The Jewel In The Mud Award
Squall 6, Spring 1994, pg. 23.
In the last issue of SQUALL, we ran a double page spread on AN Wilson's two gems of journalism. In this issue, the ’Jewel-in-the-Mud' award goes to Duncan Campbell for his article 'Rave New World' appearing in The Guardian 12/1/94:
"Their motto was peace, love and struggle and the young came in their thousands to the raves organised by the Exodus Collective.
"Then they became a target of the police. And now, with Home Secretary Michael Howard cracking the law and order whip, it is them and us and a bitter new struggle."
"(The Exodus Collective) started running raves with a difference. Instead of making as much money as possible, they would keep the rave parties cheap and self-financing and put the profits somewhere other than their own pockets.
"Exodus had found and squatted a deserted farm at Chalton Cross. It had been bought by the Department of Transport for an extension to the adjoining M1 but the money had not been forthcoming and there were no plans for building until 1998. Exodus took it over and stocked it with animals given by supporters. The DoT agreed to let them stay on six-monthly leases and they now plan to use it as a city farm for visiting school groups."
...Campbell describes how, despite constant police harassment, Exodus managed to continue its various cultural contributions and…
"found the deserted St. Margaret's Hospice in Streatley, near Luton and moved in. It is now called HAZ Manor - Housing Action Zone - and has rooms for up to 40 people. It will have a creche, dining room, gym and will aim to help people start their own small businesses. The council allows them to remain while negotiations proceed.
Glenn Jenkins (one of the collective) says that Exodus' aim is to make some kind of sense of the lack of work and housing in Luton and to use the money the raves make to renovate properties and get projects under way. He does not want endless confrontations with the police. And he does not welcome a climate presaged by Mr Howard last week, where people putting on raves or taking over derelict property will risk jail."
And... wait for it... GO
"Last month there were two events in the South of England attended by large enthusiastic crowds. One was the Exodus rave, the other was the Conservative Party Conference. One was multi-racial, committed to rehousing the homeless, rehabilitating derelict properties and entertaining the unemployed. The other, almost entirely white, cheered xenophobic speeches and applauded announcements of new punishments which would lead to the jailing of squatters and ravers. Which is why this is a story of our times. For here would be an interesting teaser for a visitor from another planet; which one of these two gatherings would be regarded, in late 20th century Britain, as an 'antisocial' mob?"