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Remembering Fred Hampton Sr. , A Fighter for Black Liberation, Revolution and Socialism

Remembering Fred Hampton Sr. , A Fighter for Black Liberation, Revolution and Socialism

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Published by Rbg Street Scholar
RBG| Remembering Fred Hampton Sr.
RBG| Remembering Fred Hampton Sr.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Rbg Street Scholar on Jul 22, 2014
Copyright:Public Domain


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Fred Hampton
 A Fighter for Black Liberation, Revolution and Socialism
By Freedom Road Socialist Organization
"You can kill a revolutionary but you can't kill revolution...you can jail a liberator but you can't jail liberation." -Fred Hampton 
 Fred Hampton is a hero in the struggle for Black liberation, revolution and socialism. He should be remembered and his example should be followed by all progressive and revolutionary people. Hampton
was the Deputy Chairman from the Illinois branch of the Black Panther Party. He was one of the most dynamic leaders in the Black Panther Party nationally until he was cut down in cold blood by the government at the age of 21. On Dec. 4, 1969 Fred Hampton was assassinated while sleeping in his bed by a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State's Attorney's Office, in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Fellow Black Panther Mark Clark was also assassinated that night. The murder of Hampton and Clark was part of the FBI's plan to disrupt and neutralize the Black liberation movement and the Black Panther Party specifically. Despite his young age, Fred Hampton made tremendous contributions to the movement for black liberation, working class revolution and socialism in the U.S. His example still shines and inspires people fighting for change almost 40 years later.
What Did Fred Hampton Do?
Fred Hampton was born in 1948 in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in nearby Maywood. While a teenager he got involved in the NAACP and his leadership abilities quickly became clear as he led campaigns to improve services in the Black community. When the Black Panther Party became established in Illinois, Hampton joined in 1968 and became a Party leader. Hampton's work over the next year made the Chicago Black Panthers one of the biggest and most successful chapters in the country - and therefore also one of the most targeted by the FBI. Fred Hampton did an amazing amount of organizing during his time as a leader in the Black Panther Party,
before his assassination. He organized weekly rallies, worked closely with the Black Panther Party’s local
People's Clinic, taught political education classes and launched a project for community supervision of the
police. Hampton was instrumental in the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast for Children Program. He
also engineered a truce between some of Chicago's street gangs and built alliances with radical and revolutionary organizations of other nationalities, including the Puerto Rican organization Young Lords and the mostly-white organization Students for a Democratic Society. In their political organizing, Hampton was adamant that the Black Panthers must raise the political consciousness of working and poor Black people toward socialism. He said that people learn through observation and participation, so the Panthers' programs were modeled to show people in practice what socialism is, and to get them involved so people could learn from their own experiences in the struggle. He always said "all power to the people" - making clear that change is made by the masses of people and that the goal is to win real power, not small reforms that leave the existing power relations in place.
Black Liberation, Proletarian Internationalism and Socialism
Why were the Black Panthers particularly singled out as the supposed ‘greatest internal threat to national security’ by FBI head J. Edgar Hoover? Because they were succeeding in organizing large numbers of
Black people to fight for revolutionary change with a socialist vision. They were inspiring hundreds of thousands of people of all nationalities toward revolutionary and socialist politics. They launched programs and campaigns to fight for the felt needs of the masses of poor and working class Black people and organized thousands of mostly young Black people into a revolutionary organization. They dedicated themselves to overthrowing white supremacist capitalism in the U.S. and replacing it with a socialist system based on the needs of the people. Following in the footsteps of Malcolm X, they upheld the right to armed self-defense. They identified with the national liberation movements and socialist countries in the Third World and they studied the writings of Mao, Fanon, Lenin, Marx, Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevarra, Kim Il Sung and other Third World socialist revolutionaries. The Black Panthers' socialist politics and identification with anti-imperialist liberation movements around the world caused the ruling class see them as a real threat.
Working Class Stand
"You're gonna have to keep on saying that - I am the proletariat, I am the people. I am not the pig. You've got to make a distinction." -Fred Hampton
The Black Panthers didn't mainly focus on organizing the working class as such. They tended to focus
attention on the lower sector of the working class in their communities and on the ‘lumpen proletariat’
(poor people who are basically outside of the formal economic system and get by on the 'informal economy', hustles, petty crimes and the like), and they also had a large base of support and members from petty bourgeois and student backgrounds. But Fred Hampton always spoke of the working class, the
‘proletariat.’ From his practice it's clear he was talking about the working cla
ss as a whole - including the lower sector and the lumpen, but not just them - the working class as a whole.

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