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, projects conducted by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting and disrupting domestic political organizations.
FBI records show that COINTELPRO resources targeted groups and individuals that the FBI deemed “subversive”, 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. Under Hoover, the agent in charge of COINTELPRO was William C. Sullivan. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy personally authorized some of these programs. Kennedy would later learn that he also had been a target of FBI surveillance.
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.
- 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.
More on COINTELPRO