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THE

BLACK PANTHERS

$1.50

Compiled and Published by

The Church League of America

Wheaton, Illinois

1969
THE
BLACK PANTHERS
IN ACTION

is

Compiled and Published by

7� � �eMJIte � r/me1Ue4
WHEATON, ILLINOIS
THE BLACK PANTHERS IN ACTION
During the past twO' years, in the great industrial cities of the United States,
members Df the Black Panther Party have been linked by the police with crimes that
range from murder and a conspiracy to bomb buildings thrO'ugh armed robbery and
arson to the stock-piling Df automatic weapons and the possession of narcotics. In
just over two years the Black Panthers have grown frO'm a small group of militants in
Oakland,CalifDrnia to' a nation-wide para-military organization wearing a menacing
all-black uniform, leather jackets and berets,owing allegiance to the alien Marxist
politics of Red China's Mao Tse Tung and forming political alliances with such
diverse militant radical groups as the Students for a Democratic Society ( SDS) , the
Socialist Worker's Party (SWP),and the bizarre Yippies as well as with the Com­
munist Party,USA and the Peace and Freedom Parties (P&FP) of California and
New York.

Black Panther, "Minister of Defense" Huey Newton, a co-founder of the or­


ganization,who is serving a 2 to 15 year sentence in the California Men's Colony at
Los Padres for the shooting death of an Oakland Police Officer, has said:

"...we believe that it is important to identify with revolutionary black people of


Africa and oppressed people throughout the world ....We say the only culture
worthwhile holding onto is a revolutionary culture. The only way we're going to be
free is by seizing political power which comes through the barrel of a gun."

And,with a firm belief in armed violence,units of the Black Panther Party have
commenoed operations in more than thirty cities which include:

Berkeley, Calif.,3106 Shattuck* Harrisburg,Pa.,1629 N. 6th. St.


Vallejo, Calif.,1024 Gateway St. Newark,N.J.,321 Hawthorne Ave.
East Oakland,Calif.,7304 E. 14th St. Jersey City, N. J.,384 Pacific Ave.
Oakland,Calif.,1026 53rd St. Boston,Mass.,375 Blue Hill Ave.
San Franoisco,Calif.,2941 35th St. Houston,Texas,7245 Scott
Richmond, Calif.,520 Bissel Chicago,111.,2350 W. Madison
Los Angeles,Calif.,4115 Central* * Baltimore,Md.,1209 N. Eden St.
FresnO',Calif.,329 W. Myers Detroit,Mich.,1438 Euclid
San Diego,Calif.,2608 Imperial Ave. Omaha,Neb.,3120 N. 24th St.
Des Moines,Iowa,1207 1lth St. Denver,Colo.,3401 Franklin St.
Minneapolis,Minn.,707 N. Sheridan Indianapolis,Ind.,113 W. 30th St.
Kansas City,Mo.,2223 Lydia Seattle,Wash.,1127 34th Ave.
Pittsburgh,Pa.,808 Gearing Ave. * * * New York,N. Y.
Philadelphia,Pa.,1707 Widener Place (Brooklyn),780 Nostrum Ave.
(Brooklyn), 1808A Fulton St.
(Harlem), 2026 Seventh Ave.
*National Headquarters
* * Four other branches
* * * One other branch

