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Compiled ad Publishe by
The Church League of Americ
Compiled and Published by
7� � �e � rm
THE BLACK PANTHERS IN ACTION
During the past twO years, in the great indutrial citie of th Unite Stt,
mebrs Df the Black Panther Party have been lke by the polic wit crime tht
rage from murder and a conpirac to bomb buildings thrOugh ae rbb ad
an to the stock-piling Df automtic weapns and the pssssion of narctic. In
jut over two ye te Black Panthers have gow frO'm a smll group o militt i
Oaland, CalifDria to a nation-wide para-mility organization weing a mecig
all-black unifor, leather jackets and berets, owing allegiance to the alien Mat
politic of Red Ch's Mao Tse Tung and foring pliticl alliac wit suc
diverse militant radicl groups a the Students for a Democratic Society ( SDS) , the
Socialist Worker's Party (SWP) , and the bizarre Yippies as well as with te Com
munist Party, USA and the Peace and Freeom Parties (P&FP) of Califor ad
Black Panther, "Minister of Defen" Huey Newton, a cfouder of the or
ganization, who is sring a 2 to 15 year sentence in te Califoria Men's Colony at
Ls Padre for the shoting death of an Oakland Police Officer, has said:
". . . we believe that it is important to identify with revolutonary black people of
Africa and oppressed people througout the word .... We say the only culture
worthwhile holding onto is a revolutonary culture. The only way we're going to b
free is by seizing political power which comes through the barel of a gun."
And, with a firm belief in aed violence, ut of t Black Panter Party have
comeno operations in more tha tirty cities which include:
Berkeley, Calif., 3106 Shattuck*
Vallejo, Calif., 1024 Gateway St.
East Oakland, Calif., 7304 E. 14th St.
Oaand, Calif., 1026 53rd St.
Sa Franoisc, Calif., 2941 35th St.
Richond, Calif., 520 Bissel
L Angeles, Calif., 4115 Central * *
FreO', Calif., 329 W. Myers
Sa Diego, Calif., 2608 Imperil Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa, 1207 1lth St.
Minneapolis, Minn., 707 N. Sheridan
Ka City, Mo., 2223 Lydia
Pittsburgh, Pa., 808 Gerg Ave. * * *
Philadelphia, Pa., 1707 Widener Plce
Harriburg, Pa., 1629 N. 6th. St.
Newark, N.J., 321 Hwr Ave.
Jersy Cit, N. J., 384 Pacific Ave.
Bostn, Mass., 375 Blue Hill Ave.
Houston, Tex, 7245 Scot
Chicgo, 111.,2350 W. Madison
Baltimore, Md., 1209 N. Eden St.
Detro it, Mic., 1438 Euclid
Omaha, Neb., 3120 N. 24th St.
Denver, Colo., 3401 Fralin St.
Indianapolis, Ind., 113 W. 30th St.
Seattle, Wah., 1127 34th Ave.
New York, N. Y.
(Broklyn) , 780 Notr Ave.
(Broklyn), 1808A Fulton St.
(Harlem), 2026 Sevent Ave.
* * Four other branches
* * * One other branch
The sum er and fall of 1966 saw the genesis of the Black Panther Pay. Ac-
cording to a Hous Committee On Un-American Activities reprt, Guerrilla War
are Advocates in the U.S., a rally of Black Panthers was held UNew York City on
August 23, 1966. Among the speakers were Max StnfO'rd of the Revolution
Action Movement ( RAM) , Stokely Carichael of the Student Non-Violet Co
ordinating Committe ( SNCC) and William Epton of the PrO'gresive Labr Paty
( PLP) . According t an Asociated Press dipatch Qf August 30, cncrg this
Stanford took the podium. Flanked by members of the Black Panther group, he
said, 'Black men must unite in overthrowing their white oppressors, but must do it
. . . like panthers. . . smiling, cunning, scientifically ... striking by night and sparng
no one.' Stanford said the U.S. could be brought down with 'a rag and some gasoline
and a bottle'-the ingredients of a fire bomb.
Stanford and Caichael went on to work within the groups that they had
helpd to cret. Epton remaine to dO' the bidding of PLP and it was on the West
Coast in October 1966 that the Black Panther Party was first organized uder the
directiO'n of Huey Phillip Newton, 27 and Bobby Gorge Sele, 32. With a sto refront
hedquartrs in a predomntly Negro dirict Of Oakland, Califora and the
n, "The Black Panter Party for Self De" recruits were gathere; and, ac
cording to Panther lore, Qne Qi f th first t join was Bobby Huttn, then 14, t acieve
"martyr" statu fQr the Party U 1968 whe he was fatally shot U a Panther
instigated gun-battle with members of the Oakland PQlice Departmnt.
Initially, the Black Panthers were a-PQi liticl and functioned as a "Commuty
Alert PatrQi I," following police cs and taking photograp of the officrs, advising
residets in conflict with te police, ad assisting the Negr communit in their
dealings with the city ad cty admitration. However, as the Blck Pather
grew s did their militancy and the words "for Self Defense" were quietly droppe.
When the widO'W Qf Malcolm X, Mrs. Betty Shabazz, arrive 'i Califora on
February 21, 1967 she was met by an ared honor guard of Pather. Wheever
she appeared throughout her stay, they accompanie her, with rifles and revolvers
clearly vis ible.
The sharp focus of national attntion came to the Black Panthers on May 2,
1967 when some forty, armed with loade rifles, shotgu and pistol, entr te
State Legislature in Sacraento. Some of this group even entere the Assembly
Chamber itself, while the HO'us was i sssion, scuffled brifly with Serget-at
arms and were hustled O'utide to be met by a squad O
f State polc who de
them, but retued the weapn w it was decide that the Panters, had, at tht
time, broken no wepons laws. During this whole episode nO' shooting occurred, there
was very little overt viQlenc and occupants O' f the Easter part of th State Building
were uaware of the incident. Later, Huey Newton was to' claim tat te incident
was designe onJy to protest pending legislation liting the right t bear ars and
te brutality of the "racit" Oakland police, and, he added, that the metho u
was designed to preent a "manly image t' fellow blackmen" and not U invite
Landon Williams with walkie
talkie in front of Alameda
County Cour House
(Oakland, Cal.) during trial
of Huey Newton.
Black Panthers "changing of
the guard" in front of
Alameda County Cour House.
August 26, 1968.
� R�C'�M �
Bobby Seale (1) and James
Foreman (2) during Black
Panther demonstration in
front of Alameda County
Court House (Oakland, Cal.),
July 1968, while Huey
Newton's trial was on.
