Anarchists, analyst protest political 'persecution' Trial of marijuana advocate picketed

June 11, 1993|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer Aglaia Pikounis contributed to this article.

Don't call them flower children, they said, because that's not what they are.

"And I'm not a hippie, or whatever you want to call me, either. I'm just here because I see injustice being done and I want my voice heard," said protester Andrew Williams of Rockville.

"And you can call me a space case for that, but that's 'Mr. Space Case' to you."

Mr. Williams was one of 25 people who came from as far as Washington to demonstrate outside the Carroll County Courthouse yesterday as marijuana advocate Pamela Snowhite Davis was prosecuted for distributing marijuana from her Westminster store, Liberation.

The protesters were jubilant when they heard that Davis had been acquitted of the latest charges, but she remains behind bars and they called that an injustice.

Davis is serving a two-year sentence in state prison on a felony conviction stemming from a May 7 raid on her Silver Run farm, which netted about 1 ounce of marijuana and drug

paraphernalia.

Self-proclaimed anarchists and a drug policy analyst stood together in the 90-degree heat chanting and waving signs that demanded Davis' release.

Members of the Baltimore Anarchists Collective -- who said they are dedicated to participatory rather than representative democracy -- wore combat boots, Mohawk or multicolored hairstyles, and spike-studded bracelets, neckbands and gloves as they held up a sign denouncing what they called "Drug War Fascism."

With a few breaks in between, they led the demonstrators by screaming "We're not going to take it," a lyric from the rock group Twisted Sister, and "We're here, we're high, get used to it."

"We're here to end persecution of people who are speaking out against Gestapo-type tactics of the police," said Colon Wretched -- his pen name. "They have only tried to make this an issue to oppress her [Davis]."

Eric Sterling, president of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation in Washington, looked somewhat out of place in his dark gray suit, print tie and black leather shoes as he walked along with the protesters.

But he shared their anger that Davis had received "an absurdly excessive sentence."

"This is clearly a perfect example of political persecution," said Mr. Sterling. "There was no crime committed here. It's a prime example of someone being punished for their beliefs."

During the trial, some of the protesters were inside the courtroom listening to the testimony and reporting back to the others.

George Vaeth, a carpenter from Reisterstown who wore hemp-cloth shorts to emphasize his stand, said the protesters seemed to know more about hemp and its uses than the people the state offered as experts.

"He doesn't know what he is talking about," Mr. Vaeth said of state police Trooper Donald Grimes, a Narcotics Task Force officer who testified yesterday morning. "He said hemp and marijuana were the same thing.

"The people they call hippies and scrunges or whatever could tell him the difference," Mr. Vaeth said.

Kif Davis, Pamela Davis' son, protested as well and said his mother would approve.

"She's definitely been highly publicized in the media, but people should be out here [protesting] every day," Mr. Davis said.

"There are 100 people who go through this kind of court system every day, and that is totally ludicrous."

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