Free John Sinclair Day

January 24


Fifth Estate # 96, January 8-21, 1970

Poster image, reads "Free John Sinclair and all political prisoners; end marijuana prohibition"

“THERE IS NO LAW IN AMERIKA TODAY—only the racist power structure and its victims. The revolutionary youth of this weirdo country are an oppressed people—the victims of a calculated cultural repression movement instigated and carried out by the Government and certain monied interests who are committed to maintaining a decadent status quo. They will kill us if they can; they will incarcerate their own children and have them beaten if they can get away with it. They would jail us all if they could—all in the name of freedom, democracy and the unspeakable obscenity they call the Amerikan Way!”

—John Sinclair, Chairman, White Panther Tribe

For making the above quoted statement and acting upon it, John Sinclair is serving 9-1/2 to 10 years in Michigan prisons. The actual crime John was sentenced for was giving two marijuana cigarettes to a bearded undercover narc in 1967.

One ought to be given awards for turning on a cop, but instead he may be forced to give up one-seventh of his allotted time on the planet for dispensing two items of pleasure.

January 24, 1970 is the third anniversary of when John and 55 other people were busted at the old Artists’ Workshop on John Lodge in a comical attempt by combined state, local, and federal pigs to break up a “hippie dope ring.” Sinclair is the only one to do any time out of those arrested. Most were released without being charged.

January 24 also marks six months since John was sent to prison by pig judge Robert Colombo.

On January 24 across the country people will be holding benefits to raise money for the International Committee to Free John Sinclair and to educate the people to what is happening in Amerika.

In Detroit a three day cultural festival is being planned by the STP coalition. On Friday the 24th it will be at the Grande; on Saturday it will shift to the Eastown and on Sunday it will be at both ballrooms.

Featured will be Michigan’s top rock bands including the MC5, Bob Seeger System, Stooges, SRC, Rationals, Savage Grace and about 20 others; also there will be speakers, films and a message from John at Marquette Prison. Check the centerfold poster for exact details. Also, up to the minute information will be broadcast on the WABX—Fifth Estate News.

Skip Taub, White Panther Minister of Information said, “People everywhere will get together for John Sinclair and to demonstrate the unity of the cultural revolution to the narcotics police, politicians and the lying mass media that we will not let our brothers and sisters get ripped off without a massive struggle.

According to John Giorno, head of John’s international defense committee, benefits and rallies are also scheduled for New York, Chicago, and Berkeley. The Committee is asking that every city in the country hold similar actions in their communities.

“Find a church, theater or hall; get together your poets, artists, and musicians and have them do a number for John,” he said.

Who is this ravening beast of porn-smut that the police and courts are so anxious to remove from civilization for ten years?

John Sinclair is a successful organizer and that is what it is really all about. Since 1964 he has labored with legendary energy to create an integrated community of artists, first in Detroit with the Artists-Writers Workshop and then in Ann Arbor where he set up Trans-Love Energies community.

His success has been amazing. John has that rarest quality among leaders: the ability to inspire love energy and self-confidence in fellow creators so that as the Trans-Love community grew, the energy was directed toward art and stability.

His printing presses have produced over the years books and magazines of brilliant quality in the fields of poetry and music criticism.

Wherever he has lived, he has done much to establish communal living for artists and musicians. Countless are the myriads of leaflets and broadsides spewed out by Sinclair in order to instruct, foment, thrill and educate people who were just learning the true nature of western civilization.

Sinclair’s open loving community of houses and storefronts became a magnetic mecca attracting hundreds of strong dedicated radical creators. That pissed off the authorities.

Here was a long-haired maniac telling the truth to young people with well reasoned fervor and total devotion. This man had to be stomped off the set.

Though his case is under appeal, John Sinclair was denied bond and has been transferred from Jackson State to Marquette, a maximum security prison in Michigan’s desolate upper peninsula. The nature of the appeal challenges the cruel and unnecessary penalties for marijuana usage as well as the very existence of laws dealing with pot prohibition.

Funds are desperately needed to win this battle in Federal courts, thereby freeing John Sinclair and thousands of other victims of cultural repression.

Please send contributions to:

The International Committee to Free John Sinclair
P.O. Box 444
New York, New York 10024

For more information, write to: Trans-Love/White Panther Tribe, 1520 Hill Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104.