The Michigan Daily - Orientation Edition 2004 -17
Hash Bash '04 turnout
not as high as expected
April 05, 2004
By Ashley Dinges
and Donn M. Fresard
Daily Staff Reporters
The smell of incense wafted through the Diag
Saturday as costumed demonstrators, middle-aged
activists and hacky-sack-playing students gathered
together amid the sound of bongo drums to partici-
pate in Ann Arbor's 33rd Annual Hash Bash.
Hash Bash organizer Adam Brook said he was
pleased with the turnout, which the University's
Department of Public Safety estimated at 1,500.
Brook had previously said he expected 50,000 peo-
ple to attend.
The event began at the Ann Arbor Federal
Building at 11 a.m., when demonstrators con-
gregated and marched to the Diag for the
"High Noon" rally. Attendees later moved to
Monroe Street for a block party.
Speakers at the noon gathering included
writer Jack Herer, author of "The Emperor
Wears No Clothes," poet John Sinclair and
George Sherfield, director of the Michigan
chapter of the National Organization for the
Reformation of Marijuana Laws.
"In the end this was one of the best we've
had in years," Brooks said.
A main focus of this year's event was the
issue of marijuana use for medical purposes.
Julie Bonnett, a musician and hemp vendor,
was one of several women dressed as a
"naughty nurse" in order to promote aware-
ness of the medical marijuana initiative.
"Today, we're in support of the medicinal mari-
juana because the drug war needs to be ended,"
Bonnett wore jewelry made of fake mari-
juana leaves and a nurse costume which read,
"Free the weed."
DPS reported six arrests for violation of the con-
trolled substance act - in this case, marijuana. Two
of the six were University students.
DPS only issued tickets for the "High Noon"
event. The Ann Arbor Police Department was
responsible for issuing violations for the Federal
Building march and the Monroe Street block party,
but they said they could not provide statistics for
the number of arrests.
"(Arrests in) the last two years are considerably
down from previous years, but the crowds are also
smaller," DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said.
Eight other citations were given during
"High Noon," including four tickets for sales
and solicitation of merchandise such as neck-
laces and shirts and two tickets for possession
of alcohol on the Diag.
Brown said the majority of tickets given in
past years have been to nonstudents. "In the
last six events, including (Saturday), DPS has
arrested or cited 212 persons, four of whom
were (University) students," Brown said.
A DPS arrest for possession of marijuana can
generally lead to a fine of up to $2,000 and one
year in prison, while use of marijuana is a $100
fine and up to 90 days in prison. But these penalties
can vary depending on the amount in possession,
and repeat offenses.
Students run from Lorch Hall through the Law Quad and the Diag at 11:00 last night. They are running
an alternative Naked Mile, a day early, in an attempt to keep the tradition going without the
interference of the police.
Students tn earlier,
*alte-rnative Naked Mile
April 21, 2004
By Donn M. Fresard
and Andrew McCormack
Daily Staff Reporters
Seeking to keep an 18-year-old tradition
alive, a group of University students and
alumni participated in an alternative Naked
ile run at 11:00 last night.
They evaded a police campaign against the
run by scheduling it one night early and alter-
ing the route.
All Naked Mile participants reached for com-
ment requested that their last names not be printed.
About four years ago, the University began a
campaign with the Ann Arbor Police Department
to end the Naked Mile due to concerns about stu-
dent safety. During the 1990s, the event had grown
into a media spectacle with the run eventually
eing broadcast on the Internet.
But the runners didn't have to worry about grop-
ers or cameras last night. Susan, who said she rode
a bicycle while clothed to scout the course and
relayed information with the runners via cellular
phone, described the event as a success.
"The only problem we encountered was at
the corner of State Street and Washington
(Street), where a cop car pulled up, but
nobody was stopped," she said. "We all
sprinted away at that point."
The group was reportedly comprised of 13
aked runners, two clothed bicyclists and one
naked bicyclist. Three members of the group were
recent University graduates, while the rest were
Runners said they took extra precautions against
police intervention by setting up safe houses and
plans to scatter if they saw a patrol.
Justifications for the run varied among the par-
ticipants, with some citing personal and political
expression as their objective.
"I think the Naked Mile has been deteriorating,
Bud these grassroots efforts are the only way to
bring it back," said Adrien, a University alum who
participated in the run.
Danielle, an LSA senior, said she felt the partici-
pants acted in-the true spirit of the Naked Mile.
"We ran with the heart of it, with no freaky men
with cameras," she said. "I'm not an exhibitionist."
Some runners expressed defiance toward
the Department of Public Safety and the
AAPD for what they perceived as a crack-
down on the Naked Mile.
"There isn't a single person who ran here
tonight that wasn't angry at the police," Adrien
said, adding that the runners' outrage was caused
by what they felt was a draconian suppression of
the Naked Mile. "I hope people will be inspired
to do similar acts in the next 48 hours."
Danielle expressed similar concerns with the
social implications of the DPS and AAPD's crack-
down on public nudity.
"It's a superficial expression, but a true one, that
I can own my body," she said.
Not all of the runners, however, described their
motivations as political. Some said it was "nice" to
end their time at college with friends.
"We got to smack our asses at Starbucks;"
Danielle said. "What could be better?"
DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said she
had not heard that a naked run would be tak-
ing place tonight and that DPS had scheduled
patrols for tomorrow night in anticipation of
While running naked in public is a crime
with a $500 dollar fine and punishable for up
to one year in prison, Brown said the Universi-
ty's concern with the Naked Mile is the danger
students expose themselves to if they are brave
enough to run in event.
Brown said, in the past, the event has often
been a hotbed for illegal activities. "It's a
mixture of drunken people, illegal behavior,
too many people, and too many people with
ill intentions converging."
Many times the behavior results in runners being
trampled or creating traffic accidents, Brown said.
Brown also added, "We have dangers of sexual
assault. We had a report oneyear of a person in the
crowd hitting naked people with a bullwhip."
In recent years, the University has also
expressed worries on how many runners in
the Naked Mile are videotaped, DPS Director
Bill Bess said.