John Sinclair, Elliott Levin, Jair-Rohm Welles, Carole Denis, DJ Fly. Cafe OTO.

John Sinclair kindly invited me to join him in London at cafe Oto for two dates…

Mon, Jan 19th
London: Cafe OTO-Martin Luther King Day with John Sinclair, Elliott Levin, Jair-Rohm Wells, Carole Denis, DJ Fly.

Tue, Jan 20th
London: Cafe OTO—Obama Inaugural Party with John Sinclair, Elliott Levin, Jair-Rohm Wells, Carole Denis, DJ Fly.

Cafe OTO
18 – 22 Ashwin street
E8 3DL.” “

See you there


2 thoughts on “John Sinclair, Elliott Levin, Jair-Rohm Welles, Carole Denis, DJ Fly. Cafe OTO.

  1.’s inauguration hailed by White Panther founder John SinclairJohn Sinclair, Poet and performer, icon of the 1960’s counterculture, scourge of the Nixon Administration, manager of MC5, anti-racism campaigner and co-founder of the White Panther Party.(Chris Harris/The Times)John Sinclair, the veteran anti-racism campaignerKaya BurgessOne of the leading white voices in the American civil rights movement has declared Barack Obama’s inauguration yesterday a victory not only for the black community, but also for those white people who joined the call for an end to the “American apartheid”.John Sinclair, who founded the White Panther Party in 1968 in support of black civil rights, told The Times: “I’ve been waiting for this day all my adult life. I never thought it would be possible.”Mr Sinclair, whose two-and-a-half year imprisonment for possession of marijuana in the 1960s became a cause célèbre for John Lennon and Stevie Wonder, was in London last night to play a special one-off gig in honour of Barack Obama’s inauguration.After centuries of slavery, exploitation and oppression of black people by white Americans, Mr Sinclair feels that Mr Obama’s inauguration represents a watershed for both the black and white communities.Related Links * Obama: America is ready to lead once more * IN FULL: the inaugural speech * The MC5 “Obama has used the mechanisms of the social order against itself,” Mr Sinclair explained. “He’s like John F. Kennedy – he’s fresh, young and smart. It’s just something that the Establishment has never authorised before.“When you are a white person in America, you have a horrible racist history that you were always uncomfortable with, but you think ‘what can I do?’ And now they’ve made the ultimate choice.“I bet a lot of those people felt they would never vote for a ‘nigger’. But it feels good to do the right thing and white people feel proud of themselves too.”Mr Sinclair was a beatnik poet, political activist and manager of punk-rock band MC5 in a racially divided Detroit in the 1960s. It was in 1968, just months after the assassination of Martin Luther King, that he founded the White Panther Party in answer to the Black Panthers’ call for white people to support their movement.The election of Mr Obama represents for John Sinclair the first steps towards a goal set nearly 50 years ago, and one towards which people, both white and black, have never stopped striving.“True equality for black people doesn’t exist yet; all the problems are not over and are not even being addressed. But they’ve addressed one. Can a black man be President? Yes. They’ve answered that one, and it’s a good start.”Sinclair grew up on a small white-run farm in Michigan, but it was the rhythm’n’blues of Ray Charles and Big Joe Turner that made him what Norman Mailer once called a “white negro”.As a college undergraduate in Flint, Michigan, Sinclair joined the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP), idolising Malcolm X and Martin Luther King. Their dream was Sinclair’s dream.Mr Sinclair said: “I lost any hope in the American political system when they killed Malcolm X, the only man who knew what was going on. I’ll never forget that day. I felt like there wasn’t any hope for these people.“And I’ve felt like that until now, inaugurating Obama as President.”Sinclair’s band, MC5, were the only group to perform at the Festival of Light protest rally outside the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968 before police and protestors began clashing in violent battles throughout the city.It was in Grant Park in Chicago that some of the bloodiest encounters took place, on the very spot where, 40 years later, Barack Obama would be standing to give his victory speech on election night 2008.“Obama’s inauguration is pretty amazing,” Mr Sinclair said. “It’s a combination of frustration and what they feel at the end of eight years of Bush. It’s destroyed the moral fibre of the country.“Obama’s uprightness and moral integrity and reasonableness – and the obvious intelligence of this guy – combined with the terrible backdrop against which he rose … has had unbelievable results.”Mr Sinclair, who was the subject of a John Lennon song written for a mass rally to free him from a ten-year prison sentence in 1971, has long combined his poetry with his desire for revolution, and has collected his writings in his book It’s All Good: A John Sinclair Reader, released through British indie publishers Headpress.In one story he talks of how Detroit felt like a city reborn when they elected their first black mayor, Coleman A. Young.Sitting in a house in North London, with a long white beard and a Malcolm X Academy sweatshirt, seems an age away from those days of hope. But Mr Sinclair thinks that may change with Barack Obama now in the White House.On stage last night, to celebrate Obama’s inauguration, he told the audience: “Look at the mess white people have made of my country. It’s time for someone else to have a go.”

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