Saturday, June 24, 2006

A Tribute to Fred Hampton of the Black Panther Party

Mark Clark & Fred Hampton
Originally uploaded by panafnewswire.
Editor's Note: Fred Hampton, the former deputy chairman of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP) was murdered on the morning of December 4, 1969 by the Chicago police. During a raid directed by the State Attorney's office in Illinois under the leadership of Edward V. Hanrahan, chairman Fred was murdered along with Mark Clark, a captain from the Peoria, Illinois chapter of the Party.

The raid was carried out on a Panther residence at 2337 W. Monroe on the city's west side. In addition to the murder of Hampton and Clark, several other occupants of the residence were wounded including: Brenda Harris, Verlina Brewer, and Ronald "Doc" Satchell.

Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton had long been a target of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Counter-Intelligence Program aimed at the neutralization of the so-called "Key Black Extremists" (KBE) within the African revolutionary movement in the United States during the late 1960s.

The following article entitled " Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton On Canada", was written only several days prior to his assassination in Chicago. The article illustrates the character and intensity of the repression that has been leveled against the Black Panther Party and its leaders. The article was originally published in the "Black Panther: Black Community News Service", in the Saturday November 29, 1969 issue.

Title: Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton On Canada

Text: We began our trip by going to the airport here in Chicago and the ticket agent followed us all the way to the plane to remind us that we are not allowed to carry weapons on the plane. From the beginning of our trip it was very clear that the only people on the plane were Panthers, pigs and pilots.

We got to Winnipeg, where we had to go through customs, and were treated very antagonistically by a very fat pig. We showed him our telgram and told him that there had been a change in people who were scheduled to make the trip. He told us that they already had our seals made out and to just sign the same names on the seals that were there. We did that and he allowed us to go on.

We went to Saskatoon, Regina and to Edmonton, Alberta. We spoke on all the campuses. Every campus that we spoke on we were heckled by the same pigs. They tried to start fights at two of the campuses but they were unsuccessful. The pigs even got up and took a very strong position against Kim Il Sung. We knew very well, when they took that anti-position that Eldridge and the leadership of our Party were definately on the right line in following the teachings of the great leader of North Korea, Kim Il Sung.

They were successful in their provocateur attempts to incite violence on the last trip that we made in Edmonton, Alberta. We were on the university campus there and the pig got up and said that Bobby Seale was a Black pussy cat and said that the leader Kim Il Sung was nothing but a counter-revolutionary and was known to be a counter-revolutionary. We didn't get antagonistic about it, we tried to educate him in the manner that we had been educating during the duration of our trip through Canada.

The pig proceeded then to tell me as I was trying to educate him that he'd go outside with me. I told him that our Party understands that he's an agent provocateur and that we understand what he was sent there for and he had done the same thing in the earlier two trips. After he was unsuccessful in creating any violent confrontation between myself and him, he then began to heckle African and West Indian students within the audience.

Finally, there was a confrontation; he hit one of the radical students. There were around sixteen people fighting him and another pig. Because we had control of the microphone we were in the strategic position where our voices could be amplified. We told the people to sit down immediately and to resist the temptation of being drawn in by this smokescreen of racism, when all it was, very clearly, was a pig provocateur, an agent who was sent there to set up a situation, a violent situation within the meeting.

Whereby those of us who were travelling on bond such as myself could be prosecuted for crossing the state lines to incite a riot. The people were very responsive. They did sit down; they avoided a violent confrontation; they avoided putting us in a situation that could have caused much criminal oppression upon our Party.

From there we were supposed to go on further and speak at another university in Lethbridge where our Chief of Staff, David Hilliard had been previously. We weren't able to go there because of the very clear overt fascist oppression that was being placed upon us. We were forced to catch a plane and go back to Winnipeg.

We got off the plane in Winnipeg and when we got off we were surrounded by people with badges who called themselves immigration agents. These people are similar to the people in the southern part of Babylon. We call Canada the northern part of Babylon, now after having actual experience with it. They flashed their badges on us and had us surrounded and told us that they wanted to talk to us.

The same fat pig who had told the people to sign their names on the seal no matter whether it was their names or not, had now set up a situation where he claimed that these people had forged their names. We showed him the same telegram we had before which allowed us to get passed him in the first place. The telegrams, two of them, had our names on them. Then we showed him all the papers where they had reported on our speaking.

They had used the names Willie Calvin, Gerry Eldrich and Fred Hampton. They said that Willie Calvin and Gerry Eldrich were traveling under fradulent names; that they were traveling illegally and had entered Canada illegally. The fat pig that had told us to do this left the room immediately. We were not allowed to level any charges at him.

