New York: Activists To Call For Drug Policy Reform June 23 At Brooklyn Detention Center

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‘Support. Don’t Punish’ Actions a Counter-Demonstration to United Nations ‘Anti-Drug Day’, Often Used by Governments to Tout Punitive Policies

NYC Action: Rally at Brooklyn House of Detention

Activists will gather at 8 pm on Thursday, June 23, in front of the Brooklyn House of Detention and hold a rally as The Illuminator projects images and videos of people from all walks of life who use or have used drugs – fathers, teachers, friends, nurses – as part of the Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Action.

This annual day of action is designed to tell a different story on the United Nations’ International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

Governments around the world often choose to use this day to celebrate their contributions to the global ‘War On Drugs’. In the past, some governments have even commemorated it by holding executions or public beatings of drug offenders.

For example, from 2009 to 2014, China unveiled executions and other harsh punishments in the lead-up to the International Day Against Drug Abuse and in 2008, Indonesia cited the day as it resumed executions after a four-year hiatus.

In response, advocates around the world began to plan counter-demonstrations over the past few years under the global campaign banner of Support. Don’t Punish, aimed at reclaiming the message and promoting drug policy reforms based on public health, development, and human rights.

Last year, more than 160 cities worldwide held diverse, creative, and impactful events. This year, events are being planned in cities in dozens of countries, including Argentina, Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, France, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Thailand, and the UK, among others.

The action in New York City will unite New Yorkers with those fighting for drug policy reform across the world, in a show of solidary and to demonstrate the breadth and power of this movement.

“Drug policies are supposed to pursue the health and welfare of humankind, but instead they have focused on repressive responses which are causing more damage than the drugs they are supposed to eradicate," said Ann Fordham, executive director of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC). "This year’s Global Day of Action will see thousands of activists in over 100 countries demonstrating against the War On Drugs.”

“It’s time to do away with the stigma around drug use," said Heather Haase, IDPC’s New York representative. "Support. Don’t Punish’s collaboration with Illuminator will show the many faces of people who use or have used drugs. They are friends, sisters, teachers, volunteers, advocates, artists, and parents. They are many different things – but they are not criminals.”

Support. Don't Punish Day of Action

When: June 23, 2016, 8 pm

Where: Brooklyn Detention Center, 275 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11201

What: Rally at Brooklyn Detention Center as The Illuminator projects images and videos to humanize people who use drugs, challenge stigma, and call for support, not prison, for people who use drugs.

Additional information here.