Over Summer, 2018, there were 3 big campaigns for our community - in June there was Support. Don’t Punish, in July there was International Remembrance Day and in August there was International Overdose Awareness Day. Here is Janko Belins round up of what some of the Eiropean drug user groups did for Support Dont Punish, this June.
Janko Belin (EuroNPUD Cooordinator)
In the year 2018, EURONPUD members organized a number of events in more than 8 EU countries to address punitive approach that is part of prohibitive nature of War on Drugs named this year »Self-Support Don't Punish-US«. We could not count all events but I will recollect those who had to apply for EuroNPUD grants and a few that organized events by their own means.
Foreningen for human narkotikapolitikk & proLAR Nett (drug user unions) organized 2 events on 26 of June in Oslo and in Bergen.
In Oslo there was a picket outside the parliament with stands and banners. ProLAR invited politicians and public to join this event to talk about drug policy and to take some pictures, politicians were invited to come to join them outside for picture and small-talk. Later same day NGO »Foreningen for human narkotikapolitikk«, organized an evening seminar about drug and drug use. In Bergen, proLAR erected stands, invited people to have a talk about the Support Don't Punish event.
NGO AREAL organized a talk about drug policy and troubles Slovenian drug users are facing at Drop-In centre Šent, nearby OST program at Metelkova. They took a few pictures and address issues of Naloxone that is still non-available over the counter. Next day, on 27th od June NGO AREAL, held an activist picnic outside their premises at Tovarna ROG. After the picnic, they talk about drug policy in Slovenia and how Safe Consumption room is needed in Ljubljana. Safe Room was operated in Ljubljana already twice but was closed. First time in 2008 was closed by Police intervention, the second time in 2016 it was closed (again) lacking political support.
Montenegrin Harm Reduction network LINK marked the 26th of June with a campaign dedicated to »Youth and NPS& Party drugs«. The guest was a psychologist from NGO Juventas which supported this event. After talks, in the open tribune, a documentary dedicated to both NGO's was screened. (See the previous blog for more information about Montenegros SDP campaign).
Brukarföreningen Stockholm (Stockholm Drug Users Union) marked SDP 2018 as The Day of Action in the Stockholm City. They organized an activist meeting in the city centre, handed out flyers and badges. They also disseminated clean syringes and provided information about the Naloxone.
June 26th 2018 in Vilnius was marked by two NGO's “Young Wave” and “Resetas”. NGO Resetas organized a picket outside the Prison department.
NGO »Young Wave« organized a screening of the famous movie Breaking The Taboo. Screening of the movie was followed by a discussion with politicians, representatives of Police and activists. Same day graffiti in the all-inclusion spirit of Support Don0t Punish had been painted on the streets of Vilnius.
Organizations APDES and GAT gathered on June the 26th in an abandoned house where some 12 homeless drug users dwell. They held a community action to improve living conditions. Part of this premises was also cleaned as a lot of people seldom use this place to inject and throw away garbage. After this peer-to-peer action, they talk about Harm Reduction and O.D. prevention.
26th of June in Bratislava had been marked by the effort of NGO Oddyseus. They had and stand at Pentagon & Pohoda Festival informing gatherers (30.000 of them) about safe sex & safer drug use. Besides organizing the stand they held two separate events: one for the general public and one in close setting just for drug users. We must emphasize that 'Self-Support Don't Punish-US' event as part of global day of action has been held first time in Slovakia. Bravo!
Events and actions on 26th of June dedicated to the spirit of Support Don't Punish had been held also in England, Spain, Germany, Denmark and who knows where. This year we, drug users adopt new slogan to be distinctive from ordinary Harm Reduction NGO's Self-Support Don't Punish-US so if you hear or see it know that this is an activistic event, not just ordinary Harm Reduction endeavour that is in some countries still not transparent enough and what worries me, sometimes working directly against drug users. Instrumentalized and from drug users alienated Harm Reduction is bad Harm Reduction!