Audrey Silk, Founder
Anti-smoker advocates already dictate where, when and how we can smoke. Don't allow them to also dictate when, how, and where this issue is discussed. Just because their date is the 23rd it shouldn't only be on their "terms" (the date) that anyone else gets to speak. That's censorship.
C.L.A.S.H. will NOT be holding any events or granting interviews
on Monday, May 23rd. If you want our side of the story (as you
should) then we'll see you on Saturday, May 28th.
On this Memorial Day weekend we carry this message with us:
This patriot, Sgt. Paul Boothroyd III, takes a bullet fighting for freedom and the Anti-Smokers are doing everything they can to take away his freedom to... gasp.... smoke (because it's "risky"). Were he in the states they'd be yelling at him to "put that out!"
C.L.A.S.H. contacted Sgt. Boothroyd through Facebook, thanked him for his service, and asked him if we could use his poignant photo at our gathering since it will coincidentally be held on Memorial Day weekend -- the day we pay our respects to servicemen and women who have died preserving freedom in battle.
It seems most appropriate to make this point that day.
Sgt. Boothroyd responded:
By all means use the photo, I'm all for smoker's rights. I'll be happy when I can smoke in a bar again.
Sgt Paul Boothroyd
Place: On the Boardwalk at Brighton 6th St., (Brighton Beach, Brooklyn)
(Otherwise known as the Riegelmann Boardwalk or Brighton Beach/Coney Island Boardwalk)
*REVISION NOTICE: There will no longer be a Sunday (5/29) rain date. In case of rain on Saturday we'll meet at Brighton 4th St. instead, under the canopy.
The 23rd is a Monday and, unlike the professional anti-smokers who are on the clock during their activism, we're mostly regular working folk. So we'll wait until the first Saturday in order to give everyone a fair chance to attend.
*Also, what's more appropriate than Memorial Day weekend to practice freedom while everyone is commemorating U.S. soldiers who died while serving to preserve that way of life.
This is not a "protest" or "rally" per se. It's not the intent on THIS day to call for repeal or to simply demonstrate that we are angry (and then fall into line). This is an invitation for friends to get together like any other day at the beach to illustrate that this law will be paid the respect it deserves.
When a law is just so wrong -- enacted on the whim of the biased with the power to do so who cannot be reasoned with -- there can be only the last resort in order to effect change: civil disobedience. There is NO sound scientific basis for this law (hear WOR Radio host John Gambling let slip that even he believes any such claims are but an "excuse" during an interview with C.L.A.S.H.). Nor any social basis other than our country's founders' frowned upon "mob rule." When 75% of the population doesn't smoke then it would be an abomination to put such a policy to a vote by the people. It's then we need to rely on the merits of Representative Government where the people we elect to office are under an obligation not to vote on an emotion or personal preference and to consider equal protection of the minority. They are expected to weigh all the evidence without bias and base their vote on an intellectually arrived at conclusion. Yet the majority of the body of the City Council acted no better than "the mob."
Sealing the sentiment is when the NY Times itself -- historically a proponent of anti-smokerism -- editorializes "All of this takes the mayor's nannying too far..."! And when the NY Times recognizes Brighton Beach ("Instead of smoking on Brighton Beach, what does a smoker do ó take a boat out 12 nautical miles into international waters?") as equal in value to Central Park it's clear it'd be unfair to diminish its place in this scene.
These were C.L.A.S.H.'s final remarks to
the NYC Council Health Committee at their October 14, 2010, hearing about