It shouldn’t come as a bolt out of the blue – with the desperately
seeking re-election Dilemma government in full election-mode and duelling with
Debnam’s desperadoes on the law-and-order battlefield – that the spinners, in
cahoots with the boys and gals in blue, have dreamt up a cunning stunt to feed
the rapacious tabloids and generate a few hairy-chested headlines.

It
kicked off in Saturday’s edition of Lismore’s Northern Star with this one:“Police
will act on open drug usage”
– foreshadowing a high-presence crackdown at this
year’s Nimbin Mardi Grass festival, held over the May Day weekend of the 6th and
7th, as announced in a press release “made through the Sydney-based NSW
Police Media Unit”.

But
if they think this sort of talk is going to act as a deterrent, they
haven’t been paying attention in Communications classes: Supt Lyons
said he wanted to send out a national message that Nimbin was not a
“playground for illegal drug activity”.

Not content with that invitation
to treat – the forbidden fruit is here, come and get it – according to the
Northern Star, “he said that the festival was designed to send out a political
message and was a community celebration”.

All of which is more likely to
gain wider coverage for the event and do more to ensure the numbers swell than all the media might of the festival’s organising
committee. No matter how long and hard they mulled it over, it’s unlikely they
could have put it better themselves.

It’s Woodstock and San Francisco’s Summer of Love festival,
with a dash of our Sunbury, all rolled into one and transported to the future
and held over a weekend in the alternative capital of the nation and like every
previous year, the Cannabis Law Reform Rally will
kick off after the Parade on Saturday which will be led as usual by the
funtastic and truly psychedelic Ganja Faeries.

Unless, of course, dear old Laura Norder really does turn on them
this year which, according to Michael Balderstone from the Nimbin Hemp
Embassy
and brother of a former Keating staffer, would be a “recipe for a
riot!”

Peter Fray

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