From the citizens & shopkeepers of the Village of Nimbin to the NSW Police force:
Nimbin is not a war zone! Nimbin is not in Afghanistan ! We are not violent. We are not criminals.
Our village is renowned the world over as a centre of tolerance and good vibes. Nimbin is a beautiful township filled with beautiful people who abhor violence and want nothing more than to be able to live in peace with each other and in harmony with our natural environment.
For nearly forty years Nimbin has been a focus for a peaceful trade in cannabis between serene and non-violent citizens. This trade in cannabis has always been non-violent, peaceful, and ethically sound. We do not find this trade in cannabis to be dangerous. We do not find the trade in cannabis to be something that needs to be policed by packs of heavily armed troopers clad in bullet proof vests and carrying handguns and tasers. The citizens of the village of Nimbin are not demeaned or lessened by the cannabis trade: but we are demeaned and lessened when we are treated like criminals.
The citizens of the village of Nimbin believe the single most dangerous thing about the cannabis trade in our township are the heavy handed tactics being employed by the NSW police force.
We gather today in front of your stationhouse to ask: Why have the NSW Police force declared war on our township?
Why is our main street festooned with spy cameras? Why do packs of heavily armed policemen roam our streets? Why do you import bullet proof vests and taser guns onto the streets of our peaceful village? Why do you issue illegal (general) warrants up to three times a week to search our whole township with sniffer dogs?
We believe that the current policing practices in Nimbin have nothing to do with ‘keeping the peace’. We know that the nine police stationed in Nimbin are not in the township because the local citizens invited them here. We did not invite this huge police presence into our town. The police are here at the bidding of people who live in Sydney and Canberra . The police in Nimbin have come here as an occupying force at the behest of outsiders!
Most importantly, the police are often not here or available for important moments when they are truly needed to protect the safety of the village as ninety percent of their time is occupied in pursuit of the endless and unwinnable war on drugs.
What have we done to deserve to have our beautiful and peaceful township occupied by a heavily armed force of troopers wearing bullet proof vests? Why have you set up spy cameras on every corner of our village? Surely you are not doing it to keep us safe. After all: how many violent offenders have been arrested in the village lately? How many violent crimes have been committed in Nimbin in the last week? The last month? Are there any more than in any small country town in NSW?
We gather today on the 11th of September in front of your station house to symbolically trade cannabis and demonstrate that this is not a dangerous practice. We are here to take our township back. We are gathering as one to demonstrate that we see you as a disruptive force not a police force.
We have come together to jointly declare that you are not acting on behalf of the citizens of Nimbin; we utterly reject any notion that you are acting in our interests.
The huge occupying police force is stationed here in Nimbin for POLITICAL reasons. Your presence has nothing to do with keeping the peace. Your occupying police force is in Nimbin to make sure that the people of Nimbin are forced to live in a way that politicians, who live a long way away from Nimbin, find acceptable.
We have gathered to inform you that the citizens of Nimbin will be lodging a formal protest with the NSW Council of Civil Liberties and the Police Ombudsman to ask that the Government stop harassing the citizens of Nimbin.
We are gathered in front of your stationhouse to ask you to take your tasers and bullet proof vests and go away! You are throttling the business life of our town. You are scaring and terrorizing peaceful citizens. You are importing violence and bully-boy tactics into a peaceful corner of rural NSW.
We are here to ask you to pack up your bullet proof vests and weaponry and STOP THE WAR ON NIMBIN.
PRESS RELEASE – SAT 9/11 – NIMBIN POLICE STATION – PROTESTORS SELL JOINTS
A midday 9/11 ‘Nimbin is a not in Afghanistan’ protest today attracted more than 200 people crowding into the middle of Nimbin’s one main street. The protest, where many local business owners spoke, was organised in response to a recent increase in police activity in Nimbin.
“Why have we got hordes of cops wearing bullet proof vests and taser guns patrolling a small country town in rural NSW? It’s ludicrous! This is NSW not Afghanistan,” said Jim Moylan from JAG, the Nimbin Justice Action Group. “We all know the absolute popularity of pot will make sure the cannabis trade continues.”
Some business owners, whose shops cater to the tourist trade, talked about very unfriendly police interactions and indicated that they believed their current financial difficulties were largely attributable to the overbearing police tactics currently being employed in the village.
Following the rally in the main street of town the brightly dressed protestors walked, danced, and sang their way to the local Police Station in a procession led by a Ganja Faerie and the Big Joint, where they assembled and held what was described as a ‘Community Protest Theatre’.
Many lit up joints and publicly traded them for $10 and $5 dollar notes – a demonstration to show that the free exchange of cannabis in Nimbin is no big deal. While the joints were filled with legal herbs like damiana and mugwort, the distinct sweet smell, of what Timothy Leary called ‘the hippies favourite vegetable,’ was strong in the air.
The Polite Service from The HEMP Bar kept the roadway clear while a deputation of local villagers presented a letter of protest to Sergeant Peter Bryant for delivery to his superiors.
“The Local Area Commander has been following your protest carefully,” he said. “I am happy to pass the petition on, and I’m sure he would like to sit down and discuss the issue further with you.”
Further info; Michael at the Embassy 0266891842/66890326….a/h 66897525
Jim Moylan 66218419….plenty more photos on www.bigjoint.org
“This is a civil liberties issue. These large scale police actions are entirely unwarranted – by using sniffer dogs out on the streets of Nimbin on a regular basis the Police are targeting a whole village just to punish the perceived indiscretions of a few. Just because the NSW Police Force finds it difficult to target a very small number of cannabis dealers – they have decided to take a whole town hostage! This is entirely unacceptable!” James Moylan, President of the SCU LEXUS Union of Students and co-convenor of the Nimbin Justice Action Group, JAG.
One observation that drew wild applause from a local shopkeeper was that “Community Policing is now dead in Nimbin.” The speaker indicating that the affect of increased alcohol consumption, and even violence, had become markedly obvious on the streets of the village since the policing of cannabis had become the sole focus of policing in the village.
“Common sense says it’s time to trial a legal market place for cannabis in Nimbin. A marketplace, or cafes like in Amsterdam perhaps,” said Michael Balderstone, President of the Nimbin HEMP Embassy. “The huge amount of money being thrown away in this eternal, ongoing policing of Nimbin is making little difference to the cannabis trade. However, it does mean many locals are in gaol, many local youth have criminal records for life, and police are regularly unavailable for important moments when they are truly needed to protect the safety of the village. It’s madness! Ninety percent of their time is taken up with an unwinnable ‘war on drugs’.”
Notes: The Nimbin Station has a permanent posting of nine Police, a sniffer dog squad visits the town regularly, and the main street is festooned with five CCTV cameras carrying live footage of the tiny main street directly into the police station – making this tiny village in Northern NSW one of the most heavily policed areas in all of Australia. Yet despite this huge and oppressive police presence in the village – the size of the cannabis trade has been virtually unaffected.
Protestors exchange weeds for money outside the Nimbin Police Station on Saturday 9/11. No arrests were made!
Video of the day’s demonstration will be viewed on the YouTube Channel.