‘Raves aren’t anti-lockdown, they’re anti-capitalism’, says teen fined for Yate rave

‘I’ve had so many of my friends seriously ill through the modern way of life – raves are a way to respect them’


A Bristol teenager who attended last year’s illegal Halloween rave in Yate told reporters outside Bristol Magistrates’ Court “raves aren’t anti-lockdown, they’re anti-capitalism”.

George Parsons, 18, was attending court as one of five men charged in relation to the warehouse rave that took place on the eve of Boris Johnson’s announcement of a new national lockdown.

Outside court, Parsons told reporters “I’m a nice person”, before explaining: “Raves aren’t anti-lockdown, they’re anti-capitalism. Fear is going to control. People are affected by the modern way of life whether there’s raves on or not”.

When asked about the impact of attending the rave and the threat of someone falling seriously ill as a result of the virus spreading at the event, Parsons argued: “I’ve had so many of my friends seriously ill through the modern way of life. Raves are a way to respect them”.

 

Rave culture has long been associated with anti-capitalism and an opposition of hegemonic power but Parson’s comments and the actions of others attending illegal raves throughout the Covid-19 pandemic have tarnished the reputation of raves as legitimate political events.

Speaking in June, two free party groups denounced those attending raves during the pandemic: “Free parties are about defying bad laws…however, the lockdown isn’t a ‘bad law’ – it’s not even really a law”

“It’s been the working class who have actually done their best to keep the most vulnerable safe, and free parties – as a working class cultural movement – will absolutely hold the line too.”

District Judge Lynne Matthews delivered her own description of the self-proclaimed “nice person” Parsons, as well as the other defendants, in her sentencing: “Your desire for freedom risked others losing theirs for a longer period. It was a risk you were prepared to take for your own brief, selfish gratification”.

With his well spoken accent and Depop curated activist outfit, Parsons has been widely mocked for his comments. Comedian Josh Berry was quick to make fun of Parsons account, his video titled “Bristol Raver: The RAVEolution” has already been viewed over 11,000 times.

Featured image: @conorgogarty on twitter

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