On Easter Monday in 1992 there was a widely documented heavy-handed raid on a Spiral Tribe free party in a warehouse on Acton Lane. Were you there? What really happened? Here are some words commenters left on other posts:
September 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm
I went to the Acton Lane party, but left Sunday lunchtime before the coppers kicked off.
Only the second time I’d been out clubbing – fuck me, what an experience. 2 x Rhubarb & Custard caps certainly did a number on me.
When I originally tried to leave, I walked round the corner to where I’d left my car. As I rounded the corner I saw 3 van loads of coppers parked next to my car. Deciding that getting into my car in front of the police, fucked out of my head, wasn’t the best move, I went back inside and danced for another couple of hours!
That event truly opened my eyes.
February 2, 2015 at 9:10 pm
yeh Acton lane got well fukin brutal late on sunday when loads of riot cops and TSG smashed thru the warehouse wall…..the WALL ffs!!!!!!! m@rco
if you were there then im sure its a night that you will Never forget,fuck the SPG!!!
Riddler ov Cheltenham
Who had the crap kicked outta them at Acton Lane, Easter Monday, by the ‘indiscriminate’ Met. Police? Join the club!
From Matthew Collin, Altered State: The Story Of Ecstacy Culture And Acid House. London: Serpent’s Tail, 1997, p.227.
Here’s an excerpt from a Graudian article (link to full article below):
‘On 19 April 1992 – Easter Sunday – Spiral Tribe, a self-described “rag-tag sound system group who came together driven by the will to keep the party going”, who had been running free raves with a mobile rig across the UK since 1990, set up in a warehouse in Acton Lane, west London. To a packed house, they partied through the night. In the early hours, police officers from the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group, a specialist division with duties including crowd control, surrounded the building. Those who tried to enter or leave had to face the TSG (the same group responsible for heavy-handed policing of crowds in the recent G20 demonstrations). According to witnesses at Acton Lane, some TSG were masked and had their ID numbers covered. The Spirals and partygoers barricaded the doors, but after a 10-hour stand-off, the police revved up a JCB and broke through the outer wall. Scores of ravers later alleged they were beaten in the dark of the warehouse; witnesses claim one pregnant woman was knocked to the ground. One man who tried to escape over the roof claimed to have been pushed; he fell two storeys breaking both arms and legs. No charges were brought. The next day a police helicopter escorted the Spiral Tribe convoy, 10 vehicles long, out of the London area.
Simone, one of the original Spiral Tribe members, who had fallen into the free party scene years before after working in a PA hire shop in north London, recalls: “Everyone who was there remembers exactly what happened. Being forced down on to muddy floors, being battered. It was a horrible experience.
“They were letting people in and not letting people out, then letting people out and not letting people in,” she continues, talking from her current base in a Paris apartment. (Like other Spirals I talked to, she didn’t want me to use her full name.) “All of a sudden you peered out of a crack in the wall, and the place was surrounded by every kind of police vehicle you can imagine. They had diggers, they were all in their riot gear, shields. We’d just been dancing for a few days, we’re in the middle of an industrial estate, not really affecting anybody else around, and then all of a sudden they started bashing the wall in. They smashed up the decks, just went to town basically. Imagine people who’ve been up for two or three days dancing; you’re a bit tripped out at this point. People were being carted off to hospital.”
The Spirals were used to run-ins with the law – “we’d had lines of police directing us across fields” – but nothing like this. “At that point we realised the police were really on our case. There was a news blackout. We tried to call all the journalists we knew, and there was nothing. What happened was kind of obscene, but it went unreported. It felt like we had no way of telling anyone.
“Really, what were we doing that was so disastrously wrong? Occupying empty buildings, playing music and dancing. People of all walks of life were coming together on the dancefloor. They [the police] acted completely out of fear.”
… “After Acton Lane, half of our speakers were blown. But people were always offering us things to make up for lost equipment.”‘