To The 2013
This is our 21st Mardigrass.
It is also our 20th
Anniversary or Twentieth Birthday.
(By the same token
that you are not 1 on your day of birth.)
It is also the 40th
Anniversary of the Aquarius Festival.
WHY SHOULD I BUY THE GOLDEN BUD PASS?
Because MardiGrass can’t happen or continue if you don’t.
Because it gives you free access to all events in Peace Park
(The Home of the Hemp Olympix), the Town Hall and the Bush Theatre.
Because some events like the Comedy Cabaret and Joint Rolling
will fill the Town Hall which has limited capacity and Golden
Bud Passes get priority entry.
Because you are supporting cannabis law reform which is what
MardiGrass is all about.
Because the Council and Police have given us so many rules and
regulations to comply with, the whole event is in danger of
folding if you don’t.
Because you can’t get entry into the Hemp Bar, Mullaways
Magic Medicine Tent or other venues without the Golden Bud wristband.
Because the showground camping team are all volunteer legends
who will look after you with genuine old style Aussie country
hospitality and you’ll have a terrific weekend.
Because you’ll feel really good about yourself contributing
to a worthwhile cause.
Because in years to come you can tell your grandchildren you
were in the war on drugs
Just a quick report on the World STONED Chess Championship.
Having been a friend of Gerald for a long time and having been
told stories about the tournament I wanted to make sure the
tradition was kept up so I volunteered to run the tournament
in a complete vacuum of knowledge.
I arrived in nimbin around midday and found Michael Balderstone
who found me bits and pieces of chess sets which ultimately
meant we could have five full chess sets.
I made up a poster advertising the chess tournament which was
to start around 1 pm and on which people could register their
interest. Not 5 minutes after putting up the poster and along
came Ben and Dale and offered to set up the chess sets and take
registrations whilst I went and collected the necessary supplements
to officially qualify as the World STONED Chess Championship.
I returned soon after and there were now 5 people on the list
and people wanting to start playing. I had arrived with an Argentinian
man and his Italian girlfriend and they proceeded to roll up
the necessary supplements and all people interested that were
registered had a game organized. They were handed the qualifying
supplement to make sure they were qualified to win the championship.
All people who played were registered and all up the were 43
players from all over the world. The countries represented were
Japan, Indonesia, France, USA, Germany, England, Indigenous
australia.all people bar 1 were able to qualify and I must say
that most were well and truly qualified and a fun time was had
by all. People played and wandered off and enjoyed the festival
and came back and played again. People were serious about their
chess and there were some very good chess players there. All
games and results were recorded; there was upwards of 50 games
played from about 1 pm till the finish at around 7 pm after
light had well and truly faded.
The results were tabulated and cross checked against other performances
and the resounding winner having played 8 games and won 7 was
SIMON ROSE, a new proud World Champion representing australia.
His only loss was to a person who he had beaten in a previous
match who incidently was the only person not to qualify as he
was a nonsmoker.. Simon played against all other winners in
the tournament except for Dale who played only 3 players and
won all but didnt stick around to get challenged by other winners.
All in all the chess championship was a resounding success and
I have the poster with registered names and a photo of this
I will send in due course.
Image source: www.online-paralegal-degree.org
MardiGrass plans are up and running but it will be different
this year! The MOB (MardiGrass Organising Body) was asked if
the annual event was a protest or a festival by the Lismore
Mayoress no less. We were in no doubt about the answer.
There will be changes but nothing is written in ink yet and
we are still negotiating with Lismore Council over details.
Sibley Street may not be closed and the glorious new skate park
has halved the traditional HEMP Olympix Arena, but the real
point of MardiGrass - Cannabis Law Reform - remains more real
The helicopters have been buzzing the area recently and if
we needed reminding that the drug war steams on unabated, the
chopper crew did a good job.
“War is over if you want it”, said John and Yoko,
and we certainly want it to be over. The meetings have been
unanimous in wanting to bring back the seriousness of how much
cannabis prohibition stuffs up peoples lives so unnecessarily.
We begin our protest this year on Tuesday the first of May,
with Occupy Lismore Court House, where so many lives are disrupted
by the drug war, before we proceed to the Police Station (next
door!), then to Federal MP Janelle Saffins Office, and finally
local NSW MP Thomas Georges Office.
Letters will be delivered to the politicians asking for change
on the cannabis laws, asking them to have another look at these
laws and what effect they have on the community. Do they really
believe that we are criminals? NO.
