Teepees across the shires have been buzzing with talk of the Criminal Justice Bill ever since it became clear that it might restrict people's rights to the great outdoors. In best panhandler fashion, crusty crossover act the Levellers have managed to blag the huge billboard at Vauxhall Bridge and some free advertising space in music and style publications, from Q to i-D to the Daily Mirror, for a series of five ads urging people to write to their MPs condemning the bill.' They'll be unsigned, white-on-black statements about the different clauses,' says band member Mark Chadwick. 'So, the hunt sabs will comment on the threat to the right to peaceful protest and trespass, Liberty on police powers, SQUALL on squatting, and a group of 100 sound systems called the Advance Party Network on the right to party. They're trying to turn civil offences into criminal ones. The whole thing criminalises anyone who doesn't live in a rented or mortgaged house and go to the pub. The idea that groups of more than 100 ravers can be broken up by the police on a whim is diabolical.' With the coming together of suburban ravers and hippy drop-outs under the banner of house music, the bill generously defines rave music as 'a succession of repetitive beats'. 'Yeah, that's about the only bit of the bill that doesn't effect us,' laughs Mark.
Information line 071-378 8659; Liberty 071-403 3888; Advance Party 081-959 7275.