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John Sinclair

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The Resume

    (October 2, 1941-April 2, 2024)
    Born in Flint, Michigan
    Poet and political activist
    Recorded seven albums of jazz poetry
    Managed the MC5
    Founding member of the White Panther Party (1968)
    Sentenced to ten years in prison for marijuana possession after selling two joints to an undercover cop (1969)
    Released after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the state's marijuana laws were unconstitutional (1971)
    Left the US for Amsterdam
    Hosts the John Sinclair Radio Show on Radio Free Amsterdam

Why he might be annoying:

    He split with the MC5 after the band found his politics too heavy-handed.
    He frequently had to explain that the White Panthers were not a white supremacist group.
    The White Panther program of 'Free everything for everybody' does not sound very workable.
    Abbie Hoffman famously got kicked off the stage at Woodstock by Pete Townshend when he tried to bring attention to Sinclair's plight.
    He said, 'I was a warrior because I thought we could overthrow the government. Once I figured out we couldn't, it seemed kind of stupid.'

Why he might not be annoying:

    He was one of the 'New Poets' who read at the Berkeley Poetry Conference (1965).
    A John Sinclair Freedom Rally in Ann Arbor featured performances by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, and Archie Shepp (1971).
    Charges of conspiracy to destroy government property against him and two other White Panthers were dismissed after the US Supreme Court ruled that the warrantless wiretaps used to gather evidence against the defendants were unconstitutional (1972).
    He was one of the first people to purchase recreational marijuana when it became legal in Michigan (December 1, 2019).
    He said, 'If you want things to change, you have to work to make them change. And sometimes you have to be prepared to go to jail or have your head cracked open.'

Credit: C. Fishel

Featured in the following Annoying Collections:

Year In Review:

    In 2023, Out of 57 Votes: 49.12% Annoying