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Thread: Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers

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    Default Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers

    I'm going to make a thread, mainly videos, on Fred Hampton, the brilliant young Black Panther leader whose life was ended prematurely by police assassination in 1969, aged 21.

    There is a fair bit of video of him about, and I'll add more over the next few days.

    This is some background to who he was and how he died, but I'm mainly interested in his thoughts and ideas, as they come across in the videos.




    A speech by Hampton, 1969, on revolutionary practice and theory.

    http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defc...tonspeech.html
    Last edited by C. Flower; 28-04-2015 at 07:50 PM.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers

    We got to face some facts. That the masses are poor, that the masses belong to what you call the lower class, and when I talk about the masses, I'm talking about the white masses, I'm talking about the black masses, and the brown masses, and the yellow masses, too. We've got to face the fact that some people say you fight fire best with fire, but we say you put fire out best with water. We say you don't fight racism with racism. We're gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don't fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.

    We ain't gonna fight no reactionary pigs who run up and down the street being reactionary; we're gonna organize and dedicate ourselves to revolutionary political power and teach ourselves the specific needs of resisting the power structure, arm ourselves, and we're gonna fight reactionary pigs with INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAN REVOLUTION. That's what it has to be. The people have to have the power: it belongs to the people.
    ....

    And the pigs say, "Oh-oh." The pigs say, "Well, the Breakfast For Children program is a socialistic program. Its a communistic program."

    And the women said, "Well, I tell you what, boy. I've been knowing you since you were knee-high to a grasshopper, n****r. And I don't know if I like communism and I don't know if I like socialism. But I know that that Breakfast For Children program feeds my kids, n****r. And if you put your hands on that Breakfast For Children program, I'm gonna come off this can and I'm gonna beat your ass like a ...."

    That's what they be saying. That's what they be saying, and it is a beautiful thing. And that's what the Breakfast For Children program is. A lot of people think it is charity, but what does it do? It takes the people from a stage to another stage. Any program that's revolutionary is an advancing program. Revolution is change. Honey, if you just keep on changing, before you know it, in fact, not even knowing what socialism is, you dont have to know what it is, they're endorsing it, they're participating in it, and they're supporting socialism.

    And a lot of people will tell you, way, Well, the people dont have any theory, they need some theory. They need some theory even if they don't have any practice. And the Black Panther Party tells you that if a man tells you that he's the type of man who has you buying candy bars and eating the wrapping and throwing the candy away, he'd have you walking East when you're supposed to be walking West. Its true. If you listen to what the pig says, you be walkin' outside when the sun is shining with your umbrella over your head. And when it's raining youll be goin' outside leaving your umbrella inside. That's right. You gotta get it together. Im saying that's what they have you doing.

    Now, what do WE do? We say that the Breakfast For Children program is a socialistic program. It teaches the people basically that by practice, we thought up and let them practice that theory and inspect that theory. What's more important? You learn something just like everybody else. ...


    ...
    I don't care how much theory you got, if it don't have any practice applied to it, then that theory happens to be irrelevant. Right? Any theory you get, practice it. And when you practice it you make some mistakes. When you make a mistake, you correct that theory, and then it will be corrected theory that will be able to be applied and used in any situation. That's what we've got to be able to do.
    http://www.historyisaweapon.com/defc...tonspeech.html

    On the importance of political education before action.

    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers

    "I was born in a bourgeois community and had some of the better things in life, but I found that there were more people starving than there were people eating, more people that didn’t have clothes than did have clothes, and I just happened to be one of the few. So I decided that I wouldn’t stop doing what I’m doing until all those people are free.

    "We’re gonna have to do more than talk. We're gonna have to do more than listen. We're gonna have to do more than learn. We’re gonna have to start practicing and that’s very hard. We’re gonna have to start getting out there with the people and that’s difficult. Sometimes we think we’re better than the people so it’s gonna take a lot of hard work.

    "You don’t fight fire with fire. You fight fire with water. We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We're not gonna fight capitalism with Black capitalism. We’re gonna fight capitalism with socialism. Socialism is the people. If you’re afraid of socialism, you’re afraid of yourself.

    "Without education, people will accept anything. Without education, what you’ll have is neo-colonialism instead of the colonialism like you have now. Without education, people don’t know why they’re doing what they’re doing, you know what I mean? You might get people caught up in an emotionalist movement, might get them because they’re poor and they want something and then if they’re not educated, they’ll want more and before you know it, we’ll have Negro imperialism.

    "You have to understand that people have to pay the price for peace. If you dare to struggle, you dare to win. If you dare not struggle, then you don’t deserve to win. Let me say ‘Peace’ to you, if you’re willing to fight for it.

    "Nothing is more important than stopping fascism because fascism will stop us all. We don’t hate White people. We hate the oppressor, whether they be White, Black, Brown or Yellow. We will work with anybody, coalesce with anybody that has revolution on their mind. But anybody that comes into our community and sets up anything that does not meet the needs of the masses, I will grab him by the neck and beat that man to death with a Black Panther paper.

    "I’m going to do my job and I believe that I was born not to die in a car wreck. I don’t believe I’m going to die slipping on a piece of ice. I don’t believe I was born to die because of a bad heart. I don’t believe I was born to die of lung cancer. I believe I’m going to be able to do what I came to do. I believe that I’m going to be able to die high off the people. I believe that I will be able to die as a revolutionary in the international revolutionary proletariat struggle. And I hope that each one of you will be able to live in it. I think that struggles are going to come. Why don’t you live for the people? Why don’t you live for the struggle? Why don’t you die for the struggle?

