Sunday, September 25, 2016

Bombing at Deir Ezzor

    Battle for Aleppo, A treacherous Ceasefire, and the Deir Ezzor Bombing

    The war in Syria has reached a new level of intensity recently with a roller coaster series of events these past weeks. The SAA and their allies won a brilliant victory in Aleppo recapturing important areas that had been lost in the terrorist counter-offense at Ramouseh (See my August 2016 article Syria Libya Crimea Turkey) This meant trapping what was left of the massive terrorist force that had carried out this offensive and suffered huge losses in the process. Suddenly and unsurprisingly the American's decided to suggest a ceasefire which the Russians foolishly accepted and which would have sacrificed many of the gains the Syrians have won on the battlefield during the epic battle of Aleppo. In exchange all they would have received were empty promises to separate the non-existent "moderate" rebels from Al Nusra. Making deals with the lame duck Obama administration is of course completely pointless at this late stage. Hillary the Queen of Chaos will soon begin her reign and the imperialist rampage she has planned will not be restrained by any empty promises Obama and Kerry make to Russia in order to save their terrorist proxies.

   This was made abundantly clear days later when someone at the pentagon (or the CIA) decided to sabotage the whole rotten deal by treacherously bombing the heroic SAA troops defending Deir Ezzor and it's 300,000 civilians from the ISIS forces that surround them. Deir Ezzor is a symbol both of the heroism of Syria fighting on despite being surrounded by enemies as well as a guarantee that Syria will not be balkanized. Plans to turn eastern Syria into an independent terrorist state will never be successful so long as Deir Ezzor remains in government hands. This is no doubt why someone decided to bomb Deir Ezzor's defenders just as ISIS was about to launch a major offensive. This is the second time the US has done exactly the same thing last December they also bombed Deir Ezzor just as ISIS was about to attack. Thus the american claim that this was an accident is laughable especially since this time they returned to the scenes of their treacherous crime and bombed the SAA again as they were trying to evacuate the wounded. They killed 62-80 SAA troops including a general and injured hundreds more. The brief and treacherous Ceasefire ended and now the Battle for Aleppo is being fought with renewed intensity and the SAA hope to finally be able to end the terrorist siege of the city that has starved and terrorized the cities residents for years.

    The Battle for Aleppo has been dubbed the "Mother of All Battles." Ironically the current chapter began months back when it was decided to take back the territory lost thanks to the ceasefire agreed upon last spring. The Axis of Chaos (US-NATO-Israel-GCC) took the opportunity of that "Ceasefire" to massively rearm their terrorist proxies and to flood them with anti-tank missile launchers and other new weapons. This enabled the NATO death squads to  launch a major offensive in Aleppo seizing vital supply route and reversing the gains made by the SAA earlier in the year. That earlier ceasefire should have ended right then but the Russians refused to face reality holding out hope that the US would ever honor their promise to separate their smaller terrorist groups from (I refuse to call them "moderates" since there is zero difference between them and ISIS and Al Nusra) Al Nusra aka Al Qaeda in Syria. Anyways that is the charitable explanation for Russia's behavior since in reality they know full well that the "moderates" are terrorists and the US is only interested in destroying Syria not in a peaceful settlement. Eventually they were forced to abandon this charade when it became obvious the US was only using diplomacy to buy time for their terrorist proxies to regroup.

   The Battle for Aleppo began again and after months of stalemate the SAA began to make real progress seizing the Castello Armas highway cutting off the terrorists supply route into eastern Aleppo. The terrorists responded with a massive counter attack on the South Western part of the city breaking thru the SAA defenses and seizing their bases. For a moment the terrorists and their supporters rejoiced  but it soon became clear that this momentary victory would do nothing to relieve the siege on the area they controlled in eastern Aleppo and that they had fallen into a trap of their own making. After weeks of hard fighting the SAA and it's allies were  able to trap the terrorists in south western Aleppo. In the process the terrorists had laid themselves open to massive airstrikes and artillery fire loosing thousands of men. It was a glorious victory and the position of the terrorists seemed hopeless. They were cut off from their supplies and surrounded.

   It was at this moment the US suddenly agreed to a ceasefire which would have forced the SAA to release their stranglehold on the Castello Armas highway, halt their bombing allow supplies into the terrorist controlled areas, even giving americans joint control of the Russian  air strikes  and other treacherous points of advantage to their death squad proxies. It was irresponsible folly on the Russians part to agree to this deal after months of battle by the SAA, Hezbollah, and their Iraqi, Palestinian, Iranian and afghani allies. It was highly reminiscent of the Minsk agreement which saved fascist Ukraine from complete defeat back in 2014. In exchange all they got was the same empty promises about detaching the smaller terrorist groups from Al Nusra. Meanwhile in a few months whatever they agreed would have been tossed aside anyways once a new president took office. Frankly Russian diplomacy with it's backroom deals with Israel, Turkey, and the US makes me and other friends of Syria extremely nervous. The heroic people of Syria deserve better then to be used as a bargaining chip in such schemes.

   Thankfully the folly of the Russians was exceeded by the madness of the Pentagon. Although I'd say the CIA are the ones to blame since they run ISIS while the pentagon runs the kurds where they have been engaged in a proxy war with each other in northern Syria a new refinement in madness from the Empire of Chaos. Thus this incident should be seen in the context of the the decades long CIA sabotage of presidents efforts at detente with Russia from the downing of the U2, to the assassination of JFK, Watergate, even doubtless the deep "October surprise" which put Reagan in office. Cold War 2.0 is just getting started and the Russians were fools to think that anyone in the Obama Administration could stop it now even if they wanted. This of course is doubtful since it was they who started it in the first place with first the war on Syria and then the coup in Maidan that installed a fascist Junta in Ukraine. It's the natural byproduct of American natural security doctrine to prevent any rivals to the Empire of Chaos and as a result Russia and China will always be the main targets. Even with the American puppet Yeltsin in power the US still expanded NATO and destroyed Yugoslavia despite the tearful protests of their drunken pawn. Thus it is tragic to see Russia betraying it's allies in the hopes of winning the friendship of it's enemies.

    The brave defenders of Deie Ezzor have repelled endless waves of ISIS attacks for years in an area that ISIS completely controls. Deir Ezzor is a symbol of defiance and heroism to the people of Syria, and to people all over the world who are able to see thru the western propaganda narrative of the war. Deir Ezzor is a symbol that one day all of Syria will be liberated from the terrorists. Thus we will never forget the criminal attack the US launched while the ISIS  terrorists stood around laughing. If the Russians had not intervened to bomb the ISIS attackers who launched their attack in coordination with the US the town could have been in deadly danger of being over run. On the other hand the attack also destroyed the disastrous new ceasefire agreement so in a perverse way we should be grateful that months of sacrifice by the SAA and it's allies in the battle of Aleppo will not be squandered by scheming diplomats.