The summer and fall of 1966 saw the genesis of the Black Panther Party. Ac-

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cording to a House Committee On Un-American Activities report, Guerrilla War­
fare Advocates in the U.S., a rally of Black Panthers was held in New York City on
August 23, 1966. Among the speakers were Max StanfO'rd of the Revolutionary
Action Movement ( RAM ) , Stokely Carmichael of the Student Non-Violent Co­
ordinating Committee ( SNCC ) and William Epton of the PrO'gressive Labor Party
( PLP ) . According to an Associated Press dispatch Qf August 30, concerning this
rally:
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 sparing
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 Carmichael went on to work within the groups that they had
helped to create. Epton remained to dO' the bidding of PLP and it was on the West
Coast in October 1966 that the Black Panther Party was first organized under the
directiO'n of Huey Phillip Newton, 27 and Bobby George Seale, 32. With a storefront
headquarters in a predominantly Negro district O'f Oakland, California and the
name, "The Black Panther Party for Self Defense" recruits were gathered; and, ac­
cording to Panther lore, Qne Qif the first to join was Bobby Hutton, then 14, to achieve
"martyr" status fQir the Party in 1968 when he was fatally shot in a Panther
instigated gun-battle with members of the Oakland PQlice Department.
Initially, the Black Panthers were a-PQli itical and functioned as a "Community
Alert PatrQIi ," following police cars and taking photographs of the officers, advising
residents in conflict with the police, and assisting the Negro community in their
dealings with the city and county administrations. However, as the Black Panthers
grew so did their militancy and the words "for Self Defense" were quietly dropped.
When the widO'W Qf Malcolm X, Mrs. Betty Shabazz, arrived 'in California on
February 21, 1967 she was met by an armed honor guard of Panthers. Wherever
she appeared throughout her stay, they accompanied her, with rifles and revolvers
clearly visible.
The sharp focus of national attention came to the Black Panthers on May 2,
1967 when some forty, armed with loaded rifles, shotguns and pistols, entered the
State Legislature in Sacramento'. Some of this group even entered the Assembly
Chamber itself, while the HO'use was in session, scuffled briefly with Sergeants-at­
arms and were hustled O'utside to be met by a squad O'f State police who disarm.ed
them, but returned the weapons when it was decided that the Panthers, had, at that
time, broken no weapons laws. During this whole episode nO' shooting occurred, there
was very little overt viQlence and occupants O'f the Eastern part of the State Building
were unaware of the incident. Later, Huey Newton was to' claim that the incident
was designed onJy to' protest pending legislation limiting the right to bear arms and
the brutality of the "racist" Oakland police, and, he added, that the method used
was designed to present a "manly image to' fellow blackmen" and not to invite
viQilence.
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� R.�C'�M �

�'BIacJ( Panther
LIST
--

Landon Williams with walkie


talkie in front of Alameda
County Court House
(Oakland, Cal.) during trial
of Huey Newton.

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 Panthers "changing of


the guard" in front of
Alameda County Court House.
August 26, 1968.
Black Panther group giving
salute and shouting "Free
Huey-Get your gun!" in
front of Alameda County Court
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
Department.

Black Panthers
demonstrating in front of
Alameda County Court House
(Oakland, Cal.). Mao Tse
Tung's "Red Guard Manual"
protrudes from girl's pocket.

Eldridge Cleaver (far left)


with bodyguard and friends.
Expelled from the State Capitol, the militants regrouped at a gas statiO'n,
where a number of them were arrested by poHce on charges O'f violating Fish and
Game Code laws which prO'hibit the carrying Df loaded guns in vehicles. At Sacra­
mento PDlice Headquarters, five juveniles and nineteen adults were charged with a
conspiracy to invade the Assembly Chambers, a felony. AmO'ng those arrested were
LerDY Eldridge Cleaver, later to achieve international notoriety as Panther "Min­
ister Df InformatiO'n," Bobby Seale, Bobby Hutton, Emory Douglas, the self-styled
"revO'lutionary artist" whO' is nO'w Panther "Minister of Culture" and Mark CO'mfO'rt
whO', in 1968, was a leader Df the Oakland contingent in the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference's (SCLC) POOor People's March O'n Washington.

Having gained national publicity, the Black Panthers brought their PO'litical
philosophy befOore the country. This philO'sophy is eclectic, encompassing MaD Tse
Tung, Stalin, Lenin, HD Chi Mi' nh, Franz FanDn, and even Leon TrDtsky, while the
ideas of Malcolm X, whO' emphasized black unity and self-defense, have had the
most visible influence O'n their activities. The Black Panther political platform
centers around ten demands that they insist must be met, "right now Oor else!"
These demands are:

1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our black com-
munity.

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 true nature of this decadent
American society. We want education that teaches us our true history 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 federal, state, county, and city
prisons and jails.

9. 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 U.S.

10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.

Huey Percy Newton, a co-founder of the Black Panthers and "Minister Oof
Defense", is portrayed by his fDllDwers as a paragon of virtue but the facts dO' nOot
match the descriptiDn. He was bOom in Louisiana in 1942 and mOoved with his family
to East Bay, Oakland at the age of one. The youngest of seven children of an Oak­
land Street maintenance wOorker whO' had been a Baptist pastor until he mO'ved his
family from New Orleans, Huey Newton has a long histO'ry of involvement with the
police. He served six months in a California prison for assault with a deadly weapon

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in 1964 and as a juvenile had numerous brushes with the law; to. newspaper repo.rters
Newton has bragged of having been suspended from school twenty to' thirty times,
and, until recently, would always describe his elder brother, Melvin, as a "square."
(Melvin Newton, has a Master's degree and is employed by the Alameda CO'unty
Welfare Department as a social worker; since his brother went to' jail Melvin has
become Black Panther "Minister of Finance") .

