UPDATED 5:00 p.m. EDT, Dec. 4, 2023
Assassinated on Dec. 4, 1969, Chairman Fred Hampton was one of the major figures in the original Black Panther Party that rose to prominence after the height of the civil rights movement. The extrajudicial murder of Hampton and his comrade, Mark Clark, 54 years ago as they slept is an example of the lengths white supremacy has gone to deny Black power and self-determination.
Hampton was only 21 at the time of his murder, but his accomplishments and contributions to empowering Black people in America have lasted for decades. Law enforcement began “heavy surveillance” of him before the fateful police raid in Peoria, Illinois, where he died and other Black Panther members were injured.
On Dec. 4, 1969, Black Panther Party Illinois Chairman Fred Hampton was assassinated by the Chicago Police & the FBI. The police are not here to “protect us” or to “fight crime” they are here as an arm of the state to stop us from organizing for our freedom pic.twitter.com/gfdAIhwnC0
— Kamau Franklin (@kamaufranklin) December 4, 2023
Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, and Clark, a 22-year-old Peoria Panther leader, were murdered by Chicago police officers working with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. At the time of the attack, Hampton and Clark were both asleep inside their Chicago home.
Driven by Cook County State’s Attorney Edward Hanrahan, the deadly raid of the local BPP chapter—which left four other BPP members severely injured—was one of the multiple attempts to attack the Black Panther Party amid Cointelpro’s mission to “expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate type organizations and groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership and supporters,” as written in an FBI document.
21 year old chairman Fred Hampton and 22 year old Defense Captain Mark Clark of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party didn’t just “die” and they weren’t murdered, they were assassinated by the US government 54 years ago today! #TermsMatter pic.twitter.com/M5BrawzE7B
— Kalonji Changa (@Kalonjichanga) December 4, 2023
Though the FBI is said not to have been responsible, a federal grand jury did indicate the bureau played a notable role in events leading up to it. Specifically, FBI informant William O’Neal—third in command of the Chicago Panthers—supplied Hanrahan with information to plan his attack. The families of Hampton and Clark, along with the seven survivors, filed a $47.7 million damage suit.
As chairman of the BPP’s Illinois chapter, Hampton was known as a charismatic leader. His other accomplishments include organizing a student chapter of the NAACP in Maywood, Illinois. Hampton also brought together poor Black, white and Puerto Rican people as part of the “Rainbow Coalition” committed to dismantling white supremacy. He also inspired peace among several gangs in rivalry with one another.
Killed today in ’69 by the FBI, Fred Hampton is an inspiration to us at Dream Defenders. We believe in socialism, we believe in uniting all of us including white people, against a system that tears us apart from each other, and our minds from our bodies. Can’t kill the revolution pic.twitter.com/ah52gZzRTK
— Dream Defenders (@Dreamdefenders) December 4, 2023
On the anniversary of Hampton’s death, we remember the life of an inspiring revolutionary, as well as the other lives lost on that date 54 years ago.
Join us in remembering Hampton by listening to his words just two months before his assassination.
The post Remembering The Politics Of Fred Hampton’s Assassination By Chicago Police appeared first on NewsOne.