Sinclair, from Prison


Fifth Estate # 87, September 4-17, 1969

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

It was good to hear from you last week. My transfer to Marquette has been postponed at least a few weeks, but they are determined to send me there as soon as they can. A pig from the Corrections Dept. in Lansing came here to talk to me last Friday and told me how much I would like it up there and that they couldn’t possibly send me into the general prison population in Jackson because I would surely organize the prison men to revolt against the prison authorities, and they couldn’t take a chance on that. So I’ll be shipped up to Marquette Prison in the Upper Peninsula sometime next month. Then I’ll be able to have my typewriter and can get some work done.

It’s really important now that the people out there start organizing to defend themselves against the approaching police state and to warn the broad masses of the people about the fascist terror that is upon us. People are going to have to start educating themselves and their brothers and sisters so we won’t be unprepared when the shit comes down.

Chairman Mao’s “Red Book” (Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung) is the best study guide, as Mao has proved that the people’s liberation can be won through proper methods of thinking and methods of work. As Che Guevara said, “In Revolution one wins or dies”—Mao won! So did Fidel. As we know, Fidel started with 83 men, lost all but 12, and took those 12 men into the mountains to get it together. 5 years later the People’s Liberation Army marched triumphantly in Havana and set up the People’s Revolutionary Government, proving that it can be done.

Here in Amerika the conditions are different but the need is the same—to establish a people’s party and a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. A lot of us have felt that we can just “drop out” from the pig’s society and “do our thing” within the decadent corpse of Amerika, but let me testify that it don’t work. You can’t “do your thing” in jail, and it’s impossible to be “free” when the pig is beating and carrying away your brothers and sisters.

And “LOVE/PEACE” by itself, either as a slogan or a lifestyle, won’t do it either because as Eldridge Cleaver put it, you can be sitting up there tripping and the pig will come up and beat your head in and carry you off to prison, where you don’t do anyone any good except the State.

The time for shucking and jiving is over. Those people who care about their brothers and sisters in their hip communities are going to have to start organizing and spreading the word of ARMED LOVE. Meaning, I love you all, but if you try to force me to live under your fascist state I will blow your head off.

And the people who aren’t ready for this might as well get ready for the concentration camps, because I’ll see you there. The police are not playing—they are moving to seize control of the cities (check out Wayne County Sheriff Roman Gribbs running for Mayor of Detroit and Washtenau County Sheriff Doug Harvey’s total disregard for the legal government of Ann Arbor), and the unholy alliance of J. Edgar Hoover, Nixon, Atty. General John N. Mitchell, and new Supreme Court Judges, plus the CIA, is serious about getting rid of long-haired dope-smoking revolutionary youth.

And they don’t care if you are “political” or not—they know our way of life is a definite threat to their control just because we don’t accept their authority. I never used to be “political” either, but the pigs still attacked, beat, arrested and jailed me because I like to get high, go to dances, fuck and have a good time. I was in the House of Correction in 1966 for smoking dope before I ever heard of Mao Tse-tung. but I didn’t know why the pigs hated me so. Now I know and I also know that all of us had better find out.

The White Panther Party will hold a mass meeting for all interested young people in the near future—I urge everyone out there to attend this meeting and listen to what my brothers have to say. There should be a chapter in every school and town in Amerika; as Mao says, “It is up to us to educate the people.”

I’ll see youall soon. All Power to the People!

STP (Serve the People)

John Sinclair (Political Prisoner)