Liberty Bell Protest May 6, 20000 arrests
LMP-Press Staff Writer, Big Oscar N. Goodweed
(Camden NJ/Philadelphia Pa-USSA)At 400 o'clock approx 60-75 citizens gathered at one of the most respectedly symbols of freedom in the entire free world. Liberty Bell National Park, home of the liberty bell. Citizens from all over the Philadelphia region lead by Edward "njweedman" Forchion founder of the Legalize Marijuana Party participated in the Millennium Marijuana March by openly Invoking their ninth amendment right to regulate thier own bodies by ingesting (smoking) marijuana thoughout thier peaceful civil dis-obedience protest.
At 4:20pm with Pot culture symbolism in mind and after declaring himself an American Dissident "njweedman" lead a peaceful slow procession around Independence Mall (serveral times), which emcompass's the liberty bell complex. Most of the marcher's were passing around phat Splitt's Ed provided, in a unique act of Brotherly Love. Which Philadelphia is supposed to represent. The Federal park police didn't interfer with the march but instead cleared tourist out of the way of the sign toting, pot toking protester's. No one was arrested, but a strange think did occur. A group of Chinese tourist were prevented from talking to Ed. One bi-lingual Chinese tourist slipped by the federal police and begun questioning Ed about this protest. In less than three minute's she was surrounded by three male federal police officer's who then escorted her and her entire group away from the area. She was terrorized, although no major news media reported this, many of the protester's were video taping the whole incident. ( this will soon be available on the Internet- via the LMP website) I'm sure Tiamaian square ran thru many minds both tourist and protester's. The U.S. federal Park Police prevented American Dissident Ed Forchion from talking to foreign tourist, by removing the tourist.
One protester Emily from - center City Philadelphia distributed the sign's for the protester's to carry that she created reading; "Stop the Drug Wars", End the Prison State; Just say no to MCCaffery, Re: Legalize It!. The sign's were creative home made sign's that displayed the groups true grass roots. As well as being decorated in grass images. She said she learned of the march at www.cannabis2000.com a site run by Dana Beal of the Cure-not-wars org, a leading reform group from NYC. She said she was compelled to participate and planned on helping in other's. Other's brought fruit, some brought obvious munches like "REESE peanut butter cups", some promised to form a group trip to Washington D.C.'s July 4th. protest in front of the Whitehouse. All were happy to participate in a world wide event. Over eighty cities world world were expected to participate.
Many of the tourist passing thru gave thumbs up signs and showed support by openly repeating pro-marijuana chants this group of Freedom seeker's were signing like: " Taxiate don't incarcerate"; End the war on us., there is no war on drugs it's a war on us, end the U.S. war on us.Legalize!" . Passersby's were given Jury Nullifiication phamphlets, other's had a magizine titled"10 reason's why Marijuana should be legal" handed to them. Voter registion forms were attached to all.
Many people just steered around the peaceful group of freedom fighting potheads. One irate tourist who didn't want to give his name said, " they should be ashamed of themselve's look at all the kids, thier here to learn about freedom and the revolutionary war and these idiots want to get high in public." (Dah) - Ruth a mother of three teenager's from Allentown PA., said she "I didn't know about this beforehand but I'm glad to see it, even though I don't agree with what the protester's are saying I'm glad my kids had the oppurunity to see citizen's exercisering their free speech rights, and the right to peacefully assemble, it was a valuable learning exeperince for my kids" she said. She was then surprised to learn that two of her daughter's (18-15) agreed with the protester's.
Maybe there still are some places where liberty still exist in this country. Today it was so here in Philadelphia's liberty bell park. It was obvious the Federal Park police didn't want to arrest anyone for smoking marijuana. One supporter who only wanted to be descibed as KAYA Joe, said "If people around the county just started in mass as we have today, to openly defy the War on Drugs policy, of totally banning marijuana then "we the people" could win this war on us" He said, "Millions use marijuana daily for a variety of reason's. It seems the medical reason has gotten some ligitamacy latedly but other use for spirutal, a recreational." . When questioned further about recreational use KAYA said, "why do you have to be sick to use marijuana to feel good. Marijuana make's you feel good regardless of if your sick, what's wrong with feeling good. Viagra is nothing but a feel good recreational drug, but because many of old dude's in Congress wanted to use it ( Bob Dole) it has become a very popular legal feel good recreational drug. It's obsurd to be locking up people for using marijuana.
The Philadelphia/Camden participation although small was a success, with no arrest the only problem as described by Juan Rivera from Camden was the New Jersey contingent had planned to walk across the Ben Franklin Bridge's walkway was informed just prior to the event that the bridge's walkway was closed due to repairs. "instead of getting mad were just smoked some weed and car pooled across that's just how potheads are!".
For additional coverage and the video of this protest see: http://www.tlmp.org/liberty_bell.htm
For Liberty Bell homepage see: http://www.ushistory.org/libertybell