Supporters of N.A. Poe and Adam Kokesh will hold a brief press conference on May 23, 2013 at 2:30PM in front of the Byrne Federal Courthouse at 6th and Market Streets in Philadelphia.
Comedian/activist N.A. Poe and libertarian media host Adam Kokesh will appear for a detention hearing in Federal Magistrate Court on Thursday after they were targeted for arrest by National Park Rangers during a protest of America’s unjust marijuana prohibition laws in front of the Liberty Bell on May 18th, 2013.
Members of PhillyNORML, Adam vs The Man and ThePanic Hour who witnessed the protest will be on hand at the press conference to discuss the events with the media.
Both Poe and Kokesh have been charged with a felony for resisting and/or impeding. Both were denied release or bail at their initial hearing on May 20th.
Supporters are also gathering at the corner of 7th and ArchStreets for a solidarity demonstration at 10AM on May 23rd in front of the Federal Detention Center where the pair are being held.
Poe’s comedy/activism group The Panic Hour, PhillyNORML, PA Veterans for Medical Marijuana have gathered with hundreds of individuals for monthly “Smoke Down Prohibition” demonstrations since December 2012. Although many in the crowd participate in open cannabis smoking as an act of civil disobedience; there were no arrests, citations or encroachments by Park Rangers or Philadelphia Police at any of the four previous events.
The protests take place at Independence Mall National Historic Park on an area known as “The People’s Plaza” that is designated by the Park Service specifically for Free Speech. Poe and Kokesh were arrested next to a granite monument inscribed with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
“We’ve engaged in many public events this year and the display of force from Rangers and Police I saw at the rally on May 18th was completely uncalled for,” said PhillyNORML Executive Director Kevin Clough.
The Panic Hour issued this statement: "These arrests only provide more evidence for the existence of a police state, the suppression of free speech, and failed drug policies. We are not deterred. We will continue to fight to get our friends removed from federal custody and continue to organize to legalize cannabis in PA."
Clough assured that demonstrations to end cannabis prohibition will not stop in Philadelphia, “PhillyNORML has a long history of peaceful events calling for marijuana legalization, and there will be more in the future."
Video of the April 20, 2013 protest http://youtu.be/kc3wP_gnBus