Burning Man to sue feds over setting several traffic stops


(via Wikimedia Commons)

Burning Man organizers are fuming over a series of traffic stops slowing down vehicles coming to visit their annual celebration.

The festival organization has threatened to file a lawsuit against top federal agencies for setting up several nearby traffic checkpoints throughout the duration of Burning Man, reports the Reno Gazette Journal.

“It appears that the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) agents are unconstitutionally targeting attendees of the Burning Man event in violation of their First Amendment rights of free expression and of freedom to assemble,” said Adam Belsky, special counsel to the Burning Man organization, to the Gazette Journal.

Festival visitors have experienced a series of stops in Nixon, a small town halfway between Reno and the Burning Man grounds. Nixon contains a considerable stretch of State Route 447, which serves as the only main road to the site.

The law enforcement operation is projected to continue until Sept. 5, according to Pyramid Lake Police Department Lt. Michael Durham. The Burning Man event lasts from Aug. 25 to Sept. 3.

Organizers contend that the stops have slowed internal preparations for the event, as well as hindering their ability to provide ice, portable toilet maintenance, and other types of public services for the festival. Vehicles have been stopped for minor infractions such as having a tire touch the center line, going 3 mph over the posted speed limit, or having a partially blocked license plate.

“Many of the (traffic stop) tactics are attempts to intimidate and harass travelers who are doing nothing more than passing through the Reservation on a state-maintained highway. This is unacceptable and this behavior should not be tolerated by agency leaders nor the public,” said Belsky.

Smell The Truth is one of the internet’s most popular destinations for cannabis-related news and culture. This blog is not written or edited by SFGate or the San Francisco Chronicle. The authors are solely responsible for the content.

Oscar Pascual

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.