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Free At Last!!

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Pun Plamondon was released f rom Federal custody at the end of June. IVith two cases facing him, the CIA Conspiracy Trial, and a CCW charge in St. Ignace, Pun was bonded out of the county jail June 27. The following is an interview done with the brother shortly af ter his release. . . SUN: What's going to happen when the case of conspiracy to bomb the CIA office in Ann Arbor back in 1968 goes back to trial? PUN: Well, we're kind of n limbo now, we don't know really when, if ever, we're going to goto trial. The Supreme Court ruled that wiretapping without a search warrent is unconstitutional, so therefore the government has an option now- they can either drop our case or they can turn over the logs of the warrenttess wiretaps. We really don't know what they'll do. SUN: About the wiretap- they'll probably be using wiretap evidence for investigations as long as they don't bring them into court . . . If you still go to trial what do you think will happen in court? PUN: We still think we will win it either way, whether t gets thrown out or goes back to trial. A People's Tribunal investigating the CIA is what we are calling for and f we can't do it in trial, then we'll .have tó find some way to do it at the University or in the streets somewhere. I read somewhere that 70% of the CIA work withm the confines of the United States. You look at where the whole thing in Vietnam started, at Michigan State University in E; Lansing. They created a South Vietnamese government on a piece of paper, and recruited people for it, got money to buy weapons, and trained a pólice forcé, and just went over there and halted the elections and started this whole shit back in 1954. And the dude who was president at that time, Hannah, now he's the director of the AID, which is the main CIA operation all over the planet! That stuff could be exposed during the trial, those connections could be made. The dope thing, the smuggling of the heroin out of Indochina, how that's coonected with the war, you know. It's been on T.V. already-they pointed out all the labs in the jungles and everything- the Golden Tnangle! SUN: Do you think the tide of things has changed, the people have more strength now because the Justice Department's whole conspiracy and whole apparatus has been exposed and people righteously feel that there tas a lot of injustice done. Or do you think it is because the movement has grown so large in numbers that we now, in fact intimídate them? PUN: No, I don't think we're intimidating anybody. The people don't support the government anymore- the people and the government are two different things. The contradictions aren't stagnent, the contadictions are much higher now then they were. The highest levéis are f all ing apart. Mitchell's wife gets him knocked out of Nixon's election, Daniel El Isberg does his thing, the contradictions on the part of the ruling class are bizarro. It would be fun to have a CIA trial if they really want to push it, it would be in our best interest. All publicity! That's the biggest threat to them, the light of day. They can't stand the light of day. They are monsters that be floatin' around in caves and shit, they're vampires. Musty cellars and all that. SUN: Speaking of musty cellars, you spent 23 months in various musty cellars. What's the whole mood n those different places? Does t change between the county jails and the penitentiary? PUN: Yeah, like in Kent County jail (Grand Rapids) you're locked in a cell 7 feet by 9 feet, and there's nothing in the cell but you and your mattress and your little blanket, and that's it. It's about 20 hours a day that you are locked up like that, you know. In the penitentiary it's different because there's so much to do. Like you can play handball, lift weights, you can can get hooked-up with whatever little organizations are going on, you can play tennis, chess, you can get married, you can do all that stuff, you know. But you can't do it in the county jail. The only thing that you can do n the county jail is fight and sexually assault weak people, that's all they do. And that's all there s to do! And the county jails, you know, what's really so criminal about them, is your assumption of guilt. Like the whole penal system seems to be working absolutely backwards. SUN: If you were warden of a penitentiary, what would you do, where would you start to make changes? PUN: l'd start from the basic premise that the dea of the penitentiary, and the warden, and the staff of the penitentiary, is to get people out. The point is to get people out, but they don't work from that basis. In fact they work from the exact opposite of that-to keep a person in! You can't have a typewriter in a Federal Penitentiary. They have two or three typewriters in a legal room for 1500 men, they have 1500 men and they got three typewriters to type your legal shit on. You can't have closed personal correspondence with your attorney. Now heré, l'm on a federal charge facing a whole bunch of time in the penitentiary and I want to write my lawyer about the bombing charge. So I got to give it to them in an opened envelope to be censored. So, I go to my caseworker and I say 'Well, I don't want you guys reading my mail to my lawyer, l'm trying to plan trial strategy. ' He says 'You don't have to worry! ... I said 'Well who pays your check?' He says 'Well the U.S. Justice Department.' I said 'Well those are the same chumps that pay the prosecutor in Detroit. You both working for the same people, and you got twenty-five years senority, or whatever ou might have, and they re going to teil you a week bef ore you retire that they are going to take away all your benefits f you don't . . .' they just have so many axes over people, you know. And that's really big shit for a guy in the joint. They work totally backwards, they're nonfunctional, absolutely non-functional. Like, penitentiaries the size of Terre Haute, or Jackson, could be the central recycling station for the whole state. It could be so much, that's how a brother be rehabilitated, f they do, byserving the people. SUN: The Rainbow People's Party says that people aren't in jail because they are vicious crimináis. You were in county jails and penitentiaries