Cannabis News Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  Scotty J's Report On The MMM March in New York!
Posted by FoM on June 10, 1999 at 07:36:20 PT

cannabis I apologize for the delay getting this report out. Many Legalize members were very excited to come out for the Million Marijuana March; thank you for your efforts!

On May 1, Legalize participated in the Million Marijuana March here in NYC and across the nation. This was our first year marching. We certainly learned a lot and successfully met many of our important goals. We also had a great time.

Ryan and four of his friends met me at my apartment at 9:30 that morning. I had prepared signs and purchased a nine-foot long, green banner with our trademark and URL emblazoned across it. We also brought 50 T-shirts along. We seemed well prepared.

We got down to our meeting spot early, and soon Andrea and a friend of hers had joined us. But then things began to go awry.

The parade marshals from Cures Not Wars began stopping by to ask us to move and meet up closer to Broadway. They came by three times, and were telling us that the police wanted everyone down near Houston. At 12:15, forty-five minutes early, we decided to move. That turned out to be a big mistake, and I apologize to any members who tried to find us there. We thought that we could regroup closer to the March, but once we began walking the police kept us moving, and we ended up being forced to march all the way downtown.

We had too many signs for the eight of us, so we handed them out to our fellow marchers. But the cops didnít like the wooden sticks and made us rip the cardboard signs off them. They also made us take the sticks off the banner too, and so we rolled us two of the signs, taped them closed and taped them directly to the banner. This worked okay, but then we also still had the 50 T-shirts, so we had to alternate carrying a box and a dufflebag all the way down.

Once we got down to Battery Park, there were about 15,000 people down there with us. Our first order of business was to unload the T-shirts; at $5 apiece we were able to sell them all in about half an hour. Unfortunately we were not able to locate any other members who might have come out. One big lesson I learned for next year is to set up shop down at Battery Park before the March; thatís where to make the greatest impact among our fellow marchers.

Now that we were unburdened, I made my way up to the stage to find out about my opportunity to address the rally. I had been in contact with Cures Not Wars on the phone, via e-mail, and even in person, but they seemed reluctant to promise me anything. As it turned out, they had had problems with the sound system, so had to put on most of their speakers first. By the time I got up there they had finally got the bands performing, so I had to wait an hour and a half to get my chance.

But once up there, it was great. This was my first time speaking in front of a crowd like that, but I wasn't nervous at all. It helped knowing I was the only one there not stoned. Seriously, though, I focused all the small frustrations of the day into an angry energy, so when I got up there I started by screaming, "I'm Scotty J. and I run, the best Web site on the Internet!"

The crowd loved that, and began cheering back. I talked about Legalize, both the community and the business, probably not too coherently but still with that same level of energy. I ended by having everyone chant "le-gal-ize" over and over.

That sums up what went on here in New York City. We also had dozens of Legalize members marching across the country, including Karen who represented us and spoke to the rally at San Francisco. Thank you everyone who participated and helped get our message out. Again, this was our first time organizing a Legalize event, and what we learned will allow us to be twice as effective next time.

-- Scotty J.

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