Black Panther group giving
salute and shouting "Free
Huey-Get your gun!" in
front of Alameda County Cour
House (Oakland, Cal.). On left
foreground, "Capt." Landon
Williams, one of those
stopped at Mexico City
.enroute to Cuba and sent to
New York by Mexican Police
Eldridge Cleaver (far left)
with bodyguard and friends.
demonstrating in front of
Alameda County Court House
(Oakland, Cal.). Mao Tse
Tung's "Red Guard Manual"
protrudes from girl's pocket.
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1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our black com-
2. We want full employment for our people.
3. We want an end to the robbery by white men 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 te nature of this decadent
American society. We want education that teaches us our true histor 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.
S. We want freedom for all black men held in federa, state, county, and city
prisons and jails.
9. We want all black people when brought to tral to be tied i court by a jur
of their peer group or people from their black communities a defined by the
Constitution of the U.S.
10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.
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The black people in Amercia are the only people who can free the word, loosen
the yoke of colonialism and destroy the war machine. As long as the wheels of the
imperialistic war machine are ting there is no country that can defeat this mon
ster of the West. But black people can make a malfunction of this machine from
within. Black people can desoy the machinery that's enslaving the world. Aerca
cannot stand to fight every black country in the world and fight a civil war at the
same time. It is militarily impossible to do both these things at once ... when the
'�Robert Franklin Williams organized the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM) while a fugitive in Cuba. Williams
was involved in a racial demonstration in Monroe, N. C. in which he kidnaped a white couple and held them
as hostages. He was subsequently indicted for kidnapping and fled to Cuba from where he made trips back and
forth to Red China where he is now permanently living. From, Peking, China, Williams publishes a highly
militant and racist newsletter, The Cmsader. After a visit to Tanzania in 1968 where he met with Detroit's Milton
Henry and other founders of the Republic of New Africa (RNA), Williams became the first President of that
organization, announcing his intention Df returning to the U.S.A. Members of RNA were involved in a shoot-out
with Detroit Police in March, 1969 which resulted in the killing of : police officer.
oppressor makes a vicious attack against freedom fighters because of the way that
such freedom fighters choose to go about their liberation, then we know we are
moving i the direction of our liberation. The racist dog oppressors have no rghts
which oppressed black people are bound to respect ... the oppressor must be
harassed until h doom. He must have no peace by day or by night ... black people
must now move to seize by any means necessary a proportionate share of the power
vested and collected in the structure of Amerca. . . the racist dog oppressor fears the
armed people, they fear most of all black people armed with weapons and the
ideology of the Black Panther Party . .. 30 million people armed with freedom and
defense guns and the strategic methods of liberation ... when the people move for
liberation they must have the basic tool of liberation, the gun. Only with the power
of the gun can the black masses halt the terror and brutality perpetrated against
them by the armed racist power structure, and in the one sense only by the power of
the gun can the whole world be transformed ... one of the successful practitioners of
the art and science of national liberation and self defense put it this way: 'We are
advocates of the abolition of war, we do not want war, but war can only be abolished
through war, and in order to get rid of the gun it is necessary to take up the gun'.
(Brother Mao Tse Tung) ... we were forced to build America and if forced to we
will tear it down.
The quotation tat Newton gave from "Brother Mao" on "taking up the gu"
has since becDme the official mottO' of the Black Panther Party.
A participant in an Oakland shooting afray in October, 1967, in which a POlice
Officer was killed, Newton was convicte and sentenced to 2-15 years in prisOn, a
sentnce he is presently serving. During the period that he was awaiting trial the cry
o "Fre Huey" became the hallmark of every Panther meeting and rally and, still
continues. The campaign to put pressure on the California courts prior to Newn's
trial brought together a wide spectum of both NegrO and white radicals and pro
vided an invaluable rallying point for the Panthers. Making the fullest possible ue
of Newton's incrceration, the Party organized "Huey Newton Birthday Parties" on
February 16, 1969 in many major Americ cities, and these were agan foca l poits
of many radioal Organization; for example, the "Birthday Party" in San Francisc
was sponred by the National Lawyer's Guild, the Socialist Worker's Party and
the Peace and Freedom Organizing Committee.
Bobby Seale, chairman of the Black Panther Party, now dZ, migrated from
Texas to the Oakland area with his family, while in his tens. He grew up i what
ha ben called a "a black lower middle class section of the ghetto," and wOrked as
a drummer and a night club comedian in Oakland area clubs before beig emplo�ed
as a family counselor for the North Oakland Community Center of the Oaland
OEO, a job that he held until March 1967 when he was fired for allegedly taking a
g t work with h. In this war-on-pverty job, Seale was able to renew his ties
with Huey Newtn whO was als an emplo�ee, along with Bobby Hutton (Chairman,
Minister of Defene and Tresurer Df the Black Panther Party respectively) , of the
North Oakland Center.
Sele served in the Air Force, being discharged in 1958 with a bad cnduct
discharge following a si-month term in military prison for direpect t an Air Force
officer. Prior to h assodation with the Black Panthers, Seale was active in the
National Asition for the Advancement of Colore People, (NAACP), the Afro
American Assciation (AAA) and the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM).
In 1965 Sale was liste in a publication, Soulbook, "a quarterly joul of revolu
tionry Afro-America," a its Distribution Manager. The Spring, 1965 isue, in which
this listing is found, also carried a finanda appeal for the defense of the "Statue of
Liberty Defendants," a RAM group who had plotted to blow up docks along the
New York City waterfront and the Statue of Liberty to help stimulate a situation
of guerrilla warfare in the U.S. by showig young Negroes who wished to fight that
smebody was prepared t take positive violent action ".
Other Soulbook staff members with whom Seale worked were Donld Frem,
a writer for Black America, the ofcial RAM jour, Ken Freeman, who worked on
numerous OEO-funded programs in Richond, Califoria, setting the stage for a
Black Panther "District" in that city, and Erest Allen Jr., a fouder of Afro
Americans for Freedom, an anti-draft organization, and a visitor to Cuba in the
sumer of 1964, contrary to the regulations of the U.S. Department of State.
Not only did Sele lose his OEO job through a g, but g cntinue to be a
source of legal entanglement for him; at the State Capitol in May, and aga lateT
that month he was arrested for carrying a loaded shotgun in the immediate vicinity
of the Alameda County Holding Jail in the Oakland Hall of Justice. Nine months
later, in February 1968, Seale, his wife Artie and other members of the Panther
leadership were again arrested, ths time on felony g possession carge (al
legedly serial numbers had been oblitrated on guns found in Seale's apartment).
Of these charges, the latter was thrown out of court by Judge Lionel Wilson on te
bas is of illegal search and seizure, and suit has been filed by the Panthers against
Oakland City Coucil and Alameda County Officials. The charge relate t having
a weapon at Oakland's Hall of Justice resulted i a suspended sentence and a proba
tion order, which, although Seale accepted, h attorys promptly appealed.