Being graduated finally from Berkeley High School, Huey Newton enrolled
in Merritt CO'llege, Oakland in 1962, and it was then, when he was 19, that he first
met the 25-year-O'ld BO'bby Seale, the second co-founder O'f the Black Panthers. In
1965, Newton became one of the first ten members of the Afro.-American Association
(AAA) , a bLack nationalist group that he persuaded Seale to' join also; however,
they both soon became bo.red with what NewtO'n described as the "cultural national­
ism" of AAA and the Soul Students Advisory Council to which he had also been
initially attracted. At Merritt CO'llege, Newton and Seale helped lay the foundation
for the develO'pment O'f a "black curriculum," the hiring of Negro instructors and
an Afro-American Studies Center. The work that the two militants joined in com­
mencing at Merritt has continued at an accelerated pace, leading NEWSWEEK
magazine of February 10, 1969 to term the two-year junior college, "the cradle of
black student militancy." On February 13, 1969, Fred Smith, student body president
and himself a Black Panther Party member said, "the majO'rity of Merritt's nearly
3,000 black students are members of the Black Panther Party; and if Huey NewtO'n
doesn't go free, the sky's the limit."

From Merritt College Newton went on to San FranciscO' Law School, but
after a year dropped out to concentrate on building up the Black Panther O'rganiza­
tion.

The ideology of the Black Panthers was made very plain by Huey Newton in
an article in the June, 1967 issue of the Black Panther, the tabloid newspaper whiCh
serves as the official news organ of the Party, and which is, indeed, obligatory read­
ing for all members. His message in addition to. stating the Panther case also echoed
the theme of the RAM organization and the Maoist-oriented utterings of Robert F.
Williams*:

The black people in Amercia are the only people who can free the world, loosen
the yoke of colonialism and destroy the war machine. As long as the wheels of the
imperialistic war machine are turning 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 destroy the machinery that's enslaving the world. America
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 :I police officer.

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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 in the direction of our liberation. The racist dog oppressors have no rights
which oppressed black people are bound to respect... the oppressor must be
harassed until his 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 America...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 that Newton gave from "Brother Mao" on "taking up the gun"
has since becDme the official mottO' of the Black Panther Party.

A participant in an Oakland shooting affray in October, 1967, in which a PO'lice


O'fficer was killed, Newton was convicted and sentenced to 2-15 years in prisO'n, a
sentence he is presently serving. During the period that he was awaiting trial the cry
of "Free Huey" became the hallmark of every Panther meeting and rally and, still
continues. The campaign to' put pressure on the California courts prior to Newton's
trial brought together a wide spectrum of both NegrO' and white radicals and pro­
vided an invaluable rallying point for the Panthers. Making the fullest possible use
of Newton's incarceration, the Party organized "Huey Newton Birthday Parties" on
February 16, 1969 in many major American cities, and these were again focal points
of many radioal O'rganizations; for example, the "Birthday Party" in San Francisco
was sponsored 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 32, migrated from
Texas to the Oakland area with his family, while in his teens. He grew up in what
has been called a "a black lower middle class section of the ghetto," and wO'rked as
a drummer and a night club comedian in Oakland area clubs before being emplo�ed
as a family counselor for the North Oakland Community Center of the Oakland
OEO, a job that he held until March 1967 when he was fired for allegedly taking a
gun to work with him. In this war-on-poverty job, Seale was able to renew his ties
with Huey Newton whO' was also an emplo�ee, along with Bobby Hutton (Chairman ,
Minister of Defense and Treasurer Df the Black Panther Party respectively) , of the
North Oakland Center.

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Seale served in the Air Force, being discharged in 1958 with a bad conduct
discharge following a six-month term in military prison for diSrespect to an Air Force
officer. Prior to his assodation with the Black Panthers, Seale was active in the
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, (NAACP), the Afro­
American Association (AAA) and the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM).
In 1965 Seale was listed in a publication, Soulbook, "a quarterly journal of revolu­
tionary Afro-America," as its Distribution Manager. The Spring, 1965 issue, in which
this listing is found, also carried a finandaI 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 showing young Negroes who wished to fight that
somebody was prepared to take positive violent action* .

