2 different veiws of what went down over Mardi Grass

police view

Police Media Release More than 100 people arrested at Nimbin Mardi Grass 7 May, 2007 The NSW Police Force arrested more than 100 people -- predominantly for drug offences -- and seized more than 15kg of drugs over the three-day Mardi Grass festival in the northern NSW town of Nimbin. Operation Maloo, comprising police from Richmond LAC, dog squad, mounted police, OSG (Operational Support Group) and the new roadside drug testing unit, was active between 6am Friday May 4 and 6am Monday May 7, 2007. During that time, police arrested 109 people of which 50 were charged with a number of offences and 62 dealt with by way of cannabis caution. The majority of the 50 charges were for possess and supply prohibited drug but also included one assault charge, robbery, stealing, offensive language, offensive conduct, drink driving, unlicensed driver, suspended/cancelled driver, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt. Juveniles and adults were warned for drinking in an alcohol free zone and a licensed premise was monitored for breaching licensing laws. During the police roadside operation in the outskirts of town and foot patrol in Nimbin, more than 15kg of drugs were seized. This included 4.2kg of cannabis leaf, resin and food product such as cookies and muffins, and pills including 48 ecstasy tablets in one haul alone as well as LSD tabs. On Sunday morning, police stopped a car outside Nimbin at the police checkpoint and during the search allegedly found almost 12kg of cannabis cake. A woman was charged with supply prohibited drugs and will appear at court. The 62 people issued with cannabis cautions were dealt with under the relevant Act as the arresting police found they were eligible to be treated with a caution rather than a charge. To be eligible, they must be first time offenders for drug related matters. The caution, however, is still recorded in the NSW Police Force COPs system. Over the weekend Police conveyed a male to hospital after his condition required treatment to alleged consumption of the drug "ice", he was sedated, treated and rehydrated. Two police were injured, one requiring possible surgery for his injuries. Superintendent Bruce Lyons, Commander of Richmond LAC, was pleased with the police results and said those who attended the festival were generally well behaved. "Operation Maloo has been a great success for NSW Police Force and for the local community. Our main aim, despite some criticism, was to ensure the safety of the community and those visiting from out of town. And we did that," he said. "However, from our seizure and the numbers arrested, drugs continue to be a problem in Nimbin but I think the weekend's operation would have made a substantial impact on supply. "Nimbin is a unique community and despite the best efforts of police, drug dealing and possession does occur. I am hoping the continued success of our operations will make a difference." Supt Lyons said he was also encouraged that the new roadside drug testing unit -- in its' 14th operation -- had no positive drug results despite testing hundreds of drivers heading to and from the township. "It means people are getting the message and to police that's good news. Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol is dangerous anywhere, especially in country areas where people don't know the roads." The Mardi Grass festival is in its 34th year and the main purpose is to campaign for the legalisation of cannabis as well as being a community event which draws thousands of visitors from around the world to the small country town. Last year, police increased their presence due to intelligence and an escalation in violence within the township as a result of harder drugs such as speed and ice being used. More than 100 people were arrested last year as well, with most for drug offences. "We have noticed that violent and anti-social behaviour has been on the rise in Nimbin in recent years and this has been due to people using harder drugs," Supt Lyons said. "However I am encouraged that there was only one charge of assault this year. "As well, the organisers of the festival should be credited for the job they did in making the festival such a success." All those charged will appear before Lismore Local Court on June 4 2007.

and a more honest veiw


MARDIGRASS MEDIA Tuesday 8 May evening.


Reading the media it looks like MardiGrass was a massive police feast! The picture they paint is a very misleading image. In reality it was incredibly mellow with very few problems.

We do admit the NSW Police media releases listing every detail of their weekend was all the press had to go on, because the organisers were still having too much fun to put out any news! Anyway, journalists had been ignoring MardiGrass mostly and we didn't anticipate the police putting so much negative spin on such a successful weekend. One assault, ten thousand people, no wonder many police prefer the mellowing affect of cannabis at festivals.

Some real stories are starting to emerge. The injuries sustained by police which sounded on the television news like they were sustained in battle, came from them recklessly chasing someone through a crowd, knocking over and injuring a bystander, and eventually hurting themselves by running headlong into a car. You can imagine how they sought revenge on the person they were chasing that had surrended with his hands up. The big crowd watching, including many children, was less than impressed.

There are several accounts and complaints about the police horses knocking people about, and even over, as they chased people through market crowds. The horse's manure has also raised several other concerns, often watery crap was splattered in front of Sibley Street food stalls attracting many complaints by festival goers and stallholders. Some angry stallholders are preparing formal complaints about the health concerns this type of police activity raises. The smell was disgusting bringing dozens of complaints from upset diners.

Supt Lyons stated that he was encouraged by the new roadside saliva testing! Hundreds of festival goers were tested on their way to the MardiGrass and on their way home, yet not one positive saliva test was recorded! How could anyone be encouraged at such a gross waste of tax payer's money. Each of the Drug Wipe tests costs $40. They did not get anyone going to and from Nimbin's MardiGrass… hello, hello, hello!!! All the research on the saliva testing, including our own, shows they are very unreliable. Supt Lyons said “they must be getting the message…”!!!!!!!!!

He also said that operation Maloo “made a substantial impact on supply” when it captured 15 kilos of pot, which was actually mostly flour, water and dried fruit being a 12kg cake, plus other “cookies and muffins”. All very misleading, like the sixty cannabis cautions being including as arrests! At one point Police were writing cautions one after another like raffle tickets as tourists willingly surrendered their tiny stashes. They could have written thousands!

There is no evidence from cannabis users that the presence of the police or the Winnebago is going to make anyone stop smoking pot. And, ten thousand at MardiGrass being so peaceful is surely the best possible example of how cannabis does not create psychosis or pose the health risk John Howard, Pyne and Abbott keep trying to say it does. While they have been blaming cannabis for mental health problems, they should have been watching the ice age coming. Still their own revenue raising drugs, alcohol and tobacco, remain the most damaging physically, mentally and socially.

Further information contact Nimbin HEMP Embassy 02 6689 1842

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