   With the end of the ceasefire the battle for Aleppo has been renewed with even greater intensity. An aid convoy was destroyed probably by the terrorists themselves to vilify the Syrian government possibly by the Syrians themselves to sabotage any attempts to renew the treacherous ceasefire. The whole thing appears to be yet another example of black propaganda by the US but it's not clear what exactly happened.

   In Aleppo the terrorists are surrounded and the SAA is launching a three pronged offensive to finally clear the city which has been looted, starved and terrorized for years. Unfortunately the Battle for Aleppo is still far from over and I just learned that the terrorists have destroyed vital pumping stations cutting off 1.5 Million people from water. Hopefully some way will be found to bring them back online. It is the latest of many hardships suffered by the brave people of Aleppo who have lost electricity, faced hunger, a shortage of medical supplies and suffered constant mortar artillery and sniper attacks. Such criminal tactics will not save them in the end. The  decisive victory in the battle of Aleppo by the SAA has already shifted the balance of the battle in Syria's favor. The SAA and it's allies are already making new advances recently gaining control of the now deserted refugee camp at Handaraat and a hospital. Obviously wars are extremely unpredictable especially Syria but hopefully the SAA will now be able to capitalize on their earlier victories in the the Battle for Aleppo and crush the terrorists occupying the city once and  for all.


Eva Bartlett's Photo essay on life in Aleppo

Pepe Escobar on the Deir Ezzor bombing

Moon of Alabama on the attack on the aid convoy

Amusing article on US special forces disgust at training "rebels"

The Ceasefire is over

The next stage of the Battle for Aleppo has begun

The folly of Russia's hopes for peace with the west

Saturday, September 17, 2016

The Black Panther Party

       The Black Panther Party

  Dedicated to my friend and Comrade Marland X @CharlieMBrownX

   In my last article I dealt with the life of Black Panther Party Founder Huey P. Newton. I also discussed the origins of the Black Panther Party or BPP. Huey Newton and Bobby Seale formed the BPP in Oakland California to battle poverty, racism, and police brutality. The BPP was created to police the police and was the first step towards a revolution. They hoped their example would inspire others and after recruiting only a single person Lil Bobby Hutton they began their patrols armed with guns and a law book. The tactic worked and the party slowly began to expand. In nearby Richmond California the BPP began to win mass support by fighting on behalf of the family of Denzil Dowell who had been murdered by the police. They introduced a 10 point platform calling for socialism and self determination for the Black Community.  When the California Legislature decided to change the gun laws to make it illegal for the Panthers to conduct armed Patrols Bobby Seale lead an armed protest that was dubbed by the media as an "invasion." Bobby and about 20 other Panthers were arrested on trumped up charges on their way home but were soon released on bail. Then on October 28, 1967 Huey and Gene McKinney were pulled over and got in a shoot out with police after they tried to kill Huey Newton. Newton was wounded and one cop John Frey a notorious fascist was killed and his partner was wounded. Huey was put on trial for his life but the case also catapulted the party to national attention. Soon Black Panther Party branches had formed all over the country. The back to back assassinations of Martin Luther King April 4 1968 and of Lil Bobby Hutton on April 6 1968 lead to an even more massive expansion of the party.

   This Article will discuss the history of the Black Panther Party itself. It relies mainly on the definitive history of the Panthers "Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party" by Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr. which I highly recommend to anyone looking to learn more about the Black Panther Party. Especially since the topic is far too large to be done justice in a single article or even in a single book. Whole books have been written about the Panther's activities in a single city like Oakland, New York, LA, or Chicago and even more memoirs and biographies record the lives of individual Panthers. The authors of "Black Against Empire" seek to disentangle fact from legend and to explain the rise and fall of the Panthers. One could dedicate one's whole life to studying the party and many actually have. With the same problems that inspired the Panthers poverty, racism, imperialism, police brutality, mass incarceration now worse then ever it is important to revive their heroic example. The Black Panthers provided a blue print for revolution that is still relevant today.

    Since last time I dealt with the life of Huey P. Newton this time I'll begin with a brief discussion of the parties co-founder Bobby Seale. Bobby Seale was born in Dallas Texas October 22 1936. As a boy Seale suffered constant abuse from his father instilling in him a strong hatred of bullies. Even as a child Bobby became a champion of the under dog defending other kids from bullies. When he was 15 he befriended Steve Brumfield who taught him about the genocide and land theft suffered by Native Americans. They spent a couple of years trying to live as Lakota warriors armed with homemade knives and tomahawks and wandering the hills. From an early age Bobby had learned about guns and went hunting. He ended up joining the air force. Bobby was inspired by Malcolm X. After Malcolm was assassinated he went on a one man riot throwing rocks. He reconnected with Huey and the two were active members of the Revolutionary Action Movement  or RAM until the two men broke off and formed the Black Panther Party. Bobby lead the armed protest in Sacramento that the media dubbed an invasion. During the protest California's new Governor Ronald Reagan ran into the Panthers and was so terrified at the sight of them  he ran for his life hid in his office and was doubtless responsible for dispatching the police to arrest them based on whatever charges they could invent. After Huey was locked up Bobby Seale along with David Hilliard were instrumental in the creation of the Panthers survival programs.

   The Panthers Survival Programs were one of the most impressive projects they undertook. Building on the national movement that had been created behind the "Free Huey" campaign in Late 1968 Bobby Seale and David Hilliard had decided to create community programs that would immediately begin to improve people's lives. Hilliard an organizational genius became in many ways the de facto head of the party while Huey was in jail serving as the Panthers Chief of Staff and coordinating the Panthers Nationwide. They pressured local business into donating food, raised donations, and most importantly used the Panthers as an army of volunteers. Businesses that refused to donate would be held up to ridicule in the BPP paper, Boycotted or worse.  Every Morning the Panthers would wake up before morning and begin preparing food. Often the free Breakfast program fed not only children but their parents. The free Breakfast program also served to teach the kids. While they ate they were taught black history and revolutionary theory, By 1969 they were feeding 10,000 children a day in cities across the country. Soon they expanded the Survival Programs creating free health clinics. They got local doctors and nurses to volunteer their services providing free health care. They managed to Create at least 11 free health clinics. Such programs also served to raise the revolutionary question why is it that America the richest and most powerful country on the planet is unable to provide food, housing and health care to it's citizens yet always has hundreds of billions of dollars to wage war on poor people oversees? For a fraction of the cost of the Vietnam War the United States could have ended world hunger. The answer is Capitalism the US was literally waging war on the planet to preserve poverty and inequality so of course they let american children starve.

