Delaware Freedomfest Oct 31st 1998
Daze played to open the days events around 11:30 am. A small crowd gathered around Rodney Park during the lunch hour. "Davy Crockett" spoke during the band break and Anna Hazen a medical Marijuana patient said a few words. Diane Fornbacher read some of her poetry. There was a long break after the lunch crowd left because of speaker and band cancellations. A small group shared a joint on the lawn. We took advantage of this time to hand out literature to those waiting at nearby bus stops on either side of the park.
Around 3:00 a group of five rappers took the stage. These guys were really good but tended to use the "F" word a few dozen too many times. The police arrived in minutes and ordered the monitor cut off. Richard, awho organized the event, complied and then the rappers fled the scene. After speaking at length with park officials and police, it was decided that the show would be allowed to continue. I took stage next and gave a short speech Diane spoke next focusing in activism and getting involved.
Dr. Heicklen took the stage after Diane and gave a half hour speech about all the goings on of the past year and the situation in State College. Park Security gathered behind the stage...
At the end of his speech he lit the torch of freedom, a marijuana cigarette.
An officer on bike patrol twice rode up and by Dr. Heicklen while he smoked, Heicklen yelled at the officer leave me alone I am bothering no one. The officer stopped on the third pass and Heicklen continued to smoke and yell at the officer. When the officer parked his bike and approached Heicklen he ate the joint.
Heicklen Eats the evidence
Police then left and the rally was declared to be over .
Afternote Organizer Richard reported to us that after the event was over, five officers of the law dragged him into an alley and beat him with batons. Wilmington police deny participation in the beating, but did comment maybe "he" shouldn't have held a rally where he was not wanted. Richard spent a couple weeks in the hospital and now walks with a limp.
Free Speech? Perhaps not in Wilmington Deleware.