Sydney 2000 Hemp Olympix

 

The next day (Saturday 6th September) dawned and the Hempsters were all frantically busy all at "Victoria Park" hastily preparing for the eagerly awaited Sydney 2000 Hemp Olympix, hampered by strong gusty winds that annoyed us all day.

 Watching over us were the folk from The "Aboriginal Tent Embassy" As the morning progressed, more and more 'brothers' came over from their camp to check us out and help re-build the "Big Joint". 

With vast expanses of tree shaded lawns, the Council swimming pool and man made lake, the parkmade a beautiful backdrop for us to decorate with ALL the banners from the "Freedom Ride" and previous "Mardi Grass".

The events of the day were co-ordinated to flow into the "Reclaim the Streets' March followed by a "Dooff to blast the roof off Sydney". This meant that we had "Miss Penelope", a violently hot pink 6-wheeled all terrain fire cannon (retired), covered with brilliant graffiti parked at the highest point of the park with the "Big Joint" mounted on the top.

The Big Joint on Miss Penelope
The Big Joint on "Miss Penelope"

This was the focus for all the techno gear. The crowd gathered, mostly made up of young folk, squatters (evicted for the Olympics), techno heads and a smattering of old friends and campaigners from Nimbin.

The Olympix started with Chibo arriving having carried the "Hemp Olympix Torch" along the Boulevard, escorted by "The Plantem"

 

l-r Bob Hopkins, Michael Balderstone and "The Plantem"

 

The Plantem
Her Hempress's Speech

l-r The Plantem, Michael (being the mike stand) and Her Royal Hempress Princess Anne

As the journalist from AAP wrote:- "A faux Princess Anne, eerily like Britain's real item, opened the HempOlympix", praising its sense of reality in the face of the "Over -the-Top Olympix." which get under way Friday. declaring herself Hempress of Gaia,she said "It gives me great pleasure not being the queen, not opening the Not Olympic. Hemp, hemp hooray." Then she lit up a regal-sized joint.
Lisa Yeates, the actress in royal clothing, later said these "games" had a
serious purpose: to focus attention on drug laws that send youths to jail, where they emerge as human wrecks, if not real criminals. They were sponsored by growers of the hippie community of Nimbin, north of Sydney, whose annual Mardi Grass campaigns for drug education, control of dangerous narcotics and a reform of drug laws." (Source :- Associated
Press article that was taken up by papers all over America and Europe.)

 

First event off the rank was the Bong throwing. There was a lot of support
for this from the Tent Embassy including our own Bundjalung Elder, Aunty
Faye, who had been on the Sacred Walk. The gusty winds made the throwing
very unpredictable and much hillarity as the bong boomeranged off course,
even hitting one of the young bicycle cops watching from the wings.
Organisers were given a little jolt when it was realised that off to one
side was a falanx of 20 mounted police and clusters of blue uniforms (some
with lots of gold on their lapels) dotted around the site. You can imagine
our relief when we learnt they were there to escort the march.


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Oh No!!!  Not the hat.

Woops!Her Hempress nearly lost her hat

The Hemp Olympix stopped and the "Big Joint" was swept off "Miss Penelope"
to joinwith the Reclaim the Streets which culminated at Sydney Town Hall,
much to the amusement and amazement of the International Media and olympic
visitors flooding Sydney. The Police did not want the "Big Jint to come
back to Victoria Park, They offered to have it delivered to where ever we
nominated, but retracted that offer when Michael suggestes the S11 Protest
starting in Melbourne the next day. Then the fun really started.

The march set off again, heading back to Victoria Park, via the squatters
section, which was the negotiated destination for the Big Joint, when the
crew carrying our precious icon charged off down a narrow lane with the
police in hot persuit. "The 'Big Joint' has got away. Catch the 'Big
Joint' and bring it back" was heard on their radio. Eventually things
settled down and the crowd returned to the park, very satisfied with how
things had panned out.

The Hemp Olympix continued on into the evening with the "Speed Joint
Rolling" and "Artistic Joint Rolling" events which were enthusiastically
entered and judged. Unfortunately no one passed the drug test as only
legal herbs could be used under such close police attention, even though
"Police Sgt John Tate laughed when asked what he thought of escorting a
giant joint and half naked dancers through the heart of Sydney. "It's such
a minor offence." he said "Let 'em have their fun." (Associated Press)

 

That's it folks.  Thanks for hanging in to the end.

For more about the activities of Nimbin's Hemp Embassy check

www.nimbinaustralia.com