MMM Auckland & Wellington NZ Report

MMM Auckland & Wellington NZ Report
Posted by FoM on May 09, 2000 at 23:09:22 PT
Reports By Chris Fowlie & Ben Knight
Source: NORML NZ
J Day in Auckland was by most accounts the best yet! The day began with glorious sunshine and a 9am start at Albert Park. Our team quickly had the stalls set up and decorated the park with numerous law reform banners. By 11am people had started to show up, and by 11:30 we had our first visit from the police, a single officer who showed up in a paddy-wagon. 
He walked round the park, past people smoking, before leaving about 10 minutes later. By high noon all the media - including 4 camera crews - were there waiting for something to happen. At about 12:40 Nandor Tanczos MP opened the proceedings with a rousing speech that called for legalising marijuana for adults. While this didn't go down too well with some of the teenagers present, the majority of the crowd voiced their approval. The biggest applause came when Nandor said marijuana law reform was not about getting wasted, but about the freedom of adults to make an informed choice to use marijuana responsibly.After Nandor spoke the first band, Gideon, began with their infamous "Marijuana Song", and the TV crews began looking around for young people to film smoking pot (they found plenty, and of course that's what they showed on television that night). I told them the J Day crowd usually changes over the day as older people arrive and the younger ones get bored and leave (which is exactly what happened) but they were all gone by 2pm and of course missed the real action...At about 4pm we had what we thought was our first and only arrest, when a Police Sergeant with attitude arrived through a side gate and took away the first person he saw smoking. It was all over in about two minutes, and we saw this as a retaliation by the police as there had been plenty of media coverage of them not arresting anyone. I was rightly pissed off, and got on the microphone to tell the crowd. I sparked a large hooter and announced I would be off to the police station after the bands had finished playing, and everyone was welcome to join me (we had no march permit, so it had to be unofficial).Between bands we also had great speeches from Les Gray, President of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party, Marian Barnes, a former board member of NORML, and Danuiel Clark, New Zealand's best-known medical marijuana patient. We also had an appearance from a giant green alien on stilts accompanied by a walking marijuana leaf carrying a six foot joint! We estimated a crowd attendance of 3-4000 over the day, with 1500-2000 there at the peak.The bands included Jesse James & Sista Mystic doing some ragga hip hop, the Kingites jammed up large, Kaya played their funky house and dub, King Kapisi blitzed the crowd with his rapping and Cuba & Gizmo finished with a fine set of drum & bass.After the last band had finished at 6pm it was starting to get dark and about 150 of us set off down the road to the Central Police Station. The front doors were locked, so we had a session outside and then went around to the side door and went inside. The desk sergeant informed us that no one had been arrested, which we thanked him for, and I read a letter calling upon the police to declare a moratorium on arrests for personal use or possession so that we can debate our marijuana laws without fear of arrest or persecution. About half way through the letter I became aware of how stoned I was from the session outside, and I knew the sergeant knew, and he knew I knew, etc! After reading the letter we went outside for another smoke, and then to Aotea Square for another massive session! We all felt great after that, as many people had never dared to smoke in public before, let alone outside the police station!The after party was definitely a mellow affair. The Marijuana Liberation Front turned up with some special cookies and we had some fine music laid on by Andrew from Kog Transmissions and Obelix & Asterix showcasing the best in irie reggae. The bummer was that the bar manager had a panic attack and stopped anyone smoking inside, which needless to say disappointed many after the cop-shop session! All in all though, a most irie and upfull affair that will be hard to beat - roll on next year!Chris FowlieNORML NZJ Day Wellington went extremely well considering the shitty weather and the change of venue on the day. Woke up saturday morning to cloud, wind and patchy rain, made the decision to move to the quad at 9-30am. Contacted all the radio stations in Wellington region, who were all very supportive... especially active and the firm fm. We put signs down at frank kitts to let people know about the change. J Day peaked at about 4-00pm with approx 500 people chilling on cookies, reggae and the sweet smell of skunk. Michael Appleby delivered a rousing speech and Toni Jansen, co founder of NORML was applauded for her efforts. David Hadorn spoke at about 1-00pm, unfortunately, the bulk of the crowd did not show until later in the afternoon.The Movie session got a reasonable turnout of about 150 people. Lots more toking and much hilarity at Reefer Maddness. If anybody wishes to have a public showing of Reefer Madness or the hemprevolution, I now have the censor ship certificates. The Dominion ran a small article which stated that we had a turnout of only 100 people. Never mind... there was probably only 100 people at J Day when the reporter arrived.Anyways, we learnt heaps about running J Day. Changing the venue at the last minute was a necessary hassle, and we will probably go with the quad as first choice next time... if the Uni allows us!We probably didn't provide enough entertainment, aside from the music, but with the wind and rain etc, to get out and come to J Day was a big effort for most people. 500-700 people on such a shitty day was a pretty good effort and a real show of commitment by the crew in Wellington to changing the cannabis laws in NZ. A great time for all involved, I cant wait for J Day 2001.InhaleBen KnightNORML WellingtonNational Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, NZ Inc.Related Articles From The Millennium Marijuana March:NORML NZ 2000, Albert Park, Auckland 2000 National Million Marijuana March in Support of Cannabis Legalization Jefferson Hemp Fest- St.Louis Attendance High At Marijuana March Urge Marijuana Legalization Arrests At Pot Protest Promotes Marijuana, Hemp Fans Urge Freedom for the Fettered Weed Arrested In Pot-March Bust March Unites Advocates Call for Legalization of MMJ In Texas Speak Against State's Drug Sentencing Advocate Announce Creation of Federal MJ Party MJ - Medical Pot Sparks Park Rally Draws A Crowd "Portland's Million Marijuana March"(May 6, 2000), Washington, USA. Hempfest 2000: Photo Gallery MMM 2000 reports. By City: 
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