R.O.C. CONFRONTS CENSORS, COPS IN MICHIGAN, YOUNGSTOWN, OH!
Marge Ondo, the anti-rock crusader "profiled" in ROC #5 has of late added adult videos to her list of "social evils" she and her friends have taken upon themselves to "protect" the rest of us from. Known for (and no doubt getting her kicks from) donning a wig and dark glasses to "check out" X-rated outlets around the Fenton, Michigan area, this bird is a case study in dried-up, puritan hypocrisy.
Anyway, when Marge and her followers in Citizens Against Pornography (CAP), an affiliate of Don Wildmon's AFA, announced they were going to do a 15 car motorcade from Fenton to Ortonville, Michigan R.O.C. rep Angie Beardslee, her mom and friends decided to let Mondo & Co. experience some organized, vocal opposition. If C.A.P. can be an obnoxious public nuisance with their honking and bullhorn ranting, then others have the right to at least publicly voice, their own opinions along it's route as well. Right?
Wrong! As the C.A.P. nutwagon rolled into Holly, MI, with an obnoxiously amplified Mondo ranting on about the evils of "porno" and rock music (with banners proclaiming such profundities as "Porn Destroys" and "Rock Kills") Angie and friends hit the streets in their black R.O.C. t-shirts to engage in a little "dialogue" with the Kooky Karavan. That is until the cops (who were acting as escorts for the C.A.P. motorcade at taxpayers expense) "moved in" to tell the ROC'ers to "stop disrupting" what the cops called "a group of model citizens" and to "move on." Didn't the goosesteppers get their start sweeping German streets of "undesirables" in the 30's? The deja vu was sobering. The warning signs are flashing people! It's time to get organized!
Meanwhile, Angie continues to build R.O.C. in a part of the state where rock magazines have been removed from most outlets thanks to the efforts of the anti-rock crackpots. Angie reports that anyone wanting a firsthand, inside look at Marge Ondo's planning sessions can attend C.A.P.'s public meetings at the Methodist Church in Fenton at 7:30 p.m. the 2nd Thursday of every month.
A few weeks later, R.O.C. received word that repression was brewing in Youngstown, Ohio under the rubric of "The Mahoning County Coalition for Decency," aimed at making Y-Town "porn-free" through the usual methods of censorship-through-intimidation. The coalition was holding it's first rally/membership drive kick-off at the Stambaugh Auditorium which R.O.C.'s Y-Town contacts Debbie, Mark, Sherry and Tim invited R.O.C. to attend as part of a counter-rally outside. When John and Kirby arrived they were met by a line of some 25 riot-gear equipped cops, some on horseback but all giving off a distinct aura that they sought to intimidate any feisty opposition to the proceedings inside. One cop, in fact, blatantly looking for trouble, spied Kirby's Ohio Sheriff Association patch on his jacket, lied about his having the patch was illegal and confiscated the jacket. (It was only after much negotiation did R.O.C. get it back.) Despite the cops' hostilities R.O.C. and its Y-Town pals held their ground. Woods would even be seen and heard talking on the 11 o'clock news of all 3 Y-Town TV stations that evening and quoted in the next day's daily paper's front page story linking the so-called "decency" gathering to "a 30's Nazi rally."
As a result of the night's action, a new R.O.C. Chapter was founded in Y-Town, back at Mark's apartment, over beers and listening to Butthole Surfers and Alice Donut CD's. Y-Town R.O.C. has in recent weeks been monitoring the campaign of intimidation on the part of city officials which have followed the rally: fire marshalls fining adult bookstores for nonexistent and obscure fire codes, hassling by the police (with at least one court case over 4 seized video tapes expected soon) and more. Y-Town R.O.C. wants to build a coalition of citizens from throughout Mohoning County to offset the so-called "decency" Coalition and those officials now carrying out their "program for a porn-free Youngstown." Call Mark at (216) 799-5334 on how to get involved.