We were pleasantly surprised, right from the beginning, After trying to harass us out the first year, and crowd us out the second, this year the entire area in front of the gates was cleared except for the water coolers. The traditional Art's Festival Banner on the PSU gates was not to be seen. We set up two information tables, took out our bullhorn and went about our business. Heicklen began, and spoke for almost an hour, during which he smoked a joint to the surprise of some passersby and the cheers of others. He repeated his performance twice later in the day. The only police interaction was being told that we couldn't have the donation jar. Speakers continued throughout the day, with myself being challenged to cover the last two hours. Challenge was taken and met, needless to say I did not stick to the subject at hand. At 8 pm we finished for the day, the literature table looked ransacked.
Friday was crazy, Heicklen repeated his smoking demonstration three more times. No press was present again. People questioned why we weren't in the Art's Festival flyers? The smokeout became one of the most popular "attractions". Seemed like just about everybody wanted to hold signs, take pictures or stop by for a quick smoke. Marijuana was legal in this small circle in the middle of State College.
Hearing that we were being given full first amendments rights brought out all the other activists left over from Re-direct 2000. Every movement got their time at bat, the arguments that were to be made to the governors were taken directly to the people. As the libertarian and marijuana literature ran out, I filled the spaces with PETA and vegan literature. By days end, most of the literature was gone. We continued the demonstrations until about 7pm, when rain forced us to tear down again.
John Galt jr and friends
Saturday was full time crazy, an audience of a hundred thousand and a lot of happy protesters, The first amendment stood strong. The highlight of the day was when a Penn State officer approached Heicklen during one of his smoking demonstrations, Heicklen place his arm around the officer, and announced to the crowd. "Hey everybody, this is Tyrone, he is an officer with the Penn State Police, he has arrested me on several occasions, and I suing him for a 1/2 million dollars !!! and He still comes out to support us. He continued, what can I do for you today officer? Tyrone, asked to smell the joint, after a whiff he announced that it didn't smell like marijuana and their would be no arrest today.
A partial list of speakers follows:
Steve Boone, Chair, Libertarian Party of Maryland
John Galt jr. 2000, 2004 Candidate for US President
Diane R. Fornbacher, Former Co-Organizer of Penn State protests & High Times Magazine Freedom Fighter January 1999
Susan Gascon, Libertarian Party Candidate for the Pennsylvania Assembly in the 74th District 2000
Keith Halderman, Past Vice-Chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland
Samar Hatem, Libertarian Party Candidate for Centre County Treasurer 1999
Julian Heicklen,Libertarian Party Candidate for Attorney General of PA 2000, Founder of Smart on Crime, High Times Magazine Freedom Fighter May 1998, and Organizer of the Marijuana Smoke Outs in State College, PA
Lois Kaneshiki, Western Vice-Chair, Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania
Charlie Miller, Original Organizer of the Marijuana Smoke Outs
Tom Martin, Libertarian Party Candidate for Congress in the 5th Congressional District of PA 2000
Carla Moquin, Libertarian Party Candidate for Centre County Commissioner 1999, Smart on Crime Award for Outstanding Contributions to Criminal Justice 1998, and Coordinator of the 1998 Marijuana Smoke Outs
Dan Sullivan, Past Chair, Libertarian Party of Allegheny County, PA
Ron Taylor, Local Activist
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