COLUMN EIGHTY-EIGHT, APRIL 1, 2003
(Copyright © 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)
JOHNNY LIEBERMAN, MICHAEL SIMMONS AND JOHN SINCLAIR AT THE MARCH
(Photo by Michael Dressel)
A STREET- FIGHTER'S MEMOIRS: THE L.A. PEACE MARCH
"THIS IS THE AMERICA I
LOVE," DECLARED my comrade and current house pest John Sinclair during the
march on Saturday, February 15. Sinclair was founder and chieftain of the infamous White
Panther Party in the 1960s, manager of the incendiary MC5, and a victim of a
state frame-up in which he got up to 10 years for giving a narc two measly
Now the hardest-working
poet in show biz, he and I were limping west on Hollywood Boulevard with
thousands of other patriots to stop Dubya's Folly. With us were Rex Weiner,
former Yippie/Zippie/White Panther, underground-press hawk and current media
maven, and Rex's 14-year-old son Carlos. And me, the junior-league Yippie kid
who used to knock over NYPD sawhorses in the '60s and then run like hell to
create strategic street diversion.
Two brothers from the Black
Bloc buzzed by, noted Carlos' youth and handed him a flier announcing a
breakaway march at a certain location. Sources
tell me they later witnessed cops flailing away at an anarchist's head; their
billy clubs resembling scattering birds in flight at the clip they were moving.
Anyhoo, we were three middle-aged revolutionaries and one sprite.
Rex had given each of us a toy walkie-talkie courtesy of his son so we
could communicate in case of riot.
With my prosthetic hips and
a cane, I'm lucky if I can crawl like hell. Sinclair's bones were creaking, and
Rex, while the sturdiest of the three, was showing the effects of decades of
pills, powders and potions befitting a founding editor of High Times.
When we passed Grauman's Chinese Theater, the actors dressed as Superman and
Batman were grinning and giving the peace sign to the marchers. Suddenly, some
red-faced, humor-free sergeant from the Los Angeles Porcine Department ran up to
America's superheroes and screamed, "CUT THAT OUT OR JOIN THE PARADE!"
"That fuckin' does
it!" I grunted. "Fuckin' un-American tellin' our nation's superheroes
what to do!" I whipped out my pad and pen, 3-year-old press pass and headed
over to ask the cop why he did that and get his name and badge number. Two large
hands enveloped me from behind, and a baritone belonging to Sinclair implored:
"Please don't do that,
Mike. For me."
The cat spent 29 months in
prison and years fighting with cops, so I refrained, even though the momentary
flash of righteous rage was invigorating.
In sleepy L.A. town there's just no place for a street-fightin' man. At least not one with prosthetic hips. ##
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