What happened to J-Day and the MMM?
Someone asked on Facebook where is the information regarding the J-Day / Mayday events for Christchurch.The reason there is no ChCh info is one that has plagued the cannabis movement - factionalism and failure to honour that when good folk initiate action, there is a both a sense of ownership AND responsibility that accompanies that, a duty of care to foster it well, to promote and encourage, to enable and embrace. So when that 'works' (and it did) others who have said, felt, for whatever reason, that 'that person's initiative' is unwelcome... is not entitled to, or isn't doing what 'they want' them too, then they pile the shit on. So good folk are discouraged, walk away or lose interest. The networks, knowledge, skills, and history are lost too. [This is not just the domain of activists, this happens inside of academia and policy makers as well]
Twenty plus odd years ago, NORML (NZ) wanted nothing to do with the Million Marijuana March as it was seen is irrelevant to them... (it was originally started by friend's of mine in the NY based yippie movement at #9 Blecker St, subsequently fostered by Cannabis Culture and Marc Emery) and it added Christchurch right into the mix as 'kicking' the global event off. That 'status' gave it legs. Prior to that, Christchurch had a number of sigificant 'High Noon' J-Day is May Day protest events that would attract to Cathedral Square, some 700+ attendees (1996) thanks to the exemplar work of the likes of Richard Arachnid, Warren Bryson and others. [Being downwind was a joy.....] the day coincided with the "Cures not Wars" meme, and was supported by spectacular posters that soon carried the major events in NZ message to a global audience of some 300 cities... inclusive of NORML as organisers in those other local kiwi events etc.
[Actually, only Auckland University's AUNorml was ever affiliated to its US namesake. Organisers of the weekly campus smokeins and the largest membership 'club' within the nations uni's, Graeme Watson (RIP) and Kevin Cairns, were both honorary MildGreens and contributing supporters of the Christchurch reform movement, inc ALCP]
The "MildGreens" even brought out to NZ a NORML (USA) exec, board member (Clifford Wallace Thornton) who greatly helped to put some glue between the respective initiatives. (As we also did with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP))
Media took this stuff seriously.... (NORML didnt, until they saw how well it was working)
It is with some chagrin, I can say that the MP who would have likely lead the cannabis reform (having successfully moved prostitution in from the cold), Tim Barnett, who said 'the hotbed of cannabis reform was in Christchurch"....
For me.... As I have done every year bar one (I did it in Wgn) since those early days.... I take personal responsibility to launch the "Cures Not Wars" Global Marijuana March in Cathedral Square before 'marching' to the other square of ChCh, "Latimer" so selected for its connection to beliefs and commitment... (google "Oxford Martyrs")
Missy Griggs : I think J-Day in NZ was so named well before the Jay Day Stazter / NY tie in, but, either way, it is none the less yet another interesting coincidence / zen moment in the never ending story I walk in.
Most any poster I have made regarding J-day has always had the Cures Not Wars embedded.
Blair Anderson http://mildgreens.blogspot.com