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Free At Last

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Whew! It sure is nice out here! It's such a shock though, that it's gonna take me a few weeks even to get used to it, right? I'm just so blasted right now that I can't get very much together to say to you in this space, but there's no way I would let this issue go by without saying something to let you know how great it is to see all of you again out here on the streets-whew! And to know that it's you who got me out of that place you and nobody else! Before I go any further I want to say thank you and power to ya to everybody who's supported the Free John campaign for the past five years, everybody who's contributed in any way to this tremendous victory for all of us because it is a people's victory, it's no kind of individual thing now and it never has been, ever since the bust came down five years ago it's always been about the dinosaurs trying to stomp the rest of us out any way they can, and it's been about them trying to keep us separated from each other, isolated, powerless and alone, so we can't do anything together to solve our collective problems, right? Like getting the marijuana laws changed was a collective problem, and we all dealt with it in a collective fashion, and when the solution, or part of the solution anyway, when the change came down it affected all of us who smoke weed, or it will affect us as soon as the new marijuana bill goes into effect. That was something we accomplished collectively, something we worked out together, just like the Free John problem was something we worked out together and solved together, and which affects all of us finally, not just me. Because what we did was to show the dinosaurs that we can't be separated off and apart from each other, that we really are a whole thing which cannot be broken, that we can come together and move together to force changes where the control addicts think they've got us safely in our places, right I mean it's so killer people, we really DID IT! WHEW! I still can't believe it, like I guess I still expect a guard to come up and say "the visit's over" or something, and take me back to my cell you know? But il they come with that again, and we have lo be looking for them to be trying all kinds of ridiculous shit like that at any time, if they come with that shit again then we'll just have to deal with it like we dealt with it this time, and it won't take no two and a half years either! I'm sorry I'm just babbling so much, but I'm still so excited to be home and back on the streets that I can't even think straight yet, you know? Every thing looks so beautiful out here-freeks are everywhere! l've never seen so many freeks before in my life! And it keeps turning me around because everything l've been able to read and everything l've heard from other people for so long is that the movement is dead, people are messed up and apathetic everybody's downed out, all kinds of negativistic shit like that, and it's just not true! It's probably a lot different for people who've been on the street all this time going through all the changes that have come down in 1970 and 1971 , but for me it's like coming out into a whole different world from the one 1 left in 1969, a world where all the stuff we were talking about and trying to bring about has all come true, and now there are thousands and thousands of brothers and sisters sitting around waiting for something to happen like we used to say it would, ready to support any kind of programs and projects that are brought forth to deal with the people's needs. There's so many of us that we can do goddamn near anything we set out to do now, and it's really blowing my mind! It's like when I was on the street before, and especially in 1968 and the first part of 1969, all we were doing was running around trying to turn people on to being freeks and smoking weed and digging high-energy jams and growing their hair long and eating good food and everything else everybody's doing now, you dig? We had to have a mass movement of freeks in order to support self-determination programs and community control programs for the people, and before we could really get the programs together we had to try to help prepare people to relate to these programs so the programs would work when we got them together. I don't know if that makes any sense to you, but what I'm trying to say is that we can concentrate on creating and building up the programs themselves now, because any kind of programs which will serve the people will be successful now, because there's so many people to participate in them and make them real! Everything happens step by step. it's a process, sometimes we have to have a few steps back in order to go forward again, but the point is that we're always moving forward, we're steadily advancing, and we have to sec that we're really a whole lot more powerful than we are made to think we are. You know what I mean? To me, we're dealing from a position of strength right now, we're not weak at all, we've begun to tap our