Sunday, April 20, 2008

Good Morning America, It's 420!

by David Roknich ( roknich (at) ) Sunday Apr 20th, 2008 9:11 AM
April 20th is a day of provocation famous especially among pot smokers in Santa Cruz California, but it was just before 911 that I discovered the importance of 420.

It's Not What You Think It Is

This year, the annual celebration in Santa Cruz started early, on April 18 to head off a crackdown by the fascist cabal that has taken control of UCSC, and many universities across the nation. They don't a have a shooting incident to use as an excuse to declare martial law, which is their de facto status at the moment. For details, see the local coverage.

But the tragedy of 420 is much wider. In 1999, it was the date of the Columbine Massacre:

"On April 20, 1999, in the suburban town of Littleton, Colorado, two high-school seniors, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, enacted an all-out assault..."
The perpetrators idolized the Nazis, and were known for their iron crosses and frequent nazi salutes. April 20th happens to be day that Adolph Hitler was born in 1889.

420 is the number chosen by police departments across the country for marijuana violations, and a holiday is celebrated on April 20th in the City of Santa Cruz ever since those violation were de-prioritized - placing them at the very bottom of the list of official police duties - for the city police department.

It wasn't until September 2nd of 2001 that the importance of the date came clear to me: it marked the beginning of the current War of Errors: a war that links our mercenary drug warriors with the "War on Terror". On that day, I reported:

Iquitos: Our Next Gulf of Tonkin?

On April 20, “Iquitos” became a household word when a family of Baptist missionaries aboard a Cessna 185 was shot down by a joint operation of U.S. and Peruvian drug interdiction forces. Veronica Bowers and her adopted infant daughter were killed in the shooting; her husband survived, and the pilot was severely injured by the subsequent strafing of the plane by machine gun fire after it was downed by a Peruvian fighter jet. The explanations provided by the U.S. and Peru still have not been reconciled with eyewitness accounts and physical evidence...
To this day they have not been reconciled, but the deaths were caused by an operation by contractors hired by the CIA, who operated in much the same fashion as Blackwater does today, here and abroad. In 2001, U.S. Rep. Janice Schakowsky (D-Illinois) observed:
“...The U.S. taxpayers are unwittingly funding a private war with private soldiers. This is a “shoot first and ask question later” policy encouraged by the U.S. in its war on drugs. Shooting down unarmed civilian aircraft, even those thought to be carrying drugs, is contrary to fundamental U.S. law enforcement policy. I don’t think that any of my colleagues would support U.S. law enforcement officials in this country shooting down planes or blowing up vans based simply on the suspicion or even the conviction that drugs are present. We believe in due process which should be no less respected in the other countries than it is in our own. The kind of action we saw in Peru last week, amounts to an extra-judicial killing and we in this country now have innocent blood on our hands because of it.”
The investigation of the Iquitos incident was snuffed by congress, and now our mercenaries continue to operate with impunity.

It is time to end the war. Light up, and start the celebration.

David Roknich


* Bruce, Founder of the San Francisco Bay Guardian weighs in... 4-20: High times at UC-Santa Cruz By Bruce B. Brugmann Here's the official word from University of Santa Cruz Executive Chancellor David Kilger on the kind of day that university administrations can't stand. April 20 has become nationally known, as Kilger says in a letter today (April 17) to faculty and staff, "as the date when people gather to communally smoke marijuana in an expression of support for the reform or marijuana laws. In recent years, thousands of people have gathered on the UCSC campus to participate in the event." Kilgore in UCacademese says that the university does not "condone, support or otherwise sanction t his event." To his credit, he doesn't threaten damnation nor a flood of troopers but he does lay out some regulations Santa Cruz style. Thanks to an alert from a UCSC graduate, and roommate of a Guardian employee, we can turn up and tune in on the letter for you. ...

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