Never forget Fred Hampton & Mark Clark
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
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
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
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
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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