Document:California Press Release 14 June 2001 Libertarians Hold Drug War Victim Vigil

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14547 Titus Street, Suite 214
Panorama City, CA 91402
For immediate release: June 14, 2001
For additional information:
Hal Chiprin, Chairman
Political Prisoners Support Committee of the
Libertarian Party of California
Phone: (805) 649-4936

Libertarians to hold 'Drug War Victim Vigil' Saturday in L.A. and S.F.

LOS ANGELES -- Libertarians in Los Angeles and San Francisco will be holding twin vigils this Saturday to honor victims of the long-running failed War on Drugs, the Libertarian Party of California announced today.

The Drug War Victim Vigil will take place simultaneously in the two cities on Saturday, June 16, at 2:00pm. The Los Angeles vigil will be held at the Federal Building in Westwood, 11000 Wilshire Blvd. The San Francisco vigil will be held on the corners of Powell and Market Streets.

The Political Prisoners Support Committee of the Libertarian Party of California is organizing the twin vigils.

"The War on Drugs is nothing more than a political war, and the victims of this war -- whether dead or alive -- must never be forgotten," said Hal Chiprin, chairman of the Political Prisoners Support Committee. "This includes everyone from nonviolent drug users who have been incarcerated, to medical marijuana patients who continue living in fear of persecution, to innocent civilians and law enforcement who have been caught in the crossfire of the Drug War.

"We invite anyone whose life has been touched by this insane war to join us in commemorating these victims," Chiprin said.

At 4:00pm, participants at the Los Angeles vigil will march down Wilshire Blvd. to the Westwood Memorial Gardens, where the ashes of best-selling author Peter McWilliams are interred.

McWilliams, an outspoken Libertarian and medical marijuana activist, died one year ago on June 14, 2000, after a long battle with AIDS and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. At the time of his death, McWilliams was awaiting sentencing on federal marijuana charges. The judge in the case had prohibited McWilliams from taking the medical marijuana that allowed McWilliams to withstand the effects of his AIDS and lymphoma medications.

"Peter McWilliams was a hero to all victims of the Drug War. It is only fitting that we pay our respects to someone who died for what he believed in," noted Chiprin.

Partnering with the Libertarian Party of California on the twin vigils is the November Coalition, a grassroots organization of Drug War prisoners and their loved ones.

For more information on the Drug War Victim Vigils, please contact Hal Chiprin at (805) 649-4936.