As Chair of the Black Panthers, Bobby Seale has becme a notorious
national and interational figure constantly travelling to spread his messa ge of
hate. In June 1968 he urged" ... black brothers and sisters t go home and arm
themselves. The racist power stucture must b dise or it will have to face
the wrath of the armed black people." Visiting Chicago at the time of t Deocratic
Party National Convention in Augut, 1968, Seale addresse a rally in Lincln
Park, again urging his audienc "to get a piece" (obtain a g) and defend them
selves against the "pigs" (police). As a result of this speech, Seale was indicted by
a GLand Jury on March 21, 1969 on a charge of conspiracy to use itrstate com
merce with intent to incite acts of violence under the provisions of the 1968 Civil
':'Robert Collier, Walter Bowe and Khaleel Sayyed were convicted of this conspiracy and sentenced to terms of
imprisonment in 1965. In A.ril, 1969, Collier, described as Black Panther Minister of Education for New York,
was indicted as a conspirator In a plot to bomb five Department Stores.
Stokeley Carmichael (Second
from left) with Black
Barbara Auther (1), Richard
Aoki (2), Peter Camejo (3),
Bobby Hutton (4), Bruce
Edward Cockerham (6),
Oleander Harrison, Jr. (7)
Photo taken when Black
Panthers first used
University of California
campus at Berkeley to
generate student sympathy.
David Hilliard (I), Black
Panthers "Captain," in front
of Panthers Hq. He was
turned back by Mexican
authorities at Mexico City
while enroute to Cuba.
Photo taken at Oakland,
Sept. 10, 1968.
Peter Camejo (1)
Bobby Seale (2)
Bobby Hutton collects
money for Black Panthers at
Kathleen Cleaver (2) with
white supporters Robert
Mandell (son of Wm.) and
Stew Albert (3) writer for
Berkeley.Barb and clos
a! !he ¡emíspheríc LonÍerence !o Lnd !he Var ín \íe!nam whích was heÌd ín
Aon!reaÌ,Lanada. A!!hísÍor oÍan!í-Amerícan)sm,HaÌe)oínedwí!hrepreæn!a-
!ívesoÍ!he Lanadían radícaÌÌeÍ!,1avíd1eÌÌíngeroÍIa!íonaÌAobíÌíza!íon!oLnd
!he Var ín \íe!nam, Habbí Ab�aham 1eínberg oÍ Joron!oand ¡oang UíchHon oÍ
!heIa!íonaÌ ¡íbera!íon1ron! |I¡1} índenouncíng !bcoun!ryoÍ hísbír!h.Ví!h
oÍ Aarch 1969 ín 1ínÌand, Sweden and 1enmarK. 1n Hcandínavía, SeaÌe and hís
!raveÌÌíngcompaníon, Haymond 'Aasí' ¡ewí!!,me!wÎ!hagroupKnownas HLAI-
HILL oÍ H!. Granga!an 33U, \psaÌa,Hweden,who mademany oÍ !heír speaKmg
arrangemen!s Íor!hem. SLAI-HILL ís descríbedbyone oÍí!s organízers, ¡ennar!
LKs!Om, as a group consís!íng oÍ 'AÍro-Amerícans and Hwedes worKíng ínHweden
t crea!o suppor! Íor !he AÍro-Amerícan Ìíbera!íon s!ruggÌeand spreadmÍotíon
abou! !he s!ruggÌe.' 1n varíous speaKíng engagemen!s ín Hcandínavm, !he !wo
!o Íeud wí!h !heír '1ríme Aín)s!er,' H!oKeÌy LarmíchaeÌ, Íor promo!íng "cuÌ!uraÌ
na!íonaÌísm' ínstead oÍ 'revoÌu!íonary na!íonaÌísm' durÎng hís vÎsí! !o SLAI-
HILLearÌíer ín !he year.
On !heu re!uH !o !he \ní!ed S!a!es, boU ¡ewí!! and HeaÌe repor!ed on !he:r
con!ac!s ín Ìess !han ÍÌa!!eríng !erms.¡ewí!! sayíng, 'Ve me! aÌÌ sor!s ot ÍooÌs,
ædvaríousmínorÌí!!ÌeÍooÌs andKooRs.' HeaÌewasa ÌÎt!ÌemoredípÌoma!ícsayíng,
"!he pepÌeandorganíza!íons we cameín!ocon!ac!wí!hwereÍruí!ÍuÌ!o omKnowÌ-
d ' e ge... .
Jus! beÍore Ìeavíng Íor Sweden, SeaÌe gavea Ìong ín!ervíew !o!heradícÌ S1H
oríen!ed newspaper, The Movement; ín !he ín!ervíew he spKe oÍ !he 'Íor! odd
UÌacK 1an!her Lhap!ers' across !he coun!ry, !he need Íor 'raísmg the poÌí!ícÌ
mders!andíng wí!hín !he 1ar!y !o a very hígh ÌeveÌ,' !he 'deveÌopmen! oÍ a
socíaÌís!íc sys!em wí!h¡n !he bÌacK commmí!y' and !he communí!y programs !ha!
are !o be a 1an!her !ac!íc !o wín 'grassrooI' suppor! duríng !he mon!hs !o come.
The four key programs we are trying to implement are: the breakfast for children
which is going on now; the petition campaign for the community con'tot of the
police; free health clinics in the black community; and black liberation schools in the
black community . . . First let me explain what the program (breakfast for children)
is. We have Black Panther Party members who get up at 6:30 in the moring to be
down at the churches in the black community by 7 o'clock to prepare food to serve
to the school kids by 7:30. This weakens the power structure because the business
men in the black community are the ones who have to donate to this program. We
hope to get this going around the country-that of every dollar a racist capitalist
(or any kind of business man be he black or white) a penny of it is going to have to
come back to the community. The first businessman who says he ain't gonna donate,
we're gonna tell the black community, 'Don't buy from him' . .. It's a socialistic
program ... Once the people see a socialistic progam is valuable to them, they won't
throw it away. By practicing socialism they lear it better. *
" Emphasis by Editor.
Black Panther demonstration in front of
trial of leader Huey Newton. Crowd
Note walkie talkies.
County Court House (Oakland, Cal.) during
"Free Huey!" and "Kill the pigs! (policemen)"
Seale concludes this interview which was reprinted in the Black Panther ad
New York's underground newspaper RAT by saying, "By using all mens t
exhaustion the people become very clear as t what they have t do. Te pple
themselves, at large, will run and o
(kill) the pig power structure and change the
From this interview and from confidential sources within the Black Pather
Party it is plain that by displays of militancy the Panthers have failed to' convince
the great majority of the Negroes in the U.S. that they are an alterative t ou
present form of government, although their impact on young men and women has
been very considerable. It is apparent that i 1969 the Pathers are going t add
political persuasion, boycotts and social programs * * to their aory of weapon;
and for their own members political education is to be of prime importance, and it
is t be political education as taught by the Chinese Communists.
