Today December 4th We Remember Chairman Fred Hampton-Killed by the FBI and Chicago Police

“I am … a revolutionary” was the rallying cry of Chairman Fred Hampton, a leader so powerful that he could draw tens of thousands on a moment’s notice and therefore such a threat to the system that he was assassinated at the age of only 21, on Dec. 4, 1969. – Photo: Paul Sequeira

Today December 4th  2010, many in our generation and community will note this was the day rap star Jay-Z was born 41 years ago. His birth will be celebrated, people will shout him out and his success will be a symbol of our collective achievement. Thats a good thing. We should always give props to those making moves among us.

What will not be noted by many in our generation and for that matter many in previous generations will be the vicious and deliberate death of 21 year old Chairman Fred Hampton..and Mark Clark. Fred was the leader of the Chicago Black Panther Party which was the largest chapter.

Chairman Fred was man decades ahead of his time. He’s the one who started the original Rainbow Coalition where he united and formed effective coalitions with whites, Black, Brown,  Yellow and Red peoples. Here was man that was actively working to politicize and work with the local gangs to help advance our people. here was a man who used a cadence and style of call and response speech later made famous by Jesse Jackson. Today we hear Jesse say ‘I am … Somebody’.. Back in the days you heard Fred say ”I am..a Revolutionary‘.

What won’t be remembered is that the deaths of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark came at the hands of the racist Chicago Police department and the FBI through its cointel-program. On this day December 4th we hope don’t forget.. 41 years later Justice has not been served.

Davey D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UstROPm3Ezw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNYuSBXUo6g&feature=player_embedded

This article was written by former Black Panther and editor of the Black Agenda Report Bruce Dixon it was for last year’s (2009) 40th commemoration of Chairman Fred Hampton‘s Death

Remembering Fred Hampton

by bruce Dixon

http://blackagendareport.com/?q=content/remembering-fred-hampton-40-years-later

Bruce Dixon

I remember Fred Hampton.  For the last year of his life, which was the whole time I knew him, he was Deputy Chairman of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party.  Fred was a big man whose inexhaustible energy, keen insight and passionate commitment to the struggle made him seem even larger still.  We called him Chairman Fred.  Chairman Fred was murdered by the FBI and Chicago Police Department in the pre-dawn hours of December 4, 1969.  He was just 21 years old.  Fred’s family and comrades mourned him for a little while and have celebrated his life of struggle, service, intensity and sacrifice ever since.

For such a short life there is much to celebrate.  A gifted communicator and natural leader, Fred was organizing other high school students at the age of 15.  Though a brilliant student, Fred passed up the chance to attend some elite college, the straight road to some lucrative and prestigious career.  Inspired by examples from the civil rights movement to anti-colonial struggles in Vietnam and Africa, Fred chose instead to live and work on the West Side of Chicago and devote all his talents and energies to ending the oppression of woman and man by man, helping to organize and lead the Black Panther Party in Chicago.

Chairman Fred led by example.  He had high standards and challenged all those in his orbit to get up as early, to read as much, and to work and study as hard and as productively as he did.  I never saw anybody meet that challenge for long, but he made us want to keep trying.  Fred sought out principled critiques of his own practices, and taught us the vital role of constructing, receiving and acting on such criticism in building a sound organization.

Fred assumed a lead role in organizing the party’s Breakfast for Children program, in which we solicited donations of food and facilities and provided or recruited the labor to serve free hot breakfasts to children on the way to school in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods where local authorities assured us that no hunger problem existed.  Not long afterward the city of Chicago began using federal funds to provide hot breakfasts to children in lower income neighborhoods across the city.  Fred worked with the Medical Committee for Human Rights to open the Black Panther Party’s free medical clinic on the West Side of Chicago where authorities again solemnly declared there were no shortage of such services.  And again, not long afterward the Chicago Board of Health was persuaded of the need to open a network of clinics providing free and low-cost services in the city’s poorer areas.

Chairman Fred Hampton

Fred reached out to work with the Young Lords Organization in Chicago’s Puerto Rican community, and to a group of  white working class youth who called themselves the Young Patriots.  He made time to speak to and with student groups in high schools and colleges all over Chicago and the surrounding area.  He organized community surveys to get snapshots of the actual and perceived needs of some neighborhoods.  1969 was well before the epidemics of powdered and crack cocaine put large and permanently corrupting sums of money into the hands of gang leaders.  Fred was instrumental in crafting a principled approach not just to individual members but to the rank and file and leaderships of black Chicago’s two major street gangs to put aside their differences and work for the good of the entire community.  His efforts met with some initial success, and earned him some extra special attention from the FBI.

There was much more, really an awful lot going on for a young man of 20 or 21, all the more amazing as most members of the organization he led were a year or two or three younger than Fred.  Despite arrests and threats of imprisonment or death hanging over him, Fred persevered and challenged us to do the same.  He was impatient with injustice, as the finest young people of every age always are.  Fred was animated, almost consumed by a love for our people and for all of humanity and determined to do whatever it took to end the exploitation of woman and man by man.

