The SEPTIC System

REPOST: The Love and Death of a San Diego Hero

In District Attorney on January 13, 2010 at 8:19 am
Originally posted Tuesday, January 12, 2010 by San Diego Americans for Safe Access www.safeaccesssd.org

The Cultural Wars Continue in San Diego

By: Rocky Neptun

Dumanis is, indeed, just another delusional villain in a long list of San Diego prosecutors and legal violence which, under corporate-owned ideology and the police power of local authorities, has disrupted lives, harassed, entrapped and imprisoned many innocent people and led to the martyrdom of San Diego’s greatest hero – Steve McWilliams.

The only time I ever saw Steve McWilliams laugh was in early summer of 2005; little realizing that soon, like a Buddhist monk wrapped in flames, he would use his own life as a metaphor for justice and light in a society gone blind with fear and greed.

I stood there talking to him, as I often did when he walked his dogs along the sidewalk in Normal Heights, discussing the weather, the dogs or the large garden I tended. With great sadness, he looked beyond my eyes, over my left shoulder, watching the bulbous clouds as they slid through the blue-green brightness. As the gray shadows moved over the daisies and roses; he remarked how, as human beings, driven by either selfishness or compassion, we can make the world either ugly or beautiful.

On his walk back, the street ends at the edge of that great San Diego canyon, Mission Valley, he was on the opposite side and watched as I came out of the courtyard just as someone was pulling their dog off the grass, leaving a large pile of doggy doo. Now, I had a shovel in my hand, so I scooped it up on the shovel and walked behind, yelling “sir, you forgot something.” All the neighbors came out to witness his attempt to ignore the selfishness and contempt reflected in this act. Steve joined in that communal laugh.

It will take more than a shovel, even a skip-loader, to trail behind Judge Reuben Brooks or U.S. District Attorney Carol Lam and all the other government tyrants. Not even a freight hauler could carry the blood, anguish, wasted lives in prison, the pain and suffering they have created in their obscene efforts to control our lives.

McWilliams, nailed to a cross of pain for his efforts, fought the power of the state to regulate our personal freedoms and choices, not only for himself but every person in need of inexpensive medication without side effects. Yes, the truth shall set you free, and the government and media, both owned by powerful pharmaceutical companies, don’t want you to know that you can grow your own medicine in a coffee can, right there on the table in front of the window, alongside the geraniums and ferns.

If Steve, who suffered from severe neuropathic migraines caused by a traffic accident, had continued to quietly self-medicate with marijuana, after his arrival in San Diego in 1997, he would still be with us today. However, his integrity and compassion drove him to found, with his partner, Barbara MacKenzie, Shelter from the Storm, San Diego’s first Medical Cannabis Resource Information Center.

He sought to not only empower sick people in pain with information but to liberate them from the evilness of store bought chemicals. Manufactured dangerous pills; without long-term study, threatening side-effects, developed primarily to make others, CEO’s and wealthy investors, richer.

He understood that the power of the federal government has been bought; from the President, through Congress to the Supreme Court; ordered by their corporate masters to make the world safe for profit. This is what the War on Drugs is all about, why there are over 2 million young people, mostly of color, in our prisons and jails; more than the rest of the world combined.

Poor folks don’t have the resources for Valium or Prozac, so they have been criminalized, persecuted and stigmatized by the fear mongers as an excuse, the learning methodology, over the years, to build the links of the chain – a prison state, with the police and military in control, to protect the rich and to punish all who dissent.

When President George W. Bush was re-elected, a new phase in the clash of freedom over corporate tyranny, began. The federal police system, using its years of experience in the hoods and barrios, moved its battle lines into middle-class neighborhoods, to win the cultural war, once and for all; to mop up the last vestiges of hippie notions and free will. Using simple-minded, cruel Judges like Reuben Brooks, who McWilliams called “a wretched, evil little gnome” and ambitious, ruthless agents of fear, like agent Carol Lam, they sought total control of our private lives.

And while the Obama administration has sought to stand down a little on the federal offense against marijuana users; local right-wing elements and tyrannical ideologues, like San Diego Police Chief Lansdowne, using his badge and taxpayer money to fund his goon squads, have went after San Diego medical marijuana users, even though that use is protected under city ordinances (as well as state law).

Steve McWilliams called himself an “impeccable warrior” in his death letter. He was facing the usual fascist response to dissent – prison- and in increasing pain, under court order not to grow or use the natural herb of relief. Saying he refused “to allow the government to control my life,” his last words were that he had “given ever thing to the cause – all my possessions, my time and, now, my life.”

In an obituary posted on the IndyMedia Website in July, 2005 I wrote the following, “our greatest tribute to Steve, will be our own efforts toward overcoming hypocrisy and selfishness; to fight this increasingly cruel, authoritarian government on behalf of our children and neighbors. Steve, like all great and noble persons of history, hands back through space and time the courage to be free. His walk with love and death widens that path that we all must take; to make our lives meaningful, loving and liberating.”

What we Can Do to Help Our Fellow San Diegans in Pain

1. Call, write or e-mail your Council person and demand that quite hiding from the issue and develop ordinances that protect the rights and access of legal users of medical marijuana.
2. Contact the District Attorney’s office and insist that this blatant political use of her office to persecute and prosecute legitimate medical marijuana users stop.
3. Contact San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and suggest that department manpower spent lying to doctors, falsifying documents, and infiltrating professional co-ops and collectives should cease – scarce funds could better be used to fight real crime against persons and property.

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