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Free John Now!

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Plans are being completed for a massive campaign to free brother John Sinclair, the powerful youth colony mover of Southeast Michigan and Chairman of the Rainbow People's Party, who has been held at gunpoint by the State of Michigan for the last twenty-two months while serving a ten year sentence for possession of two joints of the blessed sacrament, marijuana.

The campaign, to be called FREE JOHN NOW!, will include extensive fund raising and information efforts. It will aim primarily at moving young people and other rational persons to express their indignation and their wholehearted support of the demand for appeal bond for John NOW directly to the instruments of state power here in Michigan. Postcards will be made available by the thousands, pre-addressed to the hypocrites in Lansing who hold John in a cage while he challenges the justness of state marijuana laws in the courts and they do the same in the newspapers. The message: FREE JOHN NOW!, by commuting his ridiculous sentence or by acknowledging his right to bond pending appeal.


Kicking off the campaign will be a thirty-minute radio special about John, targeted for 9:00 pm Thursday May 27, to be simultaneously cast over several area radio stations, including WABX, WRIF, and WDET. Friday morning issue number five of the ANN ARBOR SUN will appear, a page special FREE MARIJUANA issue dedicated to John and over one hundred fifty other brothers and sisters in state prison cages for possession or for bringing the sacrament into our communities. Another killer rock and roll dance party benefit at the Union Ballroom, will go down for the John Sinclair Freedom Fund Friday night, May 28, followed Saturday afternoon by an open house at the Rainbow People's Party house at 1520 Hill Street.

Other events planned include a community potluck feast and testimonial dinner in John's honor, a panel discussion teach-in on the marijuana issue aimed to give non-smokers a chance to check out the facts, huge benefits in Detroit the second weekend in June, TV and radio inter views with Bill Kunstler and other Sinclair supporters. The first Ann Arbor Tribal Council Community Park Program free concert will be dedicated to John, in view of his service to the community and his pioneering work to establish the free concerts in Ann Arbor and will feature a special message to the people direct from John in his cell.

In addition to the special SUN issue, FREE JOHN NOW! posters, T-shirts, buttons, bumperstickers, and a special pamphlet by John called the "Marijuana Revolution" will be made available during the campaign. Proceeds from the sale of these artifacts will go to the John Sinclair Freedom Fund and will help finance the current information and legal offensive.


A new legal team has been organized by people's attorney Buck Davis of the National Lawyer's Guild to concentrate an attack aimed at securing John's fundamental right, thus far denied, to bond pending his righteous appeal. John's appeal, denied in February by the State Court of Appeals, is being prepared for a renewed effort, this time before the Michigan Supreme Court. At this time, John's attorneys will repetition the Supreme Court for appeal bond.

Although this court has already once denied appeal bond to John (shortly after his conviction in 1969), several factors point to a successful struggle for John's right to bond. The issue is clear: bond pending appeal is not legally to be denied unless the "crime" involved is of an aggressive and dangerous nature. With the election of the two new liberal judges, the wave of legislative "reform" over marijuana now sweeping the Nation, the increasing municipal practice in Michigan of lowering marijuana, possession to a misdemeanor, and with the growing awareness of the "authorities" that John's situation continually exposes their repressive motives, the court might just take the next opportunity to clean up this part of its record.


Help is needed locally for the FREE JOHN NOW! campaign to staff information tables in the diag, help put together the pamphlet, and to get the FREE MARIJUANA SUN out to the people. Please call 761-1709 and sign up if you have the time to spare.