to the old festival scene, but tried to realize their project in Heaven, one of the trendiest clubs in London which had been bought by Richard Branson, the entrepreneur behind Virgin.

The Socialist Workers Party and other Trots in the meantime tried to jump onto the bandwagon of the emerging grassroots movement against the bill.
The SWP had already met a lot of rejection in the scene at the time. Nevertheless they managed repeatedly to give the demonstrations a “face” by printing thousands of placards and handing them out. This type of interference was also evident more recently at anti-Iraq-War demonstrations.

Viewed more sympathetically in at least a part of the scene was the Class War Federation, the militant anarchist organisation grouped around the “proletarian” tabloid newspaper Class War.
Other organisations that had a certain influence on the scene were the various factions of “green” anarchism, including Animal Liberation Front, Earth First! and Green Anarchist. It is especially the latter whose dubious ideology has to be criticised.
Self-sufficient villages, regression of technology, the “destruction of civilisation” was their aim. It was only consequent that its founder Richard Hunt ended in the far right after leaving GA in 1991. Thus it could be argued that GA fostered far right ideologies all along.(5)
However in our context it has to be mentioned that due to its hostility to technology, GA made few inroads into the techno scene.

There were new organisations such as the Advance Party which were set up to combat the CJB and recruited mostly free party people. The driving force behind it was the person who had run the info line for free parties in London for years.
Some surprisingly large demonstrations took place. These usually – and with it the Criminal Justice Bill – received very little media attention unless they turned into a riot.

Unfortunately some took a nasty pacifist stance, with publishing a leaflet titled “Keep it Fluffy”, calling for violent demonstrators to be marked with paint so the police could arrest them. Far from being just despicable or even ridiculous, there were actual arrests made and people ended up in prison. This scandal shows that the movement was very diverse, to say the least, in its political outlooks. Class War answered back with a leaflet called “Keep it Spikey”.

By the time the new CJB became law and Spiral Tribe were acquitted at Wolverhampton Crown Court, the situation had become a completely different one. It had become practically impossible to organize illegal festivals with techno. Although the CJA barely touched on illegal parties in urban areas, it had a negative effect on travellers and squatters.

For Spiral Tribe themselves it was clear that it had become impossible to act in Britain.
Instead of giving up, they – and other sound systems – quite on the contrary began exporting the idea of festivals to the continent.

Especially in France the resonance was enormous, which led in turn to a social phenomenon and repression by the state. There were analogous developments in Italy, Czech and other countries.

Temporary Autonomous Zones
A book that had a lot of influence was T.A.Z. – The Temporary Autonomous Zone by Hakim Bey, a pseudonym of the author Peter Lamborn Wilson, published by Autonomedia in 1991.
The TAZ became a much used slogan for mobilisation and provided a theoretical framework for some in the free party scene. Apparently no one noticed what a hotchpotch the book was, deriving ideas from anarchism, neo-primitivism, post-structuralism, 17th century pirates, dropouts of the american west, Gabriele D’Annunzio and the first Munich council republic, to arrive in the present with Cyberpunk and the first manifestations of the internet.
The basic idea is not unappealing:
‘The TAZ is like an uprising which does not engage directly with the state, a guerilla operation which liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to re-form elsewhere/elsewhen BEFORE the State can crush it.’

However, the historical examples used in the book often don’t withstand closer scrutiny.
Little reliable information is available about pirate settlements and newly formed nomadic tribes of escaped slaves, deserters, outlaws and Indians in the North America of the 18th century. As such they can serve as a projection screen for some of the sound system crews seeing themselves as “tribes”.
But where there is enough information Bey’s descriptions often turn out to be totally falsified.
For example he describes Gabriele D’Annunzio as a ‘decadent poet, artist, musician, aesthete, womanizer, pioneer daredevil aeronautist, black magician, genius and cad’ and trivializes his conquest of the city of Fiume at the end of WW1 as an anarchist prank, when in reality it was done out of nationalistic motives and with the help of Freikorps-type formations of disgruntled ex-soldiers. I can not reconstruct in what way music supposedly served as an “organisational principle” as it said in the constitution of Fiume.
That the 18 months of Fiume were a permanent party becomes rather dubious if one learns that D’Annunzio’s strongmen introduced the practice of beating up opponents and forcing them to imbibe castor oil, a practice copied a little later by Mussolini’s thugs.
The SS-type uniforms and the roman salute were also an inspiration for the fascist terror that would soon break loose in Italy.
A TAZ as a stage rehearsal for fascism?

