Press Release  | 06/23/2014

Global Day of Action: More than Eighty Cities Protest the Drug War

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Citizens Take to the Streets on June 26 to Protest Current Drug Policies and to Call for an End to the Senseless Criminalization of Drug Users

NY Event at United Nations Headquarters at 2 p.m.

NEW YORK (June 23, 2014)—Thousands of activists will take to the streets in more than 80 cities on June 26 to fight harmful drug laws that have caused health crises, instability and mass incarceration around the world.

Mass demonstrations and other actions are planned in New York, London, Paris, Warsaw, Mexico City, Kathmandu, Rome, Phnom Penh, Tbilisi, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow and more than 70 other cities. The actions include peaceful demonstrations, street performances, public meetings and workshops, social media campaigns and advertisements on public transportation and billboards.

The events are scheduled for June 26, which is the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The U.N.’s anti-drugs day is used by many governments to justify violent crackdowns and to promote harsh punishments. It has even been marked with public executions and beatings of drug offenders in some countries.

The “Support. Don’t Punish: Global Day of Action” seeks to reclaim this day and promote a more effective and humane approach to drugs that is based on public health and human rights.

The campaign was organized by a coalition of NGOs calling on governments to put an end to the expensive and counter-productive war on drugs. According to estimates, the drug war costs in excess of $100 billion annually to enforce and has failed to diminish drug markets or reduce use.

ABOUT THE CAMPAIGN

The Support. Don’t Punish campaign is a global initiative supported by more than 100 NGOs around the world. It calls for investments in proven, cost-effective harm reduction responses for people who use drugs, and for the decriminalization of people who use drugs and the removal of other laws that impede public health services. For more information and resources about the campaign, visit www.supportdontpunish.org and http://supportdontpunish.org/day-of-action-2014/

ABOUT THE U.N.’s ANTI-DRUGS DAY

KEY “GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION” EVENTS:

  • New York NY, USA:
    • What: Public gathering at the United Nations.
    • Where: United Nations Headquarters (Corner of 1st Ave & E 47th St)
    • When: 2 pm local time
    • Who: Harm Reduction Coalition/International Drug Policy Consortium
    • Contact: nazlee [at] harmreduction [dot] org
  • London, UK:
    • What: Public gathering and giant billboard outside of Parliament
    • Where: Parliament Square in London, United Kingdom
    • When: 10:30 local time
    • Who: Organized by Release UK
    • Contact: Niamh Eastwood, Niamh [at] release [dot] org [dot] uk, +44 (0) 20 7324 2980
  • Paris, France:
    • What: Public gathering in the city center
    • Where: Deck of the Canal Saint-Martin near the Hotel du Nord
    • When: 18:00 local time
    • Who: Organized by AFR
    • Contact: coordination [at] a-f-r [dot] org
  • Bogota, Colombia:
    • Contact: Organized by La Corporacion Accion Tecnica Social, juliandresquintero [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Mexico City, Mexico:
    • Contact: Espolea, aram [dot] barra [at] espolea [dot] org
  • Lima, Peru:
    • Where: Parque Kennedy
    • When: 18:00 hrs
    • Contact: Organized by Centro de Investigación Drogas y Derechos Humanos, jtorres [at] ciddh [dot] com

For details on the other events taking place in more than 80 cities including Kathmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Nairobi, Beirut, Moscow, Bangkok and Dakar, among others, please visit http://supportdontpunish.org/day-of-action-2014/ or contact Jamie Bridge at jbridge [at] idpc [dot] net.

Contact: Patrick Gallahue 917-328-0709, patrick.gallahue@opensocietyfoundations.org

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