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October 09, 1969 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1969-10-09

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

T4P Afrrigan flaffj
Sevenity-n in e years of editorial freedom
Edited and managed by students of the University of Michigan

One or two joints don't a pusher make

420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, Mich.

News Phone: 764-0552

Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual opinions of staff writers
or the editors. This must be noted in all reprints.



Support the moratorium .. .

"FHE MOST broadly based political pro-
test ever planed in American history
is scheduled to begin next Wednesday
as an overwhelming number of citizens
participate in a moratorium against the
war in Vietnam.
The one-day moratorium - which will
be expanded by one day each month
until the war ends - has all the best fea-
tures of effective political action: poten-
tial for mass support, maximum visibility,
and nonviolent, rational action.
This surge of anti-war sentiment is
vitally needed. The movement is recover-
ing from an almost year-long stagnation,
stagnation bred by the frustrating presi-
dential campaign and the ambigious
situation created by the ascension of
Richard Nixon to the presidency.
SOME WILL argue that Nixon himself
deserves a moratorium, more time to
extricate the United States from a prob-
lem it took si xyears to create. On the
right, critics contend that a moratorium
will do nothing to bring peace, it will only
provoke violence and lawlessness. Indeed,
Richard Nixon himself vowed that "un-
der no circumstances will I be affected
whatever by it (the moratorium)."
And critics on the left proclaim that
only more radical action will compel the
President to cease the Vietnam atrocity.
Force must be met with force. Commit-
ment must be complete.
Meanwhile, the moratorium is building
a broad base. It is attracting anti-war
protesters from religious leaders to uni-
versity presidents. It is drawing support
from noted radicals like Thomas Hayden.
It is being backed by students and facul-
ty members, by suburban housewives and
office secretaries.
IT IS ESSENTIAL that such broad-based
action be taken now. All the anti-war
sentiment in the nation must be pooled
against an intransigent administrator
who has arrogantly refused to acknow-

ledge popular protests against his con-
duct: This means that neither radical
action nor conservative nonaction is ap-
propriate; well thought out, political ac-
tion is required.
Those who argue that stopping regular
activities for one day in October will do
nothing to stop the war are ignoring the
possibilities of large-scale protests. Mor-
atorium leaders seek to convince as many
people as possible of the rightness of
their cause. The people working for the
moratorium here and at other colleges
will make overtures to neighboring com-
munities to win backing for the move-
ment. Nonviolent protest has been vin-
dicated by history as a well-conceived
tactic to effect political change.
Those who contend that stronger ac-
tion is necessary are both impolitic and
naive. Disruptive action, whether it is
violent or not, will alienate a large mass
of potential allies and - worse - will
play directly into the hands of Richard
Nixon. It would be a godsend to the Pres-
ident if the movement were to discredit
itself in the minds of the "trouble ma-
jority" by appearing to be anything other
than rational, humanitarian and idealis-
IT IS UNREASONABLE for any anti-
war supporter to do other than sup-
port the moratorium. To fragment the
movement now is to allow Richard Nixon
all the elbow room he needs to protect his
own political life while prolonging the
war and ending it the way he wants, not
the way it should be ended.
The moratorium is a political counter-
attack on the Administration and neither
quiet, conscientious objection nor v a n-
guard, revolutionary action can exert
quite the same impact on a nation
plagued by a war that must not continue.
Managing Editor

