Tuesday, April 19, 2010
Redwood ACLU Questions Arcata’s Anti-Protest Practices
Annual 4/20 pro-marijuana legalization demonstration draws concern
The Board of Directors of the Redwood Chapter, American Civil Liberties Union expressed concern today over the pattern of practices by City of Arcata officials in relation to the annual “4/20” marijuana legalization protest in Redwood Park, which falls every year on April 20th.
In particular, Redwood ACLU Boardmembers and other community members have witnessed a number of peculiar actions over the last couple of years by Arcata Police Department officers and other city staff. These include:
The erection of roadblocks on public streets leading to Redwood Park; and,
The blocking of public trails through public parkland leading to
Redwood Park; and,
The shutdown of public parking lots and public restrooms; and,
The marching of a platoon of armed APD officers through Redwood Park to harass and intimidate college students and others engaged in peaceful protest, barking orders at them concerning the “trampling of foliage” and other nuisance-level complaints; and,
The ticketing of members of the public in an arbitrary and capricious manner.
“The over-reaction of the City of Arcata to what amounts to a low-impact, non-violent mass action to protest federal law is really uncalled for,” Vice Chair Jack Munsee said. “It’s possibly unconstitutional -- you have the right to peacefully protest.”
Redwood ACLU Boardmembers will be on hand tomorrow to act as observers.
The Redwood Chapter, ACLU represents over 850 ACLU members across Del Norte, Humboldt, Western Trinity and Northern Mendocino Counties. Their offices are located at 917 Third Street in Old Town Eureka. For more information, call the Redwood ACLU at (707) 442-4419 or visit redwoodaclu.blogspot.com.