Encod is present at the 57th session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, with a delegation of representatives of populations affected by the war on drugs, to be held in Vienna between March 13th and 21st.
For a report see below
Saturday, 15 March 2014
Today we received some guests at the Encod Media Centre in Vienna. We recorded some interviews with them.
Dionicio Nuñez, coca grower and ex-vice minister of coca affairs from Bolivia reports on his experiences of the High Level Segment, from a Bolivian point of view (in Spanish, translations will follow soon):
The International Cannabis News made the following impression from their second day at the UN:
Friday 14 March 2014
Today again from 8 AM the kaffeeschnuffler showed up at the entrance of the UN building, this time everybody was on time and we were accompanied by 10 cannabis clones, that are perfectly legal in Austria.
Where delegates had reacted a bit reserved the day before, today they were used to us and most of them smiled and greeted us.
At 9 AM the Encod delegates went in, except the coordinator who was again refused access (see below).
At 10.30 AM Doug Fine delivered the Encod speech at the Roundtable on the fight against Money Laundering.
Several governmental delegates reacted positively to the speech, either publically or informally.
Meanwhile the International Cannabis News made the following report about their first day at the CND:
News from the coordinator
Today at 9 am I went back into the UN centre, where I was told my accreditation had been revoked, based on the fact that I had created an incident. I asked to speak to the responsible for that decision and 1 hour later, Mrs Frahi from the UNODC secretariat came down, accompanied by Daniel Quittan of the Vienna NGO Committee. She talked with supervisor 2, who confirmed her his statement that I had agreed to be body searched with the argument that he had given me the day before, and that according to his opinion, I should be able to enter the building. She then told me to wait 5 minutes as she would speak with her supervisor. She also said that I could expect to be admitted (this was 20 minutes before the time of my speech).
I then waited for another 4,5 hours without any sign of her or any other UN official. I phoned several times to several offices, I asked my colleagues in the building to look for the UNODC secretariat and the liaison officer for civil society, I asked Daniel Quittan to do the same. However, all efforts were in vain: it was impossible to reach anyone who could give me a definitive answer as to whether I was admitted or not.
Finally, at 14.30 I went back to Vienna.
I have travelled 1200 kilometres to come here, and spent several weeks to prepare our presence and participation in the meeting. I am accompanying Dionisio Nuñez from Bolivia who is representing peasant producers of coca leaves (as the only representative of millions of producers of illicit plants from around the world).
I am preparing an official complaint to the UNODC Secretariat, based on the fact that UN staff is supposed to be aware of its role model function. If the UN does not respect human rights, then who will?
Thursday 13 March 2014
Today Encod carried out a first well succeeded picket line event at the UN in Viena. On their way into the UN building, all delegates to the CND meeting were wellcomed by two “coffee sniffers” (Erec from Vienna and Kid from Ronda) who presented them a flyer explaining about that ridiculous episode in history when coffee was prohibited – asking them to use this very moment to end the modern version of that story.
A group of 15 activists from Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, Italy, The Netherlands, France, Spain, Slovenia, Ireland and Belgium were around them and handed out stickers, told the delegates what we think about the war on drugs and the right to choose your own medicine and source of energy and culture.
Authorisation for the demonstration had been requested and received from the Austrian police. From the beginning UN security personnell was acting very agressively, asking us to go away (we were standing on Austrian territory) and not ‘harrass’ the delegates. The Austrian police were polite and friendly and apparently had more work in calming down the UN personnel than the demonstrators.
The only thing participants could complain about was that the soundsystem with reggae music only started to function from 9 am onwards. Under the Vienna sun it was then like we were many many more people in spirit standing there. For the images see the first Encod TV show reports that will available soon on this website.
At 10 am, the picket line event stopped and most us left to see Vienna and prepare the actions for tonight. Some went in to attend the meeting, and their reports will be surely heard of later.
Here is the experience of the Encod coordinator, Joep Oomen:
“When I went in at 11 am, I was picked out by security personnell who told me I would be body searched. I asked why I was picked out and they responded that was because I had participated in the demonstration. I responded that in a European context, it is your human right not to be body searched without a legitimate reason, and asked them for the protocol. Then the superviser came, shouted : you are going out now!, took my rucksack and my coat and threw them out on the street before the building. The agent who stood beside me recommended me to follow my rucksack, I did but I stopped three meters before the exit door, and said I did not want to leave without a reason. Then about 10 UN security officers showed up and said they would throw me out, if I did not go myself. I then fell on the ground and said they should throw me out if they wanted to.
Then supervisor 2 came and told the security officers to hold a distance, talked normally to me and said that all NGO delegates could be body searched, that only staff workers and governmental delegates have the right not to be body searched. I said I accepted that explanataion and under those conditions I would be body searched. But in the mean time supervisor 3 and 4 had arrived and they had to calm down supervisor 1 who had become red in the meantime. Also the Austrian police had shown up outside the door, with another 5 officers.
Then some US activists came in and I quickly told them what happened to me. Supervisor 3 then intervened immediately telling me to stop talking otherwise i would be thrown out in 2 seconds because I had violated the code of conduct for NGOs by creating an incident (3 meters before the exit door surrounded by 10 security officers). Finally, after 10 minutes, supervisor 4 explained me that I had the right to come in the building, but not today as the situation had become stressful as a result of my behaviour, but that I could come back tomorrow and enter the building if i obeyed to the rules. I thanked them for this occasion to enjoy the sun in Vienna and said I would be back tomorrow, because at 10.30 I need to make a speech at the plenary meeting.”
For your information: I am 1.86 tall and am not a muscle man..
Here are some experiences of Encod members present in Vienna
And in Spanish, the experiences of Bolivian coca grower Dionicio Nuñez:
The International Cannabis News is accompanying the Encod delegation. See their first impression of the growing Austrian cannabis industry:
Encod loves you:
Steven, Ronald and the Fresh TV crew, Erec and Kid, Harry @ Bushdoctor, Myranda, Urki, Josetxu and Cathy, Kenzi, Frantisek, Louis and Farid, Enrico, Janko, Doug, Dionisio, Derrick and Joep, and all those we may have forgotten