The Trans-Love commune of Ann Arbor (late of Detroit) was plundered by police June 18 when Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Deputies took into custody Lawrence “Pun” Plamondon on a warrant charging him with “sale and dispension of marijuana” in Traverse City, Michigan, on the 17th of March, 1968.
Also charged on the same warrant is artist Gary Grimshaw and editor of the Sun newspaper. Grimshaw has not yet been apprehended.
Apparently the two men had visited Traverse City, Pun’s home town, in March, and were observed by the local pig department while they were enjoying the sunshine and fresh air in the northwestern Michigan resort town. According to Plamondon and Grimshaw, the charges are absolutely false; evidently the Grand Traverse police somehow convinced an unnamed person or persons to swear that the two Trans-Love freeks had given him some grass, and were only now able to catch up with them.
Plamondon was arraigned before a Traverse City justice of the peace and remanded to the Grand Traverse County jail in lieu of $20,000 bond. He will be represented by the Detroit firm of Craig and Feiger, who were retained by Detroit’s Grande Ballroom owner Russ Gibb, Grimshaw’s major employer.
In the Traverse City case, the method of the police becomes readily apparent: without any legal means to stomp us out, they arrest our people at will, with phony warrants based on lies, put them under $20,000 and $30,000 bonds (Larry Belcher was arrested again last week in Traverse City and is actually being held in lieu of $30,000 bond), and attack us at our most vulnerable point: money.
We have a hard enough time trying to function and feed up to 30 people and supply ourselves with the materials of our arts in a culture that has no use for our arts without being forced to turn our energies away from our work by the police, but it really gets hard when we have to come up with bond money, lawyers’ and other legal fees, trips to court, fines, etc., just because the power people can arrest us whenever they want to and make us face their ridiculous charges.
These police methods of stomping out freeks cost straight people a lot of money; in the Traverse City case, for example, there had to be some interrogation of the original suspect to get him to name Plamondon and Grimshaw as his benefactors, there had to be a warrant issued and the attendant paperwork there, there were two or more Sheriff’s Deputies flown to Ann Arbor to pick up Plamondon and then flown back with the prisoner.
Ann Arbor’s police department (probably 6 or more men were assigned to the arrest as they surrounded the Trans-Love house while picking up Plamondon) sustained some expenses, then the court costs, the trial, appeals, etc., which generate tons of paperwork and secretaries’ salaries-all to wrongly accuse and attempt to imprison two harmless freek-artists who had committed no crime.
Even if there were something wrong with marijuana, wrong enough to warrant this kind of public expenditure and private harassment, which there isn’t, there would be no excuse for lying and bringing false charges against Grimshaw and Plamondon. But in the light of medical evidence, which reveals all marijuana statutes as totally inhuman and unnecessary, such harassment by the police becomes a criminal activity in itself.
Their only excuse is that they’re crazy and not responsible for their actions. One of the arresting officers yesterday tried to tell us that “it’s all in the game”. We told him-That—it’s not a game, and that they were going to have to pay the players now because the game’s up! We’re treating them nice now, but one of these days they’re going to come around and get a facefull of hot lead, as our ancestors used to say.
We’re not playing any more.
Sinclair, Grimshaw Still Face Courts
In Michigan a conviction for “sales and/or dispension of marijuana” carries a mandatory 20-year minimum sentence, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
Trans-Love head John Sinclair is currently under indictment for the same offense dating back to December 1966. He was arrested on the 24th of January, 1967, with 55 other members of Detroit’s Warren-Forest community and is free on $1,000 bond.
Sinclair’s attorneys, Justin C. Ravitz and Sheldon Otis, of Detroit, have contended that the marijuana statutes are unconstitutional in that they violate provisions of the VIIIth, IXth, and XIVth Amendments to the United States Constitution and particularly that the sentences dictated by the Michigan statute constitute “cruel and unusual punishment.”
In Sinclair’s case Ravitz and Otis filed a motion to quash the evidence because of the constitutional issues involved, and a special three-man panel of Recorders Court judges (George Crockett, Joseph Maher, and Robert Colombo) was appointed to hear the motion back in January of this year.
On April 16 the panel ruled unanimously that the Michigan statutes will have to stand until revised by the legislature, and Sinclair and his attorneys are now in the process of trying to appeal this ruling before the trial is begun. Meanwhile, the powers that be at Detroit’s Recorder’s Court have set Sinclair’s trial date for September 23, 1968, the first day of Libra.
Grimshaw was arrested a year ago by Detroit police and charged with “displaying an obscene drawing” in the old SUN office at 4863 John Lodge in Detroit. He had decorated an American flag kite with the legend, “Fuck America—Go fly a kite,” which faced the back of the office and which apparently offended the sensibilities of 2nd Precinct patrolmen to such an extent that they were inspired to lie in the courtroom about the affair and obtain a conviction.
Grimshaw was sentenced to 15 days and $150.00 plus one year’s probation, but he and attorney Ravitz (then in the employ of Neighborhood Legal Services, who handled the case) immediately appealed the Recorder’s Court ruling. The appeal is still waiting to be heard, and Grimshaw is out on $300 bond on that case.
Donations to the Trans-Love Defense Fund can be sent to: Trans-Love Energies, 1510 HILL ST., Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104. Your donations will help free Pun Plamondon, John Sinclair, Gary-Grimshaw, and any others who are fucked with in the future. Make checks payable to Trans-Love Defense Fund.
WABX (99.5 FM) has added Fifth Estater Harvey Ovshinsky to their fledgling staff.
Beginning on Sunday July 9, at 11:00 PM Harvey will host an hour long program of hard-rock and freaky music. He will be replacing Mike Kerman whose Hound Dog show will return in the fall.
In addition to music, the show will feature surprise guests and interviews. Already scheduled to make their first electronic appearance are the Fifth Estate’s Eat It and Calendar Girls.
Pun wrote this a few days before Traverse City narcs flew to Ann Arbor with a warrant dated from last March to arrest him on a baseless charge of sales and distribution of marijuana.
“At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It’s impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality… Our vanguard revolutionaries must idealize this love of the people, the most sacred cause, and make it one and indivisible.”
We have lived a year of love, as we will live all years. A year of pure white light love. Through the most hideous and foul times of man, through the most bigoted, racist, pig fucking unholy times in the universe, while our brothers and sisters have been slaughtered and imprisoned while they wrote and spoke and acted in the name of Love. All signs pointed to love as they still point to love, but they point also to destruction. Destruction of that which keeps you from loving, destruction of that which is unholy, the purging of the planet and all things in it.
Man must take part in the purging, man must be purged, and just as all things in the universe help to purge one another, man must purge man. We have tried for the past year to make the country grow and change through peaceful means, by expanding the consciousness, expanding music, art, and poetry; for this we have been put in jail and hassled daily by straight people and cops. Because of the inhumane and capitalistic system the people who are most able to promote change and growth have had to work at worthless stupid jobs in order to live. Peaceful means are almost exhausted. Our newspapers have been harassed and fucked with, our homes and workshops have been desecrated by fascist pigs, our women and children threatened and intimidated.
Now a year after the summer of love, we must look back at where we’ve been and look ahead to where we are going, re-dedicating ourselves to change and growth. Keeping love uppermost in our hearts and minds we must be prepared to support our Black Brothers, who have exhausted themselves in trying to bring about peaceful change.