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COMPLEX MAGAZINE: How to Organize A Pro-Cannabis Demonstration With Over 4,200 Free Joints
|| 1/22/2017 || 8:41 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

My interview is at about 3:45 into the video:

Washington D.C. was alight with protests and demonstrations Friday afternoon—both literally and figuratively. While thousands protested the official swearing-in of President Donald Trump—a ceremony that included a speech plagiarized from a comic book villain—a demonstration of another kind took to the streets: one of nonpartisan weed enthusiasts.

The D.C. Cannabis Coalition (DCMJ), co-founded in 2013 by Adam Eidinger and Nikolas Schiller, called its event #Trump420, and rolled 4,200 joints (yes, that’s 4-2-0-0) to pass out to weed enthusiasts of every political affiliation. DCMJ describes itself as “a community group fighting for equal rights for DC cannabis users, growers, and their families,” and used Trump’s inauguration as an opportunity to raise awareness about its initiatives. Weed possession was legalized in Washington D.C. in 2015 (though you still can’t legally buy it), but Eidinger and Schiller are continuing to fight to destigmatize weed communities and advocate for less restrictive legalization policies.

DCMJ invited Complex to come hang with them while they rolled 4,200 joints from their headquarters, as well as on Friday for their official demonstration, which was attended by Trump supporters and protesters alike. Check out the best of the reefer madness below.

+ PHOTOS



DC Flag Day in the Flesh
|| 6/15/2011 || 7:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Back in mid-May, late at night after a few of our friends had gotten out of jail after being arrested outside of the U.S. Capitol demonstrating in favor of voting rights & statehood for DC, Ally B., Adam E., and myself were discussing ways we could do another action. I brought up the idea of using Flag Day as an upcoming day that people could mobilize around and everyone agreed that there was enough time to plan & execute an event. Inspired by Shana Glickfield’s collection of DC Flag tattoos, together we wrote the first press release and since Adam & I were busy working on other projects, Ally did the rest of the organizing for “DC Flag Day in the Flesh“. In all, this was one of the best events I’ve ever helped to organize because we had such a great turnout and very positive media coverage. I’m looking forward to helping organize the second annual DC Flag Day in the Flesh :-) I’d like to get the folks from Guinness Book of World Records to come and document “the most tattooed ‘state’ flags in one location.”


Inked and Non-Inked Gather in Dupont Circle

Celebrate Flag Day Tuesday, June 14, 6-8 pm

It is well known that thousands of District of Columbia residents past and present sport DC flag tattoos. In fact, George Washington, whose family crest is the source of the DC flag, would never have predicted that so many would passionately adorn themselves to show their civic pride. Over the years, the “Three Stars and Two Bars” has come to symbolize over 600,000 Americans who can not enact their own laws nor elect voting representatives to the House and Senate.

This Flag Day 2011 we encourage a large gathering of people with DC Flag tattoo’s and those that support them as a way to get under the skin of America and bring attention to DC’s lack of rights in Congress.

Come celebrate DC Flag Tattoos, paint large Give Me a Vote Hands, and find out what you can do to get DC equal representation in Congress.

WHO: Inked, non-Inked, and all who LOVE DC
WHAT: Flag Day DC Celebration, Speakers sponsored by DC Vote, Art sponsored by Give Me a Vote and Albus Cavus, and surprises!
WHEN: Tuesday, June 14, 2011, 6pm to 8pm
WHERE: Dupont Circle, Washington DC, USA
“Home of Taxation Without Representation”



A couple photographs of me from BYT by Dakota Fine

DC Flag Tattoo Day – June 14 by Brandon Bloch


Video by Mike Flugennock


Video by Edgar Elmore


Video by Matt Bevilacqua

Press:
+ D.C. faithful get inked, rally for representation – Washington Post
+ D.C. Flag Tattoo Day: Show off your city pride – AP via Washington Post
+ D.C. residents to celebrate flag tattoos – AP via WTOP
+ D.C. residents to celebrate flag tattoos – AP via Federal News Radio
+ Tattooed DC Residents Push for Representation – WMAL
+ Flag day is for… showing off tattoos? – Seattle Post-Intelligencer
+ D.C. Ink: Flag-Tatted to Gather at Dupont Tomorrow – DCist
+ Photo Booth: D.C. Flag Tattoo Day – DCist
+ DC Flag Tattoo Day: Does it Matter If You’re Not Punk? – Washingtonian
+ With flag tattoos, D.C. residents seek representation in Congress – Scripps Howard
+ D.C. Flag Tattoo Day mixes District flag with tattoos – TBD
+ D.C. Flag Day tattoos: The Polaroids – TBD
+ Got a DC Flag Tattoo? Celebrate Today – NBC Washington
+ Showing off some inked skin for D.C. – WJLA
+ D.C. Flag Tattoos We Don’t Endorse, Even for Voting Rights – Washington City Paper
+ Welcome to Our Strife, Tattoo – Washington City Paper
+ Norton Commends Youth Activism and Achievements Today at Two Separate Events, DC Flag Day Tattoo Rally and Ballou STAY High School Graduation – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
+ DC Statehood advocates unveil DC flag tattoos for Flag Day – DC Direct Action News
+ Photos: DC Flag Tattoo Day! Go DC! #dcflagtattoo #dcvote – Vincent Gallegos
+ DC Flag Tattoo Day – Frank Turner
+ DC Flag Tattoo Day – Borderstan

From the Washington Post article:

When Allyson Behnke’s friend was arrested back in May for rallying in support of District representation in Congress, she and a few others started brainstorming ways to raise awareness for the cause in a more entertaining way. Somebody mentioned Flag Day, and an idea tattooed itself on her mind.



