Background image via MassCann
Lucia Fiero, secretary and quartermaster of the United States Pirate Party, reached out to us last week in hopes of drumming up support in general, and for their upcoming booth at the Boston Freedom Rally on September 26 and 27. Fiero’s been a fixture doing outreach at the annual festivities, and this year she needs extra support in the booth on Boston Common. We shot over some questions, and promised to publish her plea for the Pirates. Here goes …
Why does the Massachusetts Pirate Party come to the Boston Freedom Rally?
Pirates are all about freedom of information and personal privacy; we get out to [the Freedom Rally] every year to let everyone know that if a tree falls in the forest but nobody hears it, things don’t change. What do I mean by that? If the news doesn’t report on something, does that mean it isn’t true? Of course not! The media cannot be counted upon to report on the safety and efficacy of cannabis without pressure from the public. The evening news is [owned] by big pharma (and Big Oil and Big Insurance). Count how many times you hear, “Ask your doctor about …” as you flip from network to network.
Big Pharma’s big profits depend upon patents, and Pirates oppose patents on principle. Patents necessitate turning away from the cures that nature gives us and turning to chemical compounds and altered seeds. If we can grow what we need to live in the backyard, how do these gangsters, essentially, get their cut of the action? Their business model necessitates employing the state to kill the natural competition. This goes too for the private prison industry. Their business model depends upon prohibition to keep prison populations up. This is insanity on a mass scale, but the “news” cannot be counted on to report on this insanity in the public interest. This is why the power of the internet has to be applied to the issue, with blogs and social media and email lists, by citizens talking to each other rather than paid emissaries of big business preaching to us from private, secure “news” studios that “Drugs are bad, m’kay?”
The way around this information blockade: A free and open internet. We need to get out to the Freedom Rally to spread the word about how to best spread the word that doesn’t fit the corporate picture.
Why do you especially need more help this year at the Rally?
Since 2013, my husband and I have taken the lead with the MPP presence. One or both of us would be there all weekend, from set up to break down. This year though, I was diagnosed with cancer in March, and I am on chemotherapy and very weak. My husband needs to spend the time he has off work, the weekends, looking after me and our son. So we are short, not just my husband and myself, but short the people who would otherwise come out to see us. But we have a lot of other great Pirate people to meet and hang with, some new this year. So it’s worth coming out.
Let’s talk a bit about your medical situation. What have you been diagnosed with, and what treatments have you done and continue on? What’s the hope for your health going forward?
Stage two invasive ductal carcinoma. Breast cancer, essentially, and no, I am not using cannabis to fight the cancer. I am going the medical industry sanctioned route. I was frightened by the story of Steve Jobs’ demise and of my best friend’s mother, who survived breast cancer once through medically approved methods only to die employing natural cures when the cancer returned years later. I do sincerely believe that cannabis kills cancer, but because it cannot be properly researched, exactly how cannot not definitely be determined. I have kids who still need me, and my husband, too, so as far as pioneering, I am not that brave.
As for cannabis for chemo-related nausea: I honestly I don’t like feeling very high. Just because cannabis is safe doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. The chemicals I am prescribed effectively control my nausea to the point where I feel fine stomach-wise, most of the time. If I were one of the people who was not helped by chemicals, though, I would gladly feel totally baked in order to combat nausea, as nausea is the worst.
I would like to see cannabis made completely legal for many reasons, but for myself, personally, I would like to start a regime of cannabis oil when my treatment is over in hopes that the cancer does not return. My best friend has cancer for the third time after going through chemo twice already. I would like to increase my odds of not having to go through this again, and though lifestyle changes have been proven to reduce cancer risk, I believe political pressure is keeping the medical community from declaring that cannabis fights cancer and from researching how to most effectively utilize it. Also, the fact that it remains illegal federally gives me due cause to be concerned that other rights I enjoy exercising would be curtailed by acknowledged cannabis use.
Why is the Pirate Party important in the context of all this?
There is no more powerful weapon in any battle than information. The pirate party wants that information to be free and not locked down by copyright, which can be used as a backhanded means of censoring important information, or by patents, which are essentially a tool to control what belongs to all of humanity. Information also, as you know, can be used against you, and that is why our Constitution maps out ways we can protect our personal information from the state. With the rise of the internet comes the pitfall of the ease of spying on the average citizen, in violation of our right to privacy. The state told us that this was ostensibly meant to fight “terrorism,” but the government has used its post 9/11 surveillance powers primarily for investigating drug cases. Pirates believe that what consenting adults do with their own bodies isn’t anyone’s business but their own.
So … Get out to Freedom Rally to meet us, and learn about running for office, using cryptography to protect your privacy, which news sources can be best trusted, about mesh networking and municipal broadband as an alternative to commercial ISPs, about the dangers of the expanding police state, and to teach people about the internet’s power to affect change on cannabis, prison, and police policy.