Local Actions, Global Voice: Activists in over 90 countries take to the streets to demand an end to the war on drugs
New York City, June 23, 2016
Join us and numerous organizations on the 23rd of June at the Brooklyn House of Detention from 8:30pm onwards for our Support. Don’t Punish “day of action.” We are working with The Illuminator to project a series of short videos of people who use drugs or who have used drugs in the past, and how they identify themselves. People will be able to take their photos too and join more than 8,000 supporters of the Support. Don’t Punish campaign.
The Support. Don’t Punish Global Day of Action takes place barely two months after the international community met at the UNGASS 2016, the biggest United Nations meeting on drugs in almost two decades. The global gathering laid bare the fault lines beneath the international agreements on drug policy, with dozens of countries, international bodies and NGOs calling for a profound revamp of the system.
New York City will join over 100 cities in all continents to echo these calls for reform and an end to the “war on drugs”. This initiative takes place under the banner of the “Support. Don’t Punish” campaign, a worldwide effort calling on governments to put an end to expensive and counter-productive drug policies based on punishment and repression. Thousands of people are expected to take to the streets as part of an international show of force to demand more humane and effective drug policies.
All actions are coordinated on or around the 26th of June, as the date marks the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking – a day when governments typically celebrate drug arrests and drug seizures. In the past, some governments have even commemorated this day by holding public executions or beatings of drug offenders. Yet this is all part of a global war on drugs that, by the United Nations’ own admission, has failed to reduce drug use and has led to serious negative consequences.
The campaign aims to reclaim this date from the perspective of activists and victims of punitive drug policies, underscoring their catastrophic consequences and high cost. Drug laws spending equals over $100 billion per year, yet seems to have little-to-no effect on a progressively-complex illegal drugs trade. Furthermore, the reliance on law enforcement has led to the mass incarceration of vulnerable and poor people across the world, fuelled epidemics such as HIV, hepatitis and tuberculosis, and diverted attention and funding away from effective public health approaches to the problem.
Ann Fordham, Executive Director of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) which oversees the global campaign, said “International drug policies are supposed to pursue the health and welfare of humankind, but the current regime has shown it is incapable of achieving these goals. Instead, there is growing recognition that repressive policies are causing more damage than the drugs they are supposed to eradicate. This year’s Global Day of Action will see the biggest international demonstration against the war on drugs, with thousands of activists in over 90 countries stressing the urgency of finding alternatives. How long will governments keep ignoring these deafening calls?”
Dr. Andrew Tatarsky, Ph.D
Founder and Director
The Center for Optimal Living
ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN
The “Support Don’t Punish” campaign is a global initiative calling for investments in proven effective and cost-effective harm reduction responses for people who use drugs, and for the decriminalisation of people who use drugs, and the removal of other laws that impede public health services. The campaign was launched in 2013 – as an initiative of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), Harm Reduction International (HRI), and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. On 26th June 2013, 41 cities participated in the Global Day of Action. On 26th June 2014, events were held in 100 cities, and in 2015, activists in 160 cities joined forces to call for drug policy reform, with street performances, street art, protests, music events, football tournaments, processions, and even a boat show in the Nile!
This year, actions are planned to take place in Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, French Guinea, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana , Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Ireland, Norway, Palestine, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone , Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay , Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe!
ABOUT THE EVENT IN NEW YORK CITY
Where: 275 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.
When: 8:30pm – 11pm
CONTACTS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
New York City ENQUIRIES:
firstname.lastname@example.org or EddieEinbinder@gmail.com
+44 207 324 2996