Other Soulbook staff members with whom Seale worked were Donald Freeman,
a writer for Black America, the official RAM journal, Ken Freeman, who worked on
numerous OEO-funded programs in Richmond, California, setting the stage for a
Black Panther "District" in that city, and Ernest Allen Jr., a founder of Afro­
Americans for Freedom, an anti-draft organization, and a visitor to Cuba in the
summer of 1964, contrary to the regulations of the U.S. Department of State.

Not only did Seale lose his OEO job through a gun, but guns continued to be a
source of legal entanglement for him; at the State Capitol in May, and again 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, this time on felony gun possession charges (al­
legedly serial numbers had been obliterated on guns found in Seale's apartment).
Of these charges, the latter was thrown out of court by Judge Lionel Wilson on the
basis of illegal search and seizure, and suit has been filed by the Panthers against
Oakland City Council and Alameda County Officials. The charge related to having
a weapon at Oakland's Hall of Justice resulted in a suspended sentence and a proba­
tion order, which, although Seale accepted, his attorneys promptly appealed.

As Chairman of the Black Panthers, Bobby Seale has become a notorious


national and international figure constantly travelling to spread his message of
hate. In June 1968 he urged" ...black brothers and sisters to go home and arm
themselves. The racist power structure must be disarmed or it will have to face
the wrath of the armed black people." Visiting Chicago at the time of the Democratic
Party National Convention in August, 1968, Seale addressed a rally in Lincoln
Park, again urging his audience"to get a piece" (obtain a gun) 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 interstate com­
merce with intent to incite acts of violence under the provisions of the 1968 Civil
Rights Act.

':'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.

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Stokeley Carmichael (Second
from left) with Black
Panthers.

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.

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.
Peter Camejo (1)
and
Bobby Seale (2)

Kathleen Cleaver (2) with


white supporters Robert
Mandell (son of Wm.) and
Stew Albert (3) writer for
Berkeley.Barb and close
friend of 10m Hayden.

Bobby Hutton collects


money for Black Panthers at
Sacramento.
Over Thanksgiving Weekend 1968, Seale was the m ost highly publicized speaker
at the Hemispheric Conference to End the War in Vietnam which was held in
Montreal, Canada.At this forum of anti-Americanism, Seale joined with representa­
tives of the Canadian radical left, David Dellinger of National Mobilization to End
the War in Vietnam, Rabbi Abl�aham Feinberg of TorontO' and Hoang Bich Son of
the National Liberation Front (NLF) in denouncing the country of his birth. With
a taste for foreign travel developed by his visit to Canada, Seale spent the latter part
of March 1969 in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. In Scandinavia, Seale and his
travelling companion, Raymond "Masi" Hewitt, met with a group known as SCAN­
SNCC of St. Goransgatan 33B, Upsala, Sweden, who made many of their speaking
arrangements for them. SCAN-SNCC is described by one of its organizers, Lennart
Ekstom, as a group consisting of "Afro-Americans and Swedes working in Sweden
to create support for the Afro-American liberation struggle and spread information
about the struggle." In various speaking engagements in Scandinavia, the two
Panthers sought financial support for "the liberation struggle," and also found time
to feud with their "Prime Minister," Stokely Carmichael, for promoting "cultural
nationalism" instead of "revolutionary nationalism" during his visit to SCAN­
SNCC earlier in the year.
On their return to the United States, both Hewitt and Seale reported on their
contacts in less than flattering terms. Hewitt saying, "We met all sorts of fools,
and various minor little fools and kooks." Seale was a little more diplomatic saying,
"the people land organizations we came into contact with were fruitful to our knowl-
edge ... . "

Just before leaving for Sweden, Seale gave a long interview to the radical SDS
oriented newspaper, The Movement; in the interview he spoke of the "forty odd
Black Panther Chapters" across the country, the need for "raising the political
understanding within the Party to a very high level," the "development of a
socialistic system within the black community" and the community programs that
are to be a Panther tactic to' win "grassroots" support during the months to come.
Seale explained these activities as follows:
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'trot 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 morning 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 program is valuable to them, they won't
throw it away. By practicing socialism they learn it better. *
" Emphasis by Editor.

15
Black Panther demonstration in front of County Court House (Oakland, Cal.) during
trial of leader Huey Newton. Crowd "Free Huey!" and "Kill the pigs! (policemen)"
Note walkie talkies.
Seale concludes this interview which was reprinted in the Black Panther and
New York's underground newspaper RAT by saying, "By using all means to
exhaustion the people become very clear as to what they have to do. The people
themselves, at large, will run and off (kill) the pig power structure and change the
system."