Yet these two are our government representatives in Parliament
and they both support the war against us. They both support
criminalising us for using a plant from nature! And they both
have children in trouble from the drug war!
Why is Australia being left behind on drug law reform? The
Greens seem spooked by the matter even though it is a social
justice issue of paramount importance. Under our present antiquated
political system, if the Prime Minister said, ‘let's trial
medical cannabis’, the opposition would hysterically scream,
‘she wants to give away heroin’. The madness emanating
from government and media over this issue is no different from
the attitudes of the 1950s!
We need leaders with vision to sit in a circle and examine
the facts and make decisions that are good for society. Good
for happiness levels! We are still competing with each other
like animals, when to make things better, we need to co-operate...like
Tickets for MardiGrass are for
sale on the website and we recommend you purchase
now if you want a campsite. The 2012 draft program will keep
This year we are looking for some special skills amongst our
volunteers - particularly local volunteers - Traffic Controllers
will be treated like gold, Jungle Patrol will again provide
their exemplary service and needs local members in particular,
as does CLOG the Civil Liberties Observer Group.
We always need and love artists and painters, experienced camera
operators, cooks and kitchen hands, Bud Babes [both men and
women] and Ganja Faeries, people we can trust to collect donations.
Volunteer coordinators are needed and anyone with Woodford experience
could be handy. There is a message book in the Embassy where
you can write down your contact details etc, or phone 66891842
MOB (MardiGrass Organising Body) meetings are on the back verandah
of the HEMP Embassy every Friday now from 5 pm, and everyone
is welcome. If you have an event or something you want to see
happen, let us know sooner rather than later.
Hemp in Northern NSW
Northern NSW is an epicentre of the establishing Australian
hemp industry, and has the highest density of hemp licenses
in the state. This is due in part to the supportive social environment
of the area, the excellent soil and climatic conditions, and
the presence of innovative farmers with machinery which is readily
adaptable for hemp cultivation and processing. Northern Rivers
Inc. was established in 2009 to support the local hemp industry
by providing workshops, lobbying for the local industry and
hosting a website (www.northernrivershemp.org). Three of the
emerging hemp enterprises in the Northern Rivers of NSW are
Hemp masonry is a mixture of hemp fibre, lime and binding agents,
and it has been used by humans for millennia in a similar way
that modern humans use cement. The Egyptians sealed their tombs
with hemp masonry, and the remains of a thousand-year old bridge
still stand in France. Klara Marosszeky from Australian Hemp
Masonry Company has spent 13 years researching and developing
all aspects of the hemp masonry industry, from cultivating and
harvesting techniques to processing and manufacturing technologies.
AHMC now provides hemp masonry products and expert advice to
the local building industry and has a focus on developing low-cost
and appropriate housing for Aboriginal Communities. Klara has
been amongst the most active pioneers of the Australian hemp
industry. She works closely with farmers to develop agronomic
skills and biological farming methods, runs hemp building workshops,
and she is being instrumental in integrating education about
hemp production into the mainstream vocational education sector.
Klara is an executive of Northern Rivers Hemp Inc. and is currently
working with Northern Rivers Regional Development Australia
on the Green Industries Report regarding hemp and regional hemp
industry development, and assisting NSW Aboriginal Business
Development to make training in hemp building and hemp housing
available for communities.
Hemp seed products
Hemp seeds and hemp seed oil have been used by many cultures
around the world as a staple food, a fuel, and a component of
health-care products. Most countries in the world now allow
hemp seed food products to be sold for human consumption, however
Australia is a notable exception. In 2002 Food Standards of
Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) supported an application for
hemp seed as a novel food but it was rejected on political grounds
by the Howard Government, who claimed that it would send the
“wrong message” about cannabis. A new application,
instigated by Dr Andrew Katelaris, is currently under review.
Although FSANZ continues to support hemp as an acceptable and
valuable food source, the process continues to be delayed for
political reasons. Despite the current ban on hemp seed foods,
they are increasingly available in Australia in organic and
health shops, and via the internet. In anticipation of a change
in legislation, Andrew Kavasilas who is President of Northern
Rivers Hemp Inc., is currently growing hemp under license to
develop seedstock for food and oil production in collaboration
with local organic farmers.
The first stirrings of the local hemp industry started at Southern
Cross University (SCU) when Dr Keith Bolton began using hemp
as a means of cleaning sewage effluent, demonstrating that hemp
can successfully clean effluent passing through the soil/root
zone while producing high yields of quality fibre in short crop
cycles. This early research brought other players into the region
including EcoFibre who conducted much of their early research
and maintenance of their germplasm collection. Southern Cross
University has also hosted researchers investigating medicinal
properties of cannabis, and the Centre for Phytochemistry at
SCU provides analytical services to the local hemp industry
including analysing THC concentrations in crops. Lise Bolton,
director of local company Ecotechnology Australia, has recently
commenced research into the use of hemp to remove pollutants
from land which previously supported tobacco production.