Black Panther "Minister of Education" George M. Murray, a an instructor at
San Francisco State College in November, 1968 and whose advDcac that students
should arm themselves with rifles triggered off a student and faculty strike that
disrupted the College for more than sixten we , has issued a "mdatory" read
ing list of books, periodicals and newspapers as follows:
"Platform Program of the Black Panther Party"
"Rules of Legal First Aid"
"Esays from Minister of Defense, Huy Newton"
"Red Book Principles" (Quotations from Ch Mao)
"Wretched of the Eath" -Frantz Fanon
"Necolonialism the last stage of Imperialism" -K wae Nkrumah
"Communist Manifesto" -Karl Marx
"Imperialism-The Highest Stage of Capitalism" -V. I. Lnin
"State and Revolution" -V. 1. Lenin
"Autobiography of Malcolm X"
"The Ballot or the Bullet" -Malcolm X
"The West on Trial" -Chedi J agan
"Revolution i te Revolution" -Regis Debray
"The Challenge of the Congo. " -K ware Nkrah
"Guerilla Warfare" -Che Guevera
"Axioms of K ware Nkrah" -K ware Nkrah
The Black Panther Newspaper
Granma-officia joual of the Communist Party of Cuba
Tricontinental-J oural of the Organization of Solidarity o. f the people Df
Afric, Asia and Latin America
,�", Panther Breakfast Programs have been commenced in Oakland, Seattle and Los Angeles, but have not been sup
ported by the community in New York.
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s!re! corner oÍ OakÌand, !brougb !bír!y-Ííve cen!s ín Aíd-Ves! campus booKs!ores
!oÍíÍ!ycen!sínÌeÍ!-wíngradícaÌ |wbí!e} booKs!oresínIewAorkLí!y.
'The Black Panther reÍÌec!s!be 1ar!y´s s!ance onín!en!íonaÌ poÌí!ícsbybo!b
í!snews coverageandí!suseoÍnewsagencíes, sucba !heThird World Press, Pan
rican Press, Hsinhua oÍ 1eKíng and !be underground, Iew-AorK-based, Libera
tion News Service. Hecen! edí!íons have carríed a de!aíÌed Ior!b Yorean acoun!
oÍ a press conÍerence wí!b !beLap!aínandcrew oÍ !be lSH1uebÌo; messagesÍrom
¡o Lbí Aím; and ar!ícÌes on !heAíd-Las!eHsí!u!íonen!í!Ìed,"1aÌes!meLuer-
ríÌÌas vs. 1sraeÌí 1ígs' ín whícb !he !errorís! ac!íví!íes oÍ AÌ 1a!ab are ex!oÌÌed.
1oÌí!ícaÌ !heory aÌso rcceíves a!!en!íon ín !he Black Panther and æ!ícÌesbave
ín símpÌe !erms, !be dangers arísíng Írom 'uÌ!ra-democracy' and !be need Íor
'democracy under au!borízed guídance.' HeÍusíng !o accep! 'au!bor¡zedguídance'
has been used as !bereasonÍor expeÌÌíng someUÌacK1an!bers Írom !he1ar!y, and
Lvery íssue oÍ !be Black Panther con!aíns !he 1ar!y 1Ìa!Íorm and 1n græ
!oge!ber wí!b Ue!wen!y Ííve ruÌes oÍ !be 1ar!y, !bemaín poín!soÍLegaÌ 1írs! Aíd,
Lígb! 1oín!s oÍA!!en!íon and JbreeAaín HuÌesoÍ1íscípÌíne. |1! mus!beremem-
bered !ba! !he materíaÌ no!ed ín !hís paragrapb mus! be ÌeaHed by ro!e, Lbínese
s!yÌe, by aÌÌ 1ar!y members} . Agaín, ín !hísreguÌarÌyreprín!edma!eríaÌ, !heínÍÌu-
ence oÍ Lhaírman Aaoís ap¡aren!, ascan be seen ín !be !wo ex!racts!ba!ÍoÌÌow:-
He!uH every!bíng !ba! you brrow.
1o no! mKe a síngÌe needÌe or a píece oÍ !bread Írom !h poor and op-
oÍ !be UÌacK 1an!ber 1ar!yreceíve,and meorganíza!íonÌ s!ruc!ure!ba! hasbOn
An aspíran! t membershíp ín !beUmcK 1an!ber 1ar!y bas!obepreparedÍor
a síx-weeks!raíníngperíodwí!b!hreeeveníngsín eacbweeK, Aonday, VednesdB
Mixed audience listening
to Black Panther speakers
during rally in Oakland, Cal.,
Alex P. Hoffman (1),
identified as "Communist
sympathizer" in 1967
Activities Report No. 14
(Senate). Legal representative
of Delano Grape Strikers.
Free Speech Movement legal
Black Panther Rally, Oakland,
Cal., August 1968, being
addressed by 15·year·old
school dropout, Keith
Tolliver, referred to as "the
new Bobby Hutton."
Photo taken during trial of
Huey Newton at Alameda
County Court House
(Oakland, Cal.), July 1968,
showing from left to right:
Kathleen Cleaver, wife of
Eldridge Cleaver; Edward
Keating, publisher of
Ramparts; and Eldridge
Cleaver, now being sought
by the FBI.
Isaac Moore, Soulbok
W.H. Sherman, Dir. of Instit. for
Emory Douglas (1), .. Mi nister
of Culture" and revolutionary
artist for Black Panthers
Stokeley Carmichael (2).
Bobby Seale's early
colleagues on SOUlBOOK
and rifles, instruction in close order drill and unarmed combat, and, of paramount
imprtance, political education. Over the six-wek period, Panther recit ae
expected to memorize some thirty pages from Red Book Principles as well as the
Panther Rules of Disciplines, Political Platform, Rules, Legal First Aid ad the
Eight Points of Atttention. But, at each ses sion, Red Book Principles takes prece
denc over other instruction. After six week the recruit is examined in depth by his
"Captain," reports prepared by his instructors are evaluated, and, if satisfactory,
he is admitted to the Party with the rank of Private and the status of Party Member.
The basis of the Black Panther's strength is, of course, the rank and file mem
bers. Members are grouped under various rans of "Officers" in a para-military
organization based on their place of residence, the Panther Party taking the view
that organization on a block-by-block basis is the most effective, the nuber of block
being involved depending on the recruiting potential of the area. According U Chair
man Seale, as reported in The Gurdin, Deceber, 1968, the basis of Panther
control is the Ten-Ten-Ten system, an Advisory Council of ten which includes the
local Captain and Lieutenants; tn Section Leaders (Sergeants) and ten Sub
Section Leaders (Corprals); and, from observations of Panthers operating on the
streets, a Sub-Section will also consist of ten men and women.
