Re: [sixties-l] Re: The Black Panthers

From: Ted Morgan (
Date: Tue Jun 13 2000 - 16:33:00 CUT

  • Next message: William Mandel: "[Fwd: [sixties-l] Re: sixties-l-terrorist???]"

    And I'd like to add a thanks to William Mandel for this empirically-grounded
    posting regarding the murder of Fred Hampton and the persecution of Larry
    Ted M.

    William Mandel wrote:

    > A personal experience with respect to the Panthers:
    > "Early in December, [1969], Chicago police conducted a
    > pre-dawn raid, murdering Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in his
    > bed. This was part of a nationwide pattern in which that
    > organization's leadership was physically decimated. Later that
    > month word came down that a similar raid would occur upon the
    > founding Black Panther organization, that of Oakland, although
    > its headquarters was actually a couple of blocks over the line in
    > Berkeley. Whites were needed to stand guard around the building,
    > in the hope that police would not shoot randomly into them. Tanya
    > [my wife] and I went down, and found about fifty other whites
    > there. Most were 1960s youth, but there were others in their 50s,
    > chiefly old-time radicals like ourselves. By the close of the
    > '60s, would-be world-changers were divided into at least
    > half-a-dozen warring sects: Maoist, Trotskyist of several
    > varieties, pro-Soviet Communists. After the fashion of religious
    > sectarians from time immemorial, they would not even speak to
    > each other, and there had been a couple of violent incidents. In
    > the aftermath of the People's Park military occupation and mass
    > shooting, willingness to be at Panther headquarters that night
    > was a litmus test of sincerity. I felt a surge of warmth to all
    > present. They were the core who meant what they said." Saying No
    > to Power, p. 418.
    > Later in that autobiography, I write (p. 500): "...Larry
    > Pinckney, a former Black Panther. His militancy started with his
    > experiences as the only AFrican-American student in a Maryland
    > High School of three thousand, which had Ku Klux Klan agitators.
    > Years later, Pinkney had been appointed by San Francisco Mayor
    > Alioto, under pressure from segments of the Black, white, and
    > Chicano communities, to the Civil Service Commission oral board
    > interviewing candidates for the Fire Department. He had been the
    > only Black member, the only civilian, the youngest. Having lost
    > the key to an apartment available to him, he tried to get in
    > through a window. Police, tailing him, said as they seized him:
    > 'We have you now, nigger!' and beat him badly. He was convicted
    > of burglary under the illegal-entry clause of the penal code.
    > <snip>

    > "U.S. desire to imprison Larry after he fled
    > this country subsequent to that frame-up in 1973. It was only
    > after the UN Human Rights Committee officially condemned the
    > actions of the Canadian government in his case that he was
    > transferred to imprisonment in the U.S. in his seventh year of
    > incarceration, instead of being released. The Canadian M.P.
    > wrote:
    > "'I am our Party's spokesman on issues relation to Correction
    > and Parole...I became acquainted with Mr. Larry Pinkney....I was
    > quickly impressed with the high level of personal integrity which
    > he displayed. He was not looking for any favours, he was not
    > enumerating an inventory of complaints or alibis. In short, there
    > was no evidence that he had ever become part of the criminal
    > sub-culture which makes up so much a part of our prison
    > population....I have...found...him...meticulously honorable. My
    > experience with him is that his word is his bond.'"
    > "A year after we became acquainted, he was framed for
    > allegedly tryin g to start a riot in prison. None had occurred.
    > In fact -- I had been kept informed of the situation as it
    > developed in the previous week -- he was trying to stop one from
    > developing."
    > "For anyone with any doubt why militant activists like
    > Pinkney wound up in prison, the following excerpt from his FBI
    > file, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, speaks for
    > itself: 'Pinkney is potentially dangerous due to his demonstrated
    > ability to unify black and white. His associates are Negro,
    > White, and Chinese. Special attention is being given to
    > neutralizing him. The areas of sex and drugs appear to be the
    > most effective ones to utilize. His habits in these areas are
    > unknown, but are being monitored with this objective. The FVI is
    > working in conjunction with [blacked out, but a covering note to
    > the U.S. Secret Service, San Francisco, accompanies this]."
    > I have seen the originals, and possess copies of the letter
    > and document cited.
    > This presents a somewhat different picture of Panther people
    > and of government policy toward them than that which David
    > Horowitz would have us accept.
    > William Mandel

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Jun 13 2000 - 19:08:30 CUT