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 Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year... 
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Wanee Gnome
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Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:27 pm
Posts: 20
Location: Warner Robins
Post Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
This would have been my fifth Wanee in a row, and with the future plans of ABB leaving a question mark as to next year's Wanee I would really like to be there. But because of something that happened at last year's festival I will not be at this years. Nor will any of my close friends that have attended with me over the past 4 years. The short and ugly story is this – myself and one of my friends was arrested on Friday night (last year) for smoking weed.

I want to make it clear that I do not hate the police, I am actually good friends with a blues loving 20-year veteran county deputy. I am a rather intelligent 48 year old adult, I was aware that what I was doing was illegal and that there is always a risk. So the actual arrest itself is not what is keeping me from returning.

During the arrest I was completely compliant with the officer's requests. I gave up my pipe and my weed, which was all I had. I do not drink or do any drugs other than weed. I cooperated fully, as I always have when dealing with law enforcement. I am not a wook! There were 2 undercover officers that stepped into our camp while I was coughing (I cough a lot due to smoking weed and cigs for 35 years that probably resulted in my COPD.) I had just finished a bowl and was about to head into the Widespread Panic show.

The officer's tore through our camp pretty quickly, they just knew we had some felonies somewhere, and were visibly disappointed when they couldn't find any. I was thinking how ironic that they chose to harass me, when there were 100 twenty somethings within 50 yards of us that were high on everything from mollies to mushrooms. I had hope that when they realized all they could arrest us for is misdemeanor possession they would just take our stuff and move on. NO.

Ends up the bald senior officer (Sergeant?) had a certain attitude about hippies and those who associate with them. By the time we had ridden handcuffed on the back of their golf cart to their trailer outpost for booking and transport to the local jail I had heard enough from him. He was as bad as any racist I have ever had the displeasure to meet. It was obvious he considered everyone in the campground as a bunch of freaks that needed to be locked away. He made fun of the camps, the way people dressed, everything about the scene offended him on some level.

We were treated with no respect at all. It had started to rain while all this was happening and we were left sitting in the rain while waiting on transport to the jail. I got to see all the undercovers come out of the camp and back to their on-site headquarters, there were at least 2 dozen on the dual county task force. Of course they are only there to raise revenue for their counties, it doesn't seem to concern them that lives will be ruined in the process.

The arrest ended up costing me close to $3000 for lawyer fees and fines. It helped that my record was clean for the past 10 years and that I hired a lawyer. My friend was not so lucky, he used a public defender and is still on probation and had to pay as much as I did. He goes to half a dozen local festivals a year and swears he will never return to Spirit of Suwanee Music Park.

I would like to one day, but right now it's hard to say. A few months after my arrest at Wanee I lost my job. I worked as a manager at a theater when someone at the location got fired for embezzling. District management started taking a look at all the managers and it was only a couple of weeks later I was asked to pee in a cup. When I passed, they said there was a “problem” and I would have to be retested. I refused (knowing I would fail this time and fed-up with the company at this point anyhow.) They asked me to resign and I agreed. Two days later I saw where my mugshot was posted online and found out that the people I work with had already seen it. So now I am unemployed and really can't afford a festival, so this year is out of the question.

The point of this post is not so much to share my sad story as it is a warning to be careful while you are there. If the police were there to protect people from violence and stop fights like they should be there for, and not specifically to profit off people, then I would be behind them 100% - but that is not the case.

Also I hope to bring attention to the fact that this should be considered a problem. People should protest their presence if the only reason they are here is to profit off of the masses. My anger is really the result of the attitude of the officer that arrested me. He was a bully. The worst kind of cop. By the time I was in the cell I was picturing ways we could fight back against what I consider to be unwanted intruders into our world. Big gangs of hippies swarming around the undercover's when they start harassing anyone so that the harassed can get away. Foam bats and rage sticks could be employed. LOL.

They operate in pairs and they avoid large groups. They stay on the roads unless they can see you from the road and you have a small camp. They concentrate on the camping areas around the lake and rear gate. All these are things I've known since my first day at Wanee 5 years ago. They still got me...

So be careful, have fun, and if you see an undercover cop harassing a guy for weed, get a big group and start a protest or something.

KevinBe

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"An Honest Tune with a lingering lead."


Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:48 pm Profile
Wanee Lover

Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2012 8:04 pm
Posts: 2099
Location: Palm Bay, FL
Post Re: Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
KevinBe wrote:

So be careful, have fun, and if you see an undercover cop harassing a guy for weed, get a big group and start a protest or something.

KevinBe

Cheeze Doodles, Cheeze Doodles :o :o :o

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Judie

Following the shadows of the skies or are they only figments of my eyes?
And I'm feeling close to where the race is run
Waiting in our boats to set sail, sea of joy


Last edited by Waneebe on Sat Mar 29, 2014 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:26 pm Profile
Wanee Pro
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 9:41 am
Posts: 379
Location: DeLand FL
Post Re: Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
You answered your own question, why they didn't target the younger folks nearby. It is about revenue generation.
I've been attending SIR the last 20+ years. The undercover narcs always used to bust someone near us, and the drug sniffing dogs would go through camps in the morning. It had become ridiculous. Two different friends who were busted two different years were advised to get a "local" lawyer. Everyone knew it was about revenue generation, not public safety.
But here is the good news...
Vocal opposition to this type of revenue generation can make a difference. Everyone expected NASCAR to screw things up after they bought the 12 Hours of Sebring event. But this past year, no roving gangs of narcs, no drug sniffing dogs, and no one getting busted from the smell of weed. The new promoter saw the value of good customer service, and "everyone" having a good time.
So the event promoter can stop this nonsense. SIR is private property, just as SOSMP is private property.
If the word is "hell no we won't go", it will cease. If attendees tolerate the sacrificial lambs, it will continue.