Bey is twisting the history to such a degree that he turns all this into a great party, makes D’Annunzio become a fascist only years later and even has Mussolini kill him, which is as far removed from the truth as most other claims he makes.

This doesn’t mean one can insinuate a fascist ideology in the concept of the TAZ as such, but we have to mention that it’s not automatically linked with emancipatory aims.

Bey discredited himself quite thoroughly with his following book Millennium in 1996 , but with T.A.Z. he has created more of a buzzword than a coherent theory, and has managed to remain somewhat influencial.

Cultural Contaminants
A smaller and more heterogenous scene, which was not connected to a particular organisation but was rooted in the post-situationist, ultra-left tendency of the communist movement, was comprised of people who were grouped around magazines, papers and newsletters such as TechNet, Underground, Fatuous Times, Break/Flow, Communist Headache, Autotoxicity, and of course the Praxis Newsletter, Alien Underground and later Datacide.
There were many more or less interconnected groupuscules and projects such as the Neoist Alliance, London Psychogeographic Association, the Association of Autonomous Astronauts, Luther Blisset Project, Decadent Action, etc.
From 1994-96, a collective with members from Adverse, TechNet, and Praxis organized the monthly Dead By Dawn parties in the squatted anarchist centre in 121 Railton Road in Brixton, London. By combining talks before the party with the sonic intensifications of the latest hardcore beats, they tried to contribute to a radicalization of consciousness.

Especially worth mentioning is TechNet, a collective project which produced newsletters consisting of a mix of poetry, manifesto and theory, postulating techno as “Psycho-Social Tumult”, a collective practice of intensification standing in an irreconcilable antagonism towards the celebrity machine.
The music and its practice was described as unstable and cataclysmic, and there was a certain confidence that it would be able to defy the mechanisms of recuperation.
In the context of the CJA, TechNet wrote:

“Techno is the cultural contaminant that propels us towards the collectivity of the rave party with the resultant group-noise being the catalyst for a game of risk, gambling on slavery or freedom. This is the threat to the government.”

Reclaim the Streets
In the meantime there were also new forms of political action such as the Reclaim the Streets actions starting around 1996.
The main idea of RTS was to occupy urban space, often streets and junctions, and turn them into lively parties. Sound systems thus became an integral part of these illegal party-demonstrations, and clearly this was a continuity from the anti-CJB protests, while other aspects drew inspiration from the ‘80ies “Stop the City” and “Bash the Rich”-marches and the ideas of situationists like Raoul Vaneigem: “make Carneval the revolutionary moment”.
The idea was applied in different places with growing success.

Initially it was mainly ecological issues that were important. But more and more the attempt was made to link up with what was left of the radical working class movement.
There was a collaboration with Liverpool dockers in the election year 1997 which ended with a party on Trafalgar Square. In the following years there was a focus on May 1st.

The most spectacular RTS was the Carneval Against Capitalism in the City of London on June 18, 1999.
I was prepared with a lot of time and energy. For example a spoof-newspaper was printed – Evading Standards which copied the look of the popular Evening Standard newspaper.
Also a little guide through the City of London, one of the most important financial centres in the world, was produced

The meeting point was Liverpool Street station. Thousands came.
The police as well as the majority of the attendees were completely in the dark as far as the plans were concerned.
The police believed that the plan would be to bring a sound system into the station and have a big party there. For this reason it was impossible to even get close to the station with a vehicle. However the plan was completely different. Masks that had 4 different colours were distributed. Soon 4 different marches moved through the city, there were numerous actions at different institutions. Hours later the four marches united at a pre-arranged place where the sound system was already playing.
The police had been so outmanoeuvered that their reaction was all the more violent.
Hours of street fighting ensued, a trail of destruction was blazed from the City of London to Trafalgar Square. There was considerable damage.