Freeing a Mourning Dove from a glass vase
|| 5/18/2011 || 9:10 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


source

This morning when I went to my backyard I noticed the glass vase moving around on the ground. Upon seeing that it was actually a Mourning Dove stuck in a glass vase, I quickly ran upstairs and got my camera so I could film my attempt at freeing the stuck bird….



Subcommittee on Health Care, District of Columbia, Census and the National Archives: Hearing on the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: “Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability”
|| 5/12/2011 || 10:21 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Today I went to Capitol Hill to attend “the District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability” hearing dressed in colonial attire. You can see me in the screen shot from the start of the 2nd Panel:

Screen Grab from YouTube showing DC Colonist


Mayor Gray, Chairman Brown to testify to Oversight Hearing on D.C. Budget

WASHINGTON- The House Committee on Oversight and Government D.C. subcommittee will host the top two at-large elected officials in the District on Thursday at 8:45 a.m. Mayor Vincent Gray and Council Chairman Kwame Brown will testify at a hearing on the District’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget.

The subcommittee’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC., has called the hearing to examine the fiscal sustainability of D.C. spending. In 1995 the District of Columbia Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Act established a five member “Control Board” to oversee financial matters. The Control Board was disbanded in 2001 when District had achieved four consecutive balanced budgets and met other criteria. There are seven separate “triggers” which would automatically revive the Control Board.

In addition to the two elected officials, D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar Gandhi will testify on a separate panel. Full witness list and hearing information can be found below. Testimony will be posted as it becomes available at http://oversight.house.gov/

WHAT: The District of Columbia’s Fiscal Year 2012 Budget: Ensuring Fiscal Sustainability

WHO: Subcommittee on Health Care, DC, Census, and the National Archives, Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-SC.

WHEN/WHERE: 8:45 a.m. on Thursday May 12th in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

Witnesses:

Panel I

• The Honorable Vincent Gray, Mayor, District of Columbia

• The Honorable Kwame Brown, Chairman, DC City Council

Panel II

• Dr. Natwar Gandhi,Chief Financial Officer, District of Columbia

• Mr. Jim Dinegar, CEO, DC Board of Trade

• Mr. Matt Fabian, Managing Director, Municipal Market Advisors

• Dr. Alice M. Rivlin, the Brookings Institution; former Chair of the Control Board

Twitpic from inside the hearing

Below are three YouTube videos of the hearing followed by photographs I took at the end of first panel.

+ MORE



YouTube Video of Congressman Serrano speaking on the House floor about the need for Congress to respect DC
|| 2/16/2011 || 3:19 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


Basically Congressman says that other Congressmen experiment on the citizens of the District of Columbia because they cannot do the same types of experiments on their own constituents.

Thank you Congressman Serrano for speaking up for the 600,000 American citizens of the District of Columbia.



YouTube Video Clip of the Driving Scene from Babylon Central
|| 7/27/2010 || 10:28 am || + Render A Comment || ||


[ Watch On YouTube ]

With Babylon Central coming out today, I decided to post the final clip that has been placed on-line prior to it’s release. I look forward to receiving my copy.



A New Strategy For Full Representation in Congress: Have the District of Columbia Government Sue State Legislatures
|| 7/14/2010 || 2:54 pm || + Render A Comment || ||

Last night I received an e-mail from Timothy Cooper, executive director of World Rights, about his recent appearance on NewsChannel 8 and decided to save the video to publish here. The thrust of the new strategy is to have the District government sue the State legislatures around the United States for denying District residents full representation in Congress using international law as the basis for this lawsuit. The strategy is quite novel and I’m curious to see how this turns out.



YouTube Video Showing Where George Washington Grew Hemp at Mount Vernon
|| 7/4/2010 || 12:01 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


[ Watch On YouTube ]

In May I had the opportunity to participate in first annual Hemp History Week. From printing up an old newspaper article showing how hemp was used in the Civil War to taking a field trip to George Washington’s farms in Mount Vernon, Virginia, I had a great time learning about America’s historical use of hemp.

In the video above, I make a cameo at the beginning and later in the video the editor included a map of Mount Vernon from the Library of Congress that I submitted for inclusion in the video. The map nicely corresponds to the map shown during the interview at Mount Vernon.

When we arrived at Mount Vernon, the staff had prepared copies of a statement concerning George Washington’s cultivation of hemp at Mount Vernon. Below is a transcription of the document:



Hemp Production and Use at Mount Vernon

Throughout his lifetime, George Washington cultivated hemp at Mount Vernon for industrial uses. The fibers from hemp held excellent properties for the making of rope and sail canvas, which was a major industry in the age of sailing ships. In addition, hemp fibers could be spun into thread for clothing or, as indicated in Mount Vernon records, for use in repairing the large seine fishing nets that Washington used in his fishing operation along the Potomac.

At one point in the 1760’s Washington considered whether hemp would be a more lucrative cash crop than tobacco but determined that wheat would be a better alternative. During the period when he was considering hemp, he wrote to his agents in England in the hope of determining the costs involved in production and shipping.

In September 1765 he wrote:

“In order thereto you woud do me a singular favour in advising of the general price one might expect for good Hemp in your Port watered and prepared according to Act of Parliament, with an estimate of the freight, and all other incident charges pr. Tonn that I may form some idea of the profits resulting from the growth.” (Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington v. 2, September 20, 1765, George Washington to Robert Cary & Company, p. 430-431)

The Act of Parliament that Washington mentions in his letter to Robery Cary & Company, was enacted to promote hemp production in the American Colonies. In 1767, he did sell some of his Mount Vernon-grown hemp, gaining an income from the bounty that Parliament had laid on the crop.

Hemp Background and History:
“Hemp, Cannabis sativa, a plant originally from central Asia, was cultivated with, and sometimes in place of flax, because its stem fibers are similar to those of flax. Hemp seeds, like those of flax, can be used to extract an oil used in paints, varnishes, and soaps. By the seventeenth century, Russia, Latvia, and other countries around the Baltic Sea were major producers of hemp, and it was from this area that Britain obtained its supply, a situation which left the English vulnerable during periods of military hostilities. Hemp made into rope was vital to navies worldwide. Hemp was also used to make a coarse linen cloth as well as sacking, and other rough materials.” (Colonial American Fiber Crops, Charles Leach, from The National Colonial Farm research Report No. 20. the Accokeek Foundation, Inc. p. 3-4)

Although George Washington’s initial interest in hemp was to determine if it could be a viable cash crop, he proceeded to cultivate it just to meet the needs of his own plantation. Hemp was used at Mount Vernon for rope, thread for sewing sacks, canvas, and for repairing the seine nets used at the fisheries.

Washington’s diaries and farm reports indicate that hemp was cultivated at all his 5 farms, (Mansion House, River Farm, Dogue Run Farm, Muddy Hole Farm, & Union Farm.) In February 1794, Washington wrote to his farm manager, William Pearce, “…I am very glad to hear that the Gardener has saved so much of the St. Foin seed, and that of the India Hemp… Let the ground be well prepared and the See (St. Foin) be sown in April. The Hemp may be sown anywhere. (Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington, v. 33, George Washington to William Pearce, February 24, 1794, p. 279.)

It must be noted that industrial hemp, Cannabis sativa, — the kind that Washington grew– is not the same strain of the plant as Cannabis sativa indica which is used as a drug (marijuana). Cannabis sativa (industrial use hemp) contains less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), and therefore has no physical or psychological effects. Cannabis sativa indica grown for marijuana can contain 6% to 20% THC.

Therefore, there is no truth to the statement that George Washington was growing marijuana. His hemp crop was strictly the industrial strain needed for the production of rope, thread, canvas, and other industrial applications.



Interiview with Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation about his film Babylon Central
|| 6/16/2010 || 10:43 pm || + Render A Comment || ||


[ Watch on YouTube ]

Following up on the Babylon Central trailer, ESL Music has released a short interview with director Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation about his new film.



Trailer for “Babylon Central” – A film by Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation
|| 6/9/2010 || 11:52 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||


[ Watch on YouTube ]


Back in September of 2006 I briefly blogged about working on the film Babylon Central as a production assistant. I was brought on for the last month of the filming in order to help complete the last major scenes before Thievery Corporation left for a tour in Brazil. I had an absolutely great time working on the film and I’m very excited to see the final cut!



From ESL Music:

The directorial debut from Eric Hilton of Thievery Corporation, Babylon Central is an original screenplay and film, shot on location in Washington, DC. Features a musical score created by Hilton in the style of his record label, ESL Music.

Sebastian James is a courier by day and aspiring DJ by night. When he forgets an important delivery, Seb finds himself an unwitting participant in an economic power-play with a Saudi Prince and his attempt to change the currency for oil. As Seb begins to fall for the Prince’s daughter and his friends are dragged into the conflict, the powers that control modern-day Babylon – Washington, DC – are exposed, and the US Empire is called into question.


Babylon Central will be exclusively released as a digital download on Amazon.com on July 19, 2010 and will be available in stores everywhere on July 27, 2010. The film is being sold as a DVD + CD combo, which includes the DVD of film and CD of the film’s soundtrack. You can also preorder a physical copy of the film and receive it the day the film comes out. At $15 + shipping, it’s a pretty good deal & an innovative way to distribute the film.





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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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