Panther women are treated as "true revolutionaries" and are expected to lear
the techniques of guerrilla warfare just as the men do. Kathleen Cleaver, Com
munications Secretary for the Panthers, says that, " ... there is no distinct or
ganizational apparatus that distinguishes the men from the women" and also
confirmed that there are women on "Panther comittees at every level." In many
areas Panther women pLay a major role in organizing and implementing politicl
actions, and, when sen at rallies and demonstrations, rival the males in discipline
and close order drill.
Ranng and official titles are obviously of importance to the Black Pathers,
rak being indicated by gold bars attached to the uniform; but, the award of ran
appears t be a reward for devotion to duty and political knowledge rather thn on
a strictly milita and methodioal system of promotion.
A close study of the upper echelons of the Panthers indictes that they have
adopted a three-level organizationl structure, with the Minister of Defense para
mount and the Chief of Staff seen as a most critical post. The structue approved
by the National Central Committee of the Black Panther Party is as follows: (se
U¡ALY 1AIÄ¡LH 1AHÄA OHGAI1ZAÄ1OIAL ÛÄH\LÄ\HL
FI RST LEVEL
NATI ONAL CENTRAL COMMI TIEE OF THE BPP
1 . Mi ni ster of Defense
Huey P. Newton
2. Chai rman
Bobby G. Seal e
3. Mi ni ster of I nformati on
El dri dge Cl eaver (underground)
4. Chi ef of Staff
Davi d Hi l l i ard (Col one1)
5. Communi cati ons Secretary
Kathl e'en Cl eaver (Lt. Col . )
6. Fi el d Marshal l s
(underground and Lt. Col onel s)
RANK & FI LE
7. Assistants to Central Commi ttee (Maj ors)
A. Asst. to Chi ef of Staff
B. Di stri buti on Manager
C. Fi nance Manager
D. Asst. Mi n. Economi c Devel-
E. Assts. to' Mi n. of Health.
F. Assts. to Mi n. of Cul ture.
G. Assts. to Mi n. of Educati on"
H. Asst. to' Mi n. of Rel i gion.
I . Assts. to Communi cati ons Sec"
8. Coordi nators and Securi ty Heads
1 0. Secti on Leaders
1 1 . Sub-Secti on Leaders.
12. Panther Members
1 3. Panthers in 6-week trai ni ng
( Buck Privates)
(Other Mi ni ste,ri al Offi cers hold rank of Lt. Col onel)
A. Mi ni ster of Educati on: George M. Murray.
B. Mi ni ster of Heal th: See Note 1 .
C. Mi ni ster of Fi nance: Mel vi n Newton.
D. Asst. Mi n. Economi c Deve!.
E. Pri me Mi ni ster: Stokely Carmi chael .
F. Mi nister of Foreign Affai rs: See Note 3.
G. Mi ni ster of Economi c Devel opme'nt : Note 1 ref�rs.
H. Mi ni ster of Culture: Emory Dougl as.
I . Mi ni ster of Rel i gi on: Note 1 refers.
J. Mi ni ster of Labor: Note 1 refers.
THI RD LEVEL
NAT'L ADVISORY CABI NET TO THE CENTRAL COMMI TIEE*
1 . Pol i ce, Jai l s and Courts.
2. Brothers and Sisters i n Pri son, on parol e and on proba-
3. Pol i ti cal and Economi c Ana, lysis.
5. Housi ng.
6. Publ i cati ons and Communi cati ons Medi a.
7. I nternati onal Rel ati ons and Thi rd Worl d.
8. Draft of bl ack me'n i nto US Mi l i tary.
9. Wel fare and Health.
10. Educati on.
1 1 . Armi ng the Black Community.
12. Fund Rai si ng.
13. Domesti c Rel ati ons and Bl ack Bourgeoi si e.
*Community peopl e and research.
1n !he secnd ÌeveÌ oÍ !he UÌacK 1an!her organíza!íon, !he Lordína!or or
Lap!aín ís ín !hemos!crí!ícaÌ posí!íon. Ähe)obdecríptíon for a 1anther Lap!a:n,
prepared by Ia!íonaÌ¡eadquar!ers,readsasÍoÌÌows:-
No/e 1 : There is no record that these. "Ministerial" posts have been filled, although there may be interest in the
responsibility. For example, on matters of religion, the Reverend Earl Neale of St. Augustine' s Episcopal
Church in Oakland is Huey Newton's religious advisor and a member of the National Advisory Cabinet,
being styled a "revolutionary minister. "
Note 2 : For a time. H. Rap Brown filled this post. but when the Panthers broke their alliance with the Student
Non-violent Coordinating Committee ( SNCC) . Brown was quietly dro
Note 3 : James Foreman of SNCC was for a time res
onsible for Foreign Af
airs, holding press conferences for the
Panthers at the United Nations. He quarre
ed with the Party. had a nervous breakdown and was also
qui etl y dropped.
"A Black Pater Captai will : -
1. Cordit all politicl ad orgaationl work and assign the said
wrk t said Section Leaders�
2. Check complaints from the cmmunity.
3. Handle contradictions among membrs, the part and the commuity.
4. Hold meetings of Section Laders, co rdinate rallies, dinner and other
5. Diret security.
b. Head setion leders plitic euction cas.
7. Captains do everything nesary."
An evalution of the rule of the Black Pather and oter doents suggests
that oprationally the Capt is able t u his ow initiative; however, in all mat
ters pliticl he must accept the dictts of the Central Comtte. He is not allowed
t accpt fiancial or oter grants from ay agenc of goveent ad Fince
Officers, attache t lol chapters, do not oprate uder h authority. Tey are
directly respoible t the Central Comitte's Miister of Fiance (BP Rule No.
"Job decriptions" are also available for alra below that of Capt. For a
lieutenant, who 1 respnsible for sty, it i stted briefly, "Tis opration 1
hadled completely undergroud." However, Srgents and Corporals both hve
seven-point det. Sergeats ( Point Fb) are responsible for the drill ad "mut
schedule weekly trips where all Panter Members in h stion get drill practice."
Corprals are charged with the repnsibility ( Poit Fb) of evaluating the skill
of h squad members i how they prfor propganda work, how well tey know the
rule and "oter materials of the party lne" and are also repnsible for "firing
practice in private ssions know only t them."
For Buck Privates or Pathrs in Traiing a job desription of five points is
considered adequat. Te first pint is strk-"Six weks of Political Eduction
Classes-( Mut attend all plitical eduction clsbore appliction for member
ship is made) ." Wile the thid point i eqully cle, "Every new member must
acquire a piee (g) and a beret. Six weeks deadlie."
