Pubdate: Thu, 23 Sept 1999
Source: Halifax Daily News (Canada)
Copyright: 1999 The Daily News.
Author: Brendan Sutcliffe


To the editor:

We write to clarify some points made in your coverage of the tragic
death of Edward James Britten on Sept. 12 at the Temptation dance party.

First, the exact cause of Mr. Britten's death has not been released.
The police have said the toxicology report will not be released.

While we respect the Britten family's right to privacy, we believe it
to be in the public interest for this report to be released to prevent
a repeat of this horrific event.

If there are deadly drugs circulating in Halifax at the street level,
the public should be warned.

If it was a combination of different drugs carelessly ingested by
Jaimie Britten that caused his death, then that should come out as
well.  The media coverage and quotes from police surrounding this
terrible incident have implied some pretty serious allegations aimed
at Halifax's rave culture and its too-rampant drug abuse - allegations
that can't be substantiated by facts, arrests or admissions to
regional drug-abuse clinics.

The words of the police quoted in the newspaper are powerful messages
carried in one of the few sources of information for the public.

Why is your newspaper giving the police carte blanche to suggest there
was "a lack of control?" Who is responsible for that lack of control?

None of us denies drug use takes place at raves, just as it takes
place everywhere, including schools, nightclubs, concerts, offices and
private homes.

It is frustrating that those of us who go for the music and the
camaraderie, those of us who represent the vast majority of raving
regulars who know how to party responsibly and watch out for one
another, have been lumped together with those who go for reasons other
than the music and the vibe - the only two things that promoters offer
as main attractions.  Dancing all night at a party has become a social
activity of our generation. The fact that some choose to attend for
reasons of their own, whatever they might be, does not preclude the
fact that raves have been going on without a serious incident in
Halifax for 10 years or more.

Brendan Sutcliffe and 10 others 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Derek Rea