Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Never Forget Fred Hampton & Mark Clark

Never forget Fred Hampton & Mark Clark

WW commentary
By Stephen Millies
Published Dec 11, 2008 7:43 PM

Thirty-nine years ago Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were assassinated in Chicago on Dec. 4, 1969, in a pre-dawn police raid on West Monroe Street. President Richard Nixon, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan were responsible.

At least 28 members of the Black Panther Party were killed as a result of the FBI’s COINTELPRO extermination program, which was approved by the Nixon administration.

The Chicago Tribune ran photos of a door supposedly filled with bullet holes to prove that the police were fired upon. Upon examination these holes turned out to be nails. There is an ongoing struggle to rename Monroe Street after Hampton, a move bitterly fought by the local cops.

Hampton grew up in Maywood, a Black suburb just west of Chicago. A natural leader, Hampton became a revolutionary and infused everyone around him with his optimism.

Hampton was a tremendous organizer who helped make the Illinois Black Panther Party chapter the largest in the country. I remember a 1969 Chicago rally to free Panther Chairman Bobby Seale where six buses came from the small Black community of Rockford, Ill.

Cops busted Hampton for handing out hundreds of ice cream bars to kids. While in jail, Hampton won over the leader of the Young Lords to revolutionary politics.

Hampton was only 21 years old when he died, yet the FBI had already over 4,000 pages of information on him. That’s how dangerous he was to the capitalists. Cops fired additional bullets into Hampton’s head to make sure he was dead.

In a 2006 interview with WW reporter Eric Struch, Fred Hampton Jr. talked about his father and Chicago: “In this city, in particular, the names do not even change, and the actual criminals, how they have been rewarded, they have been elevated. There is no better example that we can lay out than the present mayor of Chicago and the former state’s attorney, Richard Daley, who is the son of gangster Daley Sr., who during his tenure was responsible for how the assassinations of Chairman Fred and Mark Clark had went down.”

Hampton Sr. used to say, “You can kill the revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution.” We must not let the wealthy execute Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was 15 years old when he helped form the Philadelphia chapter of the Black Panther Party.

If Hampton and Clark were alive today, they would be with the courageous workers occupying the Republic Windows factory in Chicago.

The writer attended the funeral of Hampton and Clark.
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