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On The Run!

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It gives me the most extreme pleasure to be able to announce that brother Skip Taube will be home, here in Ann Arbor, to stay, on Monday, June 19, 1972! Skip, who has been incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution at Sandstone, Minnesota, since 1970, will be coming home on parole from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, so when you see the brother on the street please don't try to involve him in any kind of wrong-doing, ok? Skip will be staying with Joe and Anne Wehrer over on Cambridge near Lincoln if you want to pay your respects, but you should give him a couple days to get used to being out here on the streets again- it's a hell of a shock, especially coming here to Ann Arbor which is like almost the complete opposite of the penitentiary, and it takes a while to get used to being able to walk around wherever you want, talk to whoever you want, hold on to people you love, dig some live music, smoke some joints, all the things the rest of us on the streets take for granted.

For people who might not know, brother Skip was serving a 5-year sentence for "aiding and abetting a federal fugitive" which came down behind his arrest with Pun Plamondon and Jack Forrest on July 23, 1970. Skip and Jack were given indeterminate sentences, which means that they could've been released any time after the first six months, but the vicious gangsters who run the federal penal system held Skip all the way to his regular minimum (almost two full years) and are still holding Jack Forrest without even talking about parole.

The next good news is that the same bogus Federal Bureau of Prisons has suffered another defeat in its attempt to keep brother Pun locked up for 39 months on a 28-month sentence for "possession of a falsified draft card." The oinks were trying to beat Pun out of 11 solid months he spent in maximum security lock-up at the Wayne County Jail (in the cell 23 hours a day), but the judge who sentenced him in the first place, after having the government's deathly ruse explained to him by people's attorney Buck Davis, ordered Pun's time credited toward his maximum (28 months), which will force the brother's release from the federal penitentiary at Terre Haute, Indiana.

Pun is sitting in the Kent County Jail in Grand Rapids again, where prisoners can't even get newspapers or books to read, let alone any of the other human things they need to survive with their humanity intact. Pun has in the past brought suits against both the Wayne County and Kent County Jails, and the Wayne County Jail suit, under the brilliant direction of people's attorneys Chuck Ravitz and Kenny Cockrel, was successful in forcing an almost total reorganization of the Wayne County pigsty. But the lawsuits really only force the jails to be brought up to a very very low minimal standard anyway- even the most "progressive" jail or prison, under capitalism, is so vicious in its denial of prisoners' humanity that it should be torn down tomorrow, you know?

Anyway, Pun will be subjected to a hearing on his motion to be released from federal custody this Friday (June 9), and when the order comes down he should be back on the streets by the end of the month if everything else works out ok. Pun still faces charges of "carrying a concealed weapon (CCW) in St. Ignace, Michigan, as well as federal charges of "conspiracy to bomb the Ann Arbor CIA office" in September 1968. Me and Jack Forrest are supposed to have "conspired" with Pun and a little creep named David Valler from Detroit to have blown up the local recruiting center of the CIA, but that charge carries just as much weight as it sounds like, right?

The case was supposed to go to trial in January of 1971, but the U.S. Justice Department asked for an indefinite postponment the day before it was going to start when the judge ruled that any information the government might have obtained through wiretaps must be turned over to the defendants. The government, under the Nixon-Mitchell-Kleindienst regime, insists that it has the right to tap anybody's phone it want to call "a threat to national security," but the judge in our case- Damon Keith of Detroit- just wouldn't go for t. Neither would the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, and the U.S. Supreme Court is supposed to hand down its decision on the issue any day now. They heard the arguments in February and should have made up their minds by now.

One really funny part of Nixon's argument before the Supreme Court in the wiretap matter was where he said that the President not only has the right but also the duty to tap people's phones or otherwise violate their rights as citizens if he suspects them of being subversive. That motherfucker is crazy!!! The part that gets me, though, is the way they determine who is "subversive" or a "threat to national security." I mean, when we heard that shit in Federal court in January of 1971 it really turned us around- how the fuck did we get to be a threat to the security of the United States of America? Whew! We ain't even got our shit together here in Ann Arbor yet, you know what I mean?

Pun still has a $50,000 bond to make on the CIA charge, but efforts have begun already to try to get t reduced again since the brother has done the past two whole years in the lock-up. The government started out with $100,000 cash bond and wouldn't lighten up on that for a year; then they dropped it to a $50,000 regular bond, but Pun had too many other cases to get out from under at the time and had to take the cop to the draft card charge in order to get out of the torture he was going through in the Kent County Jail, and also because there wasn't any way to deal with it since they popped him with the phony draft card on his person, right?

Pun still has three other cases outstanding, going back to the time him and Skip got popped in Milan because a brother in high school out there was distributing the White Panther State/meant of November 1968. They were charged with "distributing obscene literature," which is a misdemeanor, and the charge is still being held against brother Pun. He also has a weed case in Traverse City going back to March of 1968 when he and Gary Grimshaw were charged with "dispensing and possessing" a grand total of one joint and two roaches. This was when "dispensing" marijuana carried a 20-year minimum sentence (remember?), and the Traverse City oinks kept Pun locked up for the summer of 1968 on a $20,000 bond. It was all a super ruse in the first place- one roach is all Pun's charged with!- but they're still trying to keep him hung up behind it. Grimshaw's case was dropped earlier this year, but he had to stay out of the state, underground, for over two years (1968-70) before we were strong enough to bring him back and keep him from getting some kind of ridiculous bond so they'd be able to keep him locked up too.

