cointelpro

COINTELPRO

They won’t teach you this is school, but if you want to be a “woke” ally, one thing you should always read up on is the United State’s COINTELPRO program. 

Last night the PBS The Black Panther: Vanguard of the Revolution documentary touched on it and I thought it was important to talk about. Outside there being a general ignorance about the Black Panther Party, it is also important to know the things the government and police did to WARRANT the creation of The Black Panther Party. 

You should be very angry but very awake once you’re done. Because I want you to WANT to learn about it, I’ll only give you a blurb and a link.

COINTELPRO (a portmanteau derived from COunter INTELligence PROgram) was a series of covert, and at times illegal,[1][2] projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting and disrupting domestic political organizations.[3]

FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed “subversive”,[4] including anti-Vietnam War organizers, members of black civil rights and nationalist liberation organizations (e.g. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Black Panther Party), feminist organizations, anti-colonial movements (such as Puerto Rican independence groups), and a variety of organizations that were part of the broader “New Left”.

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued directives governing COINTELPRO, ordering FBI agents to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, neutralize or otherwise eliminate” the activities of these movements and their leaders.[5][6] Under Hoover, the agent in charge of COINTELPRO was William C. Sullivan.[7] Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of these programs.[8] Kennedy would later learn that he also had been a target of FBI surveillance.[citation needed]

Groups that were known to be targets of COINTELPRO operations includec

]The COINTELPRO documents show numerous cases of the FBI’s intentions to prevent and disrupt protests against the Vietnam War. Many techniques were used to accomplish this task. “These included promoting splits among antiwar forces, encouraging red-baiting of socialists, and pushing violent confrontations as an alternative to massive, peaceful demonstrations.” One 1966 COINTELPRO operation tried to redirect the Socialist Workers Party from their pledge of support for the antiwar movement.[37]

  • communist and socialist organizations
  • organizations and individuals associated with the Civil Rights Movement, including Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others associated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congress of Racial Equality, and other civil rights organizations
  • black nationalist groups
  • the Young Lords
  • the American Indian Movement
  • the white supremacist groups
  • the Ku Klux Klan (an ACTUAL terrorist group they should have been focusing on)
  • the National States’ Rights Party (an white nationalist group they should have been focusing on)
  • a broad range of organizations labeled “New Left”, including Students for a Democratic Society and the Weathermen
  • almost all groups protesting the Vietnam War, as well as individual student demonstrators with no group affiliation
  • the National Lawyers Guild
  • organizations and individuals associated with the women’s rights movement
  • nationalist groups such as those seeking independence for Puerto Rico, United Ireland, and Cuban exile movements including Orlando Bosch’s Cuban Power and the Cuban Nationalist Movement;
  • and additional notable Americans.[36]

More on COINTELPRO

‘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.

Casual reminder that lying manipulative fascist assholes always prefer you wasting your energy to stop them being lying manipulative fascist assholes

Casual reminder that you should support media outlets which report how and why these fascist assholes are lying

Casual reminder to research how modern fascist / totalitarian propaganda is dispersed and utilized to confuse and obscure the truth (see Politico’s “Putin’s Russia” for a snapshot of what a well crafted propaganda machine looks like…then go research COINTELPRO)

Casual reminder that you should save the majority of your energy for researching and participating in direct action and resistance against said fascist assholes’ actual intentions and actions

7

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. 

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@Regrann from @kang_kunta - #TheChairman #therevolutionwillnotbetelevised #fredhampton #bpp #cointelpro #williamoneal #hueypnewton #PBSSoCal #blackpanthers watch it now ✊ #blackhistorymonth #blackhistory #ourhistory #blackourstory #vanguardoftherevolution #Bobbyseale #hueynewton #bobbyhutton #fredhampton #assatashakur #elainebrown #bunchycarter #johnhuggins #BPP #angeladavis #eldrigecleaver #stokleycarmichael #Regrann

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Why Do I harp on COINTELPRO so much?

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 some role 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.

Where there is no vision… the people perish.

vimeo

Muhammad Ahmad from Cointelpro 101

Muhammad Ahmad (formerly Max Stanford Jr.) was a pivotal figure within the Black Liberation Movement and struggle for Black Power in the 1960s and 70s; notably, he was the national field chairman of the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) and a direct target of J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO. He is a professor at Temple University.

vimeo

Akinyele Umoja from Cointelpro 101

Afeni Shakur

♕ I really can’t express how distraught I am to hear that Elder Afeni has passed away. She has and properly never will be properly honored in American History as one of America’s unsung heroes. Every person born in America lives a better, more equitable life as a result of her and every Panther’s efforts during the Civil Rights Movement. 

Enjoy exercising your right to gun ownership? It was the Panthers who tested the 2nd Amendment Rights to bare arms. Relieved your children have before and after-school  programs to go while you’re at work - the Panthers are to thank. Want to push equal wages for equal effort? The Panthers were among the activists laying the groundwork for your message. Believe the media needs to be more balanced? Shocked to hear that prisons disproportionately imprison the poor and people of color? Believe capital punishment is outdated? Worry about your privacy and police harassment? Believe that every youth activist ought to have an elder to guide them? Think children are the future and family is the foundation of society? Want to know how a movement can be more inclusive of women? Working to end sexism? Want to know if there is life after gang involvement, drug abuse and domestic violence? Think alternative medicine should be more accessible and is great supplement or option to Western medicine? Want to know how Black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian people are connected and can work together? Want industrialism to slow down a bit and let the Earth heal? Support businesses owned by people of color and women? Wish Hip-Hop was more positive? Like wearing your hair natural? Think wearing the traditional garb of your ancestry is cool? Wish more people practiced the traditional religions of their Ancestors, no matter what color they are?

The Panthers, with Afeni there all along the way, worked through all these issues. Testing not only white institutional racism and governments, but themselves. The history books point out their faults, but very rarely point out their triumphs. Even today, their children are using what their parents taught them to change the world. 

It doesn’t matter who you are. You owe something that you completely take for granted to Afeni and her comrades. Even you conservatives. 

What are YOU doing to make the world a better place?