The Chicago police murder of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark on December 4, 1969 sent shockwaves throughout the African-American and progressive communities all over the United States. Chairman Fred speaks with Dr. Benjamin Spock in background.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire Photo File.
PANW Editor's Note: The following document is reprinted from the December 5, 1969 Workers World newspaper. The article was published in response to the police murder of Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark in Chicago, Illinois. This document is being published in honor of the 37th anniversary of this heinous crime carried out by the United States government.
Stop the Murder of Panther Leaders!
Stop the War Against Black America
December 5, 1969
Vol. 11, No. 22
At five o'clock in the morning on December 4, 1969, racist Chicago police, armed to the teeth, smashed their way into the home of Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and shot him to death in his bed. They also murdered Mark Clark, Panther Party member from Peoria, Illinois. The house was surrounded by cops armed with machine guns and tear gas.
This brutal and totally unprovoked act of fascist terror is part of a ruthless campaign by the Nixon administration and the racist ruling class to exterminate the leadership of the Black Panther Party and to destroy the Party as a force fighting for the liberation of black people.
The broad masses in the anti-war and progressive movement and particularly the white workers must understand that this pre-dawn assassination raid was an atrocity of the same type that the U.S. committed in My Lai. The murder of Panther leader Fred Hampton was a premeditated act of barbarism carried out at the orders of the master class in a savage war of aggression against Black America. This provocation cannot, must not, go unchallenged. The time to respond to this monstrous violation of human rights is now. The racists must be punished for their deeds. They must feel the wrath of the people.
The country is presently experiencing a wave of revulsion and horror at the revelation of the My Lai massacre. This bestial act has quite correctly been likened to the Nazi crimes at Lidice and Buchenwald. But it will be demagogy and a criminal shirking of responsibility to vent anger and indignation at the My Lai massacre without, at the same time, mounting a militant and determined struggle against the atrocities suffered by the black people right here at home. Home is where the decisive struggle will be fought and won!
Fred Hampton, Mark Clark and the dozens of other members of the Panther Party are only the most recent victims in a long and brutal war against Black America. These murders should be classified as war crimes. They should evoke as much indignation and revulsion among progressive humanity as do the crimes against Vietnam. More importantly, the massacre of black leaders should be protested just as strenuously, just as militantly and just as widely as the massacre of our Vietnamese brothers.
The war against Black America is total. Any black community in the U.S. is subject to invasion by U.S. troops, tanks, armored personnel carriers mounted with machine guns, helicopters, tear gas at the slightest sign of mass resistance to racism and police brutality. Every black community in the U.S. is already occupied and patrolled by the police of U.S. imperialism. Every black person in the U.S. is subject to beating, arrest or murder by these occupation forces at any time.
These are the same conditions of enslavement which the Vietnamese are fighting against. Black America, just like Vietnam, is subject to perpetual attack from an imperialist aggressor.
The U.S. billionaires want the black people to man their sweat shops, work their plantations, sweep their floors and serve their meals for slave wages while the profits roll into their coffers. That is why they are at war against Black America.
The black people, just like the Vietnamese, have organizations which fight for them. The Black Panther Party is trying to serve the black people in the same way that the National Liberation Front is trying to serve the Vietnamese people--by fighting for liberation, for self-determination, to get the boot-heel of U.S. imperialism off the peoples' neck. They fight for the same cause; they are up against the same imperialist enemy and they are both being subjected to the murderous atrocities and war crimes by the ruling class.
The murder of the Panther leaders is part and parcel of the same rampant fascism which led to My Lai, which U.S. big business is unleashing against oppressed people everywhere and which the bosses turn against the working class when they begin to resist exploitation--as they are now beginning to do in GE and dozens of other smaller strikes.
It is the most urgent task of the progressive, student and anti-war movement in general to mobilize a broad and militant counter-attack against these domestic atrocities. It is high time to strike back with full force. We must organize protests, demonstrations and set in motion all forms of struggle against the racist war criminals, Nixon, Mitchell, the fascist courts and all the local agents of the ruling class who persecute black liberation fighters. We must show the masses that My Lai and the murder of Fred Hampton are two identical deeds executed by the same guiding hand in Washington.
Stop the war against Black America!
Long live the black liberation struggle!
Long live the solidarity of black and white against imperialism!
Long live the proletarian revolution!