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Be kind whenever possible. It's always possible.


Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:26 pm Profile
Wanee Fan
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:32 pm
Posts: 108
Location: Clearwater , FL
Post Re: Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
Sorry bout' your bad experience, and thanks for the heads up! I've been to all 9 with #10 tix in hand and I've never seen this happen...but have heard the horror stories. We all know God's gift on this earth should be legal, whether you smoke it or not.

A camping neighbor (only a few PAID spots away) I was helping out with a jump box start on Sunday morning told me he was harassed on Thursday when he first arrived and was setting up camp. Said the Firefighters camping next to him in VIP called the cops on him for smoking a j. He and his 2 buddies had just driven 15 hours from Ohio to get there. He said they waited the whole drive to burn and were just happy to finally be setting up camp. He said the cops took what they had and detained them for a while as they searched their tent, gear and car. So their weekend wasn't too great. Guy told me he'd never come back to FL.

I am ashamed as a FL resident that people have been treated this way in this beautiful place I call home. I think it is unfair and unjust! I mean really, this is what law enforcement considers "Serve and Protect"? There are much worse crimes going on all over the state. I have no problem with them busting Wooks for peddling bad s#%t, but leave the green alone.

The state of FL WILL have a medical vote come November, it's on the ballot, so hopefully things are moving in the right direction to end this senseless war on a plant.

Does anyone know how many arrests there were last year? I can't find a report anywhere?

Just curious.

Thanks for looking at my post. s#%t like this pisses me off and after the news about Gregg today I had to rant. Time to go lower the blood pressure with a beer.


Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:29 pm Profile
Wanee Veteran

Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 9:43 pm
Posts: 629
Location: Tampa, FL
Post Re: Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
We were neighbors and I couldn't believe it when you told me what had happened.

I hope things get better for you

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Will work for festival tickets & beer money ...


Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:56 pm Profile
Wanee Peach
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Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2014 4:48 pm
Posts: 34
Location: St. Clair, MI
Post Re: Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
Bummer to hear. I hope I don't experience that at all


Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:42 pm Profile
Wanee Lover
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Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:16 pm
Posts: 1901
Location: Melbourne FL
Post Re: Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
josh6string wrote:
Bummer to hear. I hope I don't experience that at all


Ditto.

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"" I'm not gonna vote for more rules... we go to festivals to get away from most of the idiotic social customs and rules for a time, and be a bit more free than the regular world lets us... keep the rules simple and few, and let kindness rule rather than a rule book... ""

THIS. ↑↑↑↑

Author - Beach Bob - Monday 20 MAY 2013 - 8:22 am
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=10529&start=10&hilit=chairs


Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:23 am Profile WWW
Wanee Master
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Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:05 pm
Posts: 6860
Post Re: Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
Be aware of your surroundings and be careful of strangers wanting to come into your camp and ask if you need anything :evil:


Tue Mar 25, 2014 5:48 am Profile
Wanee Gnome

Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:27 am
Posts: 1
Post Re: Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
This has made me think... What is the main 'strength' of the undercover effort? Why their anonymity. But HOW to 'flush them out'?

:idea: Take a NEW glass pipe. Put pipe tobacco in. Smoke in OBVIOUS areas... during a show, for example. We KNOW they are watching. Pass it to other friends who like pipe tobacco. This should have the 'String to a Cat' effect and enforcement will 'pounce'. This is when they reveal themselves.
At this point, start shouting. UNDERCOVER OFFICER!! Make sure all around are aware. This would work even better when there is a group around that are all working towards this goal.

Of course, be prepared. Have NOTHING illegal on your person. The MOMENT the officer makes any sort of move, inform them it is tobacco. The *only* probable cause they will have to even approach you is the manner and method you are smoking the tobacco, and when informed that it is tobacco they will have no grounds to detain you. Legally.

Now, real life may be different. They may ignore you saying it is tobacco, and truck you off anyway. Make sure you have sober (ok, coherent...) friends around that can record the process. Be polite. Insist that you are doing nothing illegal, but comply with any LEO requests. Dont be a smartass. Yes, it could be a hassle for the night. But if you are polite, inform the LEO that nothing is illegal in what you are doing, AND HAVE FRIENDS RECORDING... you will be in a strong place.

This is just an idea at this stage, but maybe a good one. Imagine 20 people scattered in the crowd, all taking puffs off glass pipes. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Any ideas? I am up for refining this idea.

Do OFFICIAL vendors at the fest sell pipes and/or waterpipes?


Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:28 am Profile
Wanee Lover

Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 10:35 am
Posts: 1444
Post Re: Why I WILL NOT be at Wanee this year...
Damn that sucks KB!Hope you will give the park another chance.


Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:36 am Profile
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