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Burning Man: The Police State Makes It's Presence Known

The Palo Alto, Calif., attorney maintains law enforcement has become so heavy-handed at the eclectic art and music gathering that he was compelled to form a legal defense team known as Lawyers for Burners to help participants who were cited or arrested. He and other Burning Man fans accuse overzealous officers of destroying the quality of an otherwise peaceful celebration of radical self-expression to be held Monday through Sept. 6. Some 50,000 people are expected to gawk at offbeat artwork, wear bizarre costumes or nothing at all and torch the event's 40-foot signature effigy on the Black Rock Desert, about 110 miles north of Reno Among other issues, Levin said, female undercover agents in costume have asked male Burners for drugs, drug-sniffing dogs and their handlers have roamed camps, and armed officers have "snooped" on revelers at dances. Last year, almost 300 Burners were cited or arrested by federal officers

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