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Alternative Values, Alternative Facts: UN Event on Media Disinformation and Drug War Human Rights Violations

Alternative Values, Alternative Facts:
Drug Policy and Justice as Casualties in the Struggle Between Authoritarianism and Democracy

side event at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs annual meeting
Vienna International Centre, Thursday 21 March, 2:20-3:10pm CET
(9:20am US eastern time, 9:20pm Manila time)
Conference Room M3, Floor M01 (one up from ground level)

Facebook Live video or our event is archived here. We will post a playlist version
of the video in the near future at https://stopthedrugwar.org/philippines.

featuring:

  • Chel Diokno
    Founding Dean of De La Salle College of Law, and Chairman of FLAG – Free Legal Assistance Group, Philippines (via Skype and video)
  • Pamela Combinido
    Researcher, Newton Tech4Dev Network (video)
  • Davey Alba
    Reporter, BuzzFeed (video)

moderated by:

  • David Borden
    Executive Director, DRCNet Foundation (AKA "StoptheDrugWar.org")

discussion and Q&A:

  • Chel Diokno
  • Marco Perduca
    Senator 2008-2013, Italy, and Associazone Luca Coscioni
  • David Borden
  • Others TBA

Sponsored by DRCNet Foundation, with AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa, A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment and Healing), Arewa Youth Trust Foundation, Association for Safer Drug Policies in Norway, Associazione Luca Coscioni, Broken No More, Death Penalty Focus, FAAAT think & do tank, Forum Droghe, Legalize Belarus, NAMA Recovery, NEFFCON Nor-Cal, No Peace Without Justice, St. Ann's Corner of Harm Reduction, Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, SA Drug Policy, SAOL Project, Science for Democracy, South Africa Network of People Who Use Drugs, Students for Sensible Drug Policy – Sierra Leone, Students for Sensible Drug Policy – University of Utah, TBHIV Care, UNIDOS-Mocambique

United Nations
Vienna
Austria

February 24 -- An Important Day

February 24 is an important day. Two years ago, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines unjustly imprisoned Senator Leila de Lima, who had dared to challenge Duterte for his drug war killings, which now may number as many as 28,000.

Today, not only is de Lima still behind bars, Duterte's trying to jail another senator as well a newspaper publisher. He's promising to make the drug war even more deadly during the remaining three years of his term. And he's withdrawn the Philippines from the International Criminal Court treaty – but that won't stop him from one day facing justice for the crimes he's already committed.

This February 24 (this Sunday), we will call again for Senator de Lima's release. And we announce the launching of "Stand with Human Rights and Democracy: Global Campaign for the Philippines," a worldwide partnership to address this human rights crisis.

Join us if you can in Washington, DC, 4:00-5:00pm on Sunday February 24, for our protest at the Embassy of the Philippines, 1600 Massachusetts Ave. NW. When we protested there a year ago, the video went viral in the Philippines, sending the message that the world is watching. Please RSVP on our Event page, to let your friends know and to encourage others to join us.

Click here to read about that action and watch the video. Along with the oversized Duterte and de Lima masks used in our street theater last year, we've added two new figures, Rappler publisher Maria Ressa (a TIME Person of the Year) and Senator Antonio Trillanes. It's going to be a good show, and we need your help.

Whether you can join us or not, please spread the word on social media. Click here for a folder of images with sample text to post. And if you want to do more to protest this, check out our protest action resources kit too.

February 24 is important. The loss of life in Duterte's drug war is bad enough, but the brazenness with which he's doing this is having international ramifications. The killings have spread to some countries already, and it's affecting the climate in more. Other human rights violations are on the rise in the Philippines too. Meanwhile, the Kremlin disinformation machine is supporting and campaigning for Duterte, in the Philippines and internationally.

If a dictatorship gets established in the Philippines, there's no telling how far the killings could go. That's why we're asking you to stand with human rights and democracy, and with our allies in the Philippines working for justice and a better drug policy.

1600 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC
United States

EVENT: Human Rights Challenge: One Year Later, Drug War Extrajudicial Killings Continue

Human Rights Challenge: One Year Later, Extrajudicial Killings Continue
side event at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs annual meeting, Vienna
Thursday 15 March, 1:10pm CET, Room MOE79

Live stream will be available from our Facebook and Event pages, and at https://stopthedrugwar.org/philippines, from about 1:00pm.

Philippine opposition leader Senator Antonio Trillanes
Extrajudicial killings in nations' "drug war" campaigns have plagued multiple countries. This session will review the current situation in countries affected by extrajudicial drug war killings, national and international advocacy efforts to stop them, and interrelated matters such as social media manipulation and the struggle to promote and preserve democratic institutions.