From this interview and from confidential sources within the Black Panther
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 alternative to our
present form of government, although their impact on young men and women has
been very considerable. It is apparent that in 1969 the Panthers are going to add
political persuasion, boycotts and social programs * * to' their armory of weapons;
and for their own members political education is to be of prime importance, and it
is to be political education as taught by the Chinese Communists.

Black Panther "Minister of Education" George M. Murray, as an instructor at


San Francisco State College in November, 1968 and whose advDcacy that students
should arm themselves with rifles triggered off a student and faculty strike that
disrupted the College for more than sixteen weeks, has issued a"mandatory" read­
ing list of books, periodicals and newspapers as follows:

"Platform Program of the Black Panther Party"


"Rules of Legal First Aid"
"Essays from Minister of Defense, Huey Newton"
"Red Book Principles" (Quotations from Chairman Mao)
"Wretched of the Earth"-Frantz Fanon
"Neocolonialism the last stage of Imperialism"-Kwarne Nkrumah
"Communist Manifesto"-Karl Marx
"Imperialism-The Highest Stage of Capitalism"-V. I. Lenin
"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 in the Revolution"-Regis Debray
"The Challenge of the Congo." -Kwarne Nkrumah
"Guerilla Warfare"-Che Guevera
"Axioms of K warne Nkrumah" -Kwarne Nk rumah
The Black Panther Newspaper
National Guardian
Muhammad Speaks
Ramparts Magazine
Granma-official journal of the Communist Party of Cuba
Tricontinental-J ournal of the Organization of Solidarity o.f the peoples Df
Africa, Asia and Latin America
Minority of One
,�", 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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An appendix to' the reading list highlights sO'me thirty pages in the Red BO'O'k
Principles fO'r detailed study, and the Black Panther curriculwn for political educa­
tiO'n further shows the impO'rtance of Chairman MaO' to' the Panthers. In this curri­
culwn, which is based on a six-week training program for aspiring Panthers, (knO'wn
as Buck Privates) , classes are held three times a week and at each Qne a sectiQn
O'f MaO"s "little red bO'O'k" is studied and whO'le sections learned by rO'te. (If the tests,
scheduled for the sixth week are passed, the Buck Private is prO'moted to' "Panther
Member" with the rank O'f "Private") .

TO' PO'int up further the impO'rtance that the Black Panther Party places on
political education, Rule 23 O'f the Party states, "EveryO'ne in a leadership positiO'n
must read nO' less than twO' hO'urs per day to' keep abreast of the changing pDlitical
situatiO'n." Still further emphasis is provided by the wording of the NatiO'nal Or­
ganizatiO'nal Structure which, in detailing the duties of variDus ranks, repeats that
Panther Members (Privates) and Sub-Section Leaders (CO'rpO'rals) , "must dO' at
least twO' hDurs study a day, and keep up with the daily news sO' as to keep politically
aware."

The Panther newspaper, The Black Panther, is without any doubt the Party's
main vehicle fDr propaganda, and is perhaps the mO'st profitable item both financially
and publicity-wise that the Panthers have gO'ing for them. The weekly tabloid usually
cO'ntains from twenty to' thirty pages, mO'st of which are devO'ted to hatred of the
white power structure, especially, the "racist pigs" (police) . The paper preaches
revolution and black liberation in nO' unoertain terms and encourages black people
to jO'in the revolution by arming themselves and uniting with the Panthers.

Overall responsibility for the newspaper was fO'r a long time with Kathleen
Cleaver, CommunicatiO'ns Secretary for the Party and wife Df the now "under­
grO'und" Minister O'f Information Eldridge Cleaver. Now, the paper has an editorial
staff Df the Party's tO'P leaders and a Managing Editor, Deputy Minister O'f In­
formatiO'n Frank Jones, whO' holds a commercial pilQt's license and has wO'rked fO'r
a major airline as a co-pilot, sometimes O'n the West-to-East Coast flights. Others
involved in the newspaper are Audrey Hudson and Judy Hart, whO' are copy editO'rs
and help with the general layout; "revO'lutionary artist" EmO'ry DO'uglas, alsO' "Min­
ister O'f Culture", is responsible for most O'f the cartO'O'ns and JO'hn Seale (BO'bby
Seale's brother) is listed as a lay-out assistant.

