White Panthers Fight to Free Sinclair

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Fifth Estate # 88, September 18-October 1, 1969

In a session on September 9 the Michigan Supreme Court denied John Sinclair’s request for appeal bond saying he had not “persuaded the Court that he has a meritorious basis for appeal.” This upheld the ruling of Court of Appeals.

John was sentenced to 9-1/2 to 10 years in July for possession of two marijuana cigarettes and is currently in Jackson prison.

This decision means that until the case can be taken to a higher court John must remain behind bars. The White Panthers and Trans-Love are now working on taking the case to the Federal Court.

However, Panther Minister of Defense, Pun Plamondon has expressed a need for money to make this possible. John’s lawyers have been working the past two years for practically nothing. But there are still court and transcript costs. The transcript for the last trial alone was $1500.

To help raise the money, John is writing a book. The book will deal with his experiences from the early Detroit scene to present day. It is expected to be published by Grove Press in the near future.

The White Panthers have also asked for contributions from the people. Pun said that during the 7 weeks John has been in jail they have received only $650. This has come mostly from gifts of $1 or $2. This money has been used mainly for publicity.

The Panthers are working to gain popular support for John. To do this they have printed buttons and bumper stickers to help spread the word—FREE JOHN SINCLAIR!

Contributions of any amount can be sent to John Sinclair Defense Fund, 1512 Hill St., Ann Arbor, Mich. 48104.

John would also like to hear from everyone. His address is John Sinclair, A123507, 4000 Cooper St., Jackson, Mich. 49201.

The White Panthers have also been collecting visible support for John by circulating a petition asking for his release. A large contingent of his supporters are going to Lansing on Thursday, Oct. 2 to present the thousands of signatures to Governor William Miliken. Persons interested should contact the Party at the above address.

That evening at the Grande Ballroom there will be a giant celebration of John’s birthday. It will be from 7-11 and will feature local killer bands, films and heavy rap speakers. Dig it.

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