EDITOR’S NOTE: The arrests begin around the 49 second mark. The audio is completely blown out, so you might want to turn down the volume.
PHILLY NORML: Federal Park Rangers and Philadelphia City Police disrupted the monthly “Smoke Down Prohibition” protest at the Liberty Bell calling for marijuana legalization and made several dramatic arrests. On Saturday May 18, 2013 a crowd about 150 gathered in front of Independence Hall. At 4:20PM, the moment when much of the crowd participates in civil disobedience by openly smoking cannabis, dozens of aggressive law enforcement moved into the crowd. Those on stage speaking to the crowd were targeted for detainment, including one of the organizers. There were at least five arrests, including NA Poe of the comedy crew The Panic Hour. Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion was briefly detained but released. One unidentified woman was roughly carried away but also quickly released. Also arrested were Adam Kokesh host of AdamVsTheMan and Don DeZarn a New Jersey Libertarian candidate for US Senate. The protests take place in front of Independence Hall permanently reserved by the National Park Service for First Amendment activity. Despite the targeted arrests and a heavy police presence, dozens in the crowd continued the action by openly smoke marijuana from 4:20PM-4:45PM. NA Poe and Adam Kokesh are still being held in the Federal Detention Facility at 7th and Arch Streets. A solidarity demonstration will take place in front of the jail today starting at 2:00PM.
RELATED: The DN’s Jason Nark is live tweeting from the vigil outside the Federal Detention Center