Dr Keith Bolton
The Beginning of the
Coming to a head?
There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat;
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
Brutus, "Julius Caesar" , Act
IV, scene iii.
the criminalisation, marginalisation and stigmatisation of people
who use drugs but who do no harm to others…Encourage experimentation
by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs to undermine
the power of organised crime and safeguard the health and security
of their citizens.''
The MOB wishes to extend a welcome and many thanks
for those who donate their time and finances during this event,
without you it could not happen. All volunteers should register
with the Hemp Embassy leaving a contact phone or email in the
shop. MOB meetings have sort of started and you will find key
organizers in the Hemp Bar from 4.20pm on Fridays.
Event tickets including a campsite are already
for sale for the weekend of May 5th and May 6th, 2012……….
Not so far away now.
A 2013 MardiGrass WEEKEND PASS with CAMPING Online
There are lawyers everywhere these days, not just in
Parliament but in the MardiGrass crowd looking out for you.
Here’s some sage words from two of them.
MARDIGRASS AND THE POLICE
The Police understand that we are engaged in peaceable and
law abiding protest and many of them secretly agree with our
cause. But they are coppers. They can’t talk for themselves
while they are at work. If they see cannabis they will confiscate
it and issue you with a caution notice or a summons to appear.
They will bust you if they see you bonging on. So don’t
be an idiot! We gather together to protest the laws not get
The police may try to make it difficult for you to get to MardiGrass.
This is a deliberate tactic they have used for a number of years.
In the past they have set up roadblocks south of Nimbin at Goolmangar
and north near the village and on the Uki road (they may be
on any of the approach roads in the days immediately before
and after the festival).
In the past the Police have even told people the event had
been cancelled, or have warned them that the town is full of
‘undesirable’ elements. Of course all of this is
bunkum: the Nimbin MardiGrass is a peaceful family friendly
festival that is renowned the world around for being just that.
But the Police do have a job to do – in this case their
job is to try and persuade you to turn around and abandon your
sinful pursuit of your democratic right to protest. (Just say
“yes sir” and drive on.)
The Police may breathalyse you for alcohol or swab you for
cannabis. If you haven’t had a smoke that day you should
be alright (so wait till you get to Nimbin). If you must bring
cannabis to Nimbin (sorta like coals to Newcastle) then come
a few days early. If you must carry it in a car then put it
on the floor under a mat or a seat and don't ever say “that’s
mine” if it happens to get found.
Check www.nimbinmardigrass.com for current road conditions
and information. We hope to have the Polite drones operating
with the latest on the roads. There are several different routes
into Nimbin available. The scenery and country is beautiful.
The town is welcoming. The event is unforgettable. And if the
issue is your issue don’t be put off no matter what. See
you here on the 5th and 6th of May?
MARDIGRASS AND THE POLICE
Most of the police officers who come to Nimbin for Mardi Grass
treat it as the spectacle it is and merely observe the proceedings
because there are seldom any disturbances and they are not needed
to keep the peace. Increasingly many police realise this counter-productive
legislation has by all accounts, reached its “use by date”.
Presently some Nimbin community members are locked in a court
battle to stop the roadblocks and raids on Nimbin each year
but they do not expect that the action will be decided by MardiGras.
In the meantime if you are thinking about bringing illegal drugs
with you, be careful of roadblocks. They have three favourite
spots - at Goolmangar, on the Nimbin Lismore Road to the south;
Blue Knob Road near the cemetery on the road north; east from
Nimbin near the corner of Tuntable Creek Road and the road to
Mount Nardi. But they could be anywhere!
In New South Wales, when searching people or vehicles police
have the authority to ask for your name and address, (but not
your mobile or other telephone) and you have the right to ask
them for their name, badge, (or, if they are not in uniform,
their identification), the station from which they work and
the reason for the search.
While police have the right to search your vehicle and all the
people in it for drugs, sometimes using a dog to assist, they
do not usually have the right to “strip search”
you. Generally, if police try to engage you in conversation
or to question you, unless you have a good knowledge of the
way the laws operate, you should say as little as you have to.
Anyway let us hope for good behaviour from us all in this, the
MardiGrass music enquiries:
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