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Tuesday Watercooler


Two great tastes that go great together. You know I love Pogo — mashup artist Nick Bertke (previously featured here and here). His latest video brings in another of my favorites — Sesame Street and the Muppets.

Police at UK Concert

What if the police stop you at a concert?

A new writer calling himself The Festival Lawyer caught my attention recently giving good advice to concert-goers who must interact with the police:

I’m a criminal defense attorney with a background as a former prosecutor. But I also have a background as a drummer, a DJ, and avid festival goer. The idea behind “The Festival Lawyer” column is to combine these backgrounds to give you legal and practical advice that will make you a safer, more responsible Festival Goer.

Advice like how to protect your rights if the police approach you at a concert. Or how to recognize the symptoms of a drug or alcohol overdose. We will talk about things like California’s Medical Marijuana laws or what to do if stopped for a DUI on your way to a concert. But mainly, the column will be focused on how we can make the Festival Experience work better for everyone as a more responsible, positive community.

As an aside, I’ve noticed that as soon as I start talking about knowing your rights, a certain percentage of people start complaining that I am somehow “teaching people how to commit crimes.” This is dangerous nonsense. We don’t live in a police state (well, not yet anyway). As citizens it is not only our right but our duty to know and defend our Constitutional Rights and keep an eye on the police.

Anyway, let’s start with a hypothetical situation where the police stop you out of the blue in the middle of a music festival and start questioning you. They don’t say why they are stopping you but just immediately ask permission to search your person and backpack.

The rest of his advice is solid stuff, though it will be no surprise if you’re an activist who once attended a Know Your Rights training. I’m happy to see someone whose advice is targeting the music festival population, especially with Austin City Limits and other fall festivals beginning.

What’s on your mind tonight? It’s an open conversation in the Watercooler.

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Photo by Ivo Jansch released under a Creative Commons Share Alike license.

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Kit OConnell

Kit OConnell

Kit O’Connell is a gonzo journalist and radical troublemaker from Austin, Texas. He is the Associate Editor and Community Manager of Shadowproof. Kit's investigative journalism has appeared in Truthout, MintPress News and