for a long time. Why would you say these brothers are in jail? PUN: Brothers go to the penitentiary because they don't want to be a 'weider on the street, or they don't want to be a stock boy, or they don't want to be digging ditches. But when you go to the penitentiary that's all they can teach you. How to weid, and how to fix a fucking lawnmower engine or a typewriter. And people don't want to do that. But, you teach someone something about televisión, you know, how to run a camera, how to edit a tape, or something, that's a whole different trip. They can relate to that. Clarence Darrel gave a speech in the Cook County Jail in 1902. It was a steamin' speech. He said "people don't kidnap other people's kids because the people are inherently evil. They do it because they are professionals. Kidnapping is a profession, it isn't a crime, it's the way people make their livelyhood, it's the way they live." And he went in and he just explained t about how people are just products. He said 'wouldn't it just take a damn fooi, if a man has got a nice house, a family, a lot of good f riends, and he has the good staples of life in his house, now wouldn't he be a goddamn fooi to be crawling around on roofs and breaking windows and sneaking into someone's house. And he just be talking about how a guy could just be sitting at home drinking some beer, and doing whatever people did in 1902, but here people are forced to go around and crawl on roofs, and slither down drain pipes. He said you'd have to be a damn fooi to do all that f you had the good things. But what he was saying is that people don't do that stuff because they are bad, they do it because they have to survive. That was really impressed upon me in jail. SUN: In the Wayne County Jail almost 99% of the people are in there just for that reason. PUN: Right, because they have to survive by something. It's like dealing dope, you know . . . People just have to survive, and the poorest people are the ones who are put into this position. That's why free enterprise don't work, because free enterprise means that you are supposed to use your own energies and 'serve the people.' Theoretically, people will buy your product f you have a product that the people want. So, how can they bust dope dealers, I mean that's just free enterprise. Smugglers, that's just international trade, hot cars across state lines is interstate commerce. That's what the ruling class does, they utilize free enterprise, but the masses of poor people can't . . . SUN: County Jails, especially the Wayne Co. Jail which is probably the worst jail in the state by f ar- you 've got many, many people, about 75%, that are legally innocontinued on page 1 1 FREE AT LAST!! I i continueri from page 1 i cent, that haven't come to trial yet. Do you think that a lot of them just end up copping a plea just to get out of the county jail? PUN: Most of them, that's what I did, you : know. I was in the county jail for fifteen ' months and I just wanted to get out, so I ! had to make a deal and cop a plea. It's co! ersion is what t is. Now here's a person charged with something that gets SI 00,000, or a 550,000, and there's a lot of guys that i get a 55,000 who can't make it, and he goes to jail. Now that violates the equal protection and due process because if you got money to make bond you can get out on the street, you can contact your witnesses, you can look for records, you can prepare your defense . . . You can contact a lawyer, you can be working so that you can pay the lawyer, you can do all this stuff. But here's a poor person who gets thrown in the slam, who can't make bond, can't check out records, can't get no witnesses. That's how they do it- low bail for nch people; high bail for poor people. The peoplo they should let out on personal recognicence are the people who can't afford to pay bail, instead they give t to The millioners. SUN: We've talked a little about the gains that have been made over the last three years. Let's talk a little about some of the general impressions you got coming back, what you expected and what you found. PUN: When I was in the penitentiary trying to follow what was happening I read the Sun, the Daily, the Detroit News, the Free Press, and I watched televisión twice a day for news. As well as listen to the radio all day when I could, and when I learned what was going on, particularly when I found out what was happening in Ann Arbor- there's never been this much happening, there's never been this level of activity in this community. So, my impression was that things were a lot more formally and structurely organized than they are, and so when I come out I see things really aren't organized at all, but everything is happening. It seems now that the stuff is happening, it's got to be consolidated, wielded together for its longevity. Because it seems to be scattered on sand- f that could all be pulled together, and solidified then Ann Arbor would really be dangerous, but as it is there seems to be a lot happening but it isn't too well put together so we're not mak ing the best use of everyone's time and energy, as we would if all the activity of the community was directed by, say the Tribal Council. That's what we would hope to see, some kind of people's council that would direct and ordinate the various activities o .ommunity groups and organizations. T.iis takes a lot of time and energy on evtrybodie's part, but I think people realize that to make the best use of our energies we have to have thorough Communications between the various people working in the community. We think the Tribal Council is the best structure to work in right now to pull all this activity together. SUN: What are your mmediate plans? PUN: Well, I hope to spend a good deal of time working internally within the party helping to organize ourselves structurally, also I want to do some work on the War, and some work with prisoners and prisons, and, with this Tribal Council thing I mentioned, that's about it. I want to work to bring all the activity that's happening in the community, all the time and energy people have, together- consolídate, and help to organize and bring to our lives some order. And Ann Arbor's a good place for that to be done, that can be done here, and we already got a good start on it with the Tribal Council.