Pubdate: Mon, 29 Jul 2002
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2002 The Ottawa Citizen
Author: Christopher Socha


It's apparent that there is a disconnection with today's youth. As a 
small-press publisher who is supportive of the electronic music communities 
and a minor sponsor of a recent rave and an attendee, I find it necessary 
to set the record straight.

- - Raves are age 16-plus events (and sometimes with a 19-plus licensed area 
with a bracelet system in place for alcohol sales). IDs are checked at the 
door (no one gets fake ID to go to a rave), and people and bags are 
searched for drugs, weapons and markers. Social, responsible drinking is 
the way of things. Drunkenness or drugged-out behaviour is highly 
discouraged and frowned upon.

Perhaps Louise Logue, a youth intervention co-ordinator for Ottawa police, 
is confusing teen 12-to-15 dances with raves, or illegal parties, or ones 
out of town (raves are fairly rare in Ottawa these days). A more likely 
scenario is that children under 16 run away from home for the night, are 
refused entry to a rave, and then are left on the streets late at night 
where they can get in trouble. It's the responsibility of parents to know 
where their children are, not city councils.

- - In terms of high school absenteeism, raves are held on Saturdays during 
the school year, so if a student is not at school on Monday, it is logical 
to assume there are other factors in play.

- - Sexual predators are everywhere. But since the majority of rave 
participants are 16 to 18, older men stand out like sore thumbs. Youths 
stick together -- the rave community is tight in Ottawa due to its small 
size -- and security is high. Rave organizers are ever-vigilant for signs 
of trouble.

- - Raves are sanctuaries for people who love music amidst an egalitarian 
environment that is free of violence and division. They are an artistic and 
cultural nexus for creative minds to explore music and dance in a visually 
stimulating environment. Ravers are creative, intelligent, empathetic 
youths who shun violence and look for the positive in life. They will be 
the ones who grow up to be the great artists of the city, computer 
specialists, government employees, television reporters, and owners of 

City council has proposed a workable bylaw, though it is an obvious cash 
grab. Ottawa should do more to encourage businesses to operate through the 
night to increase the city's productivity and encourage business growth.

Christopher Socha,

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