Nimbin MardiGrass

Saturday 6th of May

Sunday 7th of May


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Last Update: May 11, 2007 10:03 PM

MardiGrass 2006 Impressions

The street cameras got painted out by some prankster on Thursday before MardiGrass, and the LCC came out and cleaned them on Friday.

Only the leading Kombi of the Kombi Konvoy was pulled over this year, which stopped all the others anyway....but the driver wasn't over the limit, so they were soon on their way again.

The BigJoint did not seem to start construction till Sunday morning, and there was a fear that it would not be ready in time. At 2:30pm a bare frame stood forlorn in the Hall yard, as people elsewhere made their way to the Protest Parade gathering. The start was delayed by late arrivals, but still no sign of the Big Joint. The Parade began. Half way to the centre of town a cry goes out and a huge cheer erupts from the crowd as the Big Joint appears at the gallop and joins the march. Phew.

The Parade makes its way to PeacePark, and pours in through the gate. The Joint is laid to rest, and speeches begin before all the marchers have arrived. The last marcher approaches the gate, but is stopped by two police following the parade on horseback. People protest, so they tell the young man to move to the centre of the road, and direct others to stand back. They make the young man empty his sari on the road. He has nothing. They take his name and address and let him go.

Mostly the Public Order and Riot Squad behaved well in an unfamiliar situation. Before MardiGrass there were tense moments when they moved to search two schoolgirls in the lunchtime crowds, and the older youngsters around them strongly objected to it. Who was intimidating who is a matter of opinion. After a short while Police behaviour moderated, and most people described police as polite and courteous.

I feel the "Public Order and Riot Squad" were put in a difficult position in being sent here, unfamiliar with the terrain so to speak and with questionable political motives behind the operation. I applaud the overall lack of provocative actions and general good sense shown by these officers during MardiGrass.

Monday morning after MardiGrass, stumbling around putting coffee together, then going outside into the early morning sun. Looking up the street I see a line of volunteers bearing garbage bags, cleaning up early. It makes you proud to be part of it all. Weblog Activity Report

Nirvana Seeds Cannabis Forum - Potty's MardiGrass Pix

Only one arrest at MardiGrass seemed particularly violent, but this is without knowing what the man was arrested for. Given the treatment he received, one would hope he had committed crime enough to warrant it. Given his brief attire, he certainly wasn't hiding anything.

He was jumped by a large number of police bearing him to the ground, apparently using some spray on his eyes in the process. He was trussed up with cable ties and left that way with eyes streaming and in obvious distress. Efforts to relieve his situation were discouraged, though some managed to clean his wounds and face before he was taken away.

There is a series of photos at: arrest web.html

I will try to put up a much happier selection tomorrow. We have lots of photos!

MardiGrass 2006 PHOTOS

Page1 Embassy in shadow of street camera, Happy High Herbs, CyberGanja, Nimbin Friday night.

Page2 HEMP-Bar Joint, Jungle Patrol, Blacked out street camera, HeadsQuarters.

Page3 Opening Ceremony

Page4 Nimbin Friday night & Saturday morning Peace Park

Page5 Peace Park Hemp Olympix Iron People

Page6 Olympix Iron Persons

Page7 Olympix Bong Throw

Page8 Osama Bong Laden

Page9 Riot Squad, Happy Faces, etc

Page10 Didj player, Fire Service BBQ, & Joint Rolling Event

Page11 Joint Rolling, Diana Anaid

Page12 Nimbin street

Page13 Street, Patrol Outpost, Paul & Di

Page14 Police and crowds

Page15 Saturday evening street, Doof shots start.

Page16 Tents, Dome, Ladies

Page17 Fire and Light

Page18 Doof Sunday morning

Page19 Protest March Rally Parade gathers

Page20 Off we go....

Page21 Still coming....

Page22 Parade reaches centre of town

Page23 Shots from Pub verandah

Page24 Shots from Pub verandah

Page25 Shots from Pub verandah

Page26 As Protest Parade leaves town centre

Page27 Police, Peace Park, Ganja Faeries.

Page28 Peace Park

Page29 Peace Park

Page30 Peace Park

Page31 Smoulder, then, a violent arrest on the street.

Page32 Arrest procedure

Page33 Cannabis Cup

Page34 Cannabis Cup

There are more shots from the Police Photo Competition at

Here is a selection of shots from the mardigrass if you are interested
with a couple from the byron markets...this first link below if you want to
see them..thanks, tao

taojones photographer
Phone: 02 66858920
Mobile: 0422614245
PO Box 884 Byron Bay NSW 2481

In the Century of the Consumption Aggressive Psychotic Obsessive
Cannabis causes the greatest psychosis in its opponents……

We have just had a MardiGrass where police have overshadowed the whole event. There were greater numbers of police here than we have seen for a long time. They were omnipresent. There were confusing pronouncements from the police prior to the event, and with behaviour on the ground not seeming to bear much relation to those same pronouncements, it made it difficult to see precisely what was meant to be achieved. Was it just a political stunt? The cost in police man hours must have been considerable.