(EDITOR'S NOTE: This is t h e
second part of a three-part series
describing Sinclair's arrest and
conviction for possession of mari-
juana. In this section Sinclair re-
lates the events between his second
arrest and the trial for his third
and last arrest.)
masterminded the big raid, a
plainclothes sergeant named War-
ner Stringfellow, was promoted to
lieutenant shortly after my arrest
and "conviction," and I saw him
again byaccident after I was
released from the House of Cor-
rection. He asked me if I remem-
bered him, and I told him in no
uncertain terms that I knew
exactly who he was and would
he please get the hell away from
me. He got mad and ended our
conversation by promising to "get
me" again, and "this time we
won't be so easy on you, you
Within ten days, according to
police records which were sub-
peoned at my trial, Stringfellow
has assigned undercover a g e n t
Vahan Kapagian (alias "Louie")
to my neighborhood, with specific
instructions to "get Sinclair."
ANCE, according to his notes fil-
ed with the Narcotics Bureau at
the time, was at a poetry reading
at WSU where I read a new poem
I'd written about Lt. Stringfellow,
which Kapagian described in his
report as "obscene." The agent
was disguised as a human being,
wearing a beard, long hair,, a
beret and casual clothes. His next
appearance, the following Friday
night, was at the newly o p e n e d
Grande Ballroom, which he de-
scribed to the Bureau as a place
where "Sinclair's followers" wvent
to have a good time. They tried
to buy marijuana from a number
of people there, including F r e d
Smith of the MC-5, but were un-
successful. Kapagian also start-
ed attending meetings at the Ar-
tist'shWorkshop and "infiltrat-
ed" the organization (which I
had helped establish two years
before). Soon he brought another
under-cover spy into the caper-
a policewoman named Jane Mum-
ford, who called herself "Pat,"
wore hip clothing, smoked weed,
helped out with the typing and
mailing, and played up to t h e
males around the workshop in
her attempt to "get the evidence"
of their depravity.
Kapagian and Mumford made
repeated attempts -- they w e r e
on th° scene almost daily for three
months - to buy, steal, beg, ca-
jole, or otherwise obtain m a r 1-
juana from almost everyone in
sight. They were relentless in their
pursuit of illegal substances. Since
there were no "professional" deal-

ers in the area at the time they
concentrated on casual marijuana
smokers and played on the young
people's confidence and innocent
trust to achieve their ends.
pulled their big raid, on January
24, 1967 (Kapagian's first ap-
pearance, according to his re-
cords, was on October 18, 1966),
the Narcotics Bureau had war-
rants for 11 alleged sellers or dis-
pensers of marijuana, three of
whom were actually from o t h e r
parts of town and had nothing to
do with our scene at all. Includ-
ed in the raiding party were the
entire Detroit Narcotics Bureau,
State police agents, Federal Drug
Abuse Bureau Agents, U.S. Cus-
toms agents and, probably some
visiting firemen from Interpol
and the CIA.
In addition to the eight resi-
dents of our neighborhood charg-
ed in the warrants, the heroic
raiders pulled in a total of 43 in-
nocent bystanders who were held
overnight and released without
charge in the morning. When
agents invaded the Artist's Work-
shop to arrest Don Moye and my-
self, for example, they pulled in
a total of 15 other people, none
of whom were subsequently charg-
ed with a crime.
The victims included all the

caught and going to jail) was
charged with "dispensing" one
roach, or butt end, of a mari-
juana cigarette-less than t w o
grains of the evil substance-
which he had shared with the
undercover agent.
OTHERS, like Moye, were
charged with "sale of marijuana."
with its 20-year minimum-man-
datory sentence, for merely in-
troducing the undercover spies to
a friend, Marlene Kroghan, who
allegedly sold them one ounce of
Two more, Michael Knight and
Norman Weingarden, were charg-
ed with "sale and possession" of
the same matchbox full of mari-
juana - about one-fourth of an
A student. John Nagel, was
charged with the 20-year-to-life
sales count for allegedly selling
the cop an ounce of weed that
he'd grown himself, in a window-
box in his anartment off campus.
Two more. Sandy Weinstock and
Sheldon Roth, were charged with
the sales count in some wierd deal
involving less than one ounce of
marijuana between them.
THESE were the criminals-the
done ring that was leading the
poor college students at WSU
down the old primrose path. All of
us were determined to fight our
cases in the courts when the mass
arrest was made, but when the
dispositions came down I was the
only one who had continued in my
resolves to fight the ridiculous
charges: all the others pled to
lesser charges and received pro-
bation sentences.
I took my case through the
courts and was rewarded with the
wrath of the whole legal system
in Detroit. which culminated in a
sentence of nine and a half to ten
years for possession of two joints
of marijuana.
help of attorney. Dennis James,
was to ask for dismissal of the
charges against me on the grounds
that the Michigan marijuana stat-
utes violate certain provisions of
the United States constitution:
namely that the laws provide cruel
and unusual punishment; that
they violate the provisions of "due
urocess of law" in that no proof
has ever ben brought to show why
marijuana should be illegal: that
they are in violation of the "eaual
protection" provision on two
counts: (1) that the'same penal-
ties are offered for marijuana use
and sale as are offered for heroin
and other opiates; and (2) that
the same penalties obtain no mat-
ter what amount of marijuana or
heroin is involved, so that a per-
son convicted of giving away two

