Since it was launched in 2013, the Support Don’t Punish campaign has gone from strength to strength, and activists in more than 100 cities around the world will take part in the Global Day of Action on or around 26th June this year. 2016 has already been a big year for drug policy with the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs in April, and the UN High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS earlier in June. This month, a huge range of local actions, events, protests and meetings will be held as part of a global show of force calling for drug law reform – including:
- A giant mural in the centre of Melbourne, Australia, accompanied by demonstrations and a petition to government;
- A music concert in Brussels, Belgium to raise awareness of the need for drug policy reform;
- A policy dialogue with politicians, UN officials and community members in Phnom Penh, Cambodia;
- Public debates and discussions on the rights of coca, poppy and marijuana farmers in Bogota, Colombia;
- Events across 12 cities in France;
- A rally and street play in Pune, India;
- A series of debates and workshops in Mauritius;
- A football match between people who use drugs and local law enforcement officials, followed by a bicycle rally in Pokhara, Nepal;
- A public march in Cape Town and an interfaith healing session with different religious leaders in Durban, South Africa;
- “Guerrilla” distribution of naloxone to those in need in London and Liverpool, UK – to highlight the need for better local policies to prevent drug-related deaths;
- A large-scale projection in New York depicting people who use drugs under the heading ‘drugs do not define me’ – as well as smaller actions in several other US cities.
The Support Don’t Punish campaign seeks to promote the case for drug policy reform, and to challenge existing laws and policies which impede access to harm reduction interventions – as the harms being caused by the war on drugs can no longer be ignored. The campaign includes the annual Global Day of Action, as well as an Interactive Photo Project – an online photo petition with more than 7,000 supporters from around the world. You can engage with the campaign by following us on Facebook, Twitter or on the campaign website, taking part in the 2016 Thunderclap on social media, watching and sharing our series of videos, sending in your photo for the Interactive Photo Project, taking part in your local event, or organising an action yourself!
For more information on all of this, please visit www.supportdontpunish.org.