Rollin' in the grass

Shannon Hamilton/Staff

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Community members gathered Wednesday in small groups around People's Park to celebrate the date - 4/20 - with food, music and plenty of smoke.

Approximately 100 people cheered and passed around pipes and other smoking paraphernalia during the "smokeout" to commemorate 4/20 and the 42nd anniversary of the park's founding, which is this Sunday. Community organizers will host a concert Sunday with five bands and free food, according to Michael Delacour, one of the park's founders and an organizer of the event.

Delacour said the event offered regular park-goers an opportunity to gather and discuss issues facing the park community.

"We're trying to have more leaders help out here," he said. "We have to solve these problems with self-organization."

Delacour said he feared Measure L, a sit-lie initiative passed in December in San Francisco that made it illegal to sit or lie down on sidewalks, would also pass in Berkeley. He said the community will gather to protest the initiative at Haste Street and Telegraph Avenue on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

"(The smokeout) is a celebration, but it makes us all feel good that we can come out with each other and talk about topics like the cuts," said Gina Sasso, Delacour's wife.

East Bay Food Not Bombs, an organization geared toward providing healthy vegetarian food to those who need it, brought rice and bread to the event. The group supplies the community with free food in the park every day of the week, and many of the park frequenters help provide it.

"It's a good type of social thing," Sasso said.

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