Cannabis Culture Magazine Publisher and Editor Marc Emery says a public forum on gang violence held in Surrey, BC would have been completely devoid of ‘reason or rational words’ if not for a small group of anti-prohibition activists holding signs and handing out pamphlets.
Two young men, one a BC Green Party candidate in the May 12 BC election, put on a public forum in a plaza outside of Surrey Central Skytrain, in Surrey BC. It was designed to give the community an opportunity to express their indignation and frustration with the accelerating gang violence in the lower mainland.
I was there with 4 very sharp machine made signs that said:
“How Do We Stop the Violence? End Drug Prohibition”
“Prohibition Funds Organized Crime. End Drug Prohibition”
“Stop The Gangs! Repeal Prohibition”
“Politicians who support Prohibition are Supporting Organized Crime”
and 2,000 pamphlets titled “How Do We End Gang Violence?“.
You can download copies of the pamphlet from the BC Marijuana Party Website. The two sides of the pamphlet are printer ready in the article at the top of the page.
I was the first person there, arriving 45 minutes early, so I was able to give a pamphlet out to every single attendee of the event which started at 1 pm. I had three volunteers who held aloft the very effective signs, the only signs there except for two nutbars that had signs saying “The Judges Are To Blame”. Their solution was to execute all gang members and judges too.
250 people attended and all received my brochure. It was the only brochure actually offered at the entire event so it was widely read and many endorsed the contents, although about 20% were opposed and advocated executions and other lunatic emotional responses.
There were over 25 policemen in attendance, mostly RCMP officers. Corporal Thiessen of RCMP media relations was doing interviews with the many electronic media.
The event drew only a small crowd despite the good weather (it looked like rain but didn’t) and huge media promotion.
Every speaker invited was part of the political establishment that is responsible for the prohibition that allows gang violence to flourish, from Mike Farnsworth (NDP), Diane Watts (Mayor of Surrey), and several other Members of Parliament and MLA’s from the Liberals, NDP, and Conservative Parties. All emphasized the demand for more of the same poison we’ve been getting for years; more cops, more surveillance, more laws, more arrests, longer sentences.
This is the same mantra these politicians advocate year after year and the gang violence is clearly the result of their prohibitionist policies. Yet not one politician accepted ANY responsibility for this carnage that clearly is a result of their dangerous and wrong policies of prohibition.
Not one single word was ever said in the one hour about prohibition or ending prohibition, not a one. Not even from the BC Green Party leader, although the BC Green policy on Substance Use, written by Victoria City Councilor and BC Green Philippe Lucas, is a beautiful, progressive document that managed to go completely unremarked upon by the BC Green leader at this event about…prohibition and substance use.
It was appalling in its omissions! All the politicians who are the real criminals here got lots of face time on the TV news to spew the poison that got us into this tragic mess in the first place. If prohibition had been repealed on January 1st, all those gangland killings would not have occurred. The murder rate would be zero so far in 2009, but not a single mention or consideration of that.
I was disappointed that an idealist like Trevor Lock was clearly manipulated into handing over his valuable forum to the very architects of this horrid situation, the political establishment. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) speaker Tony Smith was denied an opportunity to speak. I was not asked, as leader of the BC Marijuana Party to speak against prohibition. Even Trevor and Paul, the other organizer, never advocated their own true feelings on the subject of prohibition – they want it to be repealed but declined to even say so at their own forum! Only the status quo was invited – the very people who are creating the problem!
I’m happy our excellent pamphlet and signs were seen and read, but this was a good example of idealists surrendering their podium to evil manipulators who injure our society with their propaganda, their laws, their prohibition, their police and the destruction of our civil liberties.
The people were robbed yet again. No reason or rational words were spoken. No one learned anything from the speakers, and politicians got a free, free ride.
I am pleased to say if I and my three volunteers weren’t there, the whole event would have been a colossal con and that would have been sad and appalling indeed.