marijuana cigarettes is subject to
the same sentence-20 years to
life-as a man who is convicted
of selling 300 tons of pure heroin
to six-year-old school girls.
We also contended that the laws
against marijuana use by individ-
uals violates their right to pri-
vacy and their right to life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness.
The courts decided to hear the
motion to dismiss, and my new
lawyers, Sheldon Otis and Justin
C. Ravitz, prepared an 80-page
brief supporting our motion. Den-
nis James, who got the motion
before Judge Crockett, turned it
over to his friends Otis and Ravitz
when he left Detroit to assume
his new duties as Executive Secre-
tary of the National Lawyers Guild
in New York City.,
Crockett decided that the issue
was of such import that he
couldn't rule on it himself, and he
invoked a previously unused pri-
vilege of lower-court judges and,
for the first time in Recorder's
Court history, impanelled a three-
judge tribunal to consider the con-
stitutional questions.
Ravitz argued the motion before
the tribunal, which was comprised
of orockett, Robert J. Columbo,
and Judge Maher of the Recorder's
Court bench. On April 17. 1968,
the panel unanimously denied the
motion for dismissal, stating that
they felt the questions of the con-
stitutionality of the marijuana
laws were too big for them to
handle. All threejudges concurred
that they felt it wasn't the place
of the lower court to make such
decisions on the constitutionality
of the laws even though they knew
there were serious questions in our
arugment that "involve controlling
questions of law as to which there
are substantial grounds for dif-
ferences of opinion," according to
the written opinion.
The defense then moved to ap-
peal this ruling, arguing that the
constitutional questions should if
possible be settled before a full
trial on the charges, because if the
laws were in fact invalid the ordeal
of a full state trial would be un-,
necessary and irrelevant. Ravitz
and Otis filed an "interlocutory
application for leave to appeal" to
the Michigan Court of Appeals,
which denied permission to appeal
on December 31, 1968 (two years
after the alleged offense has been
committed), and then to the
Michigan Supreme Court, which
likewise denied leave to appeal on
May 22, 1969, sending it back to
the Recorder's Court for trial.
that on the same day the notice
came from the Supreme Court de-
nying leave to appeal the decision
on the pretrial mQtion, a notice

came from the Recorder's Court
setting the trial date for June 3rd,
1969. In other words, after t h e
state had taken less t h a n two
weeks to prepare the trial defense.
Fortunately, the trial wasn't able
to start June 3 because the female
witness, police-woman Jane Mum-
ford, was about to deliver a baby.
So the trial was postponed until
the 24th of June.
On June 20th the trial judge,
Robert J. Colombo, ruled in re-
sponse to a defense motion that
the "dispensing" charge be thrown
out of court on the grounds that
the evidence h a d been obtained
through "illegal entrapment," i.e.,
the undercover agent had entrap-
ped me i n to doing something I
wouldn't otherwise have done. The
judge further ruled that even
though the evidence had been ob-
tained illegally, he was still go-
ing to try me for possessing it.
His strategy here was clear to
us: since he had only the word
of the police agents to convict me
with, he wasn't going to try to
bring the "dispensing" charge be-
fore the jury because even they
would find it hard to send me to
prison for twenty years to life on
the word of an undercover s p y
that I had given him two joints
two and a half years before. But
the "possession" conviction, with
the one-y e a r minimum on the
sentence, wouldn't bother the jury
so much; even though he was le-
gally wrong in pressing the pos-
session charge, it would take years
to get a reversal of his decision in
the appeals courts and he could
keep me locked up all during the
24th. The formal charge at this
stage was "possession of 11.50
grains of marijuana" on Decem-
ber 22, 1966. The defense moved
to have the judge disqualify him-
self from hearing the c a s e be-
cause he was prejudiced against
the defense attorneys, the de-
fendant, and the case itself, but
he refused to step down. We then
moved to dismiss the entire jury
panel on the grounds that it was
illegally constituted and could not
possibly insure me a fair apd im-
partial trial by a jury of my peers.
Ravitz's main argument here was
that since I am a revolutionary,
and since revolutionaries in Amer-
ica believe that social change does
not come about through voting,
we don't register to vote as a mat-
ter of principle and consequently
are denied the opportunity to serve
on juries. Colombo denied the mo-
tion. We moved that the posses-
sion charge be dropped on t h e
grounds t h a t the judge himself
had ruled that the evidence had
been illegally obtained, but he re-
fused that one, too, and the trial
began with the selection of a "jury
of my peers."


