Manchester, 30 April 1999 and 5 June 1999

No-one that the web-site knows in London had any idea there was going to be an event in Manchester. The RTS idea has truly grown up and left home!

Here's a flyer and a dodgy wanna-be-a-tabloid-hack student newspaper report.

And this is what the Manchester Evening News had to say about the truly brilliant idea of having a benefit party afterwards... at the Haçienda!

Hacienda Rave ends in riot Squatters' 'party' ends in 20 arrests
By Ian Marrow

RIOT police clashed with more than 1,000 revellers outside a rave night at the former Hacienda nightclub in Manchester city centre.

There were 20 arrests and one policeman was injured when the ``party'' staged by squatters occupying the building turned nasty.

At the height of the trouble more than 70 policemen, including 20 Tactical Aid Group men in full riot gear, were called in to disperse crowds.

Officers were pelted with bricks, bottles and buckets of urine by the 1000-strong crowd outside the building and from the roof of the Hacienda.

The club, which helped build Manchester's worldwide reputation as dance scene capital of Britain, has been boarded up while negotiations continue over its future. Current plans involve turning it into luxury flats. But on Friday night squatters moved in and posted notices warning the owners GR Morris Construction that they would be prosecuted if they tried to reclaim it.

Leaflets from a group calling themselves the Okasional Cafe, who are allied to the Reclaim the Streets movement, were distributed around Manchester inviting all-comers to a free vegan meal on Saturday night.

The electricity was switched on, sound equipment and beer was brought in and the party got under way. But just after midnight huge crowds gathered outside and the police were called in and asked the squatters to leave.

Their efforts to clear the building were met with scenes of ``serious disorder'' in Whitworth Street West. Officers eventually dispersed the crowd outside - and started negotiating with hundreds of partygoers inside who had barricaded the doors.

They were warned that police intended going in and at about 8am yesterday the partygoers left voluntarily.

A director of GM Morris Construction, Brian Leonard, said the building had been damaged and the owners are considering legal action. ``We don't know how they got in,'' he said.

One of the rave organisers, who did not want to be identified, said: ``There was no trouble until the police arrived.''

She said the event was organised to raise cash for members of Reclaim the Streets who were arrested at a recent demonstration.

Most of those arrested for public order offences at the Hacienda have been bailed to appear on July 5 or 6.


Here's a non-press account,
which <IRONY>must obviously be wrong</IRONY>:

They had some water thrown over them once was where the "urine" story came from.

Here's my write-up:

I didn't get down there until about 12:30, by which time the police had just turned up, which meant all the entrances to the building had been secured, and no one could get in or out. There was music pounding out of the Hacienda, and apparently there were a few hundred people inside 'avin it. There were a few hundred more outside wanting to get in. After a while people worked out how to scale the walls, and then backdrops and sheets tied together was lowered out to help people up (to shouts of "Rapunzal, Rapunzal, left down you locks!"), and the folk inside were obviously getting organised, because at first these bits of material just provided assistance to climbers, but after a few tries people were just grabbing hold and being whisked up and into a window. Every time someone got in a huge cheer would go up from the crowd. The police soon got wise to this, and cleared the pavement, arresting anyone who stepped on it or tried to enter the building any other way. They also closed the road, and were using any excuse to arrest people.

Then things got nasty. The police lined-up horses, with police vans behind, and charged the crowd. The vans followed up and the police came out hitting anyone in their way, even chasing after people not leaving fast enough in order to hit them a few times. I personally saw someone run past in front of me, being chased by two police officers, who weren't arresting him, just hitting him, and one of them stopped and shouted at me "MOVE, and if you show your face round here again you'll get some and all!". I was going to point out that this was a violation of section 4 of the public order act, but he was gone, and I didn't see any numbers. A mate who was loudly pointing out every violation of the law the police made got dragged off by his hair and thrown against a van. They brought in a mobile detention centre, and made a few arrests (don't know how many), but they definitely seemed keener on hurting and intimidating people than actually arresting them. I wouldn't have been so quite so angry, but there were several of the police who had big grins on their faces as they started charging at hippies with their batons ready.

By about 3.30 everythings seemed to have calmed down, the police had total control of the area outside the Hac, the folk inside were still having their party (and a few people were still getting in by a fairly scary route along the back of a billboard). I left at this point, but have heard (indirectly, still have to check) that when everyone inside came to leave they were allowed to leave without incident or arrest. Which begs the question of why all that trouble on the street was necessary, when if they'd just left us alone, we could all have been nicely inside, not causing anyone any bother, and left when it was over (which had always been the plan, to be out by Monday).

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