This massive success of RTS was also its last one.
The government announced a “war of attrition” against RTS.
The following action in November was simply surrounded by police and many activists from the carnival that had been identified in the meantime were arrested.

On Mayday 2000 there was a memorable action of “guerilla gardening”, but the police strategy of containment was successfully applied. If I remember right there was also no sound system on Parliament Square.
In the runup to Mayday a two-day conference with workshops and discussions had taken place.

In London, the RTS type of direct action had run its course by Mayday 2001. There was simply no room to manoeuvre anymore, the element of surprise no longer worked.

Later the brand name “Reclaim the Streets” was and is often used for completely legal demonstration with some trucks with sound systems. Obviously this is a travesty of the original idea.
A travesty was also the way it was attempted to register the names “Spiral Tribe” and “Teknival” as trade marks by a commercial distributor in the late ‘90ies… and a larger than life myth that for a while manifested itself in exorbitant prices for their early record releases.

Police patrolled “Sarkovals” (legalised teknivals ironically called after the then interior minister and now president Sarkozy) have become the rule in France…

Teknival culture has not been completely defeated, but I think it’s safe to say that it has lost its character as an actual counter-culture.
It has rather become a small sub-culture in the last few years, carving out an existence on the margins of the culture industry, a sub-culture with its own specific sound, hair-dos and clothing.
So if the virulent intersection of sound systems and protest seems to have run its course for now, this just means the discontent it expressed has been covered up, but not that it has disappeared. In the current climate of crisis it can be expected to raise its head once more, but more than likely with a completely different look, sound and smell…

Listen up to detect in noise fragments of the future.

(1) Lionel Sims of the Radical Anthropology Group argues in an article in the Weekly Worker ( from Oct. 9, 2008, that Stonehenge indeed represents “neolithic counterrevolution”, the transformation of society from matriarchal communism to patriarchy:
“Stonehenge is not just about the sun. It also shows complex knowledge of the moon, suitable for explaining a lunar-solar cosmology, in which the sun is appropriating, at its setting at winter solstice, exactly the magical properties of the dark moon that would fit an ancient lunar timescale respecting dark moon symbolism. Stonehenge was designed to continue that tradition, but confiscate it for the new purpose of an emerging agricultural society ruled by priests and cattle-owning wealthy men.”
This of course puts the Hippie pilgrimages in an ironic light.

(2) Nigel Ayers on the Wallys:

(3) see DJ Controlled Weirdness’ article in this issue.

(4) see Howard Slater’s “Lotta Continua: Roots Music and the Politics of Production” in Datacide 9 and online here:
as well as John Eden’s talk at the 2008 datacide conference (to be published):
“Shaking The Foundations: Reggae soundsystems meet ‘Big Ben British values’ downtown”

(5) see Luther Blissett and Stewart Home: Green Apocalypse, Unpopular Books.“

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Geredet haben bei MbF 2018:

* The Cram – MbF-Kollektiv (Moderation)
* Christof Fringeli – DatacidePraxis Records
* (Aktionsbündnis A100 stoppen!)
* Eine Delegierte des Nordkiezplenums Friedrichshain
* Ein Delegierter der ehem. Friedel Neukölln
* Eine Sprecherin der Anwohner_inneninitiative gegen das Carre-Sama-Riga Friedrichshain
* Ein Sprecher der #besetzen Aktionsgruppe (

Gespräche und Diskussionen am Rande und Mittendrin gab es u.a. mit:
* Floßmenschen, Hausbootbewohner*innen
* Anwohner*innen, Nachbar*innen (Hauptstraße)
* Passant*innen, Spaziergänger*innen
* Wagenplatzbewohner*innen
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Unsere Eröffnungsansprache 2018:


Uns gibt es seit 2010 als freien Zusammenschluß und selbstorganisiertes Kollektiv, einen bunten Haufen Menschen, politisch Aktiver, Kulturschaffender, freischaffender Künstler*innen, Selbstständiger, Arbeiter*innen, freier Musiker*innen, Graphiker*innen, Visualisierer*innen, Gestalter*innen, Discjockeys (DJ*s und DJanes), Verleger*innen, Autor*innen, Handwerker*innen und Sozialpädagog*innen, wie Sozialarbeiter*innen.

