[sixties-l] Dec. 4: Remember Fred Hampton (fwd)

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Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 18:17:38 EST

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    ---------- Forwarded message ----------
    Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2001 14:23:37 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Dec. 4: Remember Fred Hampton

    Dec. 4: Remember Fred Hampton

    from: http://www.providence.edu/afro/students/panther/hamptonsr.html

    Fred Hampton was a high school student and a promising leader when he
    joined the Black Panther Party at the age of 19. His status as a leader
    grew very quickly. By the age of 20 he became the leader for the Chicago
    Chapter of the Black Panther Party. He was in involved in a lot of
    activities to improve the black community in Chicago. He maintained
    regular speaking engagements and organized weekly rallies at the Chicago
    federal building on behalf of the BPP. He worked with a free People's
    Clinic, taught political education classes every morning at 6am, and
    launched a community control of police project. Hampton was also
    instrumental in the BPP's Free Breakfast Program. Hampton had the
    charisma to excite crowds during rallies, he was suppose to be appointed
    to the Party's Central Committee. His position would have been Chief of
    Staff if he did not have an untimely death on the evening of December 4,

    Events Leading up to The Death of Fred Hampton

    The social climate of the late 1960s was definitely NOT on Hampton's
    side. The government was not supportive of any radical political
    organization, and in fact turned out to be downright suspicious at any
    attempt to challenge or change the status-quo. Discriminating against
    the black community was the norm. When word of a "Days of Rage" rally
    came to the government's attention, it was known that some members of
    the BPP supported this "attack on the pig power structure." Allegedly,
    Fred Hampton and the majority of the Chicago Panthers did not support
    this rally, but to the FBI they were guilty by association. This
    information, combined with the general suspicion the government had of
    the BPP, and Fred's powerful speaking and organizing skills, made Fred
    Hampton a wanted man. The Federal Bureau of Investigation saw Fred
    Hampton as a threat to society that needed to be eliminated. They
    conspired with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and William O'Neal to
    spy on Fred to give them information about his daily itinerary in order
    to have O'Neal's felony charges dropped. His job was to serve as a
    bodyguard of Fred and director of the Chapter's security. He was suppose
    to notify the FBI of the Panther's apartment floor plan and how many
    residents lived in the apartment. When the FBI got its information a
    raid was authorized by the state attorney Hanrahan. FBI special agents
    sent a memo to J. Edgar Hoover stating that "a positive course of action
    (was) being effected under the counterintelligence program." (quoted
    information from Shane Smith's Fred Hampton Page)

    That Unforgettable Morning

    That evening Fred Hampton and several Party members including William
    O'Neal came home to the BPP Headquarters after a political education
    class. O'Neal volunteered to make the group dinner. He slipped a large
    dose of secobarbital in Fred's kool-aid and left the apartment around
    1:30am, a little while later, Fred fell asleep. Around 4:30am on
    December 4, 1969 the heavily armed Chicago Police attacked the Panthers'
    apartment. They entered the apartment by kicking the front door down and
    then shooting Mark Clark pointblank in the chest. Clark was sleeping in
    the living room with a shotgun in his hand. His reflexes responded by
    firing one shot at the police before he died. That bullet was then
    discovered to be the only shot fired at the police by the Panthers.
    Their automatic gunfire entered through the walls of Fred and his
    pregnant girlfriend's room. Fred was shot in the shoulder. Then two
    officers entered the bedroom and shot Fred at pointblank in his head to
    make sure that he was dead, and no longer a so-called menace to society.
    It has been said that one officer stated, "he's good and dead now." The
    officers then dragged Fred's body out of his bedroom and again open
    fired on the members in the apartment. The Panthers were then beaten and
    dragged across the street where they were arrested on charges of
    attempted murder of the police and aggravated assault. The incident also
    wounded four other Panther members. For more information look at our
    page about COINTELPRO and Government Oppression of the BPP.

    The Big Conspiracy

    Immediately after the incident FBI, CPD, and state attorney Hanrahan
    started their cover-up. They showed false re-enactments on TV,
    fabricated photographic evidence, and went as far as making a fake
    investigation. Hanrahan had the audacity of saying, "We wholeheartedly
    commend the police officers bravery, their remarkable restraint and
    discipline in the face of this vicious Black Panther attack, and we
    expect every decent citizen of our community to do likewise." The
    members of the Black Panther Party did not take this incident lightly.
    They immediately opened up the apartment to the public to show the
    brutality of the police. A later investigation found that no more than
    four bullets left the Panther's apartment while approximately two
    hundred entered the apartment. As explained by this resource, there are
    many inconsistencies in the accounts of what really happened when Fred
    Hampton and Mark Clark were murdered. Information about the civil trial
    that the BPP filed against the government can be found here also. The
    civil trial was the longest civil lawsuit in the history of the United
    States of America according to the National People's Democratic Uhuru
    Movement (NPDUM). Despite a ridiculously long trial, not one officer
    spent a day in jail. Fred Hampton's murder has never been vindicated,
    other than through speaking engagements, accusations of government
    wrong-doing on the web, and literature published on the subject. The
    facts presented by this case seem so crystal clear in retrospect that it
    is difficult to see how a jury could acquit the perpetrators of such
    blatant violence. One would hope that the passing of time and increased
    social awareness has changed behavior in this country enough to prevent
    something like this from happening again. Sadly, accusations of
    conspiracies past and present seem to surface daily. These violations of
    Civil Rights endanger the freedom of all Americans and the integrity of
    the structures that govern us. Surpressing those who express
    controversial ideas are surpressing the voices of justice. Motivated by
    fear, oppressing these voices oppresses the voices of all Americans.
    Fred Hampton's Legacy Lives on

    His legacy is still alive in the members of the Black Panther Party.
    They are following the statement that Fred once said, "You can kill a
    revolutionary, but you can't kill a revolution!" The son of Fred
    Hampton, Fred Hampton, Jr. is a political prisoner in Chicago. [Fred Hampton,
    Jr. was freed in September 2001.] He has
    not stopped his crusade, even from jail he struggles to keep his
    father's name alive.

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