Nimbin MardiGrass organisers met with local police yesterday in an effort to dispel concerns about this year’s planned events on May 5 and 6.
Organisers said area commander Greg Martin was reassured to hear the rally is following its traditional route and organisers do not expect or want any trouble.
‘In fact there is real hope in the air this year,’ said spokesperson Michael Balderstone.
‘The Australia21 report that came out last week has been really well received. And it might have been written by us! It says the war on drugs is plain stupid. It says this is an urgent issue, that has to be addressed right now – and that’s exactly what MardiGrass is about. So this year we are full of hope. It seems that just about everyone agrees that it’s time to end the senseless war on drugs.’
Mr Balderstone said police and protesters also discussed the planned May 1 protest march for cannabis law reform in Lismore. This march will proceed from the Court House to the Police Station next door, and then on to the offices of Janelle Saffin and Thomas George, the local federal and state representatives.
‘We’ll be presenting our representatives with a letter asking for them to publicly voice their support for ending the war on their constituents in the Northern Rivers. We’d like them to join us and the community in talking about all of these issues in Lismore Town Hall at a public forum. The Australia21 Report suggests that we need to foster a broad public conversation about cannabis law reform, and the Northern Rivers is an obvious place to start.’