Wir sind heute hier, weil uns der Ort so gut gefällt, d.h. gefiel und wir seine Veränderung mit Schrecken beobachtet haben. Für uns war dieser Teil der Bucht so etwas wie ein Teil des Kiezes, ein Teil unseres Zuhauses, ein Teil der Orte die wir gern haben, zu denen wir gern kamen, zum Verweilen, Plaudern, Chillen, Pläne schmieden, glücklich sein.
Nun wird es hier wie überall anders werden. Anders, das müsste nicht immer gleich schlimm sein und was hier geplant ist, mag so manchen guten und lehrreichen Zweck haben (können). Schön ist z.B. das hier in der Gegend eine alte Knastanlage für etwas positives, wie das Wohnen, genutzt wird.
Es ist aber schon anders in dem negativen Sinne geworden, daß es hier nicht mehr so nett wildromantisch und frei ist.
Ein großer Teil des Ufers wurde bereits sichtbar begradigt und einbetoniert, andere folgten rasch, auf allen Seiten. Mit dem Beton kamen die Sanierungen und die Neubauten. Bald werden auch die alte Hauptstraße am Ostkreuz und der Eingang zur Stralauer Halbinsel nicht mehr wiederzuerkennen sein, so wie der Bahnhof Ostkreuz und die Gleisanlagen und zwar so, daß es keinen solchen Spaß mehr macht hier an einem schönen lauen Sommerabend hierhin zu kommen und einfach nur mal so spazieren zu gehen ohne den schalen Beigeschmack von Ordnungs- und Bebauungswahn dabei zu haben.
Das wäre aber alles noch nicht so schrecklich schlimm, wenn damit nicht seit Anfang an die Mietpreissteigerungen einhergehen würden, die das Leben hier für viele Menschen, wenn nicht gar die meisten, vorher hier lebenden, unmöglich machen und an den Stadtrand oder in Wohnsilos (manche sagen sogar „Wohnklos“) mit schlechter Isolation und dünnen Wänden verdrängen.

Insbesondere für Künstler*innen und freie Kulturschaffende ist das besonders hart. Denn als Künstler*in will Mensch sich eigentlich keinem Markt unterworfen sehen. Darum tuen sich die meisten auch so schwer damit sich zu vermarkten, sprich zu verkaufen.

Berlin verliert mit der zunehmenden Gentrifikation zusehends seinen zwischenzeitlichen jung-alten Charme, den es im Westen seit den 1970ern bekam und der sich im wilden Osten in den 1980ern ebenfalls zu entwickeln begann und in den 1990ern vollends herüberschwappte. Die Gentrifizierungswelle hat das nun nach und nach abgeräumt. Darum können wir es nur immer wieder betonen: Es gibt keine „Politik“ auf die Ihr Euch verlassen könnt, außer Eure EIGENE. Darum: Stellt EUREN eigenen selbstorganisierten Widerstand dagegen. Wie auch immer – kreativ – der aussehen mag. Just do it.

Wir erteilen deswegen hiermit erneut dem Kommerz, dem Kapitalismus und der Gentrifizierung sowie der Vereinnahmung der „Fete de la Musique“ durch (den Staat und) die Gesellschaft des Kapitals, eine symbolische Absage und lassen an diesem Tag die Musik, lauter und deutlicher als wir es allein können, gemeinsam, mit für uns sprechen.

There’s no good system, only soundsystem.

So, let’s go!“

Achjah, patriotischer bis nationalistischer Blödsinn, wie eine sog. Fußball-Weltmeisterschaft oder anderer Quatsch, Brot und Spiele haben uns noch nie sonderlich interessiert.

