Press enter after choosing selection

They Tried To Stop The Vote!

They Tried To Stop The Vote! image They Tried To Stop The Vote! image
Parent Issue
OCR Text


As the Human Rights Party gained votes and power during the last week of the City Council campaign, corporate interests of Ann Arbor moved in panic against us, almost stopping events planned by the People's Campaign to Get Out the Vote. Ann Arbor City Council and the University of Michigan (largest corporation in Washtenaw County) attempted to discourage young people from legally exercising their new power.

*Monday, March 27 - City Council denies Student Government Council a sound-truck permit so they can't broadcast election information to the people. Three Republicans, Councilman Fairbanks, Edwards, and Stephenson vote against the truck because it would be a "public nuisance" even though a month earlier they had approved a sound permit for Voter Registration Week.

*Friday, March 24 - Morey Rinkle, auditor of Office of Student Services of the University of Michigan, tells the Friends of the Rainbow People, a U of M student organization, that he doesn't know if they can use Hill Auditorium for the People's Concert to Get Out the Vote because university employees might not work so close to Easter. This is the first in a series of half truths and outright lies on the part of University officials in order to deny the FRP their right to use of the U facilities.

*Wednesday, March 29 - In response to a written request from FRP for Hill Auditorium on the 1st, Rinkle reads a written statement from President Fleming saying there were "violations of the law, with regard to use of marijuana" at the December 10th John Sinclair Freedom Rally and the University would be "condoning iIlegal acts" if it were "to rent a facility to such a group a second time, knowing full well the party approves and condones violation of the law in this respect."

*Thursday morning, March 30 - People's Coalition for Peace and Justice offers to sponsor the April 1st concert, is denied by the University. SGC's offer to sponsor the event is denied.

*Thursday afternoon, March 30 - Friends of the Rainbow People file a complaint with Washtenaw Circuit Court, on the basis of which Judge Conlin issues summons to President Fleming and the Regents to appear on Friday at 3:30 in court to show cause why an injunction should not be issued restraining the University administration from denying the use of Hill Auditorium to the FRP.

*Thursday night, March 30 - Roderick Dane, University Attorney, lets SGC have Hill on the 1st under the conditions that 1 ) SGC hire fire marshals and 2) SGC make an announcement from stage against smoking.

*Friday, March 31 - Mr. Hilton, assistant manager of the Union who according to Dave Sinclair, "has for the past two years taken a particularly perverse pleasure in executing the repressive designs of University administration against the youth community, "denies SGC the use of the union ballroom for April 2nd because employees are supposedly stripping and waxing the floors on Easter Sunday, a national religious holiday. The Union had already denied its use to FRP on the basis of Fleming's written statement.

*Sunday, April 2 - After what Peter Wright, Republican city chairman, called Fleming's Capitulation, the Union must open its doors for the Election Boogie. But Wells, the manager of the Union, keeps equipment and trucks waiting an hour and a half while he opens the door. He then insists that there be two fire marshals instead of one already agreed upon, denies the musicians access to any dressing rooms, and arbitrarily invokes a non-existent rule against smoking in the ballroom and halI after removing all ashtrays.

The music went on, and the Saturday night gig at Hill, while not packed to capacity , was just dynamite. Soon after the HRP candidates and those Democrats who had the courage to show up (all the Dems & Repubs were invited, 2 Democrats came but no Republicans) were introduced, Brother John Sinclair took the microphone to run it all down and introduce Detroit. His rap follows . . .

I just wanted to talk a few minutes about the event tonight and all the weirdness that went on in the last few days about this concert. I see the people that got here tonight evidently got through the propaganda screen put out by the university about the cancellation. Right on! (Applause). It's important I think to look at what the university tried to pull to keep this from coming off and what the result of their hasty act was.

In the first place, the university, and the power structure that it's part of, don't like this stuff going on, and they've been trying to keep these concerts from going on all year. See, they figure that rock and roll by itself is bad enough, when people started getting down to the nitty-gritty and bringing rock and roll back home to where the people are and integrate it with all the other stuff that people are doing instead of making it some kind of separate thing that you go down to Cobo Hall and buy and then go home, when people started bringing it all together with all the other stuff that's going on, and people started uniting around it, and moving to bring about some of the things that people need to have in order to survive and just to get along, then they really started flipping out. Like on December 10, and I want to thank everybody right now who was there or wanted to be there or thought about it and everything, thank you very much (Applause) because that's the reason that they didn't want this to go on this weekend because on December 10, everybody got together in Crisler Arena, and a couple of days later, the result was brought about. And they saw this, and this scared them to death. They don't want this to happen. They see, again in March, they see that people coming out like that and standing up behind an issue that directly involves them, like smoking weed, they see that by March, the same judges who wouldn't give me any bond 6 months before turned all the way around and said, 'why, these laws are unconstitutional, and this dude should've never been locked up in the first place.' Now they didn't do that because they just dropped acid or something and said 'wow, we made a mistake' - you know? Some of us go along making mistakes for a lot of years and doing the wrong thing and then you get down and have some kind of cosmic experience.

We know that people can change that way, but these people on the legislature and on the courts don't change that way. The only way they change is when people push them, you dig? They say, 'this is gonna be the line here, and you toe that line and don't come across it', and they stand up there real big, and they expect you to say 'Oh good God, l'd better go back and lay down or something,' right? But when people get up and walk across the line, and don't lay down, but walk across the line and say, 'We aren't going for it,' then they're going to be pushed back and then they're the ones who start getting scared.