The membership figures of te Black Panther Party remai a closely guarded
secret and estimates are difficult t make bu of the securit impse by the
Panthers; however, from various sources it c be estimat that the hard-cre
activist membership throughout the countr i less than two thoud; but, t ths
nuber must b added the activists in the Black Student Union (BSU) now
proliferating across th cuntry in high schools and in clleges-which are more and
more coming under Panther domination, the my tken members and those that
are "state of mind" Panthers.
While the Black Panther Party is militantly "black," it leaders have no ibi
tions abut forming tmprar alliances with whit radicl groups and in making
use of the existig plitical system when it ca b tue t their own advatage.
In bth these respects the ì9b5 Elections provide the Panthers with opportunities;
a alliance was made with the Peace and Freedom ( P&F) Party t ctapult the
Panther Ministr Df Infonnation, Eldridge Cleaver, onto the national plitcl
scene as a cadidate for President of the United States, Huey Newton a a cddt
for the U.S. Congress, Kathleen Cleaver for the Califora State Senate ad Bobby
Seale for the State Assembly.
Leroy Eldridge Cleaver was bor August 31, 1935 in Little Rock, Ark., the
third of six cildren. In 1941 hi mOIther, Mrs. Telma Robin Cleaver, tok the
children to PhDenix ad then t Watts, Ì8 Agele. Divorced at this tie, she
worked for the Ì8 Angeles School Board and Eldridge attendd Lincol High
School until the 11th grade when he was comitte to the Youth Authority for a
juvenile offense at the age OIf 12. Cleaver's first felony charge cme when he was
18 ad was arrested in possession of three pounds of marijuana. Convicted, he spent
thre years in the Califoria CDrrectional Facility at Soledad until he was proled
on Decmber 3, 1956. Less than a year later on November 3, 1957, he was agai a
rested and charged with assault to commit rape, multiple countS
of assault with U-
tent to murder and multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Again he wa
cnvicted and jailed util he was again paoled m 1966 after servig eight yer.
From then Dnward, Cleaver's legal problems were cnnected with h Pather ac
ties: arrested at the State Capito,l i 1967; arrested after a 90-miute shoot-out with
Oakland Police in April 1968 in which Panther Treasurer Bobby Huttn was kille,
his parole was agai revoked. Cleaver's impact on the Black Panthers and the entire
radical movement was now s great that a hystericl outcry agait h iprin
ment was raised. As a reult, Dn June 12, 1968 Clever was release On $27.50 bal by
Judge RaymOnd J. Sherwin ( However, $50,000 bil had alredy been set on charges
resulting from the shot-Out) . * Judge Sherwin is quoted as saying, " . . . the u
contradicted evidence presented to thi curt indiCted that te petitioner ( Cleaver)
had been a model parolee."
It is difficult to reconcile the Judge's opiion of Cleaver the model paolee with
Cleaver's ow spoken and witten statements. While i prison ( incidentally Clever
was ivolved in nine prison rule infractiDns and received punishments rangig from
a reprimand to 29 days in isloation; his security rating was "Maimum"; ad, he
spent much time in the "adjustment center," a special housing unit for problem
irates) wrote a bok, entitled SOUL ON ICE which was publishe aftr h
release. In this book Cleaver wrote of his exploits a a rapist, the CW for which he
was jailed. He says:
To refine my technique and modus operandi, I started out by practicing on black
girls in the ghetto-in the black ghetto where dark and vicious deeds appear not a
aberrations or deviations from the nonn, but as part of the sufficiency of the evil of
the day-and when I considered myself smooth enough I crossed the tracks and
sought out white prey.
And Dn the day that Martin Luther Kig was shot, Cleaver wrote for Ramprts
* Those putting up bail money included Paul Jacobs. a P&F Senatorial Candidate; Edward Keating, former publisher
of Ramparts Magazine; comedian Godfrey Cambridge, Kathleen Cleaver and Dr . . Phillip Shapiro, a San Francisco
Now there is the gun and the bomb, dynamite and the knife, and they will be used
liberally i Amerca. America will bleed. Amerca wil suffer.
Not Only was this written in Ramprts, but it was subsquently u by the
Peace and Freedom Party as part Of their cpaign literature. They saw Cleaver
as a Preident O'f the United States, not as the convicted c.
Establishe as a Plitical figure, Cleaver cntinued t work fOr Ramparts maga
zine and t spak at variO'us Peace and Freedom Election Meetigs. Clever was
probably the greatest factor in establishing the cOalitiOn between the Panther and
Peace and Freedom. At a meeting On March 16, 1968 in RichmOnd, Califora,
Cleaver presented a paper, "Revolution i the White Mother COuntr and National
Liberation in th Black Colony", which called for the unificatiOn of the twO parties in
support Df "Black LiberatiDn." Cleaver told delegates, m Df whOm were or had
been members Of the Communist Party, USA, or assOciated with "Stp the Draft"
and Other anti-war organizations, that the calition between the twO "Frteral"
parties was based On Stokely Carmichael's dictu of "specific coalitiOn between
black and white grDUp for spcific purpses."
Cleaver cDntinued, "On the basis of this dictu we think that ultimately we
c develop a spcific coalition for the specific purpose Df destroyig capitalistic
explDitatiOn and racism." A five-pDint program i te name of the Black Panter
wa then read, and by resolution accepted by the white radicals and lIbrals. It
i) The P&F Party r our proPOsed candidates.
The P&F Party support our call for the Black Plebiscite.
iii) The P&F Party support our cll fOr UN observers t b stationed in the
majDr cities or in areas Of concentrated black pDpulatiDn to halt the 'aggres
siDn' and the provOcative tactics of the racist pig gestapo police whO' OCcupy
Our clDny as fDreign troops occupying cnquered territory.
iv) The P&F Party join with the Black Pather Party and the Stop th Draft
Week Drganizers and participate in Stop the Draft demOnstratiDns in Aprl
to fo attentiDn and to supply pressure on the demands that the troops
Df the pwer structure be withdrawn from Vietnam, AND FROM THE
v) Te P&F Party support the Black COmmunity's demand that thOse whO
plice the black cOmuity must live in the black commutie.
