Sixth Annual Jacksonville Hempfest occured May 31, 2003 on the shores
of Jacksonville Beach, Florida.
Police were present in numbers. When the Police said they would take "appropriate
measures" when Hempfest organizers refused to agree to change the
content of their speech in reference to being critical of the police they
After a delay of more than 2 and a half hours caused
by the city not allowing our sound company access to the stage, through
what they claim is lack of communication between city officials, The event
began around 2PM. With 6 bands and acts from around the county.
Interspersed with the bands were speakers, George Mc Mahon, Fat Freddy,
Kevin Aplin, Jodi James of Florida CAN, Heath Wintz of SSDP, and Doug
Klippel of Libertarian Party and Ken Hurley of the ACLU.
The event was well received by estimated 10,000 people who came and went
throughout the day.
As many as 1-2 thousand people were present at any one time.
Although the 6th Annual Jacksonville Hempfest was the best ever, it was
laced with bigotry not seen since the civil rights movement. Undercover
police officers were mingling in the crowd all day long, as many as 10
- 15 officers stood out like a sore thumb amongst the rest of the crowd
which appeared to be having fun and receiving the message that there is
an alternative to the drug war.
On top of the 4-8 uniformed officers present for the entire event.
Then around 4:15 PM, Officers approached Ronnie Smith, aka Marijuana Man
Roland A Duby
and pressured him to look inside his Bugler tobacco pack. Ronnie at first
refused this baseless invasion of his privacy and then changed his stance
and asked for a moment to consider his decision. Officers then advised
Roland, he could consider on the way to the Jail. They instantly began
manhandling and Brutally physically abusing Mr. Smith without ever informing
him that he was under arrest.
Roland has been charged with a Felony count of Resisting arrest with violence.
Even though it was Jacksonville Beach Police Undercover Narc officer Jerry
Dearing, wearing two earings a bald head, gold chain and gold watch and
a tasmanian devil tattoo with the word BOOG beneath it who delivered the
pepper spray in a crowd of onlookers with winds gusting to over 30 miles
per hour at the time.
Even though Smith was already restrained by approximately 5 officers.
They still brought him to the ground with brutal force and violence, enough
to send Smith to the hospital for the night.
Smith appeared at his bond hearing this morning using crutches.
After this Uniformed officers were increased to as many as 8 and undercover
numbered a dozen or more. The undercover officers followed, intimidated
and harassed festival speakers and organizers throughout the day.
the festival was delayed in beginning, the schedule was mostly on track
give or take 15 mintues after 5PM. At the stroke of 8pm, Police cut off
our sound, denying the final act the end of their last song, and denying
a chance for closing statements.
When asked the police responded that we could have shown them courtesy
while they were handling a situation (referring to the beating of Ronnie
Video from the fest
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