Essential Conversations: John Sinclair Still Hates the CIA

In Episode 26 of Essential Conversations, Ann Delisi spoke with John Sinclair about the music and activism that define his revolutionary life and career.

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John Sinclair is an activist, poet, and writer whose life and work is connected by one theme – resistance. 

Sinclair co-founded the White Panthers, managed the MC5, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the possession of two marijuana cigarettes. His imprisonment famously garnered the support of John Lennon, among others. 

A CIA conspiracy charge against Sinclair eventually took Sinclair to the Supreme Court of the United States. In the landmark 1972 case, the court unanimously ruled in Sinclair’s favor, declaring that warrantless wiretapping is illegal. 

“I hate the CIA.”  — John Sinclair

In this episode

  • What it was like managing the MC5.
  • The 1967 rebellion in Detroit.
  • Being arrested for two marijuana cigarettes and getting John Lennon’s support.
  • Illegal wire taps and conspiracy charges from the CIA.

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  • Ann Delisi

    Ann Delisi hosts Essential Music, the Essential Conversations podcast series and the Essential Cooking broadcast and podcast. Born and raised in the Motor City, Ann is a broadcaster, interviewer, producer, music host, storyteller and proud Detroiter.