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International Revolutionary Day 2016

By Eric Struch

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Chicago, IL – Every year on Dec. 4, International Revolutionary Day commemorates the assassination of Illinois Black Panther Party Chairman Fred Hampton, Sr. and Defense Captain Mark Clark, by the racist Chicago Police Department, the FBI, and the State's Attorney’s Office. The Black Panther Party Cubs under the leadership of Chairman Fred Hampton, Jr. convenes International Revolutionary Day at 2337 W. Monroe, the site of the 1969 terrorist attack in an effort to etch the memory of this cop death squad operation on the consciousness of revolutionaries worldwide.

This year, Comrade Mother Akua Njeri led the assembled crowd in a five-minute silent vigil for the martyred revolutionaries, with clinched fists held high. She described the 5:00 a.m. terrorist raid in detail. She was 18 years old at the time, and eight and a half months pregnant with Chairman Fred, Jr. The CPD terrorists actually used machine guns in their assault against the young Panthers, and executed Chairman Fred, who had been drugged earlier by cop snitch William O'Neill, with point blank shots as Comrade Mother Akua was forced to listen in the next room. As she was dragged out of the apartment, cops threatened her by placing a loaded gun against her belly. Her retelling of the story was harrowing, but it is necessary that people understand the terroristic nature of the cops.

Chairman Fred, Jr. then spoke on a wide array of contemporary issues. He said, “The policy of the state is to create chaos and restore order. They are picking off our legitimate leadership and representatives and then issuing us poverty pimp programs and opportunist-based organizations. They have created the cartels and continued the counterinsurgency against our community. They have agent provocateurs strapped with state-issued weapons while wearing wires. They are funding the same ones killing us. Neither Rekia Boyd, Ronald Johnson, Dakota Bright, nor Laquan McDonald were gunned down by the CPD because of a 'war on crime', Alton Sterling was not shot for selling CDs. The deal is, the reality is that – just as the U.S. doesn't deploy troops abroad to 'protect democracy' – the police occupy our communities, not to protect us or preserve peace. They are deployed to disrupt, destabilize and destroy our communities. For there is no war on 'gangs', guns, or drugs – it is, in actuality, a war on us.”

Black Panther Party veterans were in attendance also, including Harold Bell and Stan McKinney, who was the last Chicago Panther to leave Oakland in 1977. Both spoke on their experiences with the Black Panther Party in Chicago.

All the Cubs and their supporters re-convened later that evening at the Swift mansion at 45th and Michigan on the south side. Chairman Fred, Jr. and Professor Kelly Harris of Chicago State University gave a fascinating, in-depth presentation on COINTELPRO, the FBI secret police's counter intelligence program that targeted the national liberation movements and communists for repression. The ensuing question and answer session brought forth a rich discussion, including commentary from Benny Lee, a former leader of the Insane Vice Lords, about the July 22, 1978 prison rebellion in Pontiac, which spurred the creation of the BOSS (Brothers of the Struggle) organization, which included Lee and Gangster Disciples chief Larry Hoover. 17 people were charged with murdering guards during the rebellion. Ten were acquitted on May 10, 1981 after an eight-month trial costing $2.7 million. Charges were dropped on six of the remaining seven, including Hoover, who was 30 years old at the time. Pontiac began the practice of 23-hour lockdowns afterwards, which became the norm in many prisons.

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