    The Panthers also created their own schools. Thanks to the racist school system Huey Newton had nearly graduated illiterate thus the Panther schools were dear to his heart. The Party itself was a school for it's members although often new members had been attracted by the parties policy of armed self defense in order to remain in the party they had to follow the parties rigorous political education program reading Mao, Lenin, Malcolm X, Che Guevara. Many who had been as badly served by the education system as Huey learned to read and think critically thanks to these programs. Massai Hewitt the Panthers Minister of Education traveled the country teaching the Panthers to read and think critically as well as schooling them in revolutionary Ideology.   Huey even opened a school the "Ideological Institute" to teach the Panther leaders Philosophy (which Huey loved) reading Kierkegaard and Nietzsche among other thinkers. However they would have preferred to study the theory of Guerrilla warfare.  More Successful were the attempts to create liberation schools. At least 9 schools were founded the most successful was the one in Oakland run by Ericka Huggins and Regina Davis. It grouped students by ability instead of age and would be recognized as one of the best schools in the country. It also insured that the children and often their families received 3 meals a day and even offered housing to some kids. Students were responsible for discipling themselves. The Panthers also helped to revolutionize the University education system and were far more influential in the student movement then most people recognize. The Kent state shootings were a response to a wave of student strikes that had been called by the Panthers and their new left student allies at Yale earlier that year for example. It was thanks in part to the Panthers that many universities were forced to create not only Black Studies programs, but similar programs for Asian, Latino, and Indigenous studies. It took an uprising at San Francisco State one of whose leaders was a College Professor who had joined the Panthers George Murray to finally force universities to institute long overdue reforms and the campaign at this school was the model for student uprisings across the country.

   The Panthers created other social programs as well. They start a bussing program to prisons so that families could visit prisoners. They also developed a "Free Commisary" program donating to prison commissaries so inmates could acquire the necessities. They developed a free ambulance program. They built Free Libraries that offered black literature and history. The Panthers had their own paper with a circulation of 150,000 which both funded the party and kept the black community informed. It was many peoples introduction to the parties ideology and was read around the wold. The Panthers made shoes and handed them out. They created a program to protect senior citizens called SAFE. The Panthers helped their communities in a hundred different ways their offices were soon flooded with community members seeking help and they would intervene to protect tenants offer legal advice, even start drug treatment programs. The Government found the Panthers community programs even more dangerous then armed self defense as they allowed the Panthers to build strong ties with their local communities. Thus the community programs became targets. Police raided free breakfast programs terrorizing the children, shot up panther offices and even bombed two of their free clinics. They also spread rumors that the Panthers were poisoning the food.

    Women often formed the backbone of the community programs and as time went on they would play an increasingly prominent role in the party. There was the controversial Elaine Brown (her lover mentor Jay Kennedy was in the CIA making her suspect) who would rise to lead the party from 1974-76 while Huey was in Exile in Cuba. There was briefly Angela Davis. There was Tupac Shakur's mother Afeni Shakur. There was Kathleen Cleaver one of their more popular speakers and the poster child for armed self defense. And of course Assata Shakur still in exile in Cuba after being framed for murder and escaping prison. There was Audrea Dunham who organized the Boston Chapter of the party and who recruited one of the parties most effective leaders Doug Miranda. Another unsung hero was Lyn French in Chicago. Ericka Huggins would found the New Haven Chapter and go on to run the Panther's school in Oakland with Regina Davis. In theory the panthers embraced women's liberation although in practice often old sexist ideas and practices remained. Still it was often the Panther women working behind the scenes who were the ones who really kept the party running. Thus while they didn't get the recognition they deserved we should remember the thousands of rank and file women who cooked the breakfasts, drove the buses to prisons, edited the paper, ran the schools and did much of the hard work behind the scenes.

   The Panthers presented a real challenge to the American empire and it responded predictably with assassinations dirty tricks and at times all out warfare. Unfortunately you'll have to read "Black Against Empire" if you want a full account of the war against the Panthers there were simply too many bombings of Panther Head Quarters,shootouts with police, attempted frame ups targeting Panther Leaders, disinformation campaigns, blackmail, infiltration, economic warfare, beatings, torture and political assassinations to go into here. To this day there are Panthers locked in prison on trumped up charges. Only last year one of George Jackson's disciples the Nicaraguan Hugo "Yogi" Pinell was brutally murdered. The war on the Panthers continues to this day. The recent brutal murder of black lives matter activist Darren Seals is a warning that the US may once again seek to wipe out the potential leaders in general and in the black community in particular. Thus I will discuss three of the Panthers most promising leaders who were assassinated as part of the plan to in J Edgar Hoover's words "prevent the rise of a black Messiah."

    Three Leaders each with the potential to change history were all assassinated. Their Names were Alprentice "Bunchy" Carter, Fed Hampton, and George L Jackson. I'll start with the least well known of the three Bunchy Carter. Bunchy knew Eldridge Cleaver from prison and met with Huey Newton and decided to join shortly before Huey was arrested. Bunchy was tasked with forming the Panthers LA branch. Bunchy was no ordinary recruit he was already a legend in LA known as the Mayor of the Ghetto he was the leader of the 3,000 strong Slauson gang. It was then the biggest gang in LA. Bunchy was probably the toughest man in the city of LA and while in prison he had become political first inspired by Malcolm X, and then drawing inspiration from the third world revolution. He was a poet and his poems were recited on street corners all over LA. Thus when he resigned from the Slausons to join the Panthers he brought with him 20 of his toughest men who he called his wolves and the Panther Chapter in LA instantly became a force to be reckoned with. Bunchy had the potential to Inspire millions of poor blacks to take a revolutionary path. He could have been a bridge between the Panthers and the Gangs converting them from criminals into revolutionaries. Unfortunately he was assassinated along with John Huggins by Ron Karenga's US organization. Karenga the inventor of Kwanza was a police informant the assassins were FBI informants and the FBI helped them to escape. Bunchy's spirit would live on in the LA panthers who would thanks to the tactical advice of Vietnam vet and Black Panther Geronimo Pratt fortify their LA headquarters to withstand a full on Siege. This would come in extremely useful when the LAPD launched a full military assault using the countries first SWAT team created to destroy the panthers. For 5 Hours the panthers managed to repel hundreds of cops firing machine guns, tear gas, and even using dynamite at one point. The cops fired over 5,000 rounds of ammunition. The Panthers fought back with rifles submachine guns and molotov cocktails. Inside the Panthers were inspired to keep fighting by Bunchy's poem "Mother."

   Fred Hampton was another dynamic Black Panther leader who was assassinated another tragic loss of someone with the potential to inspire millions. Growing up Hampton was both a star athlete and a star student. While still in High School he joined the Civil Rights movement joining the NAACP and leading a strike at his high school. He was a charismatic speaker and was recruited into the new Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party quickly becoming it's leader. He was a charismatic public speaker who could electrify a crowd. He also had a major talent for unifying people trusted by both the old and the young, men and women the poor and the middles class and people of every race. He tried to merge the panthers with the P-Stone Rangers a gang that had grown a conscience and begun social programs to aid the local community. Unfortunately this effort was sabotaged by cointelpro which attempted to get the Rangers to turn on the Panthers by spreading rumors the Panthers were planning to assassinate the Rangers leader Jeff Fort. Luckily Fort and Hampton figured out what was happening before a war erupted. Hampton was fearless during the negotiations standing his ground despite the overwhelming firepower the rangers had managed to amass and which was on full display as Fort's dramatic way of explaining why the Rangers refused to be absorbed into the smaller Chicago Black Panther Party. More successful were Hampton's efforts to bridge the racial divide in Chicago in some ways even fiercer than that of the deep south as Martin Luther King had discovered when he tried to hold a march in the nearby town of Cicero Illinois and was greeted by a violent mob worse then any in the south. Hampton created the rainbow coalition which brought together poor whites, latinos, and blacks in a demand for social change. With his ability to unite and inspire people Hampton was a threat and he was brutally assassinated along with Mark Clark in a police raid instigated by the FBI. He was assassinated the night of December 4 1969. The cowardly police even had an informant drug Hampton so that he lay helplessly asleep next to his 8 Months pregnant girlfriend as they opened fire on the room where he slept the Informant William O'Neal having provided a complete floor plan. Hampton might have survived but the police then shot him at point blank range to finish him off. The police then lied and claimed there had been a shootout but the Panthers managed to expose this lie all the bullets had come from the police. They lead tours of the murder site and soon the transparent coverup had been completely exposed. Hampton was only 19 when they killed him there was no telling what he could have accomplished. Tragically this is exactly why he was murdered. Today his son Fred Hampton jr. is trying to carry on the tradition of his father.
    Finally there was George L. Jackson. As a youth he had gotten sucked into a life of petty crime. At 18 he was sentenced to 1 year to life for stealing 70.00 from a gas station. It was in prison that the brilliant George Jackson became politically radicalized joining the Black Guerrilla Family and beginning to study revolutionary theory. He joined the Black Panther Party in prison and began to organize the inmates. He set up a system where the inmates would all pool their resources and began to transform them from criminals into revolutionaries. He was utterly tough and fearless and won the prisoners respect with his willingness to risk his life defending his fellow prisoners. Unsurprisingly the prison authorities were terrified of his transformation from petty criminal into a revolutionary. His indeterminate sentence made it possible to insure that he would never be released. They tried to have him murdered by other prisoners and he survived over 20 murder attempts. They also attempted to break him by putting him in a strip cell with no toilet and only a canvas mat for a bed. He refused to be broken winning him even greater respect.  He was an electrifying writer his letters to his friends, family and comrades were collected in a book "Soledad Brother" that became an international sensation. This put his life in even greater danger. George was a threat to the coming mass incarceration system his work exposed the brutal abuses that went on behind prison walls. His work Organizing prisoners aimed to bring down the prison system itself. George was even able to bridge the racial divide in prison uniting black Latino and White prisoners that the system preferred to keep in a constant state of warfare. When the system couldn't break him it decided to kill him.

   His death was part of an escalating series of incidents. First on January 13 1970 a fight broke out in the exercise yard between Jackson's group and some Nazi prisoners the guard in the tower a notorious racist used this incident as an excuse and opened fire killing 3 of George's comrades. On Feb 28 1970 The same day the deaths were ruled justified a guard was killed in revenge. George was blamed along with Fleeta Drumgo, and John Cluchette because it was believed he was the only one capable of carrying it out. Now He was to go on trial for murder and the prison believed it had the leverage via it's total control of the prisoners lives to force someone to testify against Jackson. George had a younger brother Jonathan Jackson who was inspired by his brothers example to become a revolutionary. He trained himself in combat and martial arts and revolutionary theory. He dreamed of shooting down a police chopper and began to track and even terrorize the local police. Finally on August 7 1970  he attempted to Free George by walking into a courtroom with a submachine gun freeing the people on trial and taking the judge and DA hostage. He was gunned down and the hostages were killed as he tried to escape in a van apparently the state preferred to kill it's own rather then risk George's release. Governor Reagan attempted to use this incident to send Angela Davis to the gas chamber. George poured his rage over his brothers death as well as his love and admiration for the 17 year old into the revolutionary classic "Blood in My Eye" I recommend it to anyone interested in how a history could have gone had the Panthers dared to go on the offensive launching full scale urban guerrilla  warfare. He reprints sections of his brothers letters holding him up as a revolutionary model. A year later on August 21 1971 the final bloody chapter was written. Unfortunately what actually happened on that day remains a mystery to this day. However George L. Jackson was shot and killed and three guards and two inmate snitches were also dead by days end. The Prison movement had lost it's most dynamic leader. Even today a prisoner can be sent to solitary confinement for years on end merely for being found with a copy of George L. Jackson's books. Today the spirit of George Jackson lives on in the continuing struggle by prisoners to end this modern form of slavery. As I write prisoners all over the country are involved in labor strikes against the slave labor exploitation of prisoners. Only last year one of George's Comrades part of the San Quentin Six Hugo "Yogi" Pinell was brutally murdered in a setup. He had undergone years of torture and beatings in an attempt to break him.

The Panthers focus on the evils of the prison system and the american injustice system were yet another thing that made them ahead of their time and sadly given the explosion in the prison population more relevant then ever. Free the political prisoners like Mumia Abu Jamal, reverend Edward Pinkney and the many panthers and black revolutionaries still being held decades later. End Mass incarceration. Sadly I know from the experiences of a friend that the system still values $70.00 far higher then a black man's life. Jonathan Jackson's heroic rescue attempt of August 7 1970 and the martyrdom of George Jackson on August 21 1971 are what inspired the creation of Black August a month to remember black resistance to slavery and imperialism. Less then A month after the death of George Jackson on Sep 9 1971 the Prisoners at Attica staged an uprising demanding to be treated as men not beasts. On September 13 1971 Governor Nelson Rockefeller sent in a thousand national guardsmen killing 28 prisoners and 9 hostages.

   The Panther's influence stretched not only across the country but across the world. They made contacts with revolutionary movements around the globe. They Befriended the North Koreans, the Chinese the Vietnamese. They became allies of the ANC in South Africa and Frelimo in Mozambique. Even in Sweden they found allies and massive support. They helped inspire the creation of the Red Army Faction in Germany. They received support from Cuba. In Algeria they were even recognized as the official representatives of the United States and given all the privileges of diplomats. They gave their support to the Palestinians in their struggle for liberation. They brought the case for black self determination and reparations before the UN.

   The Panthers were a truly revolutionary movement. In the face of police brutality and the murder of blacks they formed self defense patrols. In the face of poverty they built community programs that would feed 20,000 children a day. The federal government was forced to massively expand their own social programs in order to compete. They threatened to turn gangs into revolutionary armies. They educated the masses. They brought focus on the american injustice system. They resisted the Mass incarceration state and organized prisoners. They built alliances around the world. They inspired not only black revolutionaries but asians, latinos, indigenous groups, and the student anti-war movement. What began in October of 1967 as only 3 men Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, and Lil Bobby Hutton to police the police grew into a nationwide movement. 50 Years later they still provide a blueprint for revolution that should continue to be studied and put into practice.


I Highly recommend "Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party" Which manages to chart the complex history of the Party and provides a great analysis of their rise and fall. I also relied on the DVD series "What We Want, What We Believe: Black Panther Party Library" I Re-read "Blood in My Eye" By George L. Jackson which I also highly recommend. I also relied on the works of Huey P. Newton "Revolutionary Suicide" "To Die For the People" and "War Against the Panthers" as well as Elaine Brown's "A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story"

The Jericho movement works to free political prisoners

Abayomi Azikwe on George Jackson the Attica Uprising and the current resistance by prisoners

Danny Haiphong on George Jackson

Marland X Reviews "Will You Die For Me? My Life and the Black Panther Party By Flores A. Forbes

Friday, September 2, 2016

Black Panther: Huey P. Newton

The Life and Works of Huey P. Newton Founder of the Black Panther Party

Dedicated to My Friend and Comrade Marland X aka @CharlieMBrownX

    Huey P. Newton was a visionary, a poet, a thinker, a writer, a gangster, but above all a revolutionary. Without his brilliance and daring the Black Panther party would never have been created. 50 Years after it's creation the Black Panther Party for Self Defense is as relevant as ever because shockingly little has changed except for the worse. Black life is as cheap as ever, police gun down people at an alarming rate. Much of the country lives in poverty while the ultra-rich get ever richer. In Huey's time American Imperialism was waging a genocidal war across south-east Asia spanning Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Indonesia. (and other places as well) Today American imperialism is waging an even larger war stretching from central Africa, through southwest Asia(the middle east) , and into Central Asia and even eastern Europe (Ukraine). Police brutality, poverty, war, have only grown worse. In fact the Obama administration oversaw the greatest economic looting of the country in general and the black community in particular in american history. Capitalism is in Crisis, Imperialism is out of control, and once again revolution is in the air. Thus now the year of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Black Panther Party on October 15 1966  (Or more likely October 29th) is the perfect time to revive the heroic figure of Huey P. Newton a man who inspired millions with his courageous example.

   Huey P. Newton was born in Monroe, Louisiana on February 17, 1942. He was named by his father Walter in Honor of the populist Louisiana governor Huey Long who like Newton was  assassinated. Walter Newton his father was born after his black mother  who was a servant was  raped by her white employer. Walter Newton was a man of courage and integrity who demanded to be treated with respect which was nearly suicidal in the south or anywhere else in America at the time. He was labeled as crazy for standing up to whites which could have gotten him lynched or murdered. Eventually he moved his family west to Oakland California. Huey was the seventh member of the Newton family a powerful symbol in local folk beliefs. His mother Armelia doted on him believing him destined for greatness. His father worked two or three jobs to insure that she would stay home and take care of the kids although money was always tight. In addition Huey's father was also a minister. Huey spent his early childhood part of this tight knit family rarely coming in contact with the neighborhood kids. Reading his autobiography "Revolutionary Suicide" one is often struck by a certain duality in Huey P. Newton one side of his personality the sweet imaginative introverted side was the product of these early years with his tight knit family.

   The other side of Huey's personality would be born on the mean streets of Oakland and the classrooms of the racist public school system. At first Huey would be bullied and mocked mercilessly by the local kids hated for his light skin and suspected of being a mommas boy. They chased him thru the streets throwing rocks at him shouting "Huey P Wee Wee Wee" until he finally learned to fight back. This is when they "crazy" Huey was born. His brothers Lee Edward who had a reputation as a tough street fighter taught him how to fight. His advice was "look them in the eye and keep advancing" advice Huey would follow throughout his life. Another brother Walter Junior known as Sonny Man who would become a low level hustler also taught him to fight. Sonny Man would be Huey's mentor on the streets. His other brother Melvin took the opposite approach studying hard in the hopes of somehow finding a good job. It was Melvin who instilled in Huey a love of poetry and philosophy. Ironically the brilliant Huey Newton would nearly graduate from High School as a complete illiterate. Actually "Revolutionary Suicide" should be required reading for teachers for it's brilliant analysis of the hostile dynamic between students and teachers especially black students. Racially and class Biased IQ tests become a self fulfilling prophecy. Huey supposedly had an IQ of 74. An adversarial relationship develops between teacher and students and the students show their resistance by refusing to learn and co-operate. The educational system in reality becomes a branch of the prison system it's goal is not to teach but to keep the students under surveillance and under control. Thus it was that Huey in spite of his brilliance and thirst for knowledge would almost graduate from school illiterate. Instead of learning anything he would spend his time in constant battles with the teachers and his fellow students. He would bully white students into doing his homework and would use his prodigious memory to disguise the fact he couldn't read. It was thanks to his brother that he received any book learning at all in the forms of poems which Huey would learn by heart by having his brother Melvin read and re-read them to him.

    Perhaps his real education in these years was on the streets. "Crazy" Huey became one of the local tough guys getting into street fights. He also began a career of petty crime with his friends shoplifting and robbing parking meters. Huey would hang out on street corners debating the meaning of life. He learned to love philosophy from hanging around his brother Melvin  and listening in on his discussions. His first political consciousness also began to emerge out of a spirit of pure rebellion. When the Cuban Revolution occurred Huey supported it instinctively because his teachers and the media were so loudly condemning it. Watching his father work three jobs but sink ever deeper into debt also raised important questions in Huey. As did the shocking conditions around him which he had once taken for granted the garbage dump that made the only playground uninhabitable because of swarms of rats, hunger and misery everywhere. Slowly he would become more and more concerned with the plight of black people in America.

   Thankfully just as Huey had refused to learn to read out of a spirit of rebellion when he decided to follow his brother Melvin's footsteps by going to college and was told he couldn't in 10th Grade that same spirit of rebellion made him decide to learn to read to prove he could go to college. Huey claimed he learned to read by going thru Plato's republic with a dictionary. Which I find a little hard to believe but regardless he would read and reread the book. Falling in love with the "allegory of the cave." In this story prisoners are kept their whole lives chained inside a cave all they see is a shadowplay projected onto the wall in front of them the shadows are the only reality they see. One day a prisoners chains come loose he wanders out of the cave and after being momentarily blinded by the sun his vision returns and he sees that there is a whole world outside the cave, but when he returns to tell his fellow captives no one believes him. For Huey the story symbolized the ignorance the black community was kept in. He was determined to break their chains and show them that another world was possible. Today one would be tempted to compare the prisoners to those foolish enough to believe the mainstream news on TV or in the paper.

   Huey eventually made it to college but he remained divided between the paths taken by his brother Sonny Man the Gangster and his brother Melvin the overachieving student. He was scared of loosing his connection with the "street brothers." He continued his life of petty crime and decided to study law and criminology so as to be a better criminal. This obsession with the law would later prove extremely useful when Huey founded the black panthers. At the same time once he learned to read he became a lover of books and would hole up somewhere reading the classics. He also became a bit of a ladies man. His friend converted him to the concept of "free love" before it had become popular and Huey had multiple girlfriends who he often lived off of supplementing his income with burglaries and fraud.

 At the same time his college years were when Huey began to truly become political. He joined a black student reading group the Afro-American Association founded by Donald Warden that studied classics of black history like W. E. B. Dubois's "Souls of Black Folk" and Black Literature like James Baldwin  "The Fire Next Time" Then they would talk late into the night. Amazingly some of Huey's fellow association members included future Cointelpro tool Ron Karenga then known as Ronald Everett who would found the United Slaves or US that would later wage war on the Panthers on behalf of the FBI and Richard Thorne who had converted Huey to "Free Love" went on to found the sexual freedom league and then changed his name to OM and became a cult leader. The groups founder and leader Donald Warden would attempt to join the political establishment. It was during this period when Huey met future Black Panther Party Co-Founder Bobby Seal. Huey had already known another important future Black Panther Party leader David Hilliard since childhood. The moral of the story is get your friends together and try to start a revolution. It would be a couple years before the party would actually be founded but it would be born out of Huey bouncing Ideas off of Bobby. A major inspiration for both men was the fiery Malcolm X. Here at last was a fearless voice for black liberation. Huey of course loved the fact that Malcolm X could  speak in the language of the "brothers on the block", being a former gangster and ex con himself. At the same time Malcolm X had so thoroughly self educated himself that he could make a college professor look like an ignorant fool. Above all Malcolm X had a program a plan. Unfortunately he was assassinated before he could truly begin putting his ideas into action. Another inspiration was Robert F. Williams who like Malcolm X advocated armed self defense. Williams was forced to flee the country to escape the american injustice system. This was also the period when Huey became a socialist. Whenever he explained his vision for the world people accused him of being a socialist. He became curious and began to read up on the topic. Finally when he discovered a four volume version of the works of Mao Tse Tong he became a convert. Mao was the major influence on the ideology of the Black Panthers. He was also a supporter of the Cuban Revolution and almost traveled there himself. Another Major influence was Frantz Fanon.

   Anyways you'll have to read "Revolutionary Suicide" for yourselves if you want to get the full scope of Huey's activities in this period. He had become thru necessity an expert amateur lawyer at defending himself. Of course this only made the local police and prosecutors even more eager to lock him up. But in the meantime Huey managed to successfully defend himself in a string of court room victories. Eventually however he was convicted after a fight in which he stabbed a man who he believed was reaching for a knife. In the book Huey uses the case as another example of the american injustice system at work since the middle class white jurors were incapable of understanding that he was merely acting in self defense. Odell Lee intended him harm and so Huey Struck first. Huey's description of prison life and the legal system are invaluable to anyone seeking to understand the american injustice system and the mass incarceration state which have only expanded in size, brutality and racism since Huey's time. Back then the prison population was majority white for instance today the majority of prisoners are blacks and latinos. Just as with the abolition of slavery the forces of reaction came up with "black codes" to reverse those gains and return to the profitability of unpaid labor, so too following the passage of the civil rights act the war on Drugs followed seeking to reverse those gains. Today America has the largest prison population in the world and conditions in those prisons are far worse then during the Sixties when Huey was imprisoned.

   Huey served his time in the Alameda county jail. The guards attempted to break his spirit because of his defiant attitude. They sentenced him to the Soul Breaker a cell with no light and no toilet only a hole in the center of the room. Usually a prisoner would break down and beg to be released after a a day or two. Huey refused to surrender he discovered hidden reserves of strength and discipline. In the sensory deprivation of the prison cell he had a sort of mystical experience. He emerged stronger and more defiant then ever. He felt as if he had been reborn. After 16 days it was the jail that was forced to give up and he was released for the sake of his health. After founding the BPP and then being framed for murder Huey's discussion of the Soul  Breaker during his trial lead to it being abolished another victory.

    Huey's experience in prison only further radicalized him. He was eventually released met up with Bobby Seal again and the two determined to come up with some plan to help the black community. They sent months reading Mao, Lenin, Che, Fidel studying various revolutions. Debating and drinking and arguing. Eventually they decided that while studying these revolutions could give them ideas they couldn't merely copy them they had to come up with a strategy that fit the Oakland Ghetto of 1966 a very different situation from the Island of Cuba or the huge land of China. This lead to more plans and discussions how best to capture the imagination of the street brothers, how to win the support of the black community. They seized on the idea of armed self defense. Actually initially instead of planning to form their own party they tried to convince the pre-existing groups SSAC a front for RAM the Revolutionary Action Movement to which they belonged to adopt their idea of forming armed patrols to protect the community but everyone thought the idea was crazy and suicidal. In the long run perhaps they would prove correct as the Black Panthers would end up dead or imprisoned. That is Why Huey Titled his Book "Revolutionary Suicide" for to become a revolutionary is to become a doomed man.    Finally worried that like so many would be revolutionaries they would get no further then talk they decided to come up with a ten point program and to found their own party. Supposedly they brainstormed the entire ten point program in a single evening. It consisted of ten demands followed by their analysis of the situation behind it. Since they remain as relevant as ever I'll list all ten demands.

We want freedom. We Want Power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
We want full employment for our people.
We want an end to the robbery by the CAPITALIST of our Black Community.
We want decent housing fit for shelter of human beings.
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.
We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black People.
We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county, and city prisons and jails.
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.
We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, and peace.

  Well I discovered that in reality the ten point program was actually formulated the next year but this is the legend of the founding of the Black Panther party. They also were inspired by the ten point program of Malcolm X. This version is also a revised version of the ten point program which changed somewhat over time. However this is the way the Panthers tell the story Huey and Bobby Come up with the ten point program in a single night. The name and symbol of the Black Panther Party had been floating around before they seized on it. It started with the Lowndes County Freedom Organization in Mississippi. In Watts where there had been a famous uprising in 1965 inspired by Police Brutality Mark Comfort and Curtis Lee Baker had later founded the Community Alert Patrol or CAP as a means of discouraging police brutality by keeping watch over them. They adopted the Black Panther as their symbol putting it on the side of their patrol car. They were thus a sort of Proto-Panther group. Finally Huey and Bobby's former comrades in RAM also formed a Black Panther Party. In other words in founding the Black Panther Party for Self Defense they were drawing on ideas that were already floating around at the time.

   What Separated Huey and  Bobby from the others was the intensity with which they would carry it out. CAP patrolled the police but were unarmed. They were also in Southern California so while they inspired the Panthers they were not rivals. The rival RAM branch of the Black Panthers carried weapons but purely for show they were always unloaded. Huey and Bobby's Panthers were armed and prepared to use force to defend themselves. Their first recruit was 15 year old Little Bobby Hutton. Bobby Seale who had served in the air force provided the weapons along with Richard Aoki a Japanese american anti-imperialist who also donated some weapons to the cause. This was another thing that separated the Black Panthers from other black nationalist groups they wanted to work with anyone who wanted to change the system regardless of race and would inspire or work with groups of Latinos (The Brown Berets The young Lords), Asians (The Red Guard), whites (SDS, White Panthers) and Native Americans (AIM). Actually in his youth Bobby Seale was inspired by the example of indigenous resistance to genocidal american imperialism. The Panthers were also inspired by a spirit of revolutionary solidarity with the Vietnamese, the Chinese, The Cubans, and Algerians in their struggles against imperialism. Thus while the Black Panthers sought to mobilize the black community they saw the revolution as only possible with the support of allies both at home and abroad. They were from the start internationalists contrary to popular belief which sees them as a sort of black hate group. Nothing could be further from the truth.

   In any case armed and with only a single recruit Huey and Bobby decided to put their plan into action. Huey carried a shot gun in one hand and a lawbook in the other. He had carefully researched California Gun Laws and also discovered that citizens were allowed to monitor police as long as they stayed far enough away not to "interfere" with their carrying out their duties. They drove around until they found a cop and decided to follow him on patrol. The cop got a glimpse of their guns and freaked out. Now he was following the Panthers and Huey managed to lead him to his old college Merrit so their would be an audience for their first confrontation. The cop tried to disarm them but Huey loudly cited the law on private property and knocked the cop down. He chambered his shotgun as the cop cowered in terror in front of the crowd and eventually fled. The crowd was in awe. This was the first of many patrols. Whenever they found the police arresting someone Huey would read out the law to educate the suspect on their rights then follow the cops to jail and bail the suspect out. Often they would join out of gratitude. In the beginning many were impressed but few dared to join and initially the group received no press coverage. The group first made a name for themselves when they were recruited to guard Malcolm X's widow Betty Shabazz on her visit to Oakland. The group had already grown to a dozen or so members and they arrived at the airport fully armed which was actually legal at the time. Huey later got in a major confrontation with the police which impressed author Eldridge Cleaver who decided to join. Cleaver and Newton would later have a major falling out that would split and Cleaver would later join the CIA's favorite cult the moonies and become an arch conservative raising questions as to wether he had been part of  COINTELPRO or even the CIA's CHAOS program all along. In reality the true history of the sixties needs to be completely re-evaluated in order to discover what was genuine and what was psychological warfare. Whatever the truth Cleaver  was a fearless orator and had a lot of connections with white radicals that would help the Panthers expand. By guarding Betty Shabazz the Panthers gained the attention of the underground press.

   Another major early episode that helped the group grow was it's attempt to get justice for the death of Denzil Dowell in Richmond California. The Police claimed he had been shot after robbing a store and leading the police on a foot chase where he jumped fences. In reality Dowell had a bad hip and had trouble walking let alone hopping fences. In fact he had been murdered with his hands up by a cop who had been threatening him for months. There was no evidence that anyone had even broken into the store that night. Dowell had been murdered in cold blood by a cop and the whole thing had been ruled a justifiable homicide as the Panthers discovered after doing their own investigation. First they had arrived to offer their support for the family then they began interviewing the neighborhood learning more about the brutal police and the terrible conditions of the ghetto. They chased off some cops who had come to harass the   Dowell family. They gave the family an armed escort into the station sending the police into a panic before finally relenting so the family could get in and talk to the prosecutor. Of course then as today he refused to do anything. A badge is a license to kill especially to kill blacks. Instead the panthers decided to hold an armed demonstration in support of justice for Denzil Dowell. It was a huge success and for the first time a whole community began to embrace the Panthers. in fact at the second Rally the local people decided to emulate the panthers and they arrived armed as well.

   Incidentally the Black Panther paper was created to fight for justice for Denzil Dowell. It would eventually grow to a circulation of 100,000 and was read all over the world. Sales of the paper would later fund the Panthers survival programs like the free breakfast for children program which would feed 10,000 children a day by 1969. But that is skipping a bit ahead. The Panthers had taken advantage of knowing the law to found their party. Thus it wasn't long before the State of California decided to simply change the law making it illegal to bear arms in public. Huey sent Bobby to the state capitol in Sacramento with a bunch of Panthers where they tried to enter fully armed as a protest against Mulford's "Anti-Panther" Bill. The press accused them of an "invasion" which I found amusing the hypocrisy of american imperialism never ends the panthers merely read a statement they dropped no bombs, fired no artillery, and did not kill anyone. They merely read a statement. But I'll deal further with Sacramento in my next article.

   The Summer of 1967 was known as the summer of rage their were 160 urban rebellions the biggest being Newark and Detroit. Detroit was the biggest urban rebellion of the 20th century with black snipers and arsonists battling police and firemen for days. The country seemed poised on the brink of revolution and Huey's vision of the world published through the BPP paper in articles like "The Correct Handling of the Revolution" had proven prophetic. That fall in October around a year after the parties foundation an Oakland policeman John Frey decided the only solution was to kill Newton. Huey Newton and Gene Mckinney were pulled over. What actually happened next may never be known. Huey claimed that Frey shot him and then as Huey lost consciousness someone else mysteriously saved his life by gunning down the police. The legend was that Huey himself killed Frey. Perhaps another panther shot the cops after Huey was shot. It could even have been some intelligence agency hoping to frame Newton. If Huey later learned the truth he kept it secret to protect the identity of whoever saved him or alternately to protect himself. Regardless when the smoke cleared Frey was dead his partner was wounded. Huey arrived later that night badly wounded at his friend David Hilliard's house and was dropped off at the hospital. There the police beat him mercilessly and handcuffed him to the bed in a position that was pure torture for a gunshot victim. Whenever he regained consciousness he was beaten and taunted that he would receive the death penalty.

   The authorities hoped to use the incident to destroy the Black Panthers by sentencing it's brilliant leader to death. Instead the campaign to free Huey went nationwide and the massive publicity it generated saw the Black Panthers go nationwide as well. Huey became a legendary figure thanks in part to the famous photo of him sitting on a wicker throne with a spear in one hand and a rifle in the other. Some joined because they believed Huey had shot it out with the police. Others joined because they believed he was being framed and were horrified by the image of him chained to a hospital bed. His cause was adopted not just by blacks but by every group in the country especially the huge student antiwar movement. Luckily for Huey a brilliant crusading communist lawyer Charles Garry took on his case. Huey would spend years in prison but amazingly would finally be freed thanks to Garry's skillful defense.

   In Jail Huey would continue his resistance. He saw clearly the way that prison labor was a new form of slavery and refused to work unless he was paid a fair wage. As a result he spent years in solitary confinement although he was allowed to meet with his family and legal team through which he passed messages to the Panthers. It was while in jail that little Bobby Hutton the first to join the panthers when only 15 became the first to die at only 17 when he and Cleaver got into a shootout with police. It was a major blow to Huey who dedicated his Autobiography "Revolutionary Suicide" to Little Bobby. You'll have to read the book to discover more about the trial of Huey Newton and his time in Jail. Garry managed to destroy the credibility of the governments witnesses first Huey escaped the death penalty and was convicted of manslaughter as a compromise. Eventually after two more trials that conviction was overturned. Huey was free and was greeted by an adoring crowd of thousands. At a press conference he offered to spend Black Panthers to Vietnam to aid the National Liberation Front or what the americans mistakenly called the Viet Cong.

    While he had been away the Party had evolved and grown expanding nationwide. The most important development had been the creation of survival programs. David Hilliard and Bobby Seale had overseen their creation while Huey had prepared their ideological justification. The needs of the poor could not be put off until after the revolution or they would perish. The survival programs were meant to save their lives in the meantime. Huey also realized that by serving the people the party would win the loyalty of the people. In addition many Panthers had already been killed or arrested and Huey wanted to take a less confrontational approach. Eldridge Cleaver saw this as a sellout of the revolution at the very least encouraged by letters he received from COINTELPRO if he wasn't actually an agent as many suspect. Cleaver and his supporters were thrown out of the party. And the two sides were goaded into open warfare with each other through Cointelpro.

   Another development while in prison was Huey's brilliant new theoretical advance called intercommunalism. A fellow prisoner slipped Huey a magazine one day and as he flipped through it he came across a Ford motor company ad. It said something like "You fly Your Flag We'll fly ours." amazingly Huey seized on this seemingly meaningless ad and his mind seemingly leapt decades into the future as he envisioned both the collapse of the Soviet Union and the age of globalization. In other words he saw our world today in which every country has lost it's independence instead serving the tyranny of the multinational corporations and at the mercy of the free market. What is today called globalization Huey called Reactionary Intercommunalism. The only solution was a revolutionary intercommunalism a global internationalist struggle against imperialism, globalization, and Capitalism. For more on this topic check out a book of Newton's essays called "To Die For The People."

    Huey put his internationalist vision into practice traveling to China in an effort to beat Nixon  there. Year earlier Robert F. Williams had personally explained the plight of blacks in America to Mao and Mao had issued a statement calling for all the peoples of the world to support the struggle for black liberation. Huey timed his visit to beat Nixon to China, and while he didn't get to meet Mao he did meet Chou-En Lai. Mao was one of Newton's major inspirations and in China he felt free for the first time. The Chinese offered him political asylum since he had snuck over between his second and third trials but Newton decided he had to face the american injustice system so he could continue the struggle for revolution back in the states. Huey would also live in Cuba after being forced to flee into exile in 1974 when the police tried to frame him for the murder of a prostitute.

   Newton ends his Auto-Biography after discussing the split with Cleaver and Reaffirming his commitment to the survival programs. Thus I won't be able to go much into his final years. Newton began using increasing amounts of cocaine and the fame, the paranoia, the COINTELPRO in the end proved too much for him. He focused his attention on seizing control of Oakland both the political overworld and the criminal underworld. By a miracle he had survived the assassination attempts and the frame ups unlike so many other Black Panthers. 28 Panthers gave their lives and as of 2006 over 40 Panthers were still in Prison. Unfortunately he outlived his time as the revolutionary spirit of the sixties and 70's began to fade. One of his final achievements was earn a PHD from UC Santa Cruz. He was gunned down by a drug dealer in 1989. When I was growing all my generation heard about him was the occasional phrase "free Huey" from the eternally nostalgic baby boomers. However in the wake of the Rodney king beating the LA uprising, the brief Malcolm X revival they made a movie about him called Panther which is mysteriously unavailable on Netflix. Recently PBS played a documentary called vanguard of the revolution which seemed aimed at erasing the panthers socialist ideology and vilifying their founder Huey P. Newton. Luckily another documentary is in the works aiming to show the true legacy of this complex and inspiring figure.

   Reading "Revolutionary Suicide" one could almost be reading about today Poverty, Police Brutality, Mass Incarceration, Poor Education, Capitalism and Imperialism have only grown as problems since Newton's times. Since 2014 a wave of urban rebellions have swept the country first in Ferguson, then Baltimore, and most recently in Milwaukee. The Young are once again organizing to oppose police brutality and so would do well to study the heroic example of Huey Newton. Nearly thirty years after his death the system is still terrified of Huey which is while they are still trying to poison his memory. At the same time 30 years later he still provides inspiration to all those who dream that a better world is possible.



My main Source was "Revolutionary Suicide" By Huey P. Newton which I highly recommend and is also an extremely entertaining and exciting read. I also read his collection of Essays "To Die For the People" and His doctoral thesis on the Black Panthers "War against the Panthers" both of which I also Highly recommend. I also read "A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story" By Elaine Brown although I was warned by trusted comrades that she is suspected of being a Cointelpro or a Chaos agent. It is an exciting read although it may have been written to vilify the party and create divisions. Brown of course denies these Accusations. As noted an in depth study of cointelpro and CHAOS are long overdue. I'm Currently reading "Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party" which is highly recommended as the definitive scholarly account. I also recommend you check out some of the many Huey P. Newton interviews and press conferences that have been uploaded to Youtube. I've also watched great discussions of David Hilliard's book "Huey: Spirit of the Panther" on You Tube and I look forward to reading it.

Huey Newton's War Against the Panthers is available online

I found a PDF copy of The Huey P. Newton Reader which I haven't had a chance to read yet

Mumia Abu Jamal on the genius of Huey P. Newton

Huey's Brother Melvin Newton on the Early Years of Huey Newton

Carlos Martinez wrote an article mostly made up of excerpts from "Revolutionary Suicide"

Danny Haiphong on Huey P. Newton His articles last year helped guide my research this year

Danny Haiphong on the PBS Documentary