On Friday, a rally will be held at 1 pm in New York City in front of the United Nations Headquarters as part of the global Support. Don't Punish campaign, where thousands of activists in over 100 cities around the world will make their voices heard. The campaign calls on governments to put an end to the expensive and counter-productive war on drugs. This war has failed to reduce drug use or supply, it costs in excess of $100 billion each year to enforce, it has led to the mass incarceration of the vulnerable and the poor, and it fuels human rights violations and HIV epidemics.
June 26 is the United Nations' International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which coincides with the release of the United Nations' annual World Drug Report. It is also a day which has traditionally been used by governments to 'celebrate' drug arrests, seizures and even executions. The Support. Don't Punish "Global Day of Action" aims to change the narrative, and to highlight the need for a better approach.
"For too long June 26 has been, at best, an opportunity for the United Nations to rehash its outdated drug policies and, at worst, a dark spectacle when governments display their commitment to the drug war by emphasizing harsh punishments, such as executions," said Hannah Hetzer, Policy Manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance. "We are reclaiming this day by highlighting and celebrating the flourishing global movement of people who are fighting for new drug policies grounded in health and human rights."
In April 2016, governments will come together in New York for a major drugs summit - the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs. This is a rare opportunity for high-level, open debate about the world drug problem, and what is (and what is not) working.
In the build-up to this summit, the "Global Day of Action" is a public show of force for better drug policies. A series of high-profile photo and video opportunities, meetings and seminars, concerts and publicity stunts will take place simultaneously around the world. On this day last year, events were held in 100 cities - including street performances, street art, protests, music events, football tournaments, processions, and even a boat show in the Nile!
About the Event in New York
Where: United Nations Headquarters (Corner of 1st Ave & E 47th St)
When: Friday, June 26 at 1 pm
What: A rally in support of the Global Day of Action
About the Campaign
The Support. Don't Punish campaign is a global initiative being led by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the International Network of People who Use Drugs (INPUD), Harm Reduction International (HRI), and the International HIV/AIDS Alliance. It calls for investments in proven effective and cost-effective harm reduction responses for people who use drugs, and for the decriminalisation of people who use drugs and the removal of other laws that impede public health services. For more information and resources about the campaign, visitwww.supportdontpunish.org and http://supportdontpunish.org/day-of-action-2015/