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About the Conference and Festival

Direct Action to end the War on Drugs

The 1st International conference on Direct Action to end the War on Drugs will be held in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia from Monday 22 September to Monday 29 September 2003 to coincide with the 2nd annual Darwin International Syringe Festival.

The aim of this conference is to bring together activists and drug Users from around the world to discuss new strategies in campaigning for Drug law reform and an end to the unmitigated oppression and human Rights violations indicative of the war on drugs. We recognize the war on Drugs is not aimed at irradicating drug use, rather it is a war on the rights and civil liberties of drug users, the 3rd world, a race war and a class war. There can be no serious discussion about drug law reform, harm reduction or drug user organizing without taking this into account.

Although we acknowledge the tremendous efforts by many people in challenging drug policy, conference organizers feel that the results of many approaches such as government lobbying or service provision have not gone far enough in changing drug laws or community attitudes toward drug use. We believe its time for drug users to demand change on our own terms and for the drug user movement to re-examine it's tactics, hence the focus on direct action.

We believe it is integral that this conference is organized for and by drug users, not hijacked by "professionals", who claim to understand from the devestating concequences prohibition has on our lifestyles. We encourage people with 1st hand campaigning experience and strategies to present workshops, abstracts or chair forums on any subject relating to challenging zero tolerence policing, prohibition and the war on drugs. However, anyone with ideas or experience in direct action campaigning for other human rights/ community issues which may be relevant, is welcome to participate. We feel it is important to have contact and exchange support with other civil liberties and civil disobedience groups, community groups and pressure groups in order that we expand our networks and glean inspiration from each other.

This conference is in the initial stages of planning and we are seeking volunteers and participants to be involved in local, national and international levels. We have a small committee made up of activists from Australia and overseas who are coordinating promotion and reviewing abstract submissions. The committee welcomes imput.

The Network Against Prohibition will everything in our power to ensure the comfort of our guests during their stay in Darwin. We can arrange accommodation to suit all budgets, including billeting, camping, hostels, guest-houses and luxury hotels. If you have any specific requirements or needs, please contact us ASAP prior to the conference. Low cost vego and carnivore meals will be available at all events throughout the week by Chops not Cops.

2nd Darwin International Syringe Festival

Darwin Syringe Festival needs artists, performance artists, filmmakers, skaters, jugglers/ circus performers, djs, bands etc etc to perform and contribute to events throughout the week. We want to create a diverse environment that's stimulating, comfortable and unforgettable. We hope conference participants will use this festival to debrief on the conference and form solid friendships and networks. Some of the most inspiring ideas occur in spontanious environments.

This is YOUR festival, so get involved to make it an amazing event. At this stage NAP is working to a "skeleton script", we have plans to hold a film night, syinge art exhibition, dance party, dinner party, smoke-in, syringe olympics, the annual crowning of the needle queen and a guided Darwin tour of injustice.

Send us your suggestions or contributions for the festival. We especially want films/ art/ music/ performance artists with a political or drug user theme from outside Australia.

Browse Syringe Festival Website

Background of the Festival and Conference


Conference Program

Festival Program

Taste of the Top End

Contact the organisers: