*See end for an update in response to commentary
Today activists who have participated in Smokedown Prohibition events at Independence Mall announced they would gather there at 4:20 P.M. for another installment of the demonstration against marijuana criminalization which has as its primary mode of action publicly smoking pot. This demonstration was spontaneous, announced around 9:30 this morning on Facebook, inspired by the furlough of government employees which would include US Park Rangers responsible for enforcing federal law on the historic Independence Mall property. At 4:20 the assembled activists, facing some 50 law enforcement officers on the site including around 20 Rangers, thanked the federal employees for demonstrating the government’s willingness to expend resources monitoring social media and policing pot smokers. They then left without lighting a joint, to smoke another place and day (they are threatening another gathering tomorrow).
Scott Gacek of the Daily Chronic, who announced the event, tells me about what he calls their “False Flag” operation:
We received a comment from “Merry” noting what is certainly a discrepancy between the number of law enforcement officers reported as on the scene and those pictured in this article. The comment:
The number 50 is an aggregate sum inferred from observed Philadelphia Police Department “Strike Force” officers on bicycles, Civil Affairs also from the PPD, PPD Inspector Joe Sullivan, and US Park Service Rangers on site between 3:45 PM and 4:30. The Strike Force hung back; Inspector Sullivan stated previously that his officers had standing orders of non-interference barring violence/violent mass resistance of Rangers (presumably fleeing onto City property as well).
More photos of the scene:
@PhillyCtWatcher’s Tweet: https://twitter.com/PhillyCtWatcher/status/385150719067566080
— PhillyCourtWatcher (@PhillyCtWatcher) October 1, 2013