Die Revolution ist wunderbar, alles andere ist Quark.


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21. Juni MbF 2018


21. Juni, MbF, 2018, politische Versammlung mit Musik und Redebeiträgen, Kundgebung, 12-24Uhr, Berlin, Ostkreuz, Rummelsburger Bucht, alter ehem. Sportplatz Kynaststraße, gleich neben dem Paul-und-Paula-Ufer.

Info Flyer für den Tag als PDF.


view larger map on

check for updates in your local network ;)

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Programm & Lineup 2018

:: politische Kundgebung mit Redebeiträgen u.a. von ::

> MbF
> Christof Fringeli
> Aktionsbündnis A100 stoppen
> Kiezmenschen aus Fhain
> Floating people
> u.v.m.

:: Audio navigation on free sonic waters :::

> Babz 22.99
> Dr kontra
> itzi
> Re;not & NirMint _live
> Control Delete
> PH1AxXcid crew_live
> Christoph Fringeli
> MuhaDib_live
> Mirage
> LRD_live

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Latest infos 2018

Only sometimes we talk about weather

Die Polizei des Abschnitts64, vom Bezirk Lichtenberg von Berlin, in dem unsere Versammlung/Kundgebung stattfinden wird, informierte uns eben netterweise über eine bestehende „Unwetterwarnung“ für morgen! Das mit dem Wetter könnte zwar doof werden, aber mit Sommer-/Wärmegewittern ist derzeit ja oft zu rechnen. Siehe: (vgl.
Wir rufen darum alle eventuell möglichen Versammlungsteilnehmer*innen für morgen dazu auf, sich auf schlechtes Wetter vorzubereiten! ;) Nehmt also Regenjacken usw. mit und entscheidet selbst ob ihr das Risiko eingehen wollt.
Da wir aber sowieso davon ausgehen, daß unsere Versammlungsteilnehmenden alle eigenständige und mündige „Bürger“*innen sind, erwarten wir ohnehin, daß alle selbstverantwortlich handeln und sich alle, wie immer, schön darauf vorbereiten und z.B. ihr Trinkwasser selbst mitbringen. Manchmal ist so eine Dusche und Abkühlung, „von oben“, ja auch garnicht mal so schlecht, obwohl ja sonst nicht „alles Gute“ „von oben“ kommt, „von unten“ ist es ja auch nicht immer so einfach… u know.
Also, viel Spaß!
Bis morgen!


Respect our environment – respect nature!
Respect the place
Mit unserer Kundgebung/Versammlung kritisieren wir u.a. auch:
- Die naturzerstörerische Bebauung des Ortes und die Umweltvernichtung in der Welt im allgemeinen, wie den Verlust des Erholungswertes in der Bucht, z.B. hier am Paul-Linke-Ufer.
Wir sind dabei zwar nicht unmittelbar gegen den Zweck, dem die Bebauung dienen soll (z.B. das Aquarium), aber den dem alles untergeordnet wird, also d.h. gegen die kapitalistische Verwertungslogik und die sog. Sachzwänge sowie prinzipiell gegen die Landschaftsverschandelung.
- Gentrifizierung – Gentrifikation.
- Die Vorgehensweisen und Vorgänge in der Stadt- und Landschaftsplanung sowie politische Entscheidungen über die Menschen hinweg.
- Den Verlust wertvoller Naherholungsgebiete für Mensch und Tier.
- Die Verdrängung von Nachbar*innen hier rund um das Ostkreuz und die Rummelsburger Bucht, wie an der Hauptstraße, hier gleich nebenan.
- Die Räumung (jede Räumung unterliegt einem Zwang) von Wohnungen und Wagenplätzen, wie dem hier neben uns an der Bucht.
- Die rein profitorientierte Handlungsweise von (bestimmten) Politiker*innen, Spekulant*innen, Investor*innen, Immobilienhandler*innen, Vermieter*innen, Eigentümer*innen, Besitzer*innen und anderen ausschließlich kapitalistisch handelnden Geschäftemacher*innen und deren Handlanger*innen.
- Die diskriminierenden und z.B. rassistischen Praktiken auf dem Immobilien- und Wohnungssektor, wie insgesamt den -“Markt“.

