Friday, March 29, 2013

John Sinclair reflects on Vietnam

FILE - This March 16, 1971 file photo shows John Sinclair Jr., then imprisoned leader of the Radical White Panthers, before his sentencing in Detroit. Protesting the Vietnam war was among many of the passions of the all-around counter-culture figure immortalized in the John Lennon song, “John Sinclair.” (AP File Photo) Photo: AP DETROIT (AP) — John Sinclair said he felt "great relief" when he heard about the U.S. troop pull-out from Vietnam four decades ago. Protesting the war was among many of the passions of the all-around counter-culture figure immortalized in the John Lennon song, "John Sinclair." The Michigan native drew a 10-year prison sentence after a small-time pot bust but was released after 2 ½ years — a few days after Lennon, Stevie Wonder and others performed at a 1971 concert to free him. "It was good. It was good," said Sinclair by phone from New Orleans, where he spends time when he isn't in Detroit or his home base of Amsterdam. "There wasn't any truth about Vietnam — from the very beginning." The last combat troops left the country on March 29, 1973. The U.S.-backed government of South Vietnam fell to North Vietnamese forces two years later. Sinclair, 71, said the period was "even better" because he was living in Ann Arbor — home of the University of Michigan — and had a hand in forming the Human Rights Party. He said the upstart group won two seats on the city council and helped usher in the city's infamous $5 fine for marijuana possession. "In those times we considered ourselves revolutionaries," said Sinclair, a co-founder of the White Panther Party who remains engaged as a poet, performance artist and purveyor of an Amsterdam-based online radio station. "We wanted equal distribution of wealth. We didn't want 1 percent of the rich running everything. Of course, we lost." Read more: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Anti-warrior-John-Sinclair-on-Vietnam-withdrawal-4393207.php

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