Times do change and the mechanisms of oppression evolve into new forms.  Political organizations and strategic visions crafted for the needs of one era do not make the grade in another.  If Fred was alive today he’d be a grandfather in his sixties.  It’s impossible to know exactly how he’d be doing but there is no doubt that Fred would still be teaching and learning and inspiring, still tirelessly organizing and struggling in the great cause of human liberation.

Chairman Fred called us to a lifetime of service to humanity.  If we weren’t doing something revolutionary, Fred told us many times, we should not even bother to remember him.  So, forty years on and counting, we continue to work hard to be worthy of his memory.

This is Bruce Dixon, for Black Agenda Radio. Find us on the web atwww.blackagendareport.com.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6CEaS0PBhc&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KF9xycQITo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DzzFEeHot8&feature=related

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

 

 

Former Black Panther chair Elaine Brown Speaks on Cointel-pro, The Panther’s influence on Gangs & Freeing Chip Fitzgerald

Share/Bookmark//

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. 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roGNxckardg

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

December 4th 1969: 40 Years Ago the FBI Murdered a Black Panther-We Remember Fred Hampton

Share/Bookmark//

December 4th 1969: 40 Years Ago the FBI Murdered a Black Panther

http://www.sfbayview.com/2009/%e2%80%98i-am-a-revolutionary%e2%80%99/

“I am … a revolutionary” was the rallying cry of Chairman Fred Hampton, a leader so powerful that he could draw tens of thousands on a moment’s notice and therefore such a threat to the system that he was assassinated at the age of only 21, on Dec. 4, 1969. – Photo: Paul Sequeira

On Dec. 4, 1969, 40 years ago, Chicago police led by Cook County prosecutor Edward Hanrahan as part of an FBI Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) operation stormed into Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton’s apartment at 4:30 a.m. Armed with shotguns, handguns and a .45 caliber machine gun and guided by a floor plan of the apartment provided by an informant, the police killed Defense Captain Mark Clark and critically injured four other Panthers.

They gunned their way through the apartment into Fred Hampton’s bedroom. There he lay sleeping, having been drugged earlier by an FBI informant. As he lay there, the cops stood over him and put two bullets in his brain, at close range.

Other Panthers, including Fred Hampton’s eight month pregnant wife, Deborah Johnson (aka Akua Njeri), were beaten, dragged into the street and charged with assault and attempted murder. Not one officer ever spent a day in jail.

Fred Hampton was assassinated by the police and dragged by his wrist to the door December 4th 1969

Following this murderous attack – where the police fired 99 rounds in the house and were completely uninjured themselves – Hanrahan brazenly lied that the police were under heavy fire from the Panthers. Among all the many thousands and thousands of actions that show why the Black Panther Party correctly dubbed the police “pigs,” few compare to the viciousness and lies surrounding the assassination of Fred Hampton.

The media took up and spread these lies from the authorities as if they were the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But the Panthers in Chicago – still shocked and grieving from the terrible loss of their key leader and with many of their core members now in jail – refused to give up. Instead, they turned to the people and mounted a defiant political counter-offensive.

The Panthers organized “people’s tours” of the apartment. Thousands came, first from the ghettos and then more broadly. Film crews and reporters were brought in. People saw with their own eyes. And the evidence was clear: All the bullet holes were coming IN. The famous picture supplied by the authorities and run in the Chicago Tribune at the time, showing a door supposedly riddled with bullets coming from the Panthers, was actually a door with nail holes. Even mainstream commentators felt compelled to speak out. Hanrahan had claimed that it was only through the “grace of God” that his men escaped with scratches.

The cops stood over Chairman Fred Hampton as he lay sleeping and put two bullets in his brain at close range. This is Chairman Fred’s bed after his murder. – Photo: Paul Sequeira

Mike Royko, then a columnist at the Chicago Daily News – and no Panther supporter – wrote in response: “Indeed it does appear that miracles occurred. The Panthers’ bullets must have dissolved into the air before they hit anybody or anything. Either that or the Panthers were shooting in the wrong direction – namely, at themselves.” (See “The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and the Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther,” page 102, by Jeffrey Haas, Lawrence Hill Books.)

 Fred Hampton was a 21-year-old leader of the Panthers who inspired all kinds of people to take up revolution. As Bob Avakian says in his memoir, “Many people throughout the country had been moved by Fred Hampton and had made a leap in their revolutionary commitment because of his influence – the whole way in which, before he was killed, he boldly put forward: ‘You can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution.’” (See “From Ike to Mao …  and Beyond: My Journey from Mainstream America to Revolutionary Communist,” Insight Press.)

