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Editorial

Editorial image Editorial image
Parent Issue
Day
5
Month
September
Year
1973
OCR Text

The week starting Labor Day. September 3, marks a massive influx of people into the city of Ann Arbor. Some come for the fall semester at U-M, others come to attend the Blues & Jazz Festival, and still others move here just because this is Ann Arbor. the alleged "Dope Capital of the Midwest," and the home of thousands of students and freeks. Since we tried to créate this issue of the SUN with that situation in mind. we're running comprehensive articles on different aspects oflife in Ann Arbor: the bar scène, the effect of the University on the community. a comprehensive rainbow community directory, and a special supplement on the '7,3 Blues & Jazz Festival, an event which is the highlight of an entire year of musical experience. This will be many people's first introduction to Ann Arbor and consequently to the SUN, so we'd like to take this opportunity to give everyone some information about this newspaper and what we, its staff, are attempting to do with it. And people who have lived here for a while may not know about many of the changes the SUN has been through this summer. A little over two years old, the SUN was started in May 1971 by the Rainbow People's Party . Some of the papèr's major projects have been: working to free R.P.P. Chairman John Sinclair from nis 9'L -10 year sentence for possession of 2 joints , to promote the Michigan Marijuana Initiative. and to elect two Human Rights Party candidates to city council in April 1972. We are no longer published by the R.P.P. After starting and supporting the SUN for over two years, the R.P.P. wanted to cooperate with other members of the community to put out the paper , and make it broader based and wider in scope. Only one R.P.P. member currently works full time on the paper. We are now published by the People's Communications Committee of the Ann Arbor Tribal Council. The P.C.C, consists of the SUN, the Radio Workshop and the Tribal Network (which is just getting started again after 9 months of inactivity). The P.C.C, is a collective of people who are concerned with serving the community's complex Communications needs. We work with any form of media we can get access to, from flyers to the radio and eventually to televisión. The Tribal Council is working to become a mass organization of rainbow people which would involve people in the struggle against the present capitalist society by creating altérnate, communalist institutions to take care of all our political, economie and cultural needs. Creating these institutions is a dream that we've had for a number of years. But the SUN, just like most of the other programs of the Tribal Council (the Psychedelic Rangers, the Food Co-op, the Children's Community Center, and the People's Ballroom) is still in its initial stages of development. For the first two years of its history, the SUN was put together in the basement of 1520 Hill Street, the RPP house, by a small core of RPP members with the help of a few people from the community. The paper reflected the make-up and experience of its staff. Projects that the RPP collective was working on became the primary focus of the paper. The RPP wrote to help créate the Tribal Council and ended up overemphasizing its role in the entire community, thus turning off people who may have had other interests or concerns. We still want to help créate the Tribal Council programs, but we want to write about them in the context of the larger rainbow community of which we are a part. This includes all the students, freeks, and progressive people of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. We cali our community the rainbow community because the word "rainbow" reflects the nature of our people. Our culture, qur music, our clothing, and our sacrament- marijuana - are all derived from Black, European, Eastern, Indian, and other cultures. We are children of an advanced technological age which has made us aware of the workings of the entire planct through the electronic media of televisión and radio. Our culture is the result of living as part of a worll community which includes peoples of all colors, like the rainbow. Within the rainbow community there are class differences, some of us running small businesses, some being students, some living on the streets, some working in factories or offices or stores, some dealing dope or playing in bands, and some being community workers. But our culture and lilcstyle is our bond and makes us a target for repression by the ruling class and its agents, the pólice. Here in Ann Arbor you can see that marijuana and LSD busts are still high on their list of priorities, the victims being anyone they can en trap. We believe we are a community with a set of needs that are not being met by the present capitalist society. We see ourselves struggling, just as other oppressed people are struggling, to free ourselves from the domination of US imperialism. We want to be a self-determined people who créate and control our own communalist institutions. It was because of inaction on the part of local government in dealing with our community's problems that the Tribal Council was started in the first place. 1968 was the start of the co-ed murders around the U-M and EMU campuses. The pólice had only two people assigned to investígate and the murders continued. So people from the White Panther Party (the forerunner of the RPP) called town meetings at 1520 Hill Street to compile their information and to créate a pressure group for more results in the pólice investigation. Out of this carne a loóse continued on page 16 SUN Editorial Cont'd. continued from page 2 coalition of groups with up to 100 people attending the meetings. Today Tribal Council is divided into committees, some more developed than others, all in their initial stages, but each with the potential to provide for an essential need of our community. Tribal Council has just rented temporary offices at 1510 Hill Street for its functioning committees. There will be people over at the offices working to fix them up, and they need help. No one small group will be able to do all the work necessary to get the Tribal Council committees functioning, much less créate the viable alternative institutions we're talking about. Tribal Council is starting from the beginning with only the skills of its members, a few functioning programs a new office, some federal revenue sharing money, and a visión of the future. The same is true of the SUN. We're a working collective of about 25 people who are attempting to publish a rainbow community newspaper. We can only reflect the ideas and information that we have or that people bring to us. We're eager for and open to new people, skilied and unskilled, who want to contribute in any way to the paper. We are not well organized, so sometimes it is hard to work with us. If there's something you'd like to see us cover, cali us up or come over and give us the information. We're not a group of people with years of journalistic experience, but we are doing what we can with the skills and resources which we have, and we're constantly trying to improve. Our staff meetings are Tuesday nights at 7:30 at 208 S. First, and are open to anyone interested in contributing to the paper in any way, from giving ideas to actually taking on some of the work. Look for the SUN on the streets and in the stores every two weeks, and let us know what you think we can do to improve the paper.