Chicago activists remember Hampton assassination
This year’s International Revolutionary Day, commemorating the 46th anniversary of the martyrdom of Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton by the police, was by far the biggest since Workers World newspaper started covering the event in 2006.
Chairman Fred Jr., the son of Comrade Mother Akua Njeri and the martyred revolutionary liberation fighter, opened IRD 2015 at ground zero, the site of the racist, repressive bloodshed, with these words:
“December 4th, we acknowledge what happened here, 46 years ago. It was one of our September 11th stories. We say every day in our communities is like a September 11th. And this day, the United States government, they snatched our twin towers, 21-year-old Chairman Fred and 22-year-old Defense Captain Mark Clark.
“We out here like clockwork. I was just in a position here where we don’t forget nor forgive. And not to talk about this in some abstract sort of way, but to draw the concrete connections of the rampant police terrorism, in fact, the protocol of police terrorism that we were subjected to even prior to December 4th, 1969. But that case in particular was, in a sense, like bringing the pus out of the sore, heightening the contradictions.
“In so many cases, as Malcolm X stated, there’s a façade of freedom, and this system, United States imperialism, is so Machiavellian with its tactics, it puts us in a situation, like Harriet Tubman used to say, where she freed thousands of slaves, and she would’ve freed thousands more if they had only known they were slaves. In so many situations, we dismiss the attacks on our community with euphemisms such as ‘correctional sentence’ and even such as ‘police brutality.’
“There can never be a total tally or count of how many of our people have been snatched up, sent to the graveyards or the concentration camps, directly or indirectly, by the state. And this is something we’re going to touch on, about the impacts of imperialism. You know, a lot of the times I speak, people say, ‘here comes Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., he’s always blaming the white man and the government.’” (pauses) “And we do. We do.” (laughter from crowd)
‘Power to the people, Black Panthers!’
Chairman Fred Jr. and the “Prisoners of Conscience Committee/Black Panther Party Cubs” did an outstanding job of making the event happen. A busload of about 30 young Black men from the New Era organization arrived from Detroit and made a powerful entrance into the memorial.
One of the founding members of the Black Disciples organization pledged his allegiance to the POCC/BPPC. Alongside him stood a representative of the Gangster Disciples organization. There was a representative from NCOBRA [The National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America], a revolutionary nationalist organization advocating reparations, as well as many other organizations.
Revolutionary Black Panther Party veterans spoke about their memories of the party and the terrorist police death squad that carried out Chairman Fred’s assassination under the cover of darkness on the morning of Dec. 4, 1969.
Comrade Mother Akua Njeri described in detail the harrowing events of that morning, but she also had fond recollections of that era. She said: “I want to invite all y’all into my home right here. … Y’all call it Chairman Fred Hampton Way now. That’s the name of it. But it was West Monroe then. Chairman Fred sent me out to find a place for us to live that was close to the office. There was an open lot right here. You could walk straight through to the Panther office at 2350 W. Madison. There was a lot with abandoned cars. Homeless people used to congregate in there. Sometimes in that lot, they had little boxing matches and carrying on in there, but you could come through there, and they was like, ‘Power to the people, Black Panthers! Power to the people, Black Panthers!’”
Chairman Fred Jr. spoke about his experiences as a political prisoner and the state’s involvement in violence in the Black neocolony. Solidarity statements were read from individuals and organizations from all over North America and from as far away as Venezuela. After a visit to the mural of Chairman Fred Sr. by the Rebel Diaz Arts Collective at The Wall at Madison and California, the program continued at a venue in Bronzeville on the South Side.
It is of the utmost importance to support the Black national liberation movement at this crucial time of escalating state and allied fascist violence against the oppressed Black nation, especially the youth.
The POCC/BPPC has extended its reach across North America, working with Black Panther Party veterans and revolutionary Black youth from Oakland to Detroit and has made contact with revolutionaries from Venezuela to the Secwepemc nation. Because of this growth, Chairman Fred Jr. and the POCC/BPPC are trying to purchase a building in Chicago so they can open an office. Chairman Fred Jr. has started a GoFundMe account to raise the money. Donations can be made at gofundme.com/blackpanthercubs.
Long live Chairman Fred! All power to the people!! Free ’em all!!!