At the expnse of the Pec and Freedom Pary, Cleaver made speeches around
the country. Tese culminated at the Berkeley CDmmunity Theater on NDvember 1,
1968 when Cleaver appeared with his Vice-Presidential rng-mate, Yippie leader
Jerry Rubin, befOre a capacity crDwd conisting mostly of young pple, whO, with
impuity, brOk mot of the Teaters' regulatiOnsitting i the ales, smoking
cigarettes and mijuana, and indulging in licentiOu cOduct. On stage, Clever
stated that he was smDking "pot," Oæ frOm a gallOn wine bottle and in a tirade of
obscení!y abdícaæd h 1resíden!íaÌ apíra!íons ín Íavor oÍ a píµ wbeeÌed ínÞ !be
On IOvember Z1, ì9b5, LÌdrídµe LÌeaver, due !o Íace a paroÌe bearínµ, wen!
beíng cbarµed wí!b !bea!!emp!edmurder oÍa poÌíceoÍÍícer, !be$50,000 baíÌmoneV
wasÍorÍeí!ed. Hubsequen!Ìy,LÌeaverwasdecÌareda Íugí!íveÍrom)us!icebV!be1U1
and ís s!íÌÌ beíng sougb! by Ìaw enÍorcemen! aµencíes. 1espí!e bís ÍÌígb!, !be1n!er-
na!íonaÌ Lommí!!ee !o 1eÍend LÌdrídµe LÌeaver bas con!¡nued í!s ac!íví!íes under
!be dírec!orsbíp oÍ Ramparts magazíne edí!or, Hober! Hcbeer. ¯ís Lommí!!ee,
s!a!íng !ha! LÌeaverís ín ¨poÌí!ícaÌ exíÌe,` ísraísínµ moneyÍorbísdeÍenseandÍora
cour! ac!íon seeKíng !o es!abÌ¡sb !ba! !be revoca!¡on oÍ bís paroÌewas íÌÌeµaÌ. ¯e
peopÌe suppor!íng !bís 1eÍense Lomm:!!eerepresen! a varíed spec!r oÍ radíOÌs
and ÌíberaÌs, and bíµbÌígb! !bemany areas oÍsuppor! !ba!!be1an!berS Oobw.
Yemp!on, Ior AaíÌer, Le|oí Jones, Jessíca Aí!Íord, GodÍreV Lambrídµe,
Hídney Lens, Lonnor Lruíse Ó´Uríen, H!auµb!on Lynd,JuÌían Uond, Jom¡ayden,
Io accOun! oÍ LÌeaver´s roÌe ín !be UÌacK 1an!ber 1ar!y wouÌd be cOmpÌe!e
ì9b1. Ya!bÌeen LÌeaver, Lommuníca!íons Hecre!ary oÍ !be 1ar!y, ís, perbaps, more
!ypíoaÌ oÍ !be Iew LeÍ! !ban oÍ !be UÌacK AíÌí!an! movemen!s. ¡er Ía!ber, 1r.
LHes! IeaÌ, nowworKínµÍor A11, wasa coÌÌege proIessorwbenshewasboH; æd,
ín!beñrs!yearsoÍber ÌíÍe,!be IeaÌÍamíÌyÌívedi coÌÌege!ownsaÌÌover!becounuV,
íncÌudíng JusKegee, AÌa. OÍ JusKeµee, Ya!hÌeen LÌeaver saíd: '. . . í! ís bÌacK
bourµeoís !o !be bíÌ!. 3ewbí!es wbo Ìíve !bere are poor and íÌÌ-educa!ed; !bey´re
reaÌÌy !be mÍeríor ones. 1a!er !be ídea !ba! anyone couÌd !bím bÌacK pepÌe are
ínÍeríor s!rucK m as absurd.` AÍ!er JusKegee 1r. IeaÌ s!ar!ed worKíng Íor !be
1oreígn Hervíce and Ya!bÌeen Ìíved successíveÌy ín Iew 1eÌbí, !be 1bíÌíppínæ,
Líbería and Híerra Leone, wbere sbe was an bonor s!uden! a! Amerícn scbooÌs,
pubÌíc bígh scbooÌs ín !be \H and a! !be George HcbooÌ, a QuaKerboædínµ schoo¡
ín UucKs coun!y, 1a. AÍ!er gradua!ínµ sbe spen!a year a! OberÌín LoÌÌege, d
ou! oÍ coÌÌege !o !aKe !wo goveHen! )obs ¡n Vasbínµ!on and !ben !ríed Uanrd
LoÌÌege, Iew ÃorK, bu! ÌeÍ! aÍ!er one semesIer !o worK Íor HILL, Íírs! ín Iew
AorK and !ben ín A!Ìanta as !ba! orµaníza!íon´sLampus1rogramHecre!arV. AÍ!er
mee!¡ng LÌdrídge LÌeaver, Ya!hÌeen ÌeÍ! HILL t worK Íor !be 1æ!bers. Hbe has
becomea s!ara!!rac!íona!par!yraÌÌíes,Íorbb!beUÌacK 1æ!hers æd!be1eace
and 1reedom 1æ!y.
Jbe 'Íra!eHaÌ coaÌí!íon` be!ween !be UÌacK 1an!bers and !be 1eace and
1reedom 1ar!y díd no!m anywayprecÌude!be 1an!bersÍrom accep!ínµbeÌpfrm
LbarÌene Aí!cbeÌÌ, Lommunís! 1ar!y \HA's 1resíden!íaÌ cædída!e ín ì9b5,
ÍÌew Írom Iew ÃorK !o OaKÌæda! !bebegímnµoÍbercampaígn !Otæe pæ!ína
demons!ra!íon on !be Íírs! daV oÍ ¡uey Iew!on´s !ríaÌ, JuÌy ìb, pÌeµínµ supµrt
ÍrOm !be Lommmíst 1æ!V Íor !be UÌacK 1æ!bers and !beír eÍÍor!s !o "1ree ¡ueV
Iew!on.`Ars. Aí!cheÌÌ !oÌd repor!ers!ha!shehadconÍerredwí!bLÌdrídgeLÌeaver
t oÍÍer par!y suppor!. '¡eweÌcomed!heoÍÍerandsaídhewíshedhehadmoreÍrom
aÌÌ over!hecoun!ry,` shesaíd,addíng!ha!!he Lommunís!s 'wíÌÌsupport1eaceand
1reedom 1æ!y candída!es wherever !hey areon !hebaÌÌo!. `Apar!Írom Ars. Aí!-
cheÌÌ, many íden!íÍíed Lommunís!s and Lommunís! sVmpa!hízers havebeenac!íve
hís wíÍeJessícaAi!Íord,Ae!!a¡and,a 1919 L1char!ermember,\ínOn!¡aÌÌínan;
Uen)amm 1reyÍus. LharÌes Garry ís !he príncípaÌ a!!oDey Íor !he numerous ma)or
cases mvoÌvíng !he UÌacK 1an!her 1ar!y and ¡uey Iew!on, LÌeaver and HeaÌe.
O!her suppor! Íor !he 1an!hers has come Írom !he HocíaÌís! VorKer's 1ar!y,
whose boy-wonder, 1e!er Lame)o, Ìed a march !hrough OaKÌand on !he day !ha!
