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U.S. government sends armed feds and drug dogs to take over Burning Man festival

Burning Man

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(NaturalNews) Tens of thousands of people are expected to inhabit a five-mile stretch of desert in remote Black Rock City, Nevada, for a week at an annual event known as Burning Man 2015. At the festival, attendees experience alternative lifestyle living, share art and self-expression, and then depart without leaving a trace.

This year, however, they will be accompanied by "guests" who some people believe are not welcome or necessary: heavily armed state and federal agents along with police dogs.

The UK Daily Mail noted that someone - likely at some office in Washington, D.C., - determined that "even a week-long alternative living bacchanal set against the backdrop of an unforgiving desert landscape needs some law and order."

U.S. Forest Service rangers and agents of the Bureau of Land Management – the latter is the same agency that sent heavily armed agents to longtime rancher Cliven Bundy's spread in the spring of 2014 to kill his cattle and drive him off land he had ranched for decades – are set to "patrol" the Burning Man event, as if it attracts the kind of people who seek to start trouble.

The truth is that you probably won't find a more pacifistic group of people this side of Woodstock; the most passionate thing to "Burners," as they are called, is keeping the environment tidy and picking up after themselves.

They'll also be sharing lots of tips about self-reliance, self-sustainability and a unique Burning Man "culture."

A population not inclined to do much harm

According to a web site dedicated to the event:

You belong here and you participate. You're not the weirdest kid in the classroom -- there's always somebody there who's thought up something you never even considered. You're there to breathe art. Imagine an ice sculpture emitting glacial music -- in the desert. Imagine the man, greeting you, neon and benevolence, watching over the community. You're here to build a community that needs you and relies on you.

In addition, attendees are there to experience things such as riding bikes through "the expanse of nothingness" – the desert goes on for miles in that part of the country – with their eyes closed and no fear of running into anything or anyone.

The site notes that attendees can experience any number of themed camps, from one called Irrational Geographic to Bianca's Smut Shack. There, you can "find your love and understand each other as you walk slowly under a parasol."

Burners are also there "to celebrate," with the actual burning of the Man taking place on Saturday. "As the procession starts, the circle forms, and the man ignites, you experience something personal, something new to yourself, something you've never felt before. It's an epiphany, it's primal, it's newborn. And it's completely individual," says the site.

Then, when it's all over, Burners "leave" as they came, leaving "no trace" behind. What was built is dismantled; what was waste leaves with the individual Burners. Then, volunteers will remain behind "for weeks to return the Black Rock Desert to its pristine condition."

Nevertheless, this is a group of people whom state and federal officials consider "dangerous" or "risky" enough to warrant the expenditure of tax money to deploy what really amounts to scores of armed guards.

Not exactly a hotbed of criminal activity

As reported by the Reno Gazette Journal, there were only a "handful" of arrests at Burning Man 2014. The major crimes included one individual charged with sexual assault, four with narcotic violations, one with domestic violence and two with trespassing, the paper said.

Other major offenses include nudity – yes, some Burners like to dress up in nothing - and some marijuana use.

For this piddling amount of "crime", the RGJ reported that the new sheriff of the county where the event will be held, Pershing County, says he plans to "crack down" on "crime" this year.

"We don't have the personnel to issue citations to 70,000 naked people on the playa, but we will be upholding the law to the best of our ability," Jerry Allen, a 39-year-old former deputy who replaced former Pershing County Sheriff Richard Machado in January, told the paper. They presumably also lack the jail space to hold these dastardly criminals.

Other changes this year include banning small drones, limiting electronic dance parties to just three hours, banning handheld lasers, and introducing a requirement for parents to register their children.

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