[sixties-l] Fwd: Bust Pot Smokers At Vigil for Lennon

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: 12/19/00

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    >Bust Pot Smokers At Vigil for Lennon
    >From: News and Views | Crime File |
    >Sunday, December 10, 2000
    >By RICHARD WEIR  Daily News Staff Writer
    >While John Lennon fans huddled in New York City's Central Park singing
    >songs like "Give Peace a Chance," undercover cops infiltrated the
    >vigil - giving pot smokers anything but a chance.
    >Twenty people were arrested at Friday's vigil marking the 20th
    >anniversary of the ex-Beatle's slaying. One arrest was for selling
    >marijuana; the others were for smoking it in public view.
    >Two other Lennon fans were issued court summonses, one for possessing
    >pot and another for an open alcohol container.
    >But the marijuana busts were carried out with such stealth that even
    >organizers of the vigil, which ended peacefully by 2 a.m. yesterday,
    >had not seen or heard about them.
    >"They took people in for smoking marijuana? That's crazy," an
    >incredulous Norman Siegel, executive director of the New York Civil
    >Liberties Union, said when he learned of the arrests yesterday from
    >the Daily News. "I was there. I didn't see anything."
    >Of those arrested Friday, some were issued desk appearance tickets
    >while the majority were taken to central booking, police said.
    >"I don't know why anybody would be shocked," Mayor Giuliani said. "It
    >is illegal in the state of New York and the United States of America
    >to sell marijuana or to smoke marijuana."
    >"The people who were smoking marijuana were breaking the law, and
    >police arrest you when you break the law in America," he added.
    >The Police Department used similar tactics in May when it arrested 312
    >people for openly smoking pot during the Millennium Marijuana March in
    >lower Manhattan.
    >"They do this now at cultural events," said Dana Beal, a marijuana
    >activist and organizer of the May march. "The police come in. They are
    >very low-key. They tap the people on the shoulder and lead them away."
    >Like the May rally, police on Friday went through the crowd -
    >estimated by police at 1,000, but organizers say it was larger -
    >discreetly plucking marijuana smokers, some of whom had resorted to
    >lighting up in bushes.
    >"I think it's overkill by the Giuliani administration," Siegel said.

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