It was a trial that was similar to that which Chairman Bobby was confronted with. They told me to leave. I asked them if the brothers could have legal counsel and he said that they could be represented by a friend, a relative or anybody. I told them that I would represent the brothers but I would like to first call a lawyer. I called the lawyer and the lawyer called down there. And by the time we knew anything, the brothers had been tried in a closed court and they had been deported for using false identification to cross the border.


Deputy Chairman
Illinois Chapter
Black Panther Party

Editor's Note: After the murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on December 4, 1969, the African community in Chicago and around the country came to the defense of the Black Panther Party and denounced the assassinations as a "northern lynching". Despite the brutal killings of two of the most capable leaders and organizers within the revolutionary movement, the state of Illinois still attempted to prosecute the survivors of the massacre on spurious charges.

The following article entitled, " 'Legal Massacre' Planned for the Surviving Seven", first appeared in the Saturday March 21, 1970 issue of "Black Panther: Black Community News Service". In this editorial, the newspaper describes the efforts to imprison the seven surviving occupants of the residence during the raid, who were released on bond after the events of December 4.

Title: "Legal Massacre" Planned For the Surviving Seven

Text: The intended massacre of the seven other persons in the house on December 4th, at the time of the Fred Hampton-Mark Clark murders was unsuccessful. Four were seriously wounded: Ronald 'Doc' Satchell, Verlina Brewer, Brenda 'China Doll' Harris and Blair Anderson. Two, Louis Truelock and Harold Bell, were badly beaten when they were taken to jail after the shoot-in. Eight and one-half months pregnant at the time, Deborah Johnson was subjected to brutal and inhuman treatment when thrown in jail.

But the '7', although beaten and wounded, survived the physical massacre and now must survive the 'legal' massacre. The legal massacre seeks to hide what happened that dawn morning when Illinois Bell Telephone trucks-with occupants who donned themselves in blue, accentuated by machine guns, shotguns, rifles, .357 magnums and nights sticks- surrounded the building at 2337 W. Monroe with no intentions of telephones or cables being repaired.

Indeed, far from repair work, 'destroy' was the nature of their business. Thus, it happened that doors were blasted with gun-fire and sleeping victims awakened to the sounds of death: the rat-tat, tat-tat of machine guns and the scornful jeers of 'Nigger die'. In the end, a trail of blood was paved that morning with victims lying in the puddles.

Deborah's baby (yet inside of her at 8 and one-half months) must surely have vowed an unheard vengeance on that morning when its father was murdered and its mother was jailed.

This horror spectacle must surely remind you of others who struggled: the four little Black girls that died in Sunday School in Birmingham, the three civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi, the two Soto brothers murdered recently here in Chicago, and the innocent victims of the My Lai massacre. All were struck down by the depraved of humanity, the same kind of criminal element who after killing Fred and Mark are dissatisfied because the other seven did not die.

But these criminals await court where procedures may be rigged and legal assassination may be accomplished. Therefore, Hanrahan and his cohorts work diligently to procure injustice for all. And Hanrahan will use the ancient game of 'victims made into criminals and vice-versa', so that the losers will indeed be losers--they'll lose their lives.

But if you shed tears for those four little Black girls, and the Soto brothers, and countless others, don't cry for the 7, scream. Be overwhelmed with a rage that vows that these people, too, shall not be taken away, because for too long too many have died in the struggle; too many have languished in the prisons and jails. There has to be an end--we'll start with the 7. That is why all of us must go to court whenever the 7 go to trial. We must be there to support them and see that justice is done.

We'll start with the 7 by saying: 'Pigs, we the people refuse to let you convict the 7'. We will not stand for a rigged jury and handpicked judge. The 7 must be set free because OUR PATIENCE CRIES FOR CESSATION AND OUR ANGER CRIES FOR VENGEANCE--COLD AND DEADLY!


Editor's Note: Even though the charges were eventually dropped against the seven survivors of the December 4, 1969 massacre, the coroner's inquest into the murders of Hampton and Clark reached a verdict of "justifiable homicide" and consequently did not level any indictments against the 14 police officers invovlved in the raid or the State's Attorney at the time, Edward V. Hanrahan.

Despite this predictable response from the state, the Black Panther Party in conjunction with its supporters organized a peoples' inquest into the assassinations of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark. The following article entitled, "Hanrahan and Jolovec Found Guilty of Murder by Peoples' Inquest- Fourteen State Attorney's Agents Also Found in Contempt of Court", was initially published in the Saturday March 21, 1970 issue of the "Black Panther: Black Community News Service".

Title: Hanrahan and Jolovec Found Guilty of Murder by Peoples' Inquest, Fourteen State Attorney's Agents Also Found in Contempt of Court

Text: The Peoples' Inquest was held in the First Congregational Church over the weekend. The inquest called by the people to look into the murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark was the culmination of a two day conference called by the Emergency Committee to Defend the Right of the Black Panther Party to Exist.