In one short year from the founding of the Black Panther Party in Illinois to the time of Fred’s murder, there was a transformation in the culture of society in Chicago. Based on the teachings of Mao Tsetung, the leader of the Chinese revolution, there was a “serve the people” ethos and culture the likes of which Chicago had not seen before.

 The Panthers set up free clinics in neighborhoods of the oppressed, where before health care had been virtually unavailable. The Black Panther newspaper was sold everywhere. Posters from the paper were used for political education sessions in the communities and on campuses. Former gangbangers and student intellectuals became revolutionaries. The culture was so widespread in Chicago that conductors on the el and subway trains would announce, “All power to the people!” when calling out the stops where revolutionaries were getting off the train.

When the Panthers conducted “people’s tours” of Chairman Fred Hampton’s apartment after his assassination, thousands of followers lined up in the cold, and film crews and reporters were brought in

Hampton’s assassination was part of a broad campaign to smash the Black Panther Party and the burgeoning revolutionary movement that burst onto the scene in the 1960s. In September 1968, notorious FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called the Panthers “the greatest threat to the internal security of the country,” and by 1969 the Panthers were the number one target of the FBI’s COINTELPRO operations, which included 233 different documented operations, from assassinations like those of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark to attempts to turn street gangs against the Panthers, efforts to create divisions within the BPP and setting up Panthers on false criminal charges.

Hoover specifically aimed to prevent the rise of what he called “a Black messiah” – that is, he focused on taking out leaders and potential leaders of the masses. Revolutionaries like Malcolm X, George Jackson, Bunchy Carter and John Huggins in LA, and Fred Hampton were either directly murdered by the government or set up. These were counter-revolutionary criminal acts – not only were innocent people murdered by the U.S. government, but the ability of the masses of people to raise their heads and liberate themselves was grievously set back.

Fred Hampton drew out the best from all these sectors of the people, inspiring them with a revolutionary vision and calling on them to rise to being revolutionaries. And many thousands heeded the call. His famous chant, “I am…a revolutionary,” was transformative, as people would take it up, thinking seriously as they did so about what they were committing their lives to when they said it.

Leadership is critical to making revolution. Although revolutionary leaders like Fred Hampton were taken from the people and others capitulated to capitalism and gave up on revolution, the spirit of devoting your life to making revolution and doing all you can to hasten the day when revolution can be made still lives.

This story first appeared on Revolution, the voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

Accomplishments of the Illinois Black Panther Party

• Breakfast for Children Program – Chicago

• Breakfast for Children Program – Peoria

• Free People’s Medical Clinic

• Free Sickle Cell Anemia Testing

• Political Education Classes

• Community Control of Police Project

• Unified the street gangs of Chicago

• Multi-racial united front among the Black Panther Party, Students for a Democratic Society, the Blackstone Rangers, the Young Lords and the Young Patriots that was called the “Rainbow Coalition,” a phrase later taken by Rev. Jesse Jackson

40th anniversary events

In Chicago, “40 Years Later, 40 Years Strong! We Will Never Forgive! We Will Never Forget!”

4:30 a.m. – exactly 40 years later at the same address – at 2337 W. Chairman Fred Hampton Way (previously Monroe at Western): candlelight vigil with speakers

12 noon, same place: vigil with speakers

5:30-10 p.m., at Winnie Mandela School, 7847 S. Jeffrey Ave. (enter from parking lot): premier screening of “Chairman Fred Hampton Way,” produced and directed by Ray L. Baker Jr.; keynote speakers Akua Njeri, widow of Chairman Fred Hampton and chairperson of the December 4th Committee; Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee; solidarity statements from Black Panther Party members, POCC Minister of Information JR, POCC New Orleans and other POCC chapters, James Clark of the Mark Clark Foundation and brother of Mark Clark, Pam Africa of the ICFFMAJ, Ramona Africa of MOVE and the Last Poets; panel discussion

For more information, call (773) 256-9451.

In San Francisco, “Fred Hampton Commemorative Film Festival”: Illinois Black Panther Party Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton was killed by Chicago Police and the FBI on Dec. 4, 1969. Commemorate the history and inspiration and the lasting impact of our revolutionary leaders!

7-9:30 p.m. at 522 Valencia St., San Francisco, near 16th Street, one block from BART: a showing of films on Fred Hampton, revolutionary and servant of the people; his enemies: how they murdered him 40 years ago today; and the lessons for today. Chairman Fred Hampton said, “You can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution!” Sponsored by Collision Course Media, It’s About Time BPP, Freedom Archives, ILPS-Bay Area Grassroots Organizing Committee, Committee to Free the SF 8, Haiti Action Committee, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, BAYAN-USA (NorCal)

Bruce Dixon of Black Agenda Report: ‘Remembering Fred Hampton, 40 years later’

Bruce Dixon, a member of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1969 and 1970, offers a personal recollection of Fred Hampton, murdered by the Chicago Police Department and the FBI in the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 4, 1969.

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner