That simple statement, emblazoned on the front of
the "big top" tent at the entrance to the grounds of
HempAid '97, was the unifying theme for all of the glorious activities
that took place in Vandalia, Michigan over the Memorial Day celebration.
Throughout this working weekend, between 2,000 and 6,000 liberty-loving
Hempsters heard, read and danced about freedom.
Liberty's Educational Advocacy Forum (Indiana's FIJA,
Inc.) state coordinator R. J. Tavel, J.D. (email@example.com ) sponsored
the event for the benefit of Max Robinson's Hemp Museum (firstname.lastname@example.org
) in Elkhart, Indiana. Max's inspired work brought 26 of the best
bands and pot proponents in the country together to perpetuate
the peace and love that inheres in the hearts of Hempsters. The
"global village" being advanced everywhere would do
well to pattern itself after the example of this gathering. A
small city was created, complete with platting, infrastructure,
inclement weather, minor medical emergencies, and, most of all,
a deeply spiritual understanding of "community."
Last years' Labor Day event was threatened with police
shut down when a local ordinance was advanced as a bar to such
a gathering. "Madd Maxx" contacted R. J. who construed
the law to exempt educational outreach organizations, like LEAF
and FIJA, and thereafter assumed the mantle of sponsorship. Trumpeting
a speakers list that heralded four attorneys from Indiana, Illinois
and Michigan, the police decided to just hassle a few of the motorists
on their way to last year's show. No police presence graced this
years gathering. Security was provided by the Michigan Militia,
armed with video cameras along the perimeter as well as patroling
throughout the 35 acre camping facility. The leaders of the Militia
were so moved by the message of individual power and responsibility
that they took to the stage to speak after the first round of
speeches by the headliners of the event, discussed below.
Readers who are visitors to "Dr. Tavel's Self
Help Legal Clinic and Sovereign Law Library" ( http://www.drtavel.com
) will recognize this strategem as one of the many effective techniques
touted to blunt the beast in its advance on our rights. Borrowing
a premise from the early days of the Hemp Relegalization movement,
specifically the smoke-ins, when you can organize a peaceful and
substantial imposition upon the adminstrative aspects of governing,
you can pretty much do whatever you wish without fear of police
interference. Those who know their rights, effectively assert
them and demand that the governors commit their allegedly scarce
prosecutorial resources to deal with their number. FIJActivist
leafletting outside courthouses across this land (see, http://www.drtavel.com/fijalink.htm
), as well as Hempsters coming together to "learn to live
the liberty they love" (see,http://www.drtavel.com/Hempage.html
) openly challenge the system to oppress them further, thereby
demonstrating the strength and character of these courageous advocates
for self government.
HempAid '97 built on this success and bettered it
by more effectively advertising the event and its location, in
spite of the fact that Ben Masel and others operated competing
events at the same time. Headlining HempAid '97 were R.J., Jack
Herer ("the terror"), Chris Conrad, Elvie Musika and
"The Last Free Man in America" the Honorable Gatewood
Galbraith. Madd Maxx Robinson had previously gotten Gatewood and
R.J. together as speakers for the Drug Policy Reform Conference
St. Valentine's Day seminar at the Chicago Historical Society
last February 14. After that event, Maxx knew that R.J. would
never want to be scheduled to speak after Gatewood, since "Gatewood
stops the show!" So Maxx arranged with the stage manager
to put "Sponsor R.J." on between all bands and before
each of the speakers, to introduce them, and forge an information
flux illustrating the cohesiveness of content and conscience:
* Author of one of the most popular and exhaustive
treatises on the Hemp Prohibition Conspiracy, "The Emperor
Wears No Clothes," Jack Herer railed against the phenomenal
growth of the prison industry and other economic aspects of the
war on individual rights in the name of drug prohibition.
* Two time author and expert witness Chris Conrad
extolled the commerical benefits, environmental, and personal
virtues of cannibus production.
* Medical Marijuana patient and gifted singer Elvie
Musika was in fine voice carolling compassionate care, continuing
her valient effort to expand the dialogue on alternative medical
* Gubernatorial candidate Gatewood Galbraith from
Lexington, KY inflamed the passions of even the most passive pot
smoker as he exhorted the crowd [to] block international inroads
into rural America in the name of biodiversity.
* Bringing everyone's message into sharp focus, R.
J. reminded the crowd that teaching the essential lesson of FIJA
to everyone they know and love will open the now closed doors
to the forums where public policy is determined without hearing
all of the material facts. Peaceful productive people must be
free to pursue justice in their daily lives with the confidence
that, when "The Crown" becomes offended, resort may
safely be had to a "jury of their neighbors" at a "trial
by the country" in defense of freedom for all.
Should you be organizing an event like this in your area? Considering that Liberty's Educational Advocacy Forum raised $3,000 to donate to national FIJA and Laura Krihoe's Legal Defense Fund, everyone should answer this question with a big YES, and then get busy doing more. This kind of interdisciplinary event galvanizes patriots from all paths, and provides an occasion for putting up your best literature tables and practicing your outreach oratory, while raising vitally needed money from donations and sales of T-shirts, bumper stickers, books, tapes, videos, and FIJA flyers. .
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