Unfair For The Common Man
Cannabis Festival organiser taken to court
17th January 2000
One of the key organisers of last years Mayday Cannabis Festival on Clapham Common is to be charged with "permitting dancing and amplified music without necessary licenses". Shane Collins has been summonsed by Lambeth Council to appear before Balham Magistrates Court on Jan 20.
Last year's free-to-attend Cannabis Festival was widely hailed as a success after between 10-15,000 people came to Clapham Common for a sunny afternoon of activity despite the last minute denial of an entertainment licence by Lambeth Council. As a result of the licence denial, three stages and five sound systems had to be cancelled at short notice. However, Lambeth Council still maintain that around 30-40 people were dancing to amplified music on the day and that Shane Collins -the person who attempted to negotiate an entertainment licence with the council - should take the rap. The maximum sentence for a conviction on this charge is six months imprisonment and/or a £20,000 fine. The choice of Shane Collins as the fall guy is ironic because, as co-ordinator of the litter clean up operation after the event, he was actually commended by the council at the time.
Shane Collins - an active Green Party drugsactivist and a prospective Green Party candidate for the London Assembly - told SQUALL: "This was a free event to protest at the continued prohibition of one of nature's most useful plants and the criminalisation of thousands of people for their medical and recreational use. Scores of people worked, unpaid, for six months to bring this event together. In a sane society we might be applauded, instead the Council is spending taxpayers' money to prosecute me for our efforts."
Another Cannabis Festival is planned for May 6 this year, though this time it will take place in Brockwell Park in Brixton and will be preceded by a march from Kennington Park.
CANNABIS MAYDAY FESTIVAL TRIUMPHS - Hugely successful Mayday Cannabis Festival marching from Brixton to gather in the sunshine at Clapham Common - 01-May-1999
TOP POT TRIO WERE NOT BRASS BANNED - Shane Collins, co-organiser of last years Cannabis Festival, is found 'not guilty' of trumped up charge relating to the event - 30-Jan-2000
40,000 FURTIVE FUMERS FIND FREE FUN ON THE GRASS - Cannabis Festival 2000 at Brockwell Park, Brixton is an overwhelming success - 06-May-2000
CANNABIS FEZ A GO GO - The 4th annual Cannabis Festival to take place on May 4th at Brockwell Park, Brixton - 03-May-2002
JAYDAY JIVES - Large numbers for Cannabis Festival, Brixton - 20-May-2002
CANNABIS FEST UNDER ATTACK - Licensee taken to court on spurious charges in effort to stop Cannabis Festival - 25-Nov-2003