{ I
members of a band that was prac-
ticing there and another group
of people who were preparing to
start their weekly poetry work-
THEY GOT front-page banner
headlines from this one: 56 Ar-
rested in Campus Dope Raid-
Police Smash Ring With Light-
ning Raid - LSD May Be In-
volved, stuff like that.
I was the newspaper "ringlead-
er" of the criminal conspiracy,
despite the fact that I was charg-
ed with "dispensing and possess-
ing" 11.50 grains (two cigarettes)
of marijuana and released on
$1000 bond.
No one else was charged with
the sale or possession of more
than one ounce of grass, and one
of the victims, Ralph Greenwood
(who jumped bond and later com-
mitted suicide in another state
because he was afraid of getting


...with second thoughts

EVERY YEAR the anti-war coalition
gets bigger. And every year it incor-
porates people with more "moderate"
politics. There is an immediate tempta-
tion to cheer the emergence of such a
popular front; we've opposed the war for
seven or eight years, and we welcome
But popular fronts work in very specific
ways. Their goal is to include as many
people and groups as possible - as har-
moniously as possible - under one um-
brella. This is accomplished by throw-
ing all the various political positions to-
gether and cutting off the rough edges.
In order to eliminate dissension in the
ranks, the front unifies around "l o w e s t
common denominator" politics.
This process is useful where the dif-
ferences involved are minor. In this
case the differences are very great in-
JNCREASING numbers of "corporate
liberals" have joined - and in some
cases are directing-the anti-war coali-
tion. They include the Kennedys, the Mc-
Carthys, the Fulbrights, the Gavins, and
small-time local politicians like Len
They diagnose the war as a freak de-
parture from an otherwise reasonable
foreign policy. They insist it is a surface
blemish on the society, unrelated to the
basic principles and structure of the
On the other hand, we, as radicals,
must view the war - not as a freak --
but as a natural product of a society
which is predatory and hierarchical in
WE OPPOSE the war because we believe
in the right of peoples to self-deter-
mination and reject the American foreign
policy of economic, political and military
We are extremely leery of corporate
liberals who originally promoted this war,
and who now join the "peace" movement
in droves. We believe they are doing so,
not out of principle, but because the war
has become unpopular, unprofitable, and

ence in diagnosis leads to difference in
The liberals wish to end the war with
as little fuss as possible. Because the war
is to them just a blemish, they advocate
simple plastic surgery. Any measures aim-
ed at fundamentally restructing society
find the liberals in violent opposition.
Radicals believe that the way in which
this society is structured a n d governed
guarantees that it will combat - in one
way or another -- all wars of national lib-
eration. Our prescription is precisely the
kind of radical reconstruction of society
which the liberals so fiercely oppose.
Popular front politics which atteMpt to
include both groups will have to castrate
WE CAN ALREADY see this happening.
At the mass Mobe rally in September,
liberal City Councilman Len Quenon an-
nounced in one breath his opposition to
the war and his fierce adherence to "free
enterprise." Not a murmur arose from the
Mobe "radicals." Because if they had told
that crowd that it is precisely "free en-
terprise" and its politicians which causes
such wars, they would have endangered
the solid front with the liberals. And in
the Mobe, of course, that is the greatest
The upshot of all this is apparent. The
anti-war movement is being diverted
from radical analysis and opposition to.
simple support for liberal politicians on
the way up (or back) into office. By mut-
ing their politics, radicals become simple
office boys for the Muskie-Hart-Kennedy
campaign machine. And that is a disas-
Because such men are fairweather dis-
senters. They judge wars w i t h adding
machines. If a war against Thai rebels is
cheap, a President Muskie will make the
IT IS THE responsibility of radicals to
announce their politics, not mute
them. We must squarely place the blame
for this war on the society which spawn-
ed it and on the liberal Democrats who
nursed it. This war is the legitimate child

