An assembly of CU students and others will protest the university’s plan to restrict visitation to campus and block all access to Norlin Quad.
In a press release written by a group called the Boulder Coalition, the planned protest will take place on Friday to demonstrate discontent over CU’s enforcement measures to end the 4/20 gathering. The group has invited the public through Facebook and Twitter to join the protest at 3 p.m. and march along Broadway – near, but not on, campus.
Students gather on April 20, 2011 to smoke. Some plan to protest the school's attempt to restrict the students and visitors in participating in smoking on the Norlin Quad this year. (CU Independent File/Kelly Kaoudis)
“Despite the important message behind the 4/20 gathering, the University of Colorado has decided its campus is not fit for political speech,” the press release states. “They are closing down a public space, owned by all of us, with a line of police from all over the State.”
A Facebook group event titled “4/20 Protest at CU Boulder”, created by members of the Boulder Coalition, has over 300 confirmed people attending, a number that has continued to grow. The event page states the group’s initiative and its plan to “Meet, March, Smoke.” The protest will begin at Broadway and Canyon and may even feature speakers and musicians.
Daniel Ellis Schwartz, the Facebook event’s curator, a CU student and member of the Boulder Coalition, said that although he is listed as the event’s leader, he is not the only individual behind the protest.
“This is definitely not my initiative — there are approximately 10 of us working on organizing this protest, though that number has already started to grow,” Schwartz said. “Some of us have been actively involved in Occupy Boulder and Occupy CU; some have not.”
Schwartz said that he is protesting the university’s decision to remove what he considers a peaceful demonstration and a tradition.
“I’m hoping we can make a statement about the ridiculousness of the CU administration’s actions and about the war on drugs,” Schwartz said.
The Boulder Coalition, according to the news release, is made up of CU students, members of the Occupy movement and members of the Green Party. The “4/20 Protest at CU Boulder” Facebook event page lists a “know your rights seminar” to take place at 5 p.m. Thursday in Ramaley Biology N1B23.
The group has explicitly made it known both in the press release and through Facebook that it is staging a peaceful protest and does not want conflict with police.
“We also know that the police are not our enemy,” Schwartz said. “They are just doing their jobs so that they can put food on their families’ tables. We do not want a confrontation of any kind, especially a violent one, and we will do everything we can to make that clear to all who attend the protest.”
For more information on the Boulder Coalition’s protest, visit their Facebook event page.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Nora Keating at Nora.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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