By Tony Sokol
CHICAGO, Oct. 29 /Daily Offbeat/ — The Black Panthers have a much pilloried history. Best known as a revolutionary movement that equated self-defense with common sense, acting as if black lives mattered, they also spearheaded food, shelter and educational programs in their communities.
Fred Hampton Jr., the son of martyred Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, started a fund-raising campaign for a Black Panther Cubs Community Space headquarters to extend the Panther tradition.
“In order to further serve the Community and People, the Black Panther Party Cubs, an International Organization, has launched this fundraiser to raise $75,000 to provide a Black Panther Party Cubs Community Space and to continue the on-going work,” reads the appeal on the https://www.gofundme.com/blackpanthercubs site.
“We have seen our communities suffer and struggle with living in some of the communities harshest conditions. The need to offer a safe community and family space to organize within the community is urgent. With the continuous violence that is being witnessed waged upon black and other oppressed communities of Chicago and elsewhere.
“The lack of community space as well as the lack of other resources has had a detrimental impact on the ability to provide programs, family projects, services and initiatives to the people. We have no other choice but to put this call out- this CALL TO ACTION – to support to create this revolutionary and innovative space for the community.
“The Black Panther Party Cubs have been working towards self-determination and hosting the Black Panther Party Cubs’ Peoples Survival Programs: Implementing Safe Zones, Children/Community/Cubs, Free Food Programs, Clothing Drives, Political Education, One Prisoner One Contact Campaign, Community Outreach, as well as, other community initiatives and projects have been answering to the needs of the community but your help is needed to provide this much needed space.
“Whether it be in the Favelas, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Oakland California, Baltimore, Chicago, Furgeson or elsewhere throughout the World the Black Panther Party Cubs Crisis Response Team has answered the call. To the best of its capabilities, although with limited resources, the Black Panther Party Cubs respond to the Peoples’ needs.”
The Black Panthers were founded in 1966. On May 15, 1967, they posted their Ten-Point program of “What We Want Now!.”
1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
2. We want full employment for our people.
3. We want an end to the robbery by the Capitalists of our Black Community.
4. We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings.
5.We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society.
6. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
7. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
8. We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
9. We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.
10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.
Fred Hampton was the deputy chairman of the national Black Panther Party and the chairman of the Black Panther Party’s Illinois chapter. The police and Panthers engaged in eight gun battles nationally. Four of the shootouts occurred in Chicago.
Hampton was murdered during a raid by a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department and the FBI on December 4, 1969 . Hampton was sleeping in his apartment at the time.
Hampton’s murder was chronicled in the 1971 documentary film The Murder of Fred Hampton.
The murders of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark led to a landmark decision and a ground breaking settlement after a decade’s worth of litigation from the Peoples’ Law Office. The investigations uncovered evidence of FBI misconduct.
In 1975, a U.S. Senate Committee chaired by Senator Frank Church found that the FBI’s COINTELPRO Program was bent on destroying the BPP and its leadership.
You can learn more about the work of the Black Panther Party Cubs at www.chairmanfredjr.com.
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