Darum gehen wir aber hier bei unserer Kundgebung/Versammlung gemeinsam vorbildlicher vor und vermeiden Müll. Wir sammeln unsere Reste ein und hinterlassen keinen Abfall. So wie es die gute Praxis bei z.B. (allen) Freepartys, Open Airs, Tekknivals u.a. Veranstaltungen unter freiem Himmel sein sollte.
Also: Nehmt euren Müll mit Leute.
Denn: Auch wenn sies nicht vermuten, wir sind die Guten. ;)
Respect existence or expect resistance!


Bring your own drinks! There will be no public bar and no public food.
Keine Küfa, keine bar.
Bitte bringt, wenns geht, keine Glasflaschen mit, sondern z.B. Wasser, in Plastikflaschen o.ä., z.B. eigenen Trinkflaschen, die ihr wieder mitnehmt. Danke.
Denkt dran viel – Wasser – zu trinken, es wird so oder so heiß!


and as always: check out your network

see also: (if u want to)


Zu vorangegangenen Protesten in der Rummelsburger Bucht (von anderen), vgl. z.B.:!5446155/!5475479/

* June 21. * MbF * 2018 * Berlin * Ostkreuz *


view larger map (in OSM)

GPS: 52.50103,13.47078


21.06.2018 Berlin


Rummelsburger Bucht
Freie Musik

Street festival in Fhain 2018

Tomorrow in Xhain:

MbF Flyer 2018

MbF Infotel 2018

Here is our Infoline 2018:

0 0 – 4 9 – 1 5 7 – 3 – 5 – 9 – 2 – 1 – 5 – 8 – 8

Daytime only. No mailbox.


Zum Ort der Versammlung 2018

Eröffnungsansprache 21. Juni 2018 – Versammlung – Kundgebung – Musik braucht Freiräume –
Rummelsburger Bucht Berlin Ostkreuz

In den Vorgesprächen mit Anwohnenden, Buchtnutzer*innen, Spaziergänger*innen, Passant*innen und den Verhandlungsgesprächen, zu der Fläche die wir angemeldet hatten, dem alten Sportplatz Kynaststraße, war u.a. von Seiten der DSK GmbH, die im Auftrag des Landes Berlin verwaltet und handelt, von schweren „Altlasten“ im Boden die Rede. Der Boden müsse darum teuer abgetragen und aufwändig saniert werden, vor dem Neubau usw.. Das hat also in der Vorgeschichte dieser Gegend u.a. mit dem vorm. Verladehafen in der Bucht und mit dem ehem. Glaswerk zu tun, an dem wir vor drei Jahren bereits eine Kundgebung gemacht und an dem damals (2015) unsere Nachttanzdemo gestartet ist.
Der Grund der Bucht ist also seit langem schwerst verseucht.
Damit haltlos verglichen wurden u.a. die vorübergehenden, oberflächlichen, kurzzeitigen sog. „Hinterlassenschaften“ der Menschen die z.B. am 21.6. dort (zufällig) vorbeikommen.
Des weiteren war u.a. die Rede von „Grundwassermeßstellen“, um die sich gesorgt werde. Diese sind notwendige Meßstationen zur Kontrolle der Wasserreinhaltung (Gewässergüte), des Grundwasserhaushaltes des Landes Berlin.
Gleichzeitig wurde aber schon zugegeben und ist hinlänglich öffentlich bekannt, daß die Gelände (Liegenschaften des Landes und der Bezirke Lichtenberg sowie Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg von Berlin) an der Bucht des öfteren z.B. für aufwendige Filmproduktionen, mit mehreren schweren LKW sowie Festzelte, Showbühnen, Wanderzirkus- u.a. Veranstaltungen zur Verfügung gestellt wurden und werden. Diese waren und sind zumeist wesentlich bis enorm aufwändiger und würden im Zweifelsfall, mit ziemlicher Sicherheit, noch mehr Schaden verursachen, wenn dort etwas passieren oder schiefgehen würde, wovon wir dabei wie hier aber natürlich nicht ausgehen möchten.
Obendrein und überhaupt war aber dieser spezielle Sport-Platz, schon vorher dazu bestimmt menschlichen, sozialen Zwecken und der Erholung, wie dem Breitensport, zu dienen. Ergo ist das der richtige Platz für unsere Kundgebung und Veranstaltung sowie Versammlung hier.