There was already another shadow over the village; the death of a young Nimbin man over at the coast, caught in a rip rescuing children. His brother had died in a car accident four years ago at the same age. It was a horrible tragedy for that family and our small community, where with emotions raw, we were then overrun with riot squad for the three weeks leading up to MardiGrass, when there were even more.

Suggestions of a riot in Nimbin are ludicrous. Whoever started that idea should admit themselves. Back when these suggestions first arose, there followed prompt reports of a riot in Byron Bay, vandalism sprees in Alstonville, and violence in Lismore. Not in Nimbin.

Nimbin doesn’t have riots, it has spontaneous demonstrations that go and stand outside the police station, all talking about the igniting event, and looking for a sensible response from police rather than senseless heavy handedness. MardiGrass is an organised event that seeks the same thing.

MardiGrass has always been a peaceful demonstration, and the only riot is the riot of colourful clothing, banners and pennants. MardiGrass is not a threat. It is a demonstration against the cannabis laws, a strange one that begins at the police station and goes away to Peace Park. We never go to a Riot Park, - never.

This police presence has reminded us of why we protest. We protest against law enforcement that bases its actions on false assumptions. There is no riot here. It was a ridiculous story based in prejudice, and unworthy of political utterance.

Thomas George, why did you promulgate these ridiculous riot stories? You have smeared an entire village with this.

On a separate note, it has always puzzled me why politicians and the police have such a distorted view of what is happening out in the real world. They are so busy acting on outdated and erroneous information that they fail to keep up with new trends in society and in drug use in particular.

Interviewing our "other drug" users here reveals there is a bit of a drought on in the powders department. There are poor quality amphetamines and some ecstasy available, but no ice, and little heroin. No one has heard of any supposed shipments of anything. There is also less cannabis than usual, so it was hard to get enough for a good puff at MardiGrass this year, police or no police. One has to wonder at the quality of information that police are acting on, or if there ever was any genuine information.

Is such a blatantly political rumour or smear really worth acting on?

Two MardiGrass ago we had a small group of individuals, intoxicated with amphetamines and alcohol, hitting defenceless people at a Doof. There were no such occurrences the years after, as the Doof now hires security personnel. Is this a police response to events two years ago? It feels that way. It suggests a world where the top end of town is seriously out of touch with the lower end of town, and has an erroneous view of what happens there, and when.

Nimbin is a peaceful village, but we have occasionally had genuine trouble with a few late night louts that pick fights. They seem a very common problem in more places than just Nimbin, and none of us like to be judged by our few worst elements. A community is much bigger than that.

We have asked for police to deal with that. The Police response is to increase daytime patrols looking for pot, which they then say we asked for. It appears that they can not or will not act on actual community concerns.

My own impression is that this could be the beginning of a carefully staged plan to silence our colourful little protest and celebration, and that we must be wary of the motives behind what has happened with the Police here so far this year. We should also be particularly wary of opportunistic sensation seeking politicians, journalists, and media, particularly those who will exploit any prejudice for their own personal advancement.

Mid April 2006: Three weeks before MardiGrass, the "Public Order and Riot Squad" spend Monday to Thursday, 7:00am to 5:00pm looking for people doing anything with cannabis.

Wednesday 3 May 2006: Thomas George has luncheon with Superintendent Area Commander Bruce Lyons and others, and, in Parliament later, at 5:17pm, launches an exaggerated attack on Nimbin to demand increased policing. Carl Scully, (minister for screwing portfolios and moving on), joins in....the scenario setup.

2:30pm Friday May 5th 2006: Reports of large numbers of police searching cars Lismore-Nimbin Road, Cawongla Road, and Murwillumbah Road at Bray Park

10:00am Saturday May 6th 2006: Reports that NSW Police at Bray Park telling people that "Nimbin is full, turn back" Also "Too dangerous, turn back" Nimbin was not full. It was a beautiful day, and a peaceful festival went on being peaceful... There was no danger. If persons having such an experience could provide us with a written witnessed statement describing the event with as much detail of fact as possible, we would certainly be interested.

The “Good Weekend” recently carried a story on Hydro, and I was disappointed with the writer’s uncritical acceptance of some of the dodgy opinions and ideas expressed in the article.

