The bitterly contended citizenship trial of a devoutly humanitarian family adding to American society, laughs in the face of professed American virtues of Christian charity.
In 2012, I travelled to London with my dad who had purchased us tickets to see the Dalai Lama at the Royal Albert Hall because we were both curious about the man and his ideas. The amassed Buddhist peoples of the world – the ones that were there anyway – were a wizened and handsome undulating patchwork of extraordinary inner-outer beauty and colourful linen contrast ‘gainst staid hues of Victorian brickwork. Incidentally, next door at the Serpentine was an exhibit by Yoko Ono, including, to my luck, many thoughtful antiwar pieces she must have consulted on with John Lennon and the marvelous installation AMAZE. It was carnival of the imagination.
Several years later, so far from the Albert’s glamour, in the dank dinge of a flat in which I was being abused, I met Lennon as a guardian angel, the individual commonly being remembered as responsible for starting the Beatles and singing Imagine to the times beleaguered by war. He is a legendary icon, once known as a Beatles star and then a stellar activist. Watching a documentary I viewed with horror and churning guts a statement Nixon made broadcast nationwide as he threatened stars who get involved in political activism take on a huge personal risk. I said “it’s almost but not quite a confession”.
That was during Vietnam about three and a bit decades before Iraq brought the same ecocidal arsenal to the Middle East and to the peoples and wildlife of ancient Mesopotamia. US efforts in Vietnam were futile according to the most accurate and unbiased evaluations of a war they decidedly lost. In ’69 at the zenith of the antiwar movement radical writer and musician Sinclair received a punitive sentence for selling dope to an undercover cop, who were prominent covert agents in campaigns, sent to undermine their progress. Lennon was one of a plethora of activists who for years raised money through appeals and gigs to raise the profile of the legal defenses of such prisoners as John Sinclair for whom he composed and performed a song at a concert at the Uni of Michigan campus in ’71.
He had a characteristically generous and liberal and carefree approach to offering humanitarian aid to political prisoners who spoke to his hopes and dreams and was assured by a widening and warming audience borne aloft by youth that it was worthwhile – until one day when he was to spot an FBI agent in the crowd writing his lyrics down as he preached. Subsequently he was wiretapped and victim to all manner of attempts at dubiously legal censorship and surveillance warranted by Nixon. Today he is dead having been shot in ’80.
On the day of his death it was immediately clear that he would be remembered by time for his phenomenal musical and cultural and humanitarian contributions. This so called internal enemy or alien had a good heart which had devoted its time to cultural or philanthropic activist causes because he grew up caring for the end of iniquity and injustice including his infamous advocacy for a free speech march. In excess of x no of youth attended and his interest gave the agenda and the assailed publication a global megaphone.
In 1972, John Lennon fought charges under immigration law. His crime had been to settle and organize politically in the United States as a native Brit and build a life with his Japanese artist wife there. They were offered the prospect to request permission to “deport voluntarily” if they accepted the Nixon administration’s ideas for their destiny but recoiled on principle. “Voluntary deportation” is the sham and mockery of justice in the US, giving a veneer of freedom and autonomy to citizens under duress of the most powerful prosecutors and executioners on the planet. Refusal warrants forcible removal.
Moreover, he was concurrently punished by the administration and the press for an earlier drug possession fine which was extraneous to the citizenship case but which became a powerful tool exerting excessive powers of manipulation of public opinion, wont to descend to moral panic over petty drug convictions, his “crime” based on having kept at his home some hashish he said he had planted himself.
The then president, Richard Nixon, deftly churned out moralizing rhetoric on the social danger of petty drug use. He, with accountability for agencies actively infiltrating hitherto straight edge activist cells with narcotics with a view to having a way to tarnish their reputation, routinely described activists, especially those with minor drug convictions, as a fifth column, an insidious internal enemy, a permanent threat to domestic security and international agendas, one that needed to be extirpated by any means necessary. This was America, as the baby boomers went hysterical on the heady fumes of freedom.
The trial in 1972 deserved a commentary from Trotsky, such was the level of corruption in the execution of justice. It began in the first instance because of the existence and aggressive activity of Senate Subcommittees still fresh from the institutionalized bullying tactics of McCarthy era, units which sought to neutralize the threat of the subversive new left to the military interest. That the new left “intend to use Lennon as a drawing card to promote their success” was the analysis of Storm Thurmond, who hinted “if Lennon’s visa is terminated it would be a strategic countermeasure.”
The citizenship trial was not what is was supposed to be about, but at least they won. Their citizenship case won, the Lennon Ono family celebrated the only way they knew how, by throwing themselves in to intensifying activism and creative work. No warring congressmen, military elite or oil exec ever faced trial for their campaign of defamation of character, nor for their harassment of activist, whom ought to be protected.
And, of course, the UK also has one of the world's highest Covid death levels under its own lying, populist and corrupt leadership https://t.co/Vry4VFidJZ
— Ian Birrell (@ianbirrell) December 29, 2020
During last year’s US election immigration became weaponized again with the triumphant candidate Trump pledging to erect a Berlin style wall across the border with Mexico, which, he claimed, was having an exodus of its citizens in to US territory with the consequence of there being less jobs for naturalized Americans and the degradation of the country.
Racial rhetoric repeat oft enough becomes national faith. Raids and sanctions have devastated settler communities. As the issue of imported lives is informed by exported lies, the vulnerable are the first victims. They, like Lennon, were let down by the US justice system. This is what is called national security, the social good.
“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” ~ John Lennon
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Latest posts by Meg Sherman (see all)
- The Political Trial Of John Lennon Signaled The Embarrassment Of Justice - December 29, 2020
- Maligning Jeremy Corbyn: the Media-Politico Complex’s Attempt to Silence an Outsider - April 22, 2019
- House of Farce: the Mueller Report, Russiagate and the Fraudulence of the Media-Politico Complex - March 23, 2019