That happens. That's why we thought it was important this weekend. We've been concentrating on the elections April 3rd, which is Monday. We've been concentrating on that for some time, trying to get people to register to vote in the first place and then to come out and vote on Monday. It's an important election and this is an opportunity - if people come out and deal with this thing on Monday, the way I can't really say, due to the nature of this nonpartisan gathering, (laughter), if people come out and vote the way I'm going to vote, on Monday, we'll get an opportunity to see if this bullshit about people on councils and elected officials really means anything. It might mean something and it might not, but we'll get a chance to find out.

From the reaction of these pigs, I have to say, from them, you can usually tell if what you're doing has any value. Like weed, a lot of people say weed really doesn't mean anything, there ain't any sense in people ever talking about it or making a big thing out of it, because it's not revolutionary, it's not this, or that, it's meaningless. But then on the other hand, the way the government reacts toward it, there must be something to it, you know what I mean? It's the same thing with that, and the way they react to it too. Like, this was just supposed to be, actually, we started out, we wanted to have it at Crisler Arena tomorrow, and have an all day thing, people going crazy and really getting it on all day, and then, we were told by the University a week and a half before the event that we had been working on was supposed to come off that we couldn't get Crisler Arena for Sunday. So we went and got this place for Saturday and the Union Ballroom for Sunday and said, 'well, as many people won't be able to get down (Continued on page 5 SINCLAIR RAPS Continued from page 3) but it'll still have to go on because this is what has to happen.'

So we set this thing up. And all the musicians that are playing tonight and tomorrow night, they're all giving their time and their energy and everything that they bring to the music, and that's why we say it's a people's concert, you know? And this was all set up, and then the university stepped in at what they thought was the last minute and they said, this ain't going to go on, we're bringing up this old dead horse called the marijuana laws, and we're going to use that as an excuse and say that this can't go on. Now we knew it was a ruse, everybody in the streets knew it was a ruse, but they were going to try and power it through because they say, we own the building and we aren't going to let you in it, you know? So we went through a lot of changes with them, and we told them right at the outset that we were going to fight them tooth and nail on this because we didn't feel, we wanted people to get out and vote, we wanted the rock and roll to go on and we felt that people had to have something like this and couldn't have some creeps just stepping forward and cancelling everything just by saying no, you know? We kept on, and they tried to split us up, and say, well, this is the Friends of the Rainbow People or something like that, some weird little group that just doesn't represent nobody, and we're just going to douse you out, and nobody will ever even say anything, you know? And the minute they ran the douse down all kinds of people, both in the university community and in the community as a whole, came forward and decided to join with us, and started fighting back. The People's Coalition for Peace and Justice first came forward and said, well, if the Friends of the Rainbow can't sponsor the event we'll sponsor it. And they said, well, you just shifted things around on paper, and we said, well, that's what you're doing, we can play it too, and they said, well that ain't good enough. So then the Student Government Council, through it's Voter Registration Committee, representing the whole student body of the University of Michigan, stood in unity with the other people and came forward and said, We'll sponsor the event.

Now, the university got back a little bit, Robben Fleming and all those little snakes that he has working for him, you know; I personally don't just say that as some kind of epithet because I had an experience with some of them the other day trying to negotiate this shit, and believe me, they're worms and snakes. (Applause) I had to ask one dude why he didn't have no self-respect, standing up there and running all this funny shit that he knew was wrong, just because he was getting paid to do it, you know? I said, I'll stand up for my beliefs, why don't you stand up for your beliefs instead of worming around like that. That's what they'll do. But they can't worm around when people get together and stand up against them. And they had to back down, and they got into the real thing, of making deals, and saying, well, if you do this, we'll do that. And you get to a point like that, you know . . .

Well, I'm not getting across what I want to say, because I'm really flipped out about it, you know. Because Wednesday night when this shit came down, people were calling up and saying, oh wow, I guess it's all off, we blew the whole thing, they're not going to let have it, right? And we said, Bullshit, you know? We said, we're going to have it, you know, on the radio, Flemming sent out a press release to the papers immediately, this was going to be their big move, they were going to quash it and get all the credit for it, ah, the university steps in and quashes these creeps for smoking weed, right? So, we got on the radio right away and we said no, it ain't cancelled, we're going on, you know, if we have to have it on the steps outside, we'll have it on Saturday night (Applause). You know, because you have to go that far when it comes down, you can't let them get away with their gestapo shit like that. Like when we had free concerts in the parks, in 68 and 69, and they tried to pull the same thing, we said we're going down to the parks and we're going to play some rock and roll and we don't care what you do, bring the National Guard if you want to! (Applause) And they backed down there too, just like they backed down this weekend. Because if you stand up to them they're going to have to get down, they're getting down now, and that's why I think this is a great thing. (Applause) I'm really happy, I hope people can get down tomorrow night, and then Monday, that's the real getting down, and then we can party Monday night and have a good time, and see where we can go from there. So I'll get off here and let my brothers come up here, Detroit, the righteous stomp-down rock and roll. I have to apologize for all the seats and stuff in here, because there really shouldn't be any around where this band is, but I'm sure you'll find some way to accommodate yourselves. ROCK AND ROLL!! All Power to the People!!

(image captions from page one)

John Sinclair in the get-out-the-votemobile.

Mitch Ryder of Detroit (above) April 1 at Hill, along with Wilderness Road (below), a knock-out people's band from Chicago.

Both Detroit and Wilderness Road made vote-generating music for free...