Tomorrow is December 4th. For many people this is simply another day as we approach the holidays. For many other people the day will live within our souls as the anniversary of the 1969 murder of a promising leader of the Black Panther Party: Fred Hampton.
If you are unfamiliar with Fred Hampton you need to look him up. Based in Chicago he was not only a leader of the Panthers, but he was a coalition-builder. He was directly involved in pulling together other non-black radicals in what was, in essence, the first rainbow coalition. Thus, as far as the State was concerned, he was an extremely dangerous radical.
The murder of Fred Hampton is actually the story of the war against the Panthers and other radical groups. It is the story of COINTELPRO, the notorious Counter-Intelligence Program of the FBI. Used to infiltrate and disrupt organizations perceived by the State as dangerous, COINTELPRO involved everything from rumor-mongering, to provocateurish activity to murder. Hampton, for instance, was drugged such that when the Chicago Police attacked the Panther HQ he was unable to respond. The drugging had to have come from an agent who was placed inside the Chicago Panthers, an agent directly complicit in murder.
Fred Hampton remains an important symbol not only of radicalism but of the spirit of strategic alliances. Hampton realized that the transformation of the USA would not and could not be accomplished by one group alone. But he also recognized that a radical framework was and is essential to lead in the construction of a viable ‘rainbow’ coalition. Such notions are as important now as ever, and certainly as far as the State and the political Right is concerned, just as dangerous.
Every December 4th i have to stop and silently remember Fred Hampton. I remember how i felt when word spread of his murder in December 1969. The sorrow has never left me. Neither has the inspiration.
4 thoughts on “Fred Hampton”
He and too many others murdered by the state.
Thanks, thanks, thanks. The systematic protracted propaganda as well as actual killing war against the Black Panthers has been rendered invisible in most history lessons, and though it wasn’t only Fred Hampton, his murder was especially horrifying and noteworthy due to his positive leadership and other actions.
Thanks for ‘pulling my coat ‘ to this submerged history…the more things change, the more they stay the same~~ UNLESS, the covers are snatched off, to set off public outrage and ACTION!! Along with ‘trust’ of the ideals of this government ~ on paper~ we must ALWAYS ‘verify’ its’ imperfect vessels who have been given the sacred authority to rule~~ justly. When they don’t, it is our DUTY to remove them!
Re: Fred Hampton
Fred Hampton represented fearlessness, loyalty, and honesty, and a maturety that any one who wishes to embrace their responsiblilty to themselves and society must encounter, though the subject may not be popular. My view was the use of concepts to a problem that worked, if not replace by another concept that did work. We find oursleves some times within circles of society that impliment self imposed isolation from the natural Laws of nature, he would not let lines deprive him of the wealth of knowledge that was outside the circle to help better conditions within and without of the circle. If it was right, it was right and if it wrong, it was wrong with Fred, he felt we should be able to disagree, agreeably, but if there could not civility, he had a moral obligation to provide to any needs granted to all creation, I found him to have been a compassionate person and driven by responsibility of establishing equity for the common man…”The Spirit of the People is stronger than the man’s technology” was, is, and will always be. Much Peace,Much Love to you and yours “Chairman”-Fred.