‘A Forum: Free All Afrikan POW’s: The Fight Against COINTELPRO’, May 19th Communist Organization, Chicago, 1978. Benefit for National Taskforce on COINTELPRO Litigation and Research featuring Afeni Shakur and Chokwe Lumumba.
Yesterday, October 15th 2016, was the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense.
Established in Oakland, California by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, the BPP was a Marxist Black liberation organization. They fought against the overt violence of racist cops and the covert brutality of poverty, hunger, and degradation. They established survival programs to do the work the government wouldn’t, worked to oppose American imperialism abroad, published a newspaper, and agitated for their Ten Point Plan which ended “We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace!”
The FBI targeted the Panthers under the COINTELPRO program, subjecting them to surveillance, infiltration, perjury, harassment, smear campaigns, and assassinations. Despite fighting valiantly, the party was dissolved in 1982.
From left to right: a BPP poster, Bobby Hutton (the first recruit, murdered at 16 by police), Elaine Brown (Party Chair from 1974-1977), Kathleen Cleaver (Party Communications Secretary), Bobby Seale and Huey Newton, and a gathering of the Free Breakfast Program.
Because it is DIRECTLY responsible for today’s current state of political apathy among Black youth. During the 1940s, 50s, and 60s even the most “non-political” Black teen played at least somerole in ORGANIZED political activity to advance the station and standing of Black people in America. Look at those Black protest photos closely; many of the people you see in them are teenagers.
If you weren’t inclined to support the NAACP you could join the Urban League. If not the UL, then perhaps CORE. If not CORE, then SNCC. If not SNCC then the BPP. If not the BPP then BLA. Or perhaps, like your parents, you were UNIA members. If not the UNIA then the NOI. Or the MST. Or the KOY. Or the SCLC. Or the RNA. Or the AIM. Or the Young Lords…
THE FBI’s Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) disrupted destroyed or totally diluted ALL of the those pro-Black and pro-Brown political organizations, leaving a dearth of uncompromising dedicated field-tested Black leadership in their wake, which most of Black America generally and Black youth in particular suffer from today.
A lack of visionary uncompromising Black leadership. The lack of experience of working VOLUNTARILY with and for OTHER BLACK PEOPLE from different walks of life, on a cause bigger than ourselves and greater than a paycheck. The total foreignness of the concept of a Black unity independent of the politics of either the Democrat or Republican parties.
So many of the ORGANIZATIONS that Black people had created to help them combat white supremacy and Black disunity were destroyed by COINTELPRO.
Assata X Homage to Catalonia X Brown Jordan Futures
The autobiography Assata by black revolutionary Assata Shakur who was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a decentralized underground offshoot of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense. Assata was broken out of prison and fled to Cuba where she lives today. She was imprisoned for her role in the revolutionary movement of black liberation and specifically for organizing bank robberies , robbing drug dealers and organizing the assassination of police officers.
Homage to Catalonia is Orwell’s memoirs from his fighting in revolutionary Spain. Orwell was a member of a leftist communist militia that fought along side of the Anarchist militias and was repressed by the Stalinist government before the Fascists of Franco took over. This book is an incredible account of a glorious and tragic time in history. A must read for any anarchist or anti-authoritarian.
‘U.S. Get Out Of Vietnam Now!! Year of Solidarity with Vietnam / October 8-11’, Sponsored by the Black Panther Party, Young Lords Organization, and Students for a Democratic Society / Revolutionary Youth Movement, Chicago, 1969.
‘Death to the Klan - Statewide Anti-Klan Conference And Demonstration’, Prairie Fire Organizing Committee / Committee to Free the Pontiac Brothers, San Francisco, . Co-sponsors included New Movement in Solidarity with Puerto Rican Independence and Socialism, Women Against Imperialism, Zimbabwe African National Union, and the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika.
‘Fight The Layoffs / Auto Workers March & Rally, Newark, New Jersey, [early 1970s]. Event co-sponsored by Black Liberation organizations such the Congress of Afrikan People, Black Panther Party, and February 1st Student Movement, along with ‘new communist movement’ organizations such as Revolutionary Union and October League.
LIBERATION TECHNOLOGIES: SCI-FI FOR WORLD-BUILDING & SURVIVAL
at the 2014 allied media conference in detroit
deadline to submit session proposals: MARCH 1st 2014
This track seeks sci-fi and speculative themed session proposals that disrupt, deconstruct, and reframe oppressive mainstream media networks, narratives, and representation by using sci-fi possibilities to re-orient existence.
Obviously the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown have galvanized national attention in critically important ways, but it's also true that in this moment we have lost Renisha McBride...How then does the work of BYP try to do the intersectional work of both talking about the loss of these young men, but also the ways in which police violence effects young women and queer folks?
So, number one, we strive to be reflective of all young black people. We don't represent all young black people, but reflective of that. I serve as the lead organizer; I'm black, I'm a woman, I'm a queer person, and I also have a politic that's reflective of the issues that we face and our story. For us, it's about centering the narratives of those who live on the margins. It means that we don't just talk about theory. It means that when we have our leadership we're intentional about having young folks;we're intentional about having women; we're intentional about have queer folks in leadership. And also, when we tell the story of the criminalization of black people in this country, we don't just talk about men but we recognize that if any of us are to be free we have to bring those of us who are on the margins to the middle of the story.
So, I wanna ask you; I started the conversation here with you with the 2008 and 2012 elections of President Obama. In a recent piece I wrote for The Nation, I actually 'blamed' the Obama presidency, in part, for that activism. and by blame what I mean is that for me, part of what I have seen with young people is the disconnect between these deaths and the reality of what full citizenship *could* be that is present in the Presidency himself, in his body, in his family, in, sort of, what you all voted to make possible. And then that contrast. So I'm wondering, am I wholly inaccurate or only partially inaccurate in that assessment?
Well, first, I believe that the relationship between black folks in this country and citizenship has always been tenuous, at best. When we were first stolen and brought to this land we were not citizens; we were not even seen as full human beings. And so how that's embodied in President Obama, it absolutely shows up. He can't be divorced from that; his reality can't. However, I believe that the rhetoric and the practice don't always line up with each other, and it shows up just as recently as his statements about the Mike Brown murder in Ferguson. It shows up and you see the contradictions in his words and also in his actions. I'll never understand what it means to be President of the United States of America. But what I *do* know is that as the President, as a black man, as a person who has a black family, his position is reflective of a history in this country; a history of what citizenship means for us. And it's not full. It never has been full. And I hope that in my lifetime I'm able to grasp a little bit more of that feeling of being a citizen in this country than my forefathers and my foremothers have experienced. So I don't think you're wrong at all. I think it's an experience that's full of contradictions and that's why we do the work that we do and why black liberation organizing is especially essential right now.
We really need new black liberation movements and more ‘60’s Panthers-like’ organizations now in 2014. When I get back to the town I’m definitely gonna investigate into the local organizations for the people and see how I can be a help in this troubling time. I hate feeling like an internet activist who just reblogs shit and talks all this good talk. I want….no I need to do something of importance…something to help….to organize then mobilize our people around actual goals and not just simple reforms. Cause honestly you cannot reform this system. You can’t reform a system that was designed to keep black people at the bottom. That system must be destroyed. So I urge all of my people to join organizations for the people and do something that will help. What black people need to do more than anything is organize. ORGANIZE!