4/20 is supposed to be a day of cannabis celebration, but in Oakland
Friday it was a day of protest and demonstration. Angered by the ongoing
federal crackdown on medical marijuana distribution and shocked and
infuriated by the April 2 raids on Oaksterdam University and associated
businesses, protestors gathered outside the federal building in downtown
Oakland to denounce the administration before marching to President
Obama’s Northern California campaign headquarters to deliver a letter
demanding the administration cease and desist.
“Terrorist Haag Wanted for War Crimes Against Humanity,” read one hand-made sign, an expression of the widespread anger against the US Attorney for Northern California, who has targeted Northern California dispensaries as part of the ongoing federal offensive against medical marijuana distribution.
Printed green, white, and red “Cannabis medicine, let states regulate” sign waved among the crowd, as chants of “Obama, keep your promise!” and “Stop the lies, legalize!” echoed through the courtyard of the towering federal building.
But it’s not just marijuana advocates who are angry. “What happened here two weeks ago with the raid of Oaksterdam was an attack on our local and our members,” said Matt Witemyre, special project union representative for UFCW Local 5, which represents Northern California dispensary workers. “We’re here to register our displeasure with the administration’s actions and we’re stopping by campaign headquarters to let them know we do not support these policies. We’re here in solidarity with our brothers and sisters. They had good jobs and good benefits, and in the midst of the worst economic crisis in the country in decades, the administration is destroying these jobs. It makes no sense,” he fumed.