Die DSK hat nun versucht mit uns einen schriftlichen Vertrag dafür abzuschließen, daß wir unsere Kundgebung hier durchführen dürfen. Das war unzumutbar für uns und dem Aufwand nicht angemessen. Insbesondere darum weil das hier eine politische Versammlung und Veranstaltung ist, die darum polizeilich, also versammlungsbehördlich und nicht ordnungsamtlich angemeldet ist, was ein großer Unterschied ist, da es sich dabei um das Grundrecht auf Versammlungsfreiheit handelt, welches in der Verfassung der Bundesrepublik fest verankert ist und unserer Meinung nach eines der höchsten, schützeswertesten, sozialen und emanzipatorischen Errungenschaften der letzten hundert Jahre dieser Art von Zivilisation und in dieser Gesellschaft eines der wenigen guten Dinge für uns darstellt.
Das Recht auf freie Meinungsäußerung, ebenso in ihrer eigenen Art, ist wie die Kunstfreiheit für uns nicht verhandelbar.
Alles andere wäre rückschrittlich statt fortschrittlich, weil Zensur.

Darum zeigen wir hier und heute – wieder einmal symbolisch – wie es progressiv, musikalisch, experimentell, solidarisch, menschlich und sozial, vorwärts gehen kann.

Viel Spaß!

Flyer 2018


MbF 2018 @ Rummelsburger Bucht

21. Juni 2018

Somewhere in this area:

view larger map in

Der genaue Ort der Kundgebung ist noch in Verhandlung.
Wir halten Euch auf dem Laufenden!

Stay tuned

Freie Musik, Kunst, Kultur 2018

An ein paar Tagen im Jahr, wie dem Tag der „Fete de la Musique“ oder dem sog. „Karneval der Kulturen“ maskiert sich Berlin als vorgeblich so weltoffene und freie Stadt. Das ist mehr trügerischer Schein als Sein, ein Mummenschanz. Das wissen und das kennen wir nur allzugut.
Mit wachsender Sorge, Unwohlsein und Wut beobachten wir die drängenden Veränderungen in unserer Stadt. Der Stadt in der wir seit vielen Jahren leben (wollen), wohnen und arbeiten (müssen). Dabei sollte die Lebenslust nie zu kurz kommen. Manchen lässt die soziale Schieflage, der Sozialraub, aber kaum noch die Luft zum Atmen, da braucht es erst gar keine ständigen großen „Abgasskandale“ und scheibchenweise „Enthüllungen“ oder anderen Schmu. Steigende Mieten, penibel gesäuberte und zwanghaft durchgeordnete Kieze tun da ihr übriges dazu.
Denn wir – international agierende Menschen mit Migrationshintergrund, aus der langjährigen zusammengewachsenen freien Musik-, Kunst- und Kulturszene Berlins und anderswos haben keinen Bock auf gentrifizierte, durchgestylte, abgehypte, pseudoliberale, teure Räume, mit obercoolem „urbanem Flair“. Wir machen uns unsere Stadt, wie unsere Kunst und Musik, selbst.
Freie Ateliers, Proberäume und offene Werkstätten sowie Orte zur Selbsthilfe müssen für alle bezahlbar und nutzbar sein. Inklusiv, statt exklusiv separativ segregativ, interkulturell statt assimilativ, integrativ statt abdrängend verdrängend sowie barrierefrei und würdevoll statt hürdevoll. Runter mit den Mieten. Für das Recht auf Stadt für alle. Stoppt alle Privatisierungen, wie die des Landes und öffentlicher Flächen in der Rummelsburger Bucht.
Wir brauchen und wir wollen vor allem mehr Freiräume und offene Räume sowie öffentliche Plätze und eine offene freie Gesellschaft, freier Menschen in freien Vereinbarungen, für alle, zu jeder Zeit, nicht nur am Tag der sog. „Fete de la Musique“.
Alles für alle und zwar sofort.

