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San Fran Bombs In Iraq Not In My Name! Jan 27th-Feb 2nd, 2003
By Team Pure Hemp 1/27/2017 3:23 PM Comments

Today I helped to build a composter for the people I’m staying with here near San Francisco. They’re great folks, they are the people behind Randy’s Wired Papers. I don’t have much cash right now, so I help out where I can, and their garden is a good spot for it. They also like my cooking, so doing stuff like that helps to keep my pres ence here chill. On Friday, January 31st I went to the Not In Our Name (take the pledge!) benefit in Berkley. It’s been sold out ever since I found out about it, so I went there with the reserved hope of scoring a ticket or something. Ani DiFranco (go listen to the poem, Self Evident, then come back), Spearhead (listen to Spearhead while reading the rest of this), Saul Williams, Mexican Jam Band Ozomatli and Chuck D’s new group Fine Arts Militia were all on the bill. I actually got to the Berkley Community Theatre early. This had been the first time I’d driven Hemphry, because he’s hurting and I’m looking for a good mechanic. Berkley being the place that it is, was a likely place to find a good mechanic, or at least get a good reference, which I ended up with. Arriving early has its advant ages. I got a spot right behind Stu’s Coffee shop truck. Nearly a match made in Amsterdam! What the public does in public is up to the public is what we say. They opened up a fresh block of tickets which were thirty bucks. When I arrived at the front of the line, I still only had twenty- two dollars and one of those Hempify tee-shirts, which she actually didn’t want as part of the trade for my ticket. She told me she'd put one aside for me as I went and rustled up the coin for a ticket. Fortunately for me, four beautiful Godesses came up to the van, got some Pure Hemp from me and kicked me enough coin for a ticket! I promptly ran back and got me a ticket, on the floor no less! This was the first time in a long time that I paid full price for a ticket for a show. I rationalized it because it was a fundraiser and I agree with the cause. It’s more the corporate amphitheatres and arenas that I don’t like to support. The scene outside the show was totally chill. There were people tabling with all kinds of great political literature, stickers and buttons. I brought the Hemp Treasury over and set up on a bench which was already provided. I was soon reunited with Orion who I knew back East on Cheese and Phil Tour. He’s affiliated with the One Love Vibration Family, who are Rainbows who do tour and set up a kitchen for the National Gathering. I think I found my kids out here. They’re having a banner painting party this Friday in San Francisco called InSane Francisco. I also bumped into Laura, who’s an activist who I met in Montreal last spring. She gave me a handout called Tips for White Guy Activists or something. It had a begrudgingly profound effect on me. It’s good for us all to be aware of the factors in society which are either helping or hindering us. Now, I can’t really be a bisexual black woman, but I can be sensitive to the societal norms that are established and work to change them, daily. Seeing Ani up there by herself, so open, so real, so vulnerable and so on FIRE, was just so inspiring. She recited "Self Evident" which was bone-chilli ng and also sang a new song about rising above it all, like a hawk over a suburban strip mall. Saul Williams is a powerful bloke. Up on stage, it was just him and a book and the words that he spoke. He announced the return of the messiah. She is here, he said. And I might be wrong, but I think he meant Mother Gaia. The Earth, returned to her rightful spot as our Mother, in our eyes. This was a moving night. Spearhead moved us. I felt right at home, because All The Freaky People Make the Beauty of the World! The call and response and the arm waving and the deep bass is enough to make a crowd go CRAZY! And we did! A really neat thing was that during his show, Spearhead had a floral arranger come on stage and arrange a bunch of flowers into a big glass vase, creating a beautiful presentation right before our very eyes. It was something for me, because on e of the jobs my dad did was arrange flowers. I hadn’t really explored that reality in myself and I think that this experience helped me to acknowledge that beauty and to accept it. Having had a gay dad is one thing, but a gay floral arranging dad is a whole other ball game. The show ended with all the performers coming out and throwing flowers into the crowd. It was like Phish and glow sticks, but softer, gentler and more fragrant. I think everyone present, was left feeling that positive, loving vibration that is necessary to end war and heal the Earth. After the Show, I reconnected with the One Love Vibration Family out in the Lot. They’re doing Spearhead tour, and apparently, he’s cool with "a lot" scene. We ended up in the park across from the venue, jamming and free-styling, chilling and Ohm-ing. Yes Ohm-ing. It was a Rainbow Gathering right there in the middle of Berkley. Give thanks and Praises for such a blessed experience! I have just arrived back in California this past week, and although it was only a week away, I had a great couple of nights back in Ontario. Last Sunday we drum-jammed in Niagara Falls at the Hostel. I tell ya, there’s these two Turkish drummers that come out and their hands were like lightning! Back in Toronto, the Burt Nielson Rocked the Horseshoe Tavern last Saturday Night! There were tons of people from all over Ontario there to get down. In case you don’t know, Burt Nielson is likely Canada’s Biggest Jam Band. They’d been on a bit of a hiatus and with the closing of the Comfort Zone, the crowd was right pumped to go off! I managed to eek out a spot in the side corner, where I could set up the booth. We did some outreach, handed out papers and got petitions signed. This past week had been the first petition I’d had "on tour" and the response was great. Tour and shows are a great place for petitioners, because the people really do care. Back to Burt, they were really pumped for the show. It was good to see them back in old form, though I’ve always liked Jeffery and I think this was only my second show of their's since they "fired" him or whatever. He was always so approachable, and added a special element to their shows. Oh well, things happen for a reason. I’m sure Jeffrey’s having fun snowboarding, and Burt is doing well, rocking out the way they do. It was a really high energy show, but my attention was torn between the booth, and the dance floor. I had an awesome time and I feel that I learned quite a bit that night, received lots of positive reinforcement, and got some good ideas on how to do it better next time. It’s an ongoing process. One thing I realized, is that if framework is provided, lots of people just want to help. Lots o f people know the issues and this just gives us a venue to share ideas and meet others in the local scene who are taking notice of our situation. Acting is the next step and anybody can get somebody to sign a petition. For real, doh!

~ Johannes Chapman, Pure Hemp Caravaner 1.0

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