Nimbin crowd turns out to support ‘Lane Boys’
More than a 100 people turned out in Nimbin shouting 'Free the Boys' and calling on police to 'explain' themselves following the arrest of 11 people in Nimbin two weeks ago.
A giant medicinal cannabis bottle was carried down the street following different speakers and speeches at the location where the iconic Rainbow Cafe used to be.
Calls for a 'cannabis revolution', 'the insanity to end', and 'time to take our town back' were answered with cheers and further cries of 'Free the Boys'.
Hemp Party secretary Andrew Kavasilas reminded the crowd of the importance putting pressure on the political parties and how impressed he was by the Nimbin community.
The crowd congregated outside the front of the police station with a handful of protestors walking down the pathway to speak into the police intercom at the front door.
The police station looked abandoned with no vehicles, the blinds shut, garage doors closed, and front door closed.
The crowd dispersed quietly leaving a pink chalk monika 'Free our Boys' on the ground in front of the station.
Sophia Hoeben from the Nimbin Action Group said the 'Lane Boys' are a valuable part of community because they are supplying a leaf that provides valuable pain relief.
Ms Hoeben said she had seen the 'boys' give terminal cancer patients without money free cannabis.
"It doesn't make any sense that they are hardened criminals," she said.
"Hardened criminals don't do that."
"They've been helping people all along."
"The police don't really come and talk to us, they just tell you to get down on the ground with their guns."
"We are all on the side of the boys, and lot of people feel that it is time to stop these overkills of police in Nimbin - breaking our economy, breaking our backs."
"People were shocked."
"There is no way these boys sell hard drugs.
"I know all those boys and I've seen them chase away ice dealers.
"They havebeen policing this town away from the hard drugs."
On the 28 June, police from Strike Force Cuppa seized almost $1 million worth of drugs, including 5kg of cannabis, MDMA tablets, methyl amphetamine (ice), two firearms, and a range of prohibited weapons including an electronic stun gun, defensive spray and a slingshot during the raids.
More than $55,000 in cash was also seized.
Police have alleged that those involved were Gold Coast "gangsters" who allegedly sold drugs in Nimbin to support their lavish lifestyle.
The crime manager said the operation, dubbed Strike Force Cuppa, was part of an ongoing operation into what police will allege is the commercial supply of illegal drugs in the Northern Rivers.
"Police will allege the targets of this operation are living a gangster lifestyle within the Gold Coast area supported by the dealing of primarily cannabis from what we call the Laneway at Nimbin," he said.
"(They're) living in lavish-style houses unsupported by any form of income, any form of work, frequenting casinos, flash cars and the like."
Insp Lindsay said the raids were part of an ongoing investigation and further arrests were anticipated.
"It has been going on for a long period of time and partly assisted by the dob-in-a-dealer campaign where we've received significant amounts of information from the public," he said.
Strike force officers were also in attendance at the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport as part of the investigation.
Police will allege more than 100gms of the drug ice was discovered during the search warrants in Queensland.
Insp Detective chief inspector Lindsay said the arrests, in addition to those made in previous weeks, would have an impact on drug dealing operations on the Northern Rivers.