The line “zonked out kids selling dodgy hydro” particularly caught my eye. A marvellous line from a creative or even a biased view, but unfortunately untrue. The author has fallen prey to the ideological divide between Bush growers and Hydro growers.

With respect to cannabis of any form actually causing psychosis, there is still no credible scientific proof of that.

With particular respect to hydroponically grown plants, the Department of Agriculture feels there is no connection between hydroponics and psychosis, so yes, you can keep eating the unblemished supermarket tomatoes and vegetables …..

The “Bush” versus “Hydro” is all marketing hype, like “Pepsi” versus “Coca-Cola”. Older cannabis users prefer the Bush they grew up with, and Bush growers are not averse to spreading negative rumours about their hydroponic rival. More recent smokers that started with Hydro have stuck to it, and Hydro growers are not averse to suggesting that Bush is weak pot. This could be equated to a Holden versus Ford mentality , and you know how many otherwise intelligent human beings can take such things seriously.

Bush pot can be just as strong as Hydro if grown in good soil with full sun, good weather, and no diseases or insect pests. That is very hard to do with helicopter surveillance, thieves and Acts of God. Growers usually select a compromised growing position to reduce the chances of detection. Hydroponic growers get to expose their plants to the equivalent of full sun for as many hours of the day as they deem appropriate, and all while they remain hidden from view.

This can give a consistent higher potency, but no higher than that achieved by good Bush. There is no Hydro (choose a number >1 ) times stronger than the best Bush, but the best high potency Bush is harder to find. Dedicated Bush lovers accept the best Bush available, but there are also plenty of smokers who will smoke both Hydro and Bush, depending on budget and availability. Obviously, Hydro is the better commercial path in terms of consistent potency, harvest predictability, and ease of care and inspection.

This is not to say all Hydro growers are commercial. There are those who grow hydroponically for personal or medical use.

There is a significant proportion of the cannabis community who do not want an end to prohibition. They are mostly growers or sellers, and the thinking is that their livelihood actually depends on prohibition remaining. They feel they would get locked out of the growing and marketing, and even if they were not, even if prices remained high, the government would take the biggest cut of the take.

Some feel that the independent rebel image associated with cannabis use would evaporate, and cannabis use would be reduced to the mundane. “It would not mean anything anymore…”

The HEMP Embassy feels that people should not be discriminated against for use of cannabis, and that there should be no criminality attached to cannabis use, or growing cannabis for personal use.

When cannabis use started in the late sixties/early seventies it was contained in the community of use, but by the mid seventies criminal enterprises entered the distribution system, and “deals” by them with police became more common. The user chain was contaminated, and at the same time a greater than usual number of police were corrupted. This situation remained as the status quo. Prohibition of cannabis provided the fertile ground, and to no good social effect.

If prohibition were ended, we feel society would be a little more just, with a little less opportunity for corruption and exploitation.

It is unfortunate that misinformation on cannabis does not only come from its opponents, and that even cannabis users can be uncritically accepting of misinformation, all the more easily if it suits their circumstances.

It is very difficult in this political climate to even establish an unbiased study, so contaminated is the field already. Successive governments have stonewalled all positive findings or recommendations by internal committees and inquiries since 1970, and, for an individual researcher, making positive findings on cannabis can be damaging to your career.

In the USA, only research looking for negatives is funded. It appears that the USA has an ideological commitment in its opposition to Cannabis that precludes any pesky scientific facts getting in the way.

Personally, I would prefer the issues be decided by scientific enquiry rather than by political or religious ideology, personal faith, or marketing. I can only hope there are enough others who feel the same way.

The pendulum swings away from minorities, and we have already watched in stunned disbelief as it pulled out of the station and departed for intolerance. We have our protest, and we will continue to demonstrate against overkill and oppression. Already drug testing regimes may be the forerunner of a truly Orwellian culture where no person who has taken a drug will have a job in 2015. That is of course unless the "Economic Rationalists" resort to something unspeakable to purify society, and fall into revulsion at themselves. That may be what is needed before the pendulum can come back to the place the horrors of WW2 sent it, to a time where the vision of a better world was genuinely sought,and not cynically derided. As memories fade, the dogs of
the right grow boldly malicious, and even if it does end as badly as it has usually done, there will always arise new generations with the hope and optimism to try once more to transform the killer apes in our midst, and quell their nameless angers with that compassion so often seen as a weakness to be crushed or exploited ....a pox on alpha males that lead men into death
to feed their self righteous egos. (� 2004)

Think about it...

