Since my last Cannabis Culture Hashmob Blog on Tuesday, April 6 (“Vapor Central Manager Arrested by Toronto Police 51 Division”), 2010 has been very busy for Toronto activists.
On April 11th, the hashmob supported all the members of CALM (Cannabis As Living Medicine) by rallying the troops to protest their raid, right out front of Toronto Police Headquarters.
Then on April 20th, the Toronto hashmob gathered 4,000 stoners for the biggest 4/20 smoke-out Toronto has ever seen, right in the centre of the Universe, Yonge & Dundas Square. Hundreds of national articles, news, video, TV, press, stories and hearsay about our civil disobedience persist even today.
And May 1st, just two days ago, The Global Marijuana March in Queens Park. The hashmob gathered what seemed like Every Stoner on the North Lawn, with Marc & Jodie Emery and a Megaphone, we circled the park and Marched through downtown yongesterdam with over 40,000 pot heads.
Then today, I was just arrested by Toronto Police for using hug power to keep Jae Dot Recollett from being arrested at the CALM rally in front of Old City Hall.
Just as the media, Global News, CBC, etc, was leaving the CALM rally, owner Neev Tapiero said we’re packing up in 10 minutes, I said the hashmob would do the same. As soon I turned, I knew something was up, as the Toronto Police were approaching a group, were one was rolling a joint in his lap.
I walked toward the scene, when I heard the Toronto Police Officer say “You are under arrest for Cannabis Possession.”
I said, “we were just about to pack up and leave, you don’t have to do this.”
The officer said to me, “it’s my job”, and then said to Jae Dot Recollett, “now stand up.”
I repeated, “you don’t have to do this”, and the officer started handcuffing the accused.
Arrested for a bud, less than a gram of cannabis, at a pot protest for a compassion club that was raided, I felt like I had to use Hug Power to prevent the arrest.
I dropped my backpack, told other hashmob members in attendance what I was going to do, and hugged Jae Dot Recollett.
The arresting officer said, “so you’re just going to hug him eh?”
Of course they pulled and pushed. They twisted our arms.
Then Eric Compton started hugging me.
Davin Christensen yelled shame from the megaphone.
At least three Toronto police officers then tackled three hashmob activists.
With many more Toronto Police Officers approaching, with other cops surrounding them, they spent 5 minutes, which seems way longer, trying to rip us all apart.
Eric Compton was pulled off us first and tossed onto the grass. While others took tones of pictures and video. It was a regular police takedown.
Video from YouTube
I was charged with Obstructing a Peace Officer.
Jae Dot Recollett was charged with Possession of Cannabis.
We were both released 20 minutes later on a promise to appear.
“Christopher Jason Goodwin was just released from Toronto Jail, arrested for Obstructing a Peace Officer, by using Hug Power to prevent Police from Arresting Jae Dot Recollett for Possession of less than 1 gram of Cannabis at the CALM rally in front of Old City Hall.” read the Facebook post.
Of course HUG POWER, at it’s best, is meant to un-arrest the accused. That is clearly the most desired outcome. But that did not happen today.
Not enough people at the end of this rally, not enough education on civil disobedience, whatever the reason, filming the police using force over a plant is always necessary, intervening to prevent the arrest may sometimes be.
I’m not one to just let the gestapo just snatch and arrest our culture from a rally, especially one where a compassion club was raided, and just had eight staff and volunteers charges stayed – but we need to further prepare our defensive tactics.
David Malmo-Levine will be coming to Toronto’s Yongesterdam district very soon to hold a seminar on peaceful resistance. An activist training session if you will. HUG POWER 101
Watch for the date…