collective potential and we're just beginning to see how well it works when we all move together along the lines of self-reliance and self determination to get what we need. The dinosaurs don't want us to realize how strong we are, or how together we are, and they go to great extremes to keep us from finding that out like what is more extreme than a segregation cell in the penitentiary, right? where you're all by yourself, no one to talk to, no freeks around at all. nothing but desperation and gloom day after day after day, they want you to think you're all alone, everyone has deserted you, they want to break you down and make you give up on everything you dreamed about doing, right? That's what the penitentiary's all about, breaking people down into individual units that can easily be manipulated and controlled and it's really the same thing out there on the street when you get down to it you dig? Breaking people down, separating us from each other, getting us downed out and discouraged and thinking we're just absolutely powerless when in reality we're the strongest thing on the planet, we're a powerful rising young force in the world, our culture and our spirit is spreading higher and farther every day, we've accomplished a lot already and we're just starting to move really 1 mean, wait'll we get all this shit together, right? Wait'll all of us start getting together all the time and start organizing and utilizing our tremendous energy and genius and brilliance! Whew! That 's what l'm talking about, and if you all think it's weird then just stick around and see what happens, because we're gonna do it this time! The first thing l'm concerned with, before we get into anything else out here, is getting all the brothers and sisters who are still being held in the penitentiary on weed charges-they're all gonna get out anyway within the next year, under the provisions of the new marijuana bill which we all made them pass, and the only humane thing for the state to do is to let all of them off as soon as the governor signs the new marijuana bill. This is definitely within his powers as governor to grant amnesty, or pardons, or whatever the fuck he wants to call it, but what we have to see to is that all these heads are cut loose immediately so they can join us out here in building up our culture and community institutions. I know a lot of these brothers myself, and I know how many changes they've gone through in the penitentiary too a whole lot of brothers I've talked to who used to shoot dope and be into all kinds of oppressive shit like that are now talking about getting back to their people and doing things which will make everything better for everybody. Ho Chi Minh said "when the prison doors are opened the real dragon will fly out," and if we can get all these brothers and sisters back on the street we'll see what kind of powerful dragons they've become in these places. I mean if you don't break you just get stronger than ever, and less and less people are breaking all the time! Power to the marijuana prisoners and all our comrades in the penitentiaries of Babylon we won't forget you! I won't babble on any longer today, but l'll try to get myself together so in the next issue of the paper we can tell you about our immediate plans and the programs we want to get going, ok? Right now I just want to say THANK YOU again, to everybody who's helped get me out and everybody I've seen on the street in the past week since I've been home whew! That's all I can say on paper, but we'll be talking about it sooner than you think. And I want to say, right here, THANK YOU to everybody who participated in the planning, organizing and production of all the FREE John events, starting with the people who have pushed everything from their position on the committee to Free JS: Reprcsentative Jackie Vaughn III, Zoltan Ferency, Dr. Paul Lowinger, Allen Ginsberg, sister Jane Fonda, Attorney Bill Kunstler, sister Nadine Brown (thank you sister'), brother Mitch Ryder (whew!), brother Peter Werbe and comrade Buck Davis of the National Lawyers Guild and Leni and David and the party workers who have given everything they had to bring this about, and Chairman Bobby Seale, and John and Yoko, and comrade Jerry Rubin, and Peter Andrews and all the people who work with him, Denny Hayes, Phil Ochs, Ed Sanders, brother Archie Shepp and brother Roswell Rudd, CHARLES MOORE and the CJQ and Danny Spencer and Bud Spangler and Ron Brooks and Kenny Cox, the commander and his boys, Billy C, Billy Kerchan, dynamite Bob Seger, Skip & Dave, Stevie Wonder the genius surprise of all time, David Peel and the lower eastside, Jim Fouratt, Fr. Groppi, sister Jonnie Lee Tillman, brother Dave Dellinger, Rennie (Rennie! thank you!), sister Marge Tobankin, everybody everybody and especially righteous Rudnick and sister Ann LaVasseur and the Jamaican Flash Brother Jesse Crawford, my mother Elsie, and Jerry Wexler and Danny Fields and Steve Roday and and and and and . . . THANK YOU! SEE YOU ALL ON THE STREETS! ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE! John Sinclair R.P.P.