Still and all, Pun's main problem is ting the Bureau of Prisons to give up all the "good time" he's supposed to get credit for so he can be released from there, and then dealing with the CIA bond and the CCW case in St. Ignace. People are on the case right now, and we'll keep you posted as soon as we find out what's happening.

Jack Forrest is down in Milan now, after being held in El Reno, Oklahoma for almost two years, and steps are being taken to deal with his suit too, which is mostly a question of parole or getting a sentence reduction from 5 years to time served or something. We went to see him a couple times already and he's really hoping that people from the community will be into corresponding with him. His official address is: John W. Forrest  36364-115, Box 1000, Milan, Michigan, and anybody can write to him.

Looking back on this it really strikes me how ridiculous all these charges are- I did 2 1/2 years for possession of two joints of weed, Pun's doing 28 months for possession of a falsified draft card, Skip and Jack are doing 5 years for aiding and abetting a federal fugitive- all because we really don't do anything harmful that they can charge us with, you know? The one substantial charge, the CIA bombing conspiracy case, is even more ridiculous than the other ones -the only scrap of "evidence" the government has offered is this chomp David Valler, who already confessed in open court to doing every other bombing that was done in that particular period of time (late summer-early fall 1968). Valler was facing a 25-year sentence on the state bombing charges he had, as well as federal charges for the CIA thing, and the way he got out from under them was by signing his name to the script the FBI handed him, just as he lets his name be signed to the sickening articles some honkie Detroit News editor writes in the Sunday Magazine.

The ironic thing about Valler is that he's out on the streets now as a result of the marijuana victory won behind my case! (He was also doing 7-10 for possession of weed after he plead guilty so they would reduce the charge from two sales of marijuana and a couple of LSD charges. And he wasn't even a righteous weed dealer when he was doing that either- he was known for burning people on acid deals as well as the killer

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Jack Forrest, Pun Plamondon and Skip Taube before the big bust in 1970.


short count on keys and lids, as I remember it.) But that's the thing we keep saying about our programs- even our enemies will benefit from them!

There's only one other thing I can get in this time, and that's to say that we spend all this space and time on our comrades in prison not just because they're beautiful brothers and friends who are in a bogus situation, but primarily because they're locked up like that as a result of the political work they were doing out here in the community before they were arrested. Pun's (and Grimshaw's) original bust came down because they were almost solely responsible (along with Larry Belcher, who was freed from a 20 to 30 year sales of weed sentence this spring after doing almost four full years in Jackson and Marquette) for turning on the town of Traverse City back in 1967 and 1968. Pun and Skip were popped in Milan for distributing political literature and trying to turn on kids in that area to the White Panther Party. Pun went underground in October of 1969 when the CIA charge came down because he knew he'd get railroaded behind his political work, and then Skip and Jack got their 5-year bits simply for helping Pun get from one place to another ("aiding and abetting") when he was underground.

They have been, are, and will continue to do their time so they can get back to the community and continue their work, but while they're there they need all the support they can get from people out here who relate to what they can do when they're part of our community again. I can certainly testify as to the difference it makes having the people you love behind you when you're in the slam- I know I never would've made it without that support, and it's the same with these brothers too. They pick us off and put us in jail in the first place in order to intimidate and terrify other people in the community who might be thinking about getting involved in political work, and the only way to defeat this vile divide-and-conquer ruse is to strengthen constantly the solidarity and unity of the people. Doing time ain't nothing when it means something, when you know it's advancing the cause of the people and the people are behind you, but if that support isn't there then t gets really hard to take, especially when the only fucking reason you're there in the first place s because you were trying to do something for the people, you know what I mean?

The most killer example of the people's unity I've ever seen was last Monday when everybody went down to City Hall and expressed their solidarity with the four people who were singled out to be prosecuted in the bomb crater caper. Over 280 people signed a statement of complicity admitting to taking part in the organizing and execution of the bomb crater digging on the Diag May 19th, saying that if the charges against Genie, Jon Goldman, Richard England and Jay Hack aren't dropped then they all want to be charged with the same thing since they did it all together. I know myself, as a victim of that kind of selective prosecution, cannot stand to see these four comrades get arrested for something I also participated in, and a lot of other people- 280!- seem to feel the same way.

The point is that the chomps in power use their legal system- their laws, their courts and their prisons- to keep us separated and powerless, that's the one thing (short of death) they have left to threaten us with, and when we refuse to be divided in any way, even if ait means at the worst that we'll all have to face charges in court on the "malicious destruction of property" ruse, when we refuse to let our brothers and sisters be isolated like that then we smash their obsolete strategies right back in their faces. We have to do that or else they'll bring so many charges on so many isolated individuals and disrupt the unity we're all trying to build to the extent that everybody who isn't already fully committed to the struggle will just give up, which is exactly what they're after. The way we get more people involved in our common struggle s by demonstrating that we are together and that we will not permit our sisters and brothers to be ripped off on any ruses any more, period. We're all in it together, that's what it's all about to begin with, and the way we can get ourselves more together is by maintaining our unity and expanding it day by day, no matter what kind of weirdness comes down. People's unity is the first step towards people's power- the closer we get to each other the stronger we are as a collectivity, and the stronger we get the faster we can move! We can get together Sunday at Otis Spann Memorial Field, next to Huron High, for the start of the free concert program of 1972, and I would have to say that's right where we're supposed to be! See you in the park-All Power to the People! ANGELA IS FREE!!