Musik ist dabei für uns hier nicht nur Unterhaltung, sie ist – in ihrer freien Form – der Ausdruck unseres Protestes. Wir spielen hier keine Unterhaltungsmusik, keine Volksmusik, keine Schlager und keinen Pop, sondern Protestmusik – wie FREETEKNO – und das aus gutem Grund.

Unser Protest, unsere Kunst, unsere Kultur und unsere Musik ist frei, weil:
…sie nicht abhängig von der Gema sondern unabhängig und gemeinfrei ist.
…sie sich nicht vermarkten lässt.
…sie nicht konformistisch ist.
…sie nicht regelkonform ist. Weder nach eurozentrischen (un)musikalischen Regeln noch nach anderen.
…sie Noise ist.
…sie Rocknroll ist.
…sie Punkrock ist.
…sie Tekno ist.
…sie Freejazz ist.
…sie mehr als das allein und das alles ist.
…sie Leben ist.
…sie Musik ist.

Freie Musiker*innen, Künstler*innen und Kulturschaffende
Kollektiv von MbF Berlin und anderswo


Text als Audiodatei: OGG
und als Mp3 (mp3)


MbF 2018 ist angemeldet

Ort der Kundgebung wird – nach amtlicher Bestätigung – noch bekanntgegeben… ;)

Stay tuned!



Musik braucht Freiräume
Musik schafft Freiräume
Musik ist keine Ware
Musik ist Kulturgut
Für eine freie Kultur und Freiräume für alle

Für mehr Freiräume, offene Räume, öffentliche Plätze, öffentliche Einrichtungen, für mehr freie Musik, Kunst und Kultur, öffentliche und demokratische Teilhabe daran, für die allgemeine Kunstfreiheit, für mehr musikalische Ausdrucksfreiheit sowie weniger Einschränkungen und Beschränkungen des künstlerischen Ausdrucks von Musik, Kunst und Kultur wie der Kunstfreiheit.
Z.B.: Mehr freie Proberäume, Tonstudios und Veranstaltungsräume, wie selbstverwaltete Räume, z.B. Jugendzentren und Jugendclubs, für Nachwuchskünstler*innen, Nachwuchsbands und freie Musikschulen.
Gegen die Profitorientierung und die Verwertungslogik, gegen den Leistungsdruck, wie die Verwertung von Musik, Kunst und Kultur, für unkommerzielle, freie Selbstentfaltung und Selbstbestimmung von Künstler*innen und Musiker*innen, wie allen Menschen.
Gegen die GEMA, für Open Source und Creative Commons, für mehr Gemeingut und öffentliche Güterteilung sowie Selbstverwaltung und Selbstorganisation, statt Privatisierung.
Gegen Diskriminierung, Sexismus, Antifeminismus, Antisemitismus, Rassismus, Nationalismus, Nazismus und generelle gruppenbezogene Menschenfeindlichkeit, wie Menschenverachtung in Musik, Kunst und Kultur. Gegen die Unkultur, für eine emanzipatorische Gegenkultur. Freiheit statt Barbarei. Setzen wir gemeinsam Zeichen: Progressive musikalische Kultur.
Gegen sinnfreie Autobahnen, wie die A100 und sinnlose „Einkaufszentren“, wie allgemein den überdimensionalen Flächenverbrauch, Natur- und Umweltzerstörung, wie die Vernichtung der Kulturlandschaft.
Für mehr und vor allem kostenlosen öffentlichen Personenverkehr.
Für das Grundrecht auf Asyl. Bewegungsfreiheit und Bleiberecht für alle.

Musik braucht Freiräume
Musik schafft Freiräume
Freiräume für alle
Alles für alle


Text als Audio zum Hören: OGG Datei
und Mp3 (mp3)