For once, the music industry is united: the forthcoming Criminal Justice Bill is A Very Bad Thing Indeed. Its aim is quite simple: to obliterate with one savage swipe, counter-culture lifestyles, epitomised by huge bands like The Levellers, which directly oppose the ongoing Conservative remould of Britain. The Tories espouse home ownership; young people priced out of the mortgage system squat instead. The Tories support landowners; rave organisers attract tens of thousands of 24-hour revellers in private fields. Virtually all hunting associations are Conservative-dominated; most hunt saboteurs are under 30, and vegetarian and committed activists.

So, as Michael Howard announced to the ecstastic blue-rinse and grey-suit brigades at last year's party conference, squatting will be criminalised, police will be able to throw a five-mile cordon around any potential rave site, and it will be illegal to challenge anyone going about the legitimate sport of ripping apart a few foxes on a Saturday morning. Cue standing ovation.

As the Bill limps its way back into the Commons, weighed down by clauses instigated by the Lords, the anti-CJB lobby is gathering in strength. There's a central London march on 9 Oct and bands are doing Freedom Network benefit concerts. The next one is headlined by the hippy/crusty dance types, Children of the Bong, with noise surrealists, 70 Gwen Party and Flying Saucer Attack (above) also on the bill. DJs from the hard-synth dance club, Eurobeat 2000, spin the discs afterwards, music of the ilk that could warrant a huge police crackdown if played at an unauthorised venue soon, should Michael Howard get his way. Time to dance, before the police come. . .

The CJB benefit for the Freedom Network is tomorrow (5 Oct) at the Powerhaus, 1 Liverpool Rd, N1 (071-837 3218), pounds 4adv

(Photograph omitted)

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