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*** News Update of the ***
*** Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War ***
May 11, 1998

This is the next in a series of newsletters to keep you informed about the planning of the Global Days against the Drug War, which will be held on Friday June 5th through Wednesday June 10th, at the occasion of the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS).

On behalf of the Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War, best regards,

Olivier Dupuis, general secretary, Transnational Radical Party
Kevin Zeese, president, Common Sense for Drug Policy Foundation
Adam Smith, associate director, Drug Reform Coordination Network
Harry Bego, coordinator, Global Days against the Drug War

Comments about the contents of this newsletter can be sent to: [email protected]
For more info visit http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/

CONTENTS

1. EVENTS ARE BEING PLANNED IN 45 CITIES!
British and French coalitions are formed.
Activities in New York are taking shape.

2. THE GLOBAL COALITION: OVER 90 MEMBER ORGANISATIONS
We've applied for a panel inside the UN on June 9th.
Organisations can join by signing the declaration.

3. ENCOD: The European Council on Drugs and Development
We cooperate with the alliance established by ENCOD

4. AGAIN: THE CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
Send out this updated version to promote the Global Days!

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1. EVENTS ARE BEING PLANNED IN 45 CITIES!

At the moment of writing, events are being planned for the Global Days against the Drug War in more than 45 cities all over the world. In alphabetical order, events have been announced for Alsfeld (Ger), Amsterdam, Auckland (NZ), Berlin, Bonn, Brussels, Christchurch (NZ), Colville (WS), Dallas, Dunedin (NZ), Eugene (OR), Fort Lauderdale (FL), Hamburg, Houston, Ilmenau (Ger), Jena (Ger), London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Marbella (Sp), Melbourne, Munich, New Orleans, New York, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Schengen (Lux), Seattle, Sydney, Stockholm, Tallinn (Estonia), Tel Aviv, Trier, Tucson, Washington, Wellington and Winnipeg. Information about these events is available at http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/

Please note that the duration of the 'Global Days against the Drug War' has been extended from three to six days, to last from Friday 5th until Wednesday 10th. We encourage reformers to consider organising events in yet other cities. Please contact us at [email protected]

NATIONAL COALITIONS FORMED IN BRITAIN AND FRANCE

These weeks, organisational meetings are held in many places to plan all this activity. To support organisation of events, national coalitions of reform organisations have been formed in Britain and France. A recent meeting of the new British coalition was reported in the Independent (read at our web site).

Yves TÚvessin, spokesperson for the new French alliance, the "Collectif pour l'abrogation de la loi 70", writes: "Yesterday we signed your declaration and we decided to organize an evening with concerts and street theatre on the 6th of June, on 7th of June a big demonstration in the afternoon, and surely many other surprises". Those of you who have been following recent French reform activism, will know that French surprises are always worth anticipating ... The "Collectif" consists of La Ligue des Droits de l'Homme, le Syndicat de la Magistrature, Auto-Support d'Usagers de Drogues (ASUD), Act Up-Paris, le Collectif d'Information et de Recherche Canabiques (CIRC), les Verts, Chiche!, la CORA, Tekno+, and Substitution Auto-Support (SAS).

Other recent good news from Paris concerns the confirmation that CORA, the Coordinamento Radicale Antiproibizionista, is organising the CORA congress in Paris on June 5, 6 and 7.

PREPARATION FOR ACTION IN NEW YORK

Meanwhile, the plans for events in New York are taking shape. On Monday June 8th at 5pm there will be a demonstration for needle exchange, consisting of a rally at Bryant Park followed by a march to Grand Central, sponsored by twelve organisations.

Next to activities outside the UN, a panel discussion on UN drug policy reform is prepared, to be held inside the UN on Tuesday June 9th. The Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War, together with several other parties, has submitted a formal application for the panel with the UN NGO Committee. In this we with work together with ENCOD (see section 3).

For more information about events in New York, contact Kevin Zeese, [email protected], or Adam Smith, [email protected]

PLANS FOR A MARCH AT THE "SCHENGENER BRUECKE" ...

Recent information concerns plans for a manifestation at the "Schengener Bruecke", a bridge over the Mosel river at the location where the borders between Germany, France and Luxemburg meet, near the Luxemburg town of Schengen. In Schengen, a treaty was signed twelve years ago between several European countries, regulating the free exchange of personnel between member states. However, the French President, Chirac, has in the past years frustrated the full implementation of the treaty by putting patrols at the borders between Belgium and France, accusing the Netherlands of causing drug trafficking problems by its liberal drug laws. The event at the Schengener Bruecke will probably involve a march across the bridge and the handing over of some suitable symbolic commodity from representatives of German drug policy reform groups, to their French counterparts, and v.v.

... AND AROUND THE WORLD

Plans are at an advanced stage at the other side of the globe as well. Chris Fowlie, NORML New Zealand board member, writes: "The National Organisation for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has lobbied for marijuana law refom in New Zealand since 1976. NORML NZ supports the establishment of a regulated legal cannabis market. We'll be organising various activities around NZ, including a big march up Queen St, Auckland, Saturday June 6". Together with events announced earlier for Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch, this makes for a total of 4 events in New Zealand so far!

For information about all the other great events being planned in thirteen countries, see our web pages. Of course we encourage you to consider planning similar events. Events do not necessarly have to be big - a forum discussion, a rally, an anti-prohibition party, a petition, a concert, a press conference - it is up to you what form and size your participation will take ... Contact fellow reformers, local policy reform organisations, clubs, etc., get together and see what you can do. And inform us, of course!

2. THE GLOBAL COALITION: OVER 90 MEMBER ORGANISATIONS

As you know, we have established the Global Coalition for Alternatives to the Drug War, which will issue declarations, and members of which will support the Global Days against the Drug War.

The coalition is also involved in preparations of an NGO panel on UN drug policy reform, which is planned to be held inside the UN on Tuesday June 9th. Together with several other parties (a.o. ENCOD, see section 3), we have submitted a formal application for the panel to the UN NGO Committee. The application is coordinated by the Transnational Radical Party. See http://www.stopthedrugwar.org/globalcoalition/ for news about the UN panel, and for an up-to-date list of over 90 organisations that have joined the Global Coalition.

Organisations are invited to join the coalition by endorsing the declaration. Please write to: [email protected]

3. ENCOD: The European Council on Drugs and Development

We work together with the European Council on Drugs and Development (ENCOD), which took the initiative to build a broad international alliance of organisations working in the field of development, human rights, prevention and health care, drug consumers and peasant drug crop producers to jointly challenge UNGASS with a set of concrete recommendations for an alternative drug policy. This alliance currently consists of some 75 organisations, some of which are members of the 'Global Coalition' as well. The manifesto "For a just and effective policy on drugs" attempts to bridge the many different islands dividing the broad drugs issue and to fully incorporate the views and worries from the South, often marginalised in the Northern dominated drugs policy debates. For more information about ENCOD, extensive information on UNGASS, and the text of the manifesto, see http://www.worldcom.nl/tni/drugs/

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