A recent issue of the paper cO'nsisted O'f fifty thousand CO'pies of which ten
thO'usand were held in reserve for O'ther than usual distributiO'n. Apart from mail
order subscriptions, circulation is achieved by bundles of the paper being mailed
air freight to' cities where the Panthers are established, with each Panther being
assigned a qUDta to sell. Many yO'ungsters are nO'w hawking the paper O'n street
corners for twenty-five cents, in the fashiO'n of the Black Musliins selling their paper,
Muhammed Speaks. The margin of profit in this operatiO'n is considerable, it has
been reported that when a complete issue is sold (which is generally the case )
the prO'fit can be as much as $350-$400 per thousand papers SQld. Definitive costs
cannO't be estimated as the price varies frO'm the twenty-five cents charged O'n the

19
street corner of Oakland, through thirty-five cents in Mid-West campus bookstores
to fifty cents in left-wing radical (white) bookstores in New York City.
'The Black Panther reflects the Party's stance on international politics by both
its news coverage and its use of news agencies, such as the Third World Press, Pan­
African Press, Hsinhua of Peking and the underground, New-York-based, Libera­
tion News Service. Recent editions have carried a detailed North Korean account
of a press conference with the Captain and crew of the USS Pueblo; messages from
Ho Chi Minh; and articles on the Mid-Eastern situation entitled, "Palestine Guer­
rillas vs. Israeli Pigs" in which the terrorist activities of Al Fatah are extolled.
Political theory also receives attention in the Black Panther and articles have
been printed on "Democratic Centralism" and other Marxist topics which point out,
in simple terms, the dangers arising from "ultra-democracy" and the need for
"democracy under authorized guidance." Refusing to accept "authorized guidance"
has been used as the reason for expelling some Black Panthers from the Party, and
lists of those so expelled are promulgated in the Black Panther.
Every issue of the Black Panther contains the Party Platform and Prg o ram
together with the twenty five rules of the Party, the main points of Legal First Aid,
Eight Points of Attention and Three Main Rules of Discipline. (It must be remem­
bered that the material noted in this paragraph must be learned by rote, Chinese
style, by all Party members) . Again, in this regularly reprinted material, the influ­
ence of Chairman Mao is apparent, as can be seen in the two extracts that follow:-
"The Eight Points of Attention."
Speak politely.
Pay fairly for what you buy.
Return everything that you borrow.
Pay for anything that you damage.
Do not hit or swear at people.
Do not damage property or crops of the poor oppressed masses.
Do not take liberties with women.
If we ever have to take captives do not ill-treat them.
"The Three Main Rules of Discipline"
Obey orders in all your actions.
Do not take a single needle or a piece of thread from the poor and op­
pressed masses.
Turn in everything captured from the attacking enemy.
Our attention should now be turned to the training and education that members
of the Black Panther Party receive, and the organizational structure that has been
developed.
An aspirant to membership in the Black Panther Party has to, be prepared for
a six-weeks training period with three ,evenings in each week, Monday, Wednesday
and Friday, given over to study. During these sessions there will be instruction in the
Party "chain of command," instruction in the use of, stripping and firing of handguns
20
Mixed audience listening
to Black Panther speakers
during rally in Oakland, Cal.,
August 1968.

Black Panther Rally, Oakland,


Cal., August 1968, being
addressed by 15·year·old
school dropout, Keith
Tolliver, referred to as "the
new Bobby Hutton."

Alex P. Hoffman (1),


identified as "Communist
sympathizer" in 1967
California Un·American
Activities Report No. 14
(Senate). Legal representative
of Delano Grape Strikers.
Free Speech Movement legal
defense advisor.
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, Soulbook



militant activist.
10-16-65 Bobby Seale's early
colleagues on SOUlBOOK
\
lL
staff.
\
W.H. Sherman, Dir. of Instit. for
Thought (pro-Peking-Robert

Emory Douglas (1), .. Minister


of Culture" and revolutionary
artist for Black Panthers
newspaper, with
Stokeley Carmichael (2).
and rifles, instruction in close order drill and unarmed combat, and, of paramount
importance, political education. Over the six-week period, Panther recruits are
expected to memorize some thirty pages from Red Book Principles as well as the
Panther Rules of Disciplines, Political Platform, Rules, Legal First Aid and the
Eight Points of Atttention. But, at each ses s ion, Red Book Principles takes prece­
dence over other instruction. After six weeks 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 ranks 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 number of blocks
being involved depending on the recruiting potential of the area. According to Chair­
man Seale, as reported in The Guardian, December, 1968, the basis of Panther
control is the Ten-Ten-Ten system, an Advisory Council of ten which includes the
local Captain and Lieutenants; ten Section Leaders (Sergeants) and ten Sub­
Section Leaders (Corporals); 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 learn
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 committees at every level." In many
areas Panther women pLay a major role in organizing and implementing political
actions, and, when seen at rallies and demonstrations, rival the males in discipline
and close order drill.
Ranking and official titles are obviously of importance to the Black Panthers,
rank being indicated by gold bars attached to the uniform; but, the award of rank
appears to be a reward for devotion to duty and political knowledge rather than on
a strictly military and methodioal system of promotion.