Iew!on's !ríaÌ opened. H!íÌÌ o!her suppor! comes Írom !he AedíoaÌ Lom!!ee
Íor ¡u Uígh!s, and especíaÌÌy Írom 1r. 1híÌÌíp Hhapíro who ís on record as
H!íÌÌ more ÌeÍ!-wíng suppr! has been gíven t !he 1an!hers by !he H!uden!s
Íor a 1emOcra!íc Hocíe!y |H1H) wbo a! í!s na!íonaÌ conven!íon i Jme 1968
agreed !o gíve ÍuÌÌ suppor! Íor !he deÍense oÍ ¡uey Iew!on, b !b na!íonaÌÌy and
educa!íon abou! !heUÌacK 1an!her1ar!y and oÍ ÍuÌÌsuppor!Íor!heUÌacK 1an!her
1ar!y.` Äom ¡ayden, a Íounder oÍ H1H and oneoÍ !he bes! Known ac!ívís!s oÍ !he
i sOdoíng,s!a!ed,". . . radícÌpÌí!ícsmus!beex!endedm!o!hepoÌí!ícÌarena. . . `
and descríbed LÌeaver´scandídacyas'onemechanísmÍordoíng!hís.`1n IewAorK
Lí!y, ApríÌ 1969, H1Hwa responsíbÌeÍorse!!ínguppícKe!Ìínes around !he Lrímí-
naÌ Lour! UuíÌdmµ, m on!raven!íon oÍ !he Ìaw, !O pro!es! !he mdíc!men! oÍ 21
Iew AorK 1an!hers Íor conspíracy !o bomb 1epar!men! H!ores. |1!í sno!ewor!by
oÍ !he HocíaÌís! VorKer's 1ar!y, !he Lommunís! 1ar!y, V.L.U. 1uUoís LÌubs,
1rogressíve ¡abor 1ar!y, AedícaÌ Loí!!ee Íor ¡uman Uígh!s, Aíppíes, Hpar!a-
1roÍessíonaÌ suppor! has been extended !o !he UÌacK 1an!hers by !he AeícaÌ
Lomí!!ee Íor ¡uman Uígh!s and Írom !he Ia!íonaÌ ¡awyer´s GuíÌd. 1n addí!íon
t LharÌes GarryandUen)amín1reyÍus ín S 1rancísco, !he 1an!hers caÌÌon!he
seríces oÍ VíÌÌíam Yuns!Ìer, GeraÌd LeÍcour!, Ar!hur TCO, ¡enry 1e Huevero
1uríng !he pas! !wo years, !he news medmbas uÌd !be s!ory oÍ !he crímínaÌ
ac!íví!íes oÍ !he UÌacK 1an!her 1ar!y: Jhe murden oÍ pÌíO oÍÍícers and pÌí!ícaI
rívaÌs, bombíngs and gm-Ííre a!!acKs on poIíce s!a!íons and oÍÍícers on pa!roÌ ín
* Landon Will iams, George Murray and David Hilliard, all Panther leaders who accepted invitations from the Cuban
Government to visit Havana, were stopped in Mexico City on August 8, 1968 and retured to the US. Their plane
tickets were paid for by a check for $400 signed by Dr. Phillip Shapiro. The money, said Dr. Shapiro, came from
contributions at his disposal .
Richmond, Califor; Jersey City, N. J. ; New York City and San Francisc; at
tempts to murder police officers in Ls Angeles and New York; arson in Des Moies,
Iowa, grand larceny in Seattle; and, conspiracy to bomb or to riot i New York,
Chicago and Ls Angeles. The news media has also told of the Black Studet
Union, and of its activities on dozens of cpuses, such as vandalism, assaults and
a total disruption of the educational process. The Black Student Union has its n
tional headquarters in the offices of the Black Panther Party.
* * * * * * *
This record of crime together with the revolutionary statements by the leaders
of the Black Panther Party leads to th question:
"What does the Black Panther Party Want?"
To this question Panthers provide an answer which i part rhetoric, part dif
fusion, and part a uiversal appeal to the underdeveloped Negro. Their "political
platform" created in 1966 lists ten points which include such agreeable issues as:
"We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and pce . . . " Nobdy
c argue with, "We want full employment for our people," or "We want decent
housing . . . "; but then, common sense deserts the platform with demands like these:
"We want black men to be exempt from military service . . . " and "We want fredom
for all black men held in jails."
The Panthers have a charisma about them which has contributed considerably
to their rapid expanion. To many young Nego men it is excitig, attractive, and
basically masculine with strong para-military attractions. Discipline is strict and
members who violate the code risk temporary or permanent ostracism. The my
rules and regulations adopted by the Panthers aptly illustrates the combination of
ideologies put to use. The strict discipline govering a Panther's public behavior i
reminiscent of M,alcolm X and the Black Muslim maner of displaying serious but
quiet confidence. The quotations and insistence on rote memor is a Communit
Chinese propaganda technique, while much of the Panthers' belief that they ae tre
revolutionaries comes from the writings of Che Guevera and Castro. Over all, there
i a strong emphasis on Marx and Lenin.
Taking all these varied issues into account an editorial colu in the University
of Califor's Daily Californian, August 2, 1968, su up many view on the
Panthers. The Daily Californian, not usually noted for its conservative view,
blasted the "non-thought, gut reaction to oppresion" of the Black Panthers and
called the ten-point program "vacant generalities and absurd manifestoes unique
outside of children's literature. " The charge was made that the Panthers have neve
articulated "plausible short-term goals." "As a group of home-grown guerilla war
riors, they siply don't make it; as a group of righteous assssins or protecrs of
the community, they simply don't make it; and most imptly, a a radical group
in the black community dedicated to changing the community for the better, they
simply don't make it," were the comets of the etorial writer. He asked, "Do they
wat a socilist state . . . sriouly want their ow polic . . . seriously want the ad
ministative respnibilitie of rng their ow comwities? If they do, I would
ask that they shut up for once and get dow t busines.'"
What the Panther do want i "the pwer t deter the destiny of our blck
comwty" and that destny, as prolaie by the Panther, would b a sist
state; ad, since the "siist" state they seem t admire and se k t emulate are
Cuba and Re Chia, it must be assme this i the for of goverent they w
t se exist in Americ.
The Panthers know tht an alien for of goverent will never be achieve in
the Unt States by demoatic process, s their pwer must b obtaine "through
the barel of a gun," or not at al.
The Black Panters and their many militant radicl supporters must be
stopped before ty cn do serious har to our soety.
Published a an educational service for our supporters by the National Laymen's Council of the Church League of America, 422 North Prospect Street,
Wheaton, Illinois. A Non·Profit Organization, Editor: Edga C. Bundy. Founded in 1937, Chicago, Illinois.