We caught up with former Black Panther party chair-Elaine Brown who spoke to us outside of 330 Ritch in San Francisco… She talked to us about political prisoner Chip Fitzgerald a Black Panther who has served 40 years in jail including the last year in solitary confinement. Fitzgerald’s incarceration stems from an incident in which he defended himself from LA police.
Elaine explains the widespread influence of the Black Panthers and how they impacted the early gangs in both New York and LA which sprung up in the wake of the FBI trying to destroy the Panthers using Cointel-Pro tactics. Brown talks to us about how the counter intelligence program set up by the FBI and J Edger Hoover and how it was used to destroy liberation groups.Its been documented and we’ve heard over the years from the gang members how much they influenced by the revolutionary spirit of the Black Panthers were around during the early days of Hip Hop. She explained that those early gangs had a revolutionary outlet that made them targets bby the police who sought to ‘neutralize’ them.