Burning Man 2013 is taking place right now, but many travelers are telling us that the conditions this year are much different than last year. According to a regular at Burning Man he said that “the pigs are here. And uncommonly badge heavy. Earlier tonight, the #BLM pulled over El Couchino for a registration violation. In 18 years on the playa, I’ve never seen a more aggressive police presence than what’s been going down today. Deeply upsetting, outrageous stuff. One DPW member was issued a $275 ticket for urinating on the playa, and threatened with being forced to register as a convicted sex offender. (a note for people not familiar with Burning Man, the “Playa” is what Burning Man attendees or “Burners” call the land that this event is held on.) I suspect this is fallout from the lawsuit BMORG won against the BLM earlier this year. Whatever the cause, know this: Law enforcement is going to be VERY AGGRESSIVE at Burning Man this year. Keep your shit as right as you do back in the world. Don’t give them any excuses. Be extremely cautious, and MAKE SURE TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Things are changing. #BM2013 #LEO #police IF YOU DO GET STOPPED: Make sure to file an incident report with Burning Man. And before you get here, LEARN YOUR RIGHTS.”
Burning Man's blog released an official statement on August 21st saying that the pre-festival setup and police presence had already been stronger this year and warned people to be cautious before entering the grounds.
In a recent interview with a spokesperson for the group “Reform In Our Time” said:
“Our demands are simple: We want law enforcement excluded….. The problem is a huge growth in outside law enforcement officers invading the playa, not the money it costs. We would really appreciate them if they stayed outside and only came in when we really wanted them to.
If the cops would leave their badges and guns at home and just be burners like everyone else in BRC, we’d welcome them just like we welcome anyone else. We’d even build them a Donut Camp! We’re not against cops necessarily, we just don’t want outsiders doing law enforcement in our city. We have everything we need to take care of it ourselves without any outside help!”