Nimbin alive but under surveillance


Benny Zable won’t have to paint his famous Nimbin murals black because the villages unique Museum is to stay open with a new lessee Elspeth Jones. “I’m just representing an extended family, or so it feels. The Museum is a second home if not a first for many people. I’ve lived in this community for over twenty years and been involved with the Museum since its beginning.”Elspeth went on, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support and concern in the community of losing the Museum. There will be new rules, cameras and fences, not quite the hippy way, but we are very adaptable. Hippies have been judged and criminalised for several generations now so we know how to adjust, and we’re here for the long haul. We’ll outlast the already lost war on cannabis which is the root of our problems here. The new Nimbin policing believes they can end the towns cannabis culture but I think they’ll find it’s embedded. If only they would legalise the industry all the young people across Australia tempted by easy money could have legitimate employment.”

“When we began the Museum there was a trickle of visitors but now the village is on the global backpacker map and draws an estimated 150,000 plus visitors a year. The credibility of the hippy lifestyle has gone from ridicule to respect. Permaculture, organic farming, solar panels, health food, meditation and yoga were all laughed at thirty years ago, now they’re mainstream. It’s a pity ending war hasn’t caught on yet, particularly the war on drugs in Nimbin’s case. It is the hippies favourite food after all, illegal here but a sacred mystical door and spiritual experience in other cultures.””Nimbins Museum is a journey thru 8 rooms along the Rainbow Serpent path showing the history of the place now known as Nimbin through the eyes of a hippy. It’s a view of the world which is proving right on the mark these days with our all too predictable various global crises,” said Elspeth.

The Museum will have been open sixteen years next Boxing Day and is busier than ever said curator Michael Balderstone, apparently no longer a ‘suitable tenant’. Ms Jones is the perfect person for the job he said. “Elspeth has put more into the Museum than anyone and understands all too well the difficulty, and joy, of working with Nimbin’s tribe. We created the Museum as a place for visitors to meet locals and talk about our culture. In our vision it was always a living Museum, stuffed hippies maybe, but not in glass cases! “Speaking for the Nimbin HEMP Embassy, Balderstone said the HEMP BAR would be reopening shortly with several new groups banding together under the one roof. “We’ve had too many applications but some can fit together. One of the group is going to use it to re-envigorate the political HEMP Party and reapply for registration. We need members who aren’t afraid to admit it when the Electoral Commission phones, so only the brave and real should apply. Others include the Medical Cannabis Research Board (Australia) Pty Ltd and Mullaways Medical Cannabis. We will also be using the HEMP BAR to do a detailed survey of long term cannabis users, seeing we can’t convince the government to do it.””We live in hope that Kevin Rudd will sometime bother to question and actually look at the war on drugs and what its doing to millions of Australians. A Federal Drug Summit along the lines of Bob Carrs Sydney 1999 one would do it. “A new independent report to the United Nations last week said that prohibition of cannabis is doing more harm than good and actually recommended regulation. California just celebrated ten years of regulated medical cannabis but here in Australia John Howard’s psychosis propaganda has still got everybody bluffed and drug law reform is in the too hard basket.”

Elspeth Jones at the Museum 02 66891123 Michael Balderstone at Embassy 02 66891842

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