A close study of the upper echelons of the Panthers indicates that they have
adopted a three-level organizational structure, with the Minister of Defense para­
mount and the Chief of Staff seen as a most critical post. The structure approved
by the National Central Committee of the Black Panther Party is as follows: (see
over-page-Page 14)

23
BLACK PANTHER PARTY ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE
FI RST LEVEL
NAT I O NAL CENTRAL COMMITIEE OF THE BPP

1 . M i n i ster of Defense (Other Mi n i ste,ria l Officers hold rank of Lt. Colonel)


H uey P. Newton A. Min i ster of Educati on : George M. M u rray.
2. C h a i rm a n B. M i n i ster of Health: See Note 1 .
Bobby G. Seale C . M i n ister o f Finance : Melvin Newton.
3 . M i n i st e r of I nformati on D. Asst. Min. Economic Deve!.
E l d ri d ge C l eaver (unde rground) E. Pri me M i n i ster: Stoke,ly Carmichael.
4. C h i ef of Staff F. Min iste r of Foreign Affai rs: See N ote 3.
David H i l l i ard (Colon e,1) G. Mi n i st e r of Economic Developme'n t : Note 1 ref�rs.
5. Communications Secretary H. M i ni ster of C u lture : Emory Douglas.
Kathl e'en C leaver (Lt. Col.) I. M i n i ster of Rel igion : Note 1 refers.
6. Fie l d Marsha l l s J. M i n i ster of Labor: Note 1 refers.
(underground and Lt. Colonels)

SECOND LEVEL T H I R D LEVEL


RAN K & F I LE NAT'L ADVISORY CAB I N ET TO THE C ENTRAL COMMITIEE*

7. Assistants to C entral Committee (Maj ors) 1 . Pol ice, J a i l s a n d Courts.


A. Asst. to C h i ef of Staff 2. Brothers and Sisters i n Prison, on paro l e and on p roba-
B. Di strib ution Manager tion.
C . Finance Manager 3. Political a n d Econ omic Ana,lysis.
D. Asst. M i n . Economic Deve l- 4. Unemployment.
E. Assts. to' M i n . of Hea lth. 5. Housi ng.
F. Assts. to M i n . of Culture. 6. Publ i cations and Communications Media.
G. Assts. to Mi n . of Ed ucation" 7. I nternati onal Relations and Third World.
H . Asst. to' M i n . of R e l i gion. 8. Draft of black me'n i nto U S M i l i tary.
I. Assts. to Commun i cations Sec" 9. Welfare and H ea lth.
8. Coordinators a n d Security Heads 10. Education.
(Captains) 11. Arming the B lack Community.
9. Secu rity 12. Fund Raisi ng.
(Li e utenants) 13. Domestic Re l ations a n d Black Bourgeoisie.
1 0. Secti on Leaders
(Sergeants)
11. Sub-Section Leaders.
(Corpora ls) * C o m mun ity peop l e and research.
12. Panth e r Me mbers
(Privates)
1 3. Panthers in 6-week tra i n i n g
( B u c k Privates)

In the second level of the Black Panther organization, the Coordinator or


Captain is in the most critical position. The job description for a Panther Captain,
prepared by National Headquarters, reads as follows:-

No/e 1 : There is no record that these. " Ministerial" posts have been filled, a lthough 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 p ped.
Note 3 : James Foreman of SNCC was for a time res p onsib le for Foreign Affairs, holding press conferences for the
Panthers at the United Nations. He quarrel ed with the Party. had a nervous breakdown and was also
qu ietly dropped.

24
"A Black Panther Captain will : -
1 . Coordinate all political and organizational work and assign the said
work to said Section Leaders�
2. Check complaints from the community.
3. Handle contradictions among members, the party and the community.
4. Hold meetings of Section Leaders, coordinate rallies, dinners and other
public functions.
5. Direct security.
6. Head section leaders political education classes.
7. Captains do everything necessary."