Featuring:

  • Senator Antonio "Sonny" Trillanes, Republic of the Philippines
  • Ellecer Carlos, iDEFEND human rights coalition, Philippines

Moderated by:

  • David Borden, Executive Director, DRCNet Foundation (AKA "StoptheDrugWar.org")
  • Marco Perduca, former Senator, Italy, Luca Coscioni Associazone

Sponsored by:

  • DRCNet Foundation, United States
  • Forum Drogue, Italy

Cosponsored by:

  • Asian Network of People Who Use Drugs
  • Ecumenical Advocacy Network on the Philippines
  • FAAAT think & do tank
  • Filipino American Human Rights Alliance
  • In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement (iDEFEND), Philippines
  • México Unido Contra la Delincuencia A.C.
  • No Peace Without Justice
  • Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust (India)
  • SATHI SAMUHA (Friends Group), Community-led Organization of Positive People Who Use Drugs in Nepal
  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • Suruwat (Nepal)
  • Thai AIDS Treatment Action Group (TTAG)
  • Union C, Nepal

This forum follows on our 2017 CND side event, "Human Rights Challenge: Responding to Extrajudicial Killings in the Drug War," which featured a video from Vice President Leni Robredo that criticized President Duterte's drug policies. The video became controversial in the Philippines, leading to weeks of political attacks on Robredo including calls for her impeachment. Visit https://stopthedrugwar.org.philippines/ for further information, including links to video footage, transcripts, press coverage and other information.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/event-flyer.png

Austria

StoptheDrugWar.org Internships

StoptheDrugWar.org is interviewing for the spring 2018, summer 2018, and fall 2018 semesters. We currently have internships in the following areas:

Along with our current internship listings, please visit https://stopthedrugwar.org/about, https://stopthedrugwar.org/global and https://stopthedrugwar.org/philippines to learn about our organization and our current projects and campaigns.

Please feel free to contact us for further information, and thank you for your interest.

Memo: The Bad News We've Been Fearing Is Here

Dear Reformer:

The bad news we've been afraid of since November 2016 is here: The Trump administration, according to an Associated Press report this morning, is rescinding the Obama administration's Cole Memo, which protected marijuana legalization and allowed it to proceed.

Assuming the report is accurate, the move is the latest in a serious of disastrous assaults by the administration on areas of strong concern to drug policy reformers. As I noted in a series of fundraising emails late last year, from prosecutions to asset forfeiture to sentencing to human rights, the president and the attorney general have been pushing to ramp up the drug war.

And, as those emails noted, even medical marijuana is under threat now too after we thought we were past that. In that case it's regressive Republican committee chairs in the House of Representatives who brought that about, despite the bipartisan support there is now for medical marijuana. The president has notionally supported medical marijuana, but his attorney general asked members of Congress to undo the limited protection medical marijuana has in federal law the last few years, and some of them listened.

I am not writing today to say that all is lost -- I don't believe that all is close to being lost. We don't know yet how the new policy will play out, and reportedly it's written in a way that will leave much of the decision-making to individual US Attorneys. We have to be pessimistic about Trump US Attorney appointments, which are moving faster now, but we'll see. It's possible that federal prosecutors in marijuana legalization states will argue for a pragmatic continuation of something similar to the Cole memo, and it's possible they'll get their way. It's also possible that these officials, who tend to have higher political ambitions, will consider the polling showing massive national support for legalization, including majority Republican support.

Still, we clearly are in a time of significant threat, to the progress of marijuana legalization, and to the people implementing it on the ground. There is a significant chance that there will be federal raids on state-legal marijuana providers. It might be a few here and there to whoever was the most careless or is just the least lucky. It could be our friends who are the most politically active supporting legalization. It could be one or a few of the big players, enough to send a message in the media. Or it could be a lower profile series of measures like asset forfeiture actions and threat letters to landlords or other partners in the businesses.

https://stopthedrugwar.org/files/borden-dupont-circle-cropped.jpg
David Borden
Having just gotten the news this morning, I can't tell you precisely what our strategy will be yet, but a few things are clear. One, we will be supporting the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017, sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ). Two, we will be working to preserve the still current language in the federal budget that forbids the Dept. of Justice from spending money to undermine state medical marijuana laws. Pending discussions with colleagues, we tentatively will seek the expansions of that language to include state marijuana legalization systems. We will be supporting other federal legislation that would help things.

Because we're a broad issue organization not solely devoted to US marijuana policy, we will also be continuing our efforts to stop the Philippines drug war killings and to reform UN drug policy, and our other programs.

Two final notes for today: First, while I didn't intend to ask for money again so soon in the year, this news means we have to. We particularly need non-deductible contributions 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Drug Reform Coordination Network, which is responsible for the bulk of our US legislative work -- work that needs to be ramped up.

We also use non-deductible contributions to fully cover the cost of our web server and our email blast system, about $1,400 a month. The reason is to protect our ability to do reporting on candidates for office, after an IRS ruling a few years ago on web sites shared by an organization's 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) entities. 2018 is an important election year, and we need to continue covering these costs that way.

