The names and incidents of the many casualties of the War on Drugs will never really be known.
International Remembrance Day is dedicated to those people, known and unknown, who have died in the war against drugs and drug users. It is a time when the drug using community can remember and pay tribute to our friends and loved ones; for the funerals we couldn’t attend, for the deaths that no one acknowledged, for the moment we never got to say goodbye.
It is to remember those we know, and those we don’t – from our villages, towns and cities across the world. The vast majority of these deaths are not just deaths from drugs, but from the laws of prohibition and the pervasive ignorance and stigma that blindly follows.
July 21st is a Day to Remember.
Those who have died from unregulated, adulterated drugs as a result of today’s black market.
Those who have been criminalized or incarcerated because of their addiction only to overdose upon release;
Those who have died from drug related infections through poverty or discrimination in our hospitals;
To those who die in prisons from disease, violence and the many state sanctioned executions (such as Singapore, Burma and China), or from vigilante death squads like in Thailand and Brazil;
Those who have died from the viruses transmitted due to a Drug War mentality which actively discourages and even criminalizes needle exchange and drug treatment programs such as in the Sweden and Russia.
To those who defy the laws to obtain their medicine or drug of choice, who get caught in the crossfire of heavily armed drug raids or gang wars due to the profit motive of illegal drugs,
To those who give up hope or who gave up the struggle, to those who couldn’t fight anymore. To those who died in poverty, and alone.
July 21st is the day when all across the world,we will carry our torch of dignity and hope and remember our friends.