Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Neal Boortz Show

From the Wakarusa Messageboards...

To increase the exposure of the police action I emailed the Neal Boortz show. He is a libertarian talk show host and is friendly to the plight of folks caught up in situations like this. It would be great if a bunch of people emailed him and the story got some nationwide publicity. use the link to send him an email about it.


While you're emailing Neal you should take a moment and send a letter to the editor of the Lawrence Journal World. Several more letters have appeared since the festival and we need to keep them coming. There are many angles to use and I for one would love to see the economic factor utilized.

Friday, June 16, 2006


Park Manager Says One Thing, Does Another

According to Jerry Schecher, manager of Clinton Lake State park, it wasn’t the casual users but those with the intent to sell who were targeted by a joint task force that involved the Highway Patrol, Sheriff’s Department, DEA, FBI and the Alcohol and Beverage Commission. If this were the case then why were so many individuals harrassed within the main concert fields as well as their campsites? Countless stories are circulating about the tactics of the police in which individual and casual users (read pot smokers) were tackled to the ground and led away in handcuffs in the middle of the night at their campsites. Blantantly breaking the law is one thing, park rangers with night vision goggles on is something else entirely. Are you sure you were at the same music festival Jerry?

Here's the link to the story.


Service, Courtesy, Protection

This is the motto of the Kansas State Highway Patrol. It sounds pretty good, almost warm and fuzzy when you think about it. However last weekend the Kansas Highway Patrol had anything but courtesy as it illegally profiled out of state drivers coming into the festival. Formal complaints need to be filed by those who were subject to dubious law enforcement practices at the checkpoint which was located at the I-70 and K-10 exit. If you are wondering who exactly is responsible for the checkpoint this appeared in the Lawrence Journal-World today:

Could you please tell us the name, the position and the superior of the person who made the decision for the Kansas Highway Patrol to search cars for the Wakarusa Festival?

Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. John Eickhorn said there’s not just one person who made the decision and planned the checkpoint. “We do have a superintendent (Col. William Seck) who’s in charge of the whole agency,” Eickhorn said. “We all act on behalf of the highway patrol and work for him. ... It just wasn’t really one person.”

Therefore if it is not just one person then complaints need to be directed to the agency as a whole. If you were unduly harassed at this checkpoint then you need to file a formal complaint with the KHP. Emails will not be accepted for this so you need to write a formal letter or call. Here is the contact info:

Captain Robert D. Ladner

122 S.W. 7th
Topeka, KS 66603
(785) 296-6800

Please be courteous in your correspondance with Cpt. Ladner and please let us know what sort of response you receive.

You can find out more information about the formal complaint process here.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Stories, Stories, Stories

We need as many first-hand accounts as possible from people regarding dubious police behavior. Please email any and all comments and stories about your experiences with law enforcement to wakaaction@hotmail.com. We will be posting some and using others to research behavior trends and tactics on the part of law enforcement. Also please contact us if you feel that your civil rights were violated as the ACLU is poised to take action soon.


Eight Different Agencies Working at Wakarusa

After reviewing reports and first-hand accounts of which law enforcement agencies were involved in last weekend's activities it is clear that this was a highly coordinated effort on the part of local, county, state, and federal levels. Here is a list of the various agencies that engaged in policing efforts at the Wakarusa Music Festival:

1. Douglas County Sheriff's Dept.
2. Kansas State Highway Patrol
3. Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI)
4. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
5. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
6. Homeland Security Officials
7. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF)
8. Clinton Lake State Park Rangers

Wow, quite an impressive array of little men with big guns.

If you feel that you were harassed or had your constitutional rights violated at the festival then please email wakaaction@hotmail.com. We are also looking for videos or pictures of the police of ANY sort. Thank you.


Spread the Word

The first place that pressure needs to be applied is on the political front. In order to do this we need to first raise awareness of the exact events from first hand accounts. Letters to the editor of the local paper need to be written from as many individuals as possible. The Lawrence Journal World even has an online submission page for letters to the editor so instead of venting your frustrations to the online messageboards or to the festival, try sending it here.

So far here are the two letters that have appeared.

Ungrateful view

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

To the editor:

When I read Monday’s story about how the Wakarusa Festival goers were upset by the police presence at the concert, I was infuriated. What did these people expect? And how ungrateful of them to not appreciate all of the work that the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and others put into keeping them safe. If they cannot appreciate all that they did, then I guess it’s better that they not return for next year’s festival. I’d like to thank all of the officers who spent their days at the festival, even if the people they protected won’t.

Marissa Ballard,


And #2...

Police presence

Thursday, June 15, 2006

To the editor:

Police loudspeakers are awful alarm clocks. At 8 a.m. Monday, police drove through the Wakarusa Festival campgrounds blaring an ultimatum from their PA systems: Leave the campgrounds by noon. No “hope you had fun” or “drive safely” or “come back next year.”

In the four-hour line to get in Thursday, not a single police officer was visibly directing traffic or checking on people in their vehicles in the heat. With windows rolled up, they trolled the sidewalks.

That behavior summarizes the entire police presence at the festival: They were clearly not interested in public safety; festival attendees were thorns in their sides and not a group of citizens to be treated with respect.

From the constant drone of officers on old gasoline golf carts to the mob of police standing around watching stage gates for no apparent purpose other than intimidation, the behavior of law enforcement was one big overreaction and demonstrated apathy for attendees’ rights. No reasonable person could have watched the police over the four days and believed they were there to do anything other than wage their own miniwar on drugs. Most people at festivals such as this are already suspicious of law enforcement, and these agencies only galvanized that suspicion.

I used to worry about mad cow disease or avian flu making it to Kansas. I should have worried about the epidemic of mindless overreaction by law enforcement and demonstrations of force that have been happening all around the country. Lawrence, Kansas, has been infected.

Rob Dewhirst,


Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Waka Action Blog Launches

This blog has been launched in direct response to the actions taken by law enforcement during the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival in Lawrence Kansas. According to reports local, state, and federal agencies illegally and unlawfully searched vehicles and persons both inside and outside the festival grounds. A sobriety checkpoint of dubious legality was set up at the interchange of Interstate 70 and Kansas Highway 10 about three miles from the festival's entrance. At this checkpoint illegal profiling of out of state travelers was occurring along with a great deal of harassment by law enforcement in general. The check lane was funded in part by a federal anti-drug-trafficking grant, showing that this was a coordinated effort on the part of several agencies. It is not clear at this time how many people were specifically arrested at this checkpoint or if this number is being included in the total arrest count. According to Douglas County Jail records, more than 141 people from 28 states were arrested on alcohol and drug violations during the festival.

While one can certainly expect police to enforce the laws that society has deemed necessary, the heavy-handedness of law enforcement throughout the entire weekend has caused thousands of individuals to leave the state of Kansas with an extremely negative impression. People need to hear about what happened and a national dialogue needs to be started regarding intrusive police tactics before it is too late.

We are going to fight this thing with information. What we need to do is centralize all stories and comments about what happened in one location and then chart a course of action. (The ACLU is looking for plantiffs) Please send any and all stories of harassment, violent police behavior, dubious or illegal search and seizure tactics, or any other pertinent information you have about events to wakaaction@hotmail.com. This is especially critical if you have any sort of video or pictures of dubious law enforcement behavior. If you have already put your thoughts and observation on paper please forward them to us. This blog will be updated regularly and please feel free to post comments below.

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