    "If you ain’t gonna do no revolutionary act, forget about me. I don’t want myself on your mind if you’re not gonna work for the people.

    "I might not be back. I might be in jail. I might be anywhere. But you can believe that the last words on my lips were ‘I am a revolutionary.’



    "You can kill a revolutionary, but you can’t kill the revolution."




    http://whyaminotsurprised.blogspot.i...ampton-sr.html


    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers



    On the Weathermen. By tone of voice, Hampton queries the bona fides of this group who "leads people into being massacred"

    If genuine, he said they were "adventuristic, opportunistic, Custeristic".

    Hampton was adamantly opposed to provocations. On one occasion when a provocateur tried to coach him into inciting violence, he did a citizen's arrest on the provocateur and had him arrested by the cops (who thought they had Fred Hampton).

    The Weathermen were splitters and used terror tactics of bombings and shootings.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers

    Some more good footage of Hampton speaking, interspersed through this short documentary.



    It includes interviews with an FBI informant.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers

    It seems to me, as a very broad and general observation, that there has been a long term trend or campaign to 'dumb down' black culture, or at least what is presented as mainstream black culture in the mass capitalist media, in the US. Whether it's an organised conspiracy or not, I will leave for others to decide, but there's a marked contrast between the intelligence that comes across from interviews with the likes of Malcolm X or the Black Panthers compared to the hip hop artists of today, with their barely coherent 'street talk' patois and usually a rap-sheet of past criminal activity, or a history of gang activity touted as something praiseworthy, or at least not something to be ashamed of.

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    Default Re: Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers

    The dumbing down is partly achieved by jailing and assassination of black leaders, and by promoting tame and compliant substitutes. Both the CIA and the FBI work at it.

    https://moorbey.wordpress.com/letter...to-cointelpro/

    I wouldn't rubbish all hip hop by any means: there is plenty that is full of very sharp political and social commentary. Some rappers are the sons and daughters of Panthers.

    Panthers took up Marxism, and studied dialectical materialism, using it as a method to guide and develop their political analysis and actions: in that sense, way ahead of most of the western left who blunder along pragmatically.

    There are a number of different groups that aim at continuing on in Black revolutionary groups and the same debate goes on about class politics vs racial politics. There are still groups and individuals, many of them prisoners, who believe that blacks should organise separately, but strike together, with the white American working class, and others who say that all whites are bought by Imperialism.

    I used to think that is was a bad thing to have separate black and white organisations, but when the same question came up reading Irish left and republican history (whether the Irish in the UK could/should organise separately) Marx of course supported their right and seeing that was their right, and also organisationally would potentially mobilise more people, I changed by view on this.

    A man who was jailed 47 years ago, when he was a 19 year old contemporary and comrade of Fred Hampton, has a parole hearing coming up. He is over 65, and has had a stroke.
    Chip Fitzgerald, one of the longest-held Black Panther political prisoners, will have a parole hearing in the upcoming months. Chip has been in prison for 47 years – since he was 19 years old. As former political prisoners and allies, we have joined together to support Chip and other comrades still remaining inside. We are asking for your support in raising money for an attorney to represent Chip at his parole hearing.
    https://moorbey.wordpress.com/2016/0...ip-fitzgerald/
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers

    The dumbing down is partly achieved by jailing and assassination of black leaders, and by promoting tame and compliant substitutes. Both the CIA and the FBI work at it.

    https://moorbey.wordpress.com/letter...to-cointelpro/

    I wouldn't rubbish all hip hop by any means: there is plenty that is full of very sharp political and social commentary. Some rappers are the sons and daughters of Panthers.

    Panthers took up Marxism, and studied dialectical materialism, using it as a method to guide and develop their political analysis and actions: in that sense, way ahead of most of the western left who blunder along pragmatically.

    There are a number of different groups that aim at continuing on in Black revolutionary groups and the same debate goes on about class politics vs racial politics. There are still groups and individuals, many of them prisoners, who believe that blacks should organise separately, but strike together, with the white American working class, and others who say that all whites are bought by Imperialism.

    I used to think that is was a bad thing to have separate black and white organisations, but when the same question came up reading Irish left and republican history (whether the Irish in the UK could/should organise separately) Marx of course supported their right and seeing that was their right, and also organisationally would potentially mobilise more people, I changed by view on this.

    A man who was jailed 47 years ago, when he was a 19 year old contemporary and comrade of Fred Hampton, has a parole hearing coming up. He is over 65, and has had a stroke.
    Chip Fitzgerald, one of the longest-held Black Panther political prisoners, will have a parole hearing in the upcoming months. Chip has been in prison for 47 years – since he was 19 years old. As former political prisoners and allies, we have joined together to support Chip and other comrades still remaining inside. We are asking for your support in raising money for an attorney to represent Chip at his parole hearing.
    https://moorbey.wordpress.com/2016/0...ip-fitzgerald/
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: Fred Hampton and the Black Panthers

    http://waystochangetheworld.libsyn.c...ing-the-system

    An interview with Albert Woodfox, one of the "Angola Three" held in jail for more than 40 years, while innocent, and how he survived, and developed, in prison.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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