Victory at Victory Park

Almost forty people showed at Victory Park yesterday to have a 420 rally in response to Brian Manning’s and Big Mike’s arrest last Saturday. And just about everyone had a joint or pipe in their mouth, despite an anonymous Porc411 call saying that there would be many cops there to break up the rally.

No cops showed up at the park.

The rally then moved to the Hillsborough County Jail on Valley Street, where Big Mike has been held for a week now, incommunicado. Protestors walked into the jail lobby and asked to speak with Big Mike. Jail officers would not allow him to be seen. After ten minutes or so, back-up was called for, and the congregation took a walk around the jail yelling “Freedom!” at the to of their lungs, while inmates banged on their windows in support.

When the group of protesters made it back to the front, they were greeted by several cops and two guards, and several other police cars were still coming in. [A total of eight or nine police cruisers, one SUV, and either one or two wagons had showed up. This must have been a significant chunk of Manchester’s on-duty police force at the time. —jraxis] After one officer was handed a package of little girl’s panties by Rich Paul, in mocking response to the childish rationale for Big Mike’s arrest, the protestors were ordered to move back onto the sidewalk and off of jail property. Police efforts to then get them off the sidewalk and to “keep moving” ultimately failed, and the cops left before the protesters, which I consider a large win over MPD.

Manchester hasn’t had much for civil disobedience ever before, and the MPD clearly has no idea how to handle it. That first pair of arrests for civil disobedience has sparked a revolution of sorts in Manchester—so I say good luck, Manchester 420 supporters, and keep up the good work.