The inquest was held to get the facts of the December 4th raid that killed Fred Hampton and Mark Clark and wounded Brenda Harris, 18, Verlina Brewer, 18, Deborah Johnson, 19, Harold Bell, 23, Ronald 'Doc' Satchell, 19, and Louis Truelock, 39. The whitewash job done by the Coroner's jury and inquest called by Edward Hanrahan, (Daley's fair-haired boy moving toward the top as Daley's successor as mayor) came up with a justifiable homicide verdict.

The coroner, Martin Gerber, has a special interest in the justifiable homicide verdict since he is an appointee of Daley's political machine and not a representative of the people. The jury that came to the conclusion that the State Attorney's special pig squad was justified in murdering Fred in his sleep and Mark as he answered the door, was made up of old Blacks from the Republican Party, retired businessmen, and old White doctors and lawyers.

These people were selected for the sole reasons that they didn't have knowledge of the average reasoning man in the Black community or supported the issues in this congressional district that caused young people to rebel against the illegitimate authority of this vile economic and political system. It was a jury not of the peer group of slain Fred and Mark, but ideological servants, lackies, you know, flag wavers, people who strive to keep this system on its decaying feet. It was a whitewash job, designed to cover up the murders and skillfully take the responsibility off the hired killers and place it on the shoulders of the surviving seven.

The Peoples' Inquest was called by the people, the victims, and not by the authorities, the criminals. The people who served as the jurors, were from the community and the same economic and political, racial and social strata as Fred and Mark; it was clear to everyone that the jury was constitutional, a jury of their peer group. The coroner was also from the community--Dr. Charles Hurst, an adminstrator that has the same goals as the people of the community. The jury and the coroner didn't come with prejudgements like the hired servants that justified the right of the State's Attorney to murder Fred and Mark.

Six of the seven survivors testified freely to the questions put to them by the people's prosecutor, Jewel Cook, Field Secretary, and the Deputy Minister of Defense, Bobby Rush of the Black Panther Party. The seven defendants testified to the prosecutor and the jury that they didn't have guns in their possession nor did they fire at the police. When asked if the police authorities showed a search warrant or even mentioned that they had one, the defendants testified that they did not.

One gathered from the testimony of the seven that the police knew Fred was there and that they simply broke down the door and came in with their guns blazing. Blair Anderson testified that he heard two shots at the front entrance, one which killed Mark Clark and another which penetrated the wall behind the door. Ballistics tests verified that the shots came from the outside of the door and entered into the hall, destroying the police's testimony. Even very highly paid police ballastics people couldn't come up with evidence to support their claims.

Deborah Johnson, Deputy Chairman Fred's revolutionary widow, mother of a two month old child, testified that the Deputy Chairman didn't have a gun and that he was murdered in cold blood...they all testified, except for Ronald Satchell, Deputy Minister of Health, who was hit five times with 45 caliber machine gun bullets, that all the fire was concentrated in the back room where the Deputy Chairman slept; a clear indication that it was in fact a pre-planned political execution, similar to that of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and Medgar Evers.

With all the correct information and evidence before them, the jury found the government guilty of murder and also contempt of court since they failed to appear at the inquest at the demand of the people.

The inquest was a clear indication of what politics is designed to produce for the people. It was a case in which the people took the law into their own hands, looked into the murder for themselves and then came upon a satisfactory conclusion. It was illustrative of how a court operates in a socialist country or a country that has a revolutionary government. The only thing that was missing, however, is the power needed to execute the real criminals...that will only come with the success of the revolution.

The inquest ended with the people demanding that Hanrahan be indicted for murder and that the charges against the seven survivors be dropped.




REB 84 said...

It seems that throughout history, executive and/or royal authority has been gained via a ruthless determination to reach out and take as much power as people allow.

Idealogs have risen to power in large part because too many people are too easily led. A "bandwagon effect" leads to almost a cult like following of "true believers." These true believers have two main rolls (besides being cheer-leaders). They recruit new members or intimidate the opposition. Still, this dedication is not enough to maintain long-term power.

Totalitarian movements grow because far too many citizens are uninvolved with politics and don’t ask questions. These citizens are the disconnected, silent majority. The key to positive change in America lies not with divisive partisan politics. The key is tapping into the pent-up hopes and dreams of the disaffected, uneducated, and uninformed Americans who don't even bother to vote.

On a positive note, I recently found a very interesting website This site is one way silent majority can learn how to question.

It's Propaganda Lessons section is good complementary reading to OhioDem1's How to Sell a War I’m glad I found this site while Googling "question." It is encouraging to find fellow Americans who are taking positive actions to help wake up America.

Defend America
ask questions

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