On June 16th 2001 in London (postponed from May 5th) there will be a carnival march starting at noon, from Kennington Park (Oval Tube) to Brockwell Park in Brixton, followed by a big Festival of Ganja in the park (£1 entry). A packed lineup includes dozens of chilled out bands and sound systems, a whole day's program of different speakers, panels and debates, and some poetry reading. There will also be many stalls, largely related to ganja, hemp, politics and food.

In past years this event has been enormously successful as a family day out, but irresponsibly ignored by the mainstream media; last year it took place the week after a mini-riot which had the newspapers (tabloids especially) baying for days, but even though far more people turned up than had been in Central London for that, nobody was hurt and no shops got smashed up, so it was deemed un-newsworthy. Could the media's attitude to peaceful political events have anything to do with people turning to violence to make their point, I wonder?

Well, in spite of torrential rain throughout much of the day and no advance mention that I could see anywhere in the mainstream media, the turnout was excellent: According to BBC teletext, 10,000 people turned up for the march, and 30,000 people for the festival. Weather aside, the whole event went down without a hitch and a good time was had by all. I'm told we made it onto the TV news, and all the teletext news, but by Sunday evening the teletext news had all been taken down and the TV wasn't saying anything else on the subject - and neither the Independent on Sunday nor the Sunday Observer nor BBC Online even made a passing reference to it, as far as I could tell. 30,000 people and not a mention in any of the papers? This is no good - I guess we'll just have to make sure something big gets smashed next time...

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