If you haven't already, I hope you'll consider signing up for a recurring donation to sustain StoptheDrugWar.org into the future. Our online donation forms support a range of different options, including monthly but also on different schedules ranging from every two weeks to annually. Of course one-time donations are greatly appreciated as well. We accept donations online by credit card and PayPal -- starting later today or tomorrow, we'll also have ACH that you can use with your checking account. Thank you to those of you who have donated recently.

The second is, I'm going to note that while most drug reformers are not fans of the current White House, there are some who are. We respect the diversity of opinions found in the drug policy reform movement on the larger political questions of our time. Realistically, however, we see the current administration as being strongly opposed to our movement's objectives, at least much of the time, and our movement therefore as resisting the administration's efforts.

We hope that our readers will support us in our opposition to the Trump administration. We are not interested in obstructionism for its own sake, however; if the administration takes positive steps on our issues, we'll acknowledge those too.

Sincerely,

David Borden, Executive Director
StoptheDrugWar.org
P.O. Box 9853, Washington, DC 20016
https://stopthedrugwar.org

(This article was prepared by StoptheDrugWar.org's 501(c)(4) nonprofit, the Drug Reform Coordination Network, which also pays the cost of maintaining this web site. DRCNet Foundation takes no positions on candidates for public office, in compliance with section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and does not pay for reporting that could be interpreted or misinterpreted as doing so.)

The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, October 11-14, Atlanta

The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference will convene in Atlanta, Georgia on October 11-14. More than 1,500 people who believe the war on drugs has failed will be in attendance to network, to strategize and to lift up policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

Attendees will join a broad range of drug policy stakeholders -- activists, academics, healthcare and public health advocates, veterans, formerly incarcerated people, elected officials, students, and many others from around the country and across the globe!

This year, attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days deepening connections with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions facilitated by leading experts.

Visit http://www.reformconference.org to register. Get updates on the Reform Conference on Facebook and Twitter, and follow hashtag #NoMoreDrugWar.

Atlanta, GA
United States

The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, October 11-14, Atlanta

The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference will convene in Atlanta, Georgia on October 11-14. More than 1,500 people who believe the war on drugs has failed will be in attendance to network, to strategize and to lift up policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

Attendees will join a broad range of drug policy stakeholders -- activists, academics, healthcare and public health advocates, veterans, formerly incarcerated people, elected officials, students, and many others from around the country and across the globe!

vigil at 2009 DPA conference, Albuquerque
This year, attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days deepening connections with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions facilitated by leading experts.

Visit http://www.reformconference.org to register. Get updates on the Reform Conference on Facebook and Twitter, and follow hashtag #NoMoreDrugWar.

The reduced rate we announced for Atlanta-area residents is good through this Tuesday, October 3rd. Email asha bandele for information, and if you already have the discount code but haven't registered yet, please do so by Tuesday.

The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, October 11-14, Atlanta

The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference will convene in Atlanta, Georgia on October 11-14. More than 1,500 people who believe the war on drugs has failed will be in attendance to network, to strategize and to lift up policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

Attendees will join a broad range of drug policy stakeholders -- activists, academics, healthcare and public health advocates, veterans, formerly incarcerated people, elected officials, students, and many others from around the country and across the globe!

This year, attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days deepening connections with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions facilitated by leading experts.

Visit http://www.reformconference.org to register. Get updates on the Reform Conference on Facebook and Twitter, and follow hashtag #NoMoreDrugWar.

A reduced rate is temporarily available for Atlanta-area residents -- email asha bandele for information.

Atlanta, GA
United States

The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, October 11-14, Atlanta

The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference will convene in Atlanta, Georgia on October 11-14. More than 1,500 people who believe the war on drugs has failed will be in attendance to network, to strategize and to lift up policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

Attendees will join a broad range of drug policy stakeholders -- activists, academics, healthcare and public health advocates, veterans, formerly incarcerated people, elected officials, students, and many others from around the country and across the globe!

This year, attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days deepening connections with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions facilitated by leading experts.

Visit http://www.reformconference.org to register. Get updates on the Reform Conference on Facebook and Twitter, and follow hashtag #NoMoreDrugWar.

A reduced rate is temporarily available for Atlanta-area residents -- email asha bandele for information.

The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference, October 11-14, Atlanta

DPA conference vigil, Albuquerque, 2009
The 2017 International Drug Policy Reform Conference will convene in Atlanta, Georgia on October 11-14. More than 1,500 people who believe the war on drugs has failed will be in attendance to network, to strategize and to lift up policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

Attendees will join a broad range of drug policy stakeholders -- activists, academics, healthcare and public health advocates, veterans, formerly incarcerated people, elected officials, students, and many others from around the country and across the globe!

This year, attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days deepening connections with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions facilitated by leading experts.

Visit http://www.reformconference.org to register. Get updates on the Reform Conference on Facebook and Twitter, and follow hashtag #NoMoreDrugWar.

.

Atlanta, GA
United States

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