History of
To the Editor:
THE faculty of the Department
of the History of Art affirms its
support of anti-Vietnam activities
on October 15, 1969.
To emphasize further its con-
cern for ending the War, each cur-
rently teaching member of i t s
faculty is donating his salary for
October 15 in support of this
We will contribute the total sum
of $556.23 to the November 15
March on Washington. Should the
Government take clear action be-y
fore that date,making the March
unnecessary, this sum will be de-
dicated to The Committee of Re-y
sponsibility for the care of Viet-'
namese children injured by the
-Richard Edwards
Marvin Eisenberg
Calvin French
David Huntington
Joel Isaacson
Virginia Kane
Diane Kirkpatrick
Victor Miesel
Clifton Olds
Charles Sawyer
Priscilla P. Soucek
Walter Sprink
Egon Verheyen
Donald White
Nathan T. Whitman
Oct. '7

art profs

back moratorium



on the part of the landlords for
the welfare of tenants in general.
They correctly see it as a last
ditch attempt to break the rent
strike and eliminate any chance
of having to make concessions to
to the union. This tactic will not
dication of how well we are doing
is the fact that we have been able
not only to survive but to grow
despite the obvious difficulties of
the past month. The bookstore and
ROTC issues have attracted much
of the attention of this campus
recently, and (since they and the
Tenants Union are ultimately tied
in to the overall issue of student
control of our own affairs) many
rent strike people have also been
devoting a good deal of time and
effort to them. But these are
short-lived activities and the ten-
ants union is a viable, continuing
effort. Our ideas are rapidly
spreadng to other major campuses
such as Berkeley where a rent
strike promises to be a majornac-
tivity this year. We have provided
the necessary leadership and in-
spiration for this spread and will
continue to be involved with it
while not neglecting Ann Arbor
most promising and positive stu-
dent activity going on in this
country right now and (I am con-
fidently assured that) it will con-
tinue to grow. If anyone's op-
timism should be dampened it
should be the landlords' who will
soon be joining us at the bargain-
ing table.
-Norm Finkelstein, '70
Oct. 8
Olympian few
To the Editor:
Mr. Levine's editorial of Sept.
27 {"... more than a bookstore")
was quite unclear. His statement

Tenants union
'To the Editor:
leader for the Tenants' Union I
feel compelled to reply to Tues-
day's Daily article which gave the
false impression that the Rent
Strike isn't getting off the ground
and organizers are becoming de-
pressed. Nothing could be more
misleading. In fact, organizing is
going well andthis is largely due
to the enthusiasm and hard work
of the organizers themselves.
The people in my own group,
for example, are out talking to
tenants nearly every night and are
receiving many favorable re-
sponses. We are expecting at least
35 per cent of the several hundred

*...__,y, ter.
c .mc. w a+. f et = -cnww . X96 £+i9 .

19c . *eI,4ff~e
an nc.n S i

had to be postponed a month due
to a lack of a sufficient number
of willing strikers. However, we
eventually had over 1200 tenants
withholding rent and putting it
into the escrow account. This se-
mester there was no need to move
back the target date, which was
Oct. 1, even though organizing
has just begun. There are already
many new strikers as well as those

stands and will be able to take
an active role in shaping policies.
This will be especially important
after landlords have begun to
negotiate with us on specific
points of their respective con-
THIS PERSONAL involvement
kind of organizing is by necessity
a slow process and many of the

generaJly filled with anything but
pessimism about the strike. (It
must further be realized that since
the organizing has only been gping
on for a few weeks, most workers
are only now completing the first
round of visits to their buildings.)
THE OWNERS and managers
of most of the buildings being
struck claim that the strike is not

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