Art McGee on Thu, 31 Dec 1998 20:06:25 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Drug Peace Campaign to Launch in SF at Digital Be-In!

---------- Begin Forward By Art McGee ----------
Date: Thu, 31 Dec 1998 03:28:20 -0800 (PST)
From: Julia Carter <>
Subject: Drug Peace Campaign to Launch in SF at Digital Be-In! 

Drug Peace Campaign to Launch at San Francisco Cyberculture Event:

11th Annual Digital Be-In Implores the ''Digerati'' to Take a Stand 
Against the War on Drugs

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 28, 1998--Verbum, Inc., multimedia
developer and producer of San Francisco's annual Digital Be-In, today
announced the January 9, 1999 launch of the "DrugPeace Campaign," a new
Internet-based political action committee whose mission is to seek a
peaceful end to the "War on Drugs" by encouraging more intelligent
approaches to drug-related legislation and drug education. 

This new Campaign will begin at the 11th Annual Digital Be-In with a call
to the "digerati," the movers and shakers of the computer industry, who
are seen as a potentially powerful force for change, to support the new
movement with technological and financial resources. The main thrust of
the Campaign will be to develop an effective on-line "channel" that will
serve as an umbrella media vehicle for many groups involved in countering
the U.S. government's legal policies and mass media propaganda, and
eventually evolve into an activism resource utilizing cutting edge
techniques for political action, including on-line signatures for
political initiatives. 

"The political climate in the country is changing, and people are waking
up to the real threats to civil liberties represented by the drug war,"
comments Michael Gosney, executive producer of the Digital Be-In. "The
demographics of the on-line world are definitely slanted toward a more
intelligent view on drug use and abuse, and the computer industry itself
has been inspired, like many creative professions, by the use of certain
drugs that have been, in my opinion, inappropriately vilified. 

We need education, real knowledge about what drugs -- from herbs to Prozac
to MDMA -- do to our bodies and minds. And we need rehabilitation, not
jail sentences, for those who abuse drugs and themselves for whatever
reasons. We are pleased to be providing a launch platform for this vital
new campaign at the 11th Digital Be-In." 

John Perry Barlow, a respected computer industry pundit and social
commentator who will join several experts speaking on the theme of Drug
Peace a the Be-In, observes: "The American War on Some Drugs is actually a
war by a powerful cultural group on other Americans of different cultural
practices who are, if not necessarily less powerful, certainly less
inclined to savagely impose those practices on others. 

As a consequence of this 'war' there are hundreds of thousands of
political prisoners incarcerated in America. In their pursuit of this
campaign, the anti-drug zealots have, in the course of a couple of
decades, essentially eliminated the civil liberties of those who don't
agree with them, and ultimately their own. 

"This campaign has profoundly distorted all American institutions,
corrupted the governments of half the hemisphere, and caused even more
disrespect for government than its equally futile predecessor in Viet Nam.
If we don't end the War on Some Drugs, there will soon be little left to
love in America, as there is already almost nothing to respect." 

Howard Rheingold, another prominent member of the digital elite, exhorts:
"The high-tech industry, from personal computers to Internet
entrepreneurs, is full of people who make big bucks, smoke fine weed, and
look the other way while thousands continue to be jailed. Tobacco,
alcohol, crack and heroin take an enormous toll, but America has been
mesmerized by a remarkable propaganda campaign that has demonized the use
of soft drugs such as marijuana and psychedelics. 

The war on some drugs is wrong, and it's wrong to be silent about it. It's
time for the digerati to break silence on this issue." 

The DrugPeace Channel will begin operations on January 9, 1999. The Drug
Peace Campaign is based in San Francisco: DPC, PO Box 78067, San
Francisco, CA 94107, 415-971-3573, Julia Carter, Director. Be-In 11 Event
Sponsors include Mind Books and the Drug Policy Foundation, and Associate
Sponsors Alexa Internet, NORML, MAPS, DRCNet, California Institute of
Integral Studies, Psychedelic Island Views, The Sacred Dance Society, SF
Bay Guardian, Japan's Zavtone Magazine, A&R Partners and Graham Technology

The Digital Be-In has been produced for over a decade in San Francisco by
Verbum, Inc., an early multimedia developer which published one of the
first multimedia CD-ROMs in 1991 and many educational products for
creative professionals working on computers. 

See the events pages at

---------- End Forward By Art McGee ----------
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