John Galt Jr speech 7/10/98
Hello and thank you for coming out for the second day of the First Annual Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts Smokeout !!!
First today I would like to exercise my freedom of speech by speaking about protest. This country was founded on protest! The first protest Document in our country's History was called the Declaration of Independence. It was and is a statement to an unfair government stating that we will not take it any more, that we no longer recognize your control over us. The Revolutionary War was a response to that document. The Boston Tea party, is another example of a famous protest in the country. We had the whiskey rebellion and even prohibition. Protest has been consistent through out our history as first amendment right and as a means of change. In the sixties we had sit ins smoke-ins smokeouts, bra burning, draft card burning, flag burning, occupations and many other forms of protest, to protest the Vietnam War and civil rights issues. In the seventies Environmental issues took the front in the protest movements. In the eighties protest was squashed and all people were feed the standard propaganda, our constitutional rights were stripped away one by one. The reason I liked this country is because we are supposed to be guaranteed certain inalienable rights by the constitution and it's amendments, Among those are the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, the right to petition the government for change (that means protest) as well as be secure in one's person, property and home. This protest is a public response to a farce of a war, it is the second civil war in our history. They call it the War on Drugs, So if you are against the constitution and it's legally ratified amendments you should go move some place less tolerant, like Iran Iraq or China.
At noon Yesterday "we" had a smokeout demonstration. Dr. Julian Heicklen voiced his political opinions and then proceeded to light a marijuana cigarette. The cigarette made a short trip through the crowd and found it's way back to Dr. Heicklen, as the police closed in, the press and the crowd interviewed and questioned Dr.. Heicklens motives and message. Julian allowed the joint to burn out while he continued to speak via mega phone. The police did not question Julian about the cigarette he held while speaking to them. The officers said that using a mega phone was against University policy. Heicklen declared that the university was not an elected body and had no right to make laws. After about twenty minutes of heated discussion on the subject the police returned to the perimeter to consult with their higher ups. When asked why they did not arrest Heicklen for smoking marijuana they said they had no proof that what he was smoking was in fact marijuana, that they if fact had smelled marijuana they would take action. Julian complied by relighting the joint so the officers could smell it. Heicklens joint, now 3/4's gone was then confiscated. Julian continued to speak to the crowd and press.
After apparently field testing the remainder of the cigarette, the police returned and placed Dr. Heicklen under arrest. They confiscated our bull horn. The protest continued as Heicklen was placed in the police car, I as the next scheduled speaker began my speech. While I was speaking the police notified persons handing out leaflets that they were not allowed to do so. Being familiar with the current laws on this subject matter, I announced that the crowd was allowed to ask for literature and all they had to do was ask or hold out a hand. The pace of literature distribution increased greatly. At the end of my speech I smoked a herbal cigarette. I was not approached or arrested by the attending officers. However the police asked us to remove our lawn chairs from the sidewalk. We compiled and the protest continued. The Campus police then left. I and another person lite a marijuana cigarettes and several people smoked while the other speakers continued.
While scheduled speaker George Brusstar, Libertarian Party candidate for 149th district spoke the police returned in full force. At least a dozen Campus Police officers, moved into the area and informed us that that literature tables for the libertarian party, smart on crime and Svoboda's books were also a violation of university policy and had to be removed. We complied, the protest continued. While the tables and chairs were being loaded into a protesters vehicle the officers notified us that no material supported by gravity was allowed, that everything at the protest had to be held by someone or removed from the sight. We complied, the protest continued.
Around 3:30 our megaphone was returned, but we were advised that it was not to be used. At 4pm after over three hours of speeches at voice straining levels we began to use the mega phone at a reasonable level, the police presence which had dwindled to three officers did and said nothing. The Protest continued. At 5pm we were again asked to stop using the bull horn. We complied and the protest continued.
I would like to pause for a moment to propose a compromise with the university and the arts festival. It is obvious that we are not going away... you can arrest us one at a time and another will step up and take our place. It is also obvious that being located in our traditional protest location is and will continue to be a disruptive presence during the festival. Now I know you gentleman don't have any say in what's going on here, you have your orders. So get your supervisors on the horn and tell them, That we will move our protest to the 1914 semi-circle memorial just down the street, just off the main thoroughfare, if you will allow us to use the bull horn at a reasonable level, distribute literature and hold signs for the rest of the arts festival unimpeded. To continue while the men in blue do their job...
The seven O'clock speakers rescheduled for today, so after 7pm, the protest continued through literature distribution until about 11pm and then wound down for the day. Today Dr Heicklen remains in centre county prison awaiting $50,000 bail to satisfy a $500, violation of the law. Hey if five of you could just kick in ten grand a piece we can have Dr. Heicklen out by mid afternoon... The reason Dr. Heicklens bail is so high is because they believe that Dr. Heicklen is our leader. He is not. This protest has been held weekly for over five months, it continues whether Dr. Heicklen is here or not. Dr Heicklen is our mentor and our teacher. Dr. Heicklen, even in retirement continues to teach and remind us. He has reminded us of the importance of practicing our right to protest. He taught us the power of ritual by staging a weekly protest as compared to an annual one. If you protest once a year people get used to it as the occasional oddity. But if you speak up each and every week from now until eternity.. You stay in the mind of the present. The mind of the present consists of all the thoughts being thought about, so the more people you can get thinking about a problem, the more likely that it will be solved, ritual protest firmly implants those ideas upon a society.
Some of you may want to know who I am and why I am here. Why I am here is simple I have a message. I have freedom of speech and the first amendment right to protest. The rationale behind me being here, aka my claims to fame are authoring a document entitled Minimum Acceptable Marijuana Policies, which could end up being, the frame work for the legalization of Marijuana in this country. Copies of which are available just for the asking. I am also trying to be the most protesting man in the country I have attended close to 40 public demonstrations this year !!! I also am the founder of Web Station #19 a very popular political activist web site which advocates the reform of marijuana laws, environmental issues, economic dilemmas as well other current issues. That should take care of the why. Who I am is not important, What is important is what I have to say...
Professor Heicklen has sat and smoked each week, Because he believes in Freedom. I am not here to condone his actions I do not. There are plenty of ways of protesting without being arrested. One of the most under used is called voting...
Professor Heicklen says people have the right to decide for themselves, what to do with their bodies as long as they take responsibility for their actions. This includes deciding to shave or not to shave, your face , legs, armpits or private parts !!! I choose to do none of the above and this disqualifies me from working for most major corporations in my field. This includes getting pierced or tattooed, many companies have the discriminatory policy of not hiring anyone with visible tattoos. This includes pissing in a cup many companies have legal discrimination of anyone who will not provide a cup of their personal urine... not but failing a test but for refusal to take a test !!! This also includes what you eat, what you drink, Poppy seed buds and certain herbal teas will cause you to fail standard drug tests... as will ibuprofen. This includes what you smoke whether it's tobacco, marijuana or clover. It was not the intention of the founders that we would exist under such intolerant conditions as we have today. These beliefs the professor and I share that is why I am here every week to support freedom of choice.
Julian has set up a week ritual or ceremony for us here, so that we would learn a lesson,
That lesson is that if we don't like the laws they will not change unless we do something.
We would like you to take that message with you, share it with all who will listen, tell your politicians that we just won't take it anymore.
The truth is that every time you smoke whether it be noon on Thursdays or at 4:20 in your own home, you are protesting those laws and those who get caught are political prisoners and martyrs.
Thank you please come up and ask for literature... Thank You
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