Planning a Crowd Friendly Mardi Grass all to all those who want to walk the path of peace and creativity and end the War on  Drugs. Let's work together to make the 1999 Nimbin "Let It Grow" Mardi Grass and  Cannabis Law Reform Rally a joyful, artful and safe and a powerful, media effective call  for cannabis law reform in NSW.

Let's send a clear, people power message to the NSW Drug Summit that will follow the week  after. Let thousands of ordinary people be seen parading and dancing for freedom from the  injustice of these bad laws. Let it be beautiful.

Nimbin HEMP has appointed Graeme Dunstan as  "Crowd Controller" of the 1999 Nimbin Mardi Grass with responsibility for overall crowd management of the event.

Graeme, a cultural organiser and festival maker for over 25 years, was responsible for  managing the Keeping Nimbin Nearly Normal community policing project which drew up and  implemented the successful crowd friendly, crowd management of last year's Mardi Grass.

"A happy crowd is a manageable crowd", said Graeme. 'Like last year we will be  working to make the event both a beautiful and crowd pleasing celebration of the hemp  harvest and also a clarion call for cannabis law reform."

"Like last year we are expecting a crowd of up to 10,000 and national and  international media attention", he said. "Together with the Nimbin Police, we  are taking a harm minimisation approach and working with the Lismore City Council officers  to plan and ensure that the impacts of the event on the non participating residents of the  village are minimised."

During Mardi Grass the organisers will be working closely with Radio Nimbin, which expects  to be broadcasting during this time. This means that residents and visitors approaching  the event will be able to tune in and get up to date information about the program,  traffic, parking conditions and so on.

The Mardi Grass will be preceded by a two day voluntary crowd managers training session in  Nimbin Hall on the weekend of 23 & 24 April. Sgt Neville Plush and Graeme Dunstan will  be leading the training and anyone and everyone (and especially Nimbin residents) wanting  to help out with the crowd management is welcome to participate.

Fifteen undergraduates from the criminology course at Bond  University have already given notice that they will be participating in the training  and helping out with the crowd management as a practical experience in community policing.  They will be receiving course credits based on their
written reports of the experience.

Further Information:
Graeme Dunstan 02 6689 1842/0412 608 373
Snr Sgt Neville Plush, Nimbin Police 02 6689 1244
Professor Robyn Lincoln Bond University 02 5595 1124

Media  Release 31 March 1999

Making Mardi Grass Artful ...

The Nimbin HEMP Embassy has opened a HEMP Arts Factory and is calling for volunteers to  help prepare flags, banners, lanterns, parade imagery and signs for the coming Nimbin  "Let it Grow" Mardi Grass and Cannabis Law Reform Rally Friday 30 April to  Sunday 2 May.
The HEMP Arts Factory is being directed by master lantern maker, Graeme Dunstan, who, as  Jungle Patrol Commander, is also responsible for the overall crowd management of the Mardi  Grass.

"A happy crowd is a manageable crowd", said Graeme. "Ambience is everything  in crowd events and so we are working to make the Mardi Grass visually splendid as befits  a creative community like Nimbin creatively celebrating the hemp harvest and protesting  for cannabis law reform."

"Like last year we will be making and deploying a host of candle and paper lanterns  to mellow out the crowd and create enchantment in the village by night" he said.  "We will also be putting out avenues of electrically lit lanterns to enhance the  street lighting of the village".

Graeme designed and installed the street lighting at the last Woodford Folk Festival. He  is well known for the mass lantern and fire spectacles that he produced for the Lismore  Lantern Festival (93&94), the Woodford Festival (92–95) and more recently for the  Eureka Stockade commemorations in Ballarat, Victoria, last December. He is well known for  turning riots into safe and artful celebrations (Byron Bay NYE 95 and Bondi Beach 96).

"We need painters, sewers, bamboo workers and makers of all kinds", Graeme said.  "The big challenge is to rebuild the central icon of the Mardi Grass Parade, the Big Joint which, with age, has become a very saggy and loose joint".

Interested volunteers should call the Nimbin HEMP Embassy 6689 1842 or call in person.  Backpackers especially welcomed.

Further Information: Graeme Dunstan 02 6689 1968


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