Pot Paranoia- chicken or egg?
Ever since the days of Reefer Madness, self-styled drug experts have been demonizing cannabis and cannabis users. Is the tragic, shuffling spectre of the pot-addled teen psychotic just the latest in a long line of government-generated media myths or is there some truth to it? Does cannabis lead to schizophrenia or is the supposed current rise in mental health problems just a chicken-or-egg symptom of the pressures of modern life? Who wouldn't get depressed in today's world?

War on Terror/War on Drugs
The 21st Century has seen a conservative resurgence unequalled in our lifetimes. Civil liberties and human rights have been increasingly eroded in the name of internal security and the war on terror. Police powers have been expanded and personal freedom has been reduced. The concept of "Big Brother" has been reduced in the public mind to a cheesy reality TV show. How do the new police powers impact on our lives? With helicopters, sniffer dogs, saliva testing and anti-terrorist laws, where do pot-heads stand in all this?

Just how organic is organic?
Various indoor cannabis-growing techniques have been developed worldwide over the last 20 years. This has resulted in a supposedly "new" type of drug- hydroponic marijuana. The media, politicians and police have seized on this and generated much hysteria and a whole battery of new laws based on very little hard information.

But what exactly defines "hydroponic"... both from a gardening and a legal point of view? Is it possible to grow "organic hydro"? Are there really strains of pot that are "seven times stronger" and if so, where can we get some?

The way forward- zero tolerance or harm minimalisation.
While Australia blindly follows the American model of zero tolerance to drugs, the UK is in the throes of a pot renaissance. A few years back, the British Police Union refused to process any more pot possession charges, claiming they had more important things to do. Cannabis was de-scheduled and now Britain rivals Amsterdam for both sensible laws and high quality pot. The Prime Minister Tony Blair recently admitted that his father-in-law liked the occasional joint. If John Howard is such a Queen-lover, why on Earth are we playing by Uncle Sam's rules? When will someone turn on Johnny's father-in-law?

Neil Pike 2006

Dear Reader,

Western society is in an extreme state of decay. Governments look for scapegoats as a vehicle to aid their re-election. People everywhere are disenfranchised and disillusioned. Love of the mother whether it be the earth or the female human being is probably lower than ever before.

The legal drug consumption in our society is astronomical. Just one example are the large numbers of children and adolescents who are on dexamphetamine for their supposed condition of ADHD, with side effects including mood swings, weight loss, depression, nightmares, aggression and anger. It’s not a good example to set in a culture coming to terms with the use of Ice, another form of amphetamine.

Western medicine is now based on the simplistic notion that giving people drugs for everything will cure them. It is extremely expensive, ineffective, self-indulgent and sometimes terminal. At the same time we have politicians who are totally lacking in knowledge making decisions about what herbs are allowed to be used.

Nimbin is a centre of alternative medicine. Even though the doctors can’t keep up with business and there is a methadone clinic put there by the medical system, a large majority of the population, especially in surrounding rural areas, are well versed in alternative medicine and looking after themselves.

Part of that process for some is growing marijuana and using it as a mild social lubricant or painkiller. The cult of greed and consumerism that has taken hold everywhere on the planet in the form of conspicuous consumption of hydro is not the fault of Nimbin. It is the grim result of determined prohibition of a herb used by humanity for thousands of years.

Drug addiction as opposed to drug use is on the rise everywhere. The cumulative despair of western culture as it turns its back on the enlightenment that once made it great, the effect of war, famine, climate change, multi-national controlled economy, the insensitivity of governments to their citizens and the worship of money is all contributing to people switching off from normality and consuming drugs, legal or illegal to send them into oblivion.

Who knows if our leaders making crucial decisions for the future of our country are free from this affliction and govern with a head free from any substance abuse? Do any politicians take medicine with mental and emotional side effects? Quite incredibly, they can drink taxpayer subsidized alcohol while in parliament. Can they be accused of drink driving?

The police forces let loose in Nimbin preceding the Mardi-Grass can definitely be accused of thuggery. There were a lot of people quite brutally treated by police, including young women. In their desire for action they were gloating in their power over the caged local beings and goading them into conflict.

The presence of large groups of burly men with multiple weapons sticking out of their uniforms hanging on street corners is an overwhelmingly fearful, agitating and adrenaline stirring experience. There was no effort of community policing. Instead, it was like being occupied by the army.

The police created such a bad feeling, interfering greatly with the social and business life of the town, scaring away locals and tourists alike for a whole month. For those who live in town it was a nightmare.

Goodwill creates peace and harmony in Nimbin as much as anywhere. Mardi-Grass is our town festival full of music and fun .Too much dancing to need your anti-depressants. There never has been any violence during a Mardi-Grass festival. I’m sure Beef Week will not have the same level of interference.


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