An evalution of the rules of the Black Panthers and other documents suggests
that operationally the Captain is able to use his own initiative; however, in all mat­
ters political he must accept the dictates of the Central Committee. He is not allowed
to accept financial or other grants from any agency of government and Finance
Officers, attached to looal chapters, do not operate under his authority. They are
directly responsible to the Central Committee's Minister of Finance ( BP Rule No.
13 ) .
"Job descriptions" are also available for all ranks below that of Captain. For a
lieutenant, who is responsible for security, it is stated briefly, "This operation is
handled completely underground." However, Sergeants and Corporals both have
seven-point details. Sergeants ( Point #6) are responsible for the drill and "must
schedule weekly trips where all Panther Members in his section get drill practice."
Corporals are charged with the responsibility ( Point #6) of evaluating the skill
of his squad members in how they perform propaganda work, how well they know the
rules and "other materials of the party line" and are also responsible for "firing
practice in private sessions known only to them."

For Buck Privates or Panthers in Training a job description of five points is


considered adequate. The first point is stark-"Six weeks of Political Education
Classes- ( Must attend all political education classes before application for member­
ship is made) ." While the third point is equally clear, "Every new member must
acquire a piece ( gun ) and a beret. Six weeks deadline."
The membership figures of the Black Panther Party remain a closely guarded
secret and estimates are difficult to make because of the security imposed by the
Panthers; however, from various sources it can be estimated that the hard-core
activist membership throughout the country is less than two thousand; but, to this
number must be added the activists in the Black Student Unions ( B SU ) now
proliferating across the country in high schools and in colleges-which are more and
more coming under Panther domination, the many token members and those that
are "state of mind" Panthers.
While the Black Panther Party is militantly "black," its leaders have no inhibi­
tions about forming temporary alliances with white radical groups and in making
use of the existing political system when it can be turned to their own advantage.
In both these respects the 1968 Elections provided the Panthers with opportunities;

25
an alliance was made with the Peace and Freedom ( P&F) Party to catapult the
Panther Minister Df Infonnation, Eldridge Cleaver, onto the national political
scene as a candidate for President of the United States, Huey Newton as a candidate
for the U.S. Congress, Kathleen Cleaver for the California State Senate and Bobby
Seale for the State Assembly.
Leroy Eldridge Cleaver was born August 31, 1935 in Little Rock, Ark., the
third of six children. In 1941 his mOIther, Mrs. Thelma Robinson Cleaver, took the
children to PhDenix and then to Watts, Los Angeles. Divorced at this time, she
worked for the Los Angeles School Board and Eldridge attended Lincoln High
School until the 11th grade when he was committed to the Youth Authority for a
juvenile offense at the age OIf 12. Cleaver's first felony charge came when he was
18 and was arrested in possession of three pounds of marijuana. Convicted, he spent
three years in the California CDrrectional Facility at Soledad until he was paroled
on December 3, 1956. Less than a year later on November 3, 1957, he was again ar­
rested and charged with assault to commit rape, multiple countS' of assault with in­
tent to murder and multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon. Again he was
convicted and jailed until he was again paroled in 1966 after serving eight years.
From then Dnward, Cleaver's legal problems were connected with his Panther activi·
ties : arrested at the State Capito,l in 1967; arrested after a 90-minute shoot-out with
Oakland Police in April 1968 in which Panther Treasurer Bobby Hutton was killed,
his parole was again revoked. Cleaver's impact on the Black Panthers and the entire
radical movement was now so great that a hysterical outcry against his imprison­
ment was raised. As a result, Dn June 12, 1968 Cleaver was released OIn $27.50 bail by
Judge RaymOInd J. Sherwin ( However, $50,000 bail had already been set on charges
resulting from the shoot-OIut) . * Judge Sherwin is quoted as saying, " . . . the un­
contradicted evidence presented to' this court indiCated that the petitioner ( Cleaver)
had been a model parolee."
It is difficult to reconcile the Judge's opinion of Cleaver the model parolee with
Cleaver's own spoken and written statements. While in prison ( incidentally Cleaver
was involved in nine prison rule infractiDns and received punishments ranging from
a reprimand to 29 days in isloation; his security rating was "Maximum" ; and, he
spent much time in the "adjustment center," a special housing unit for problem
irunates ) wrote a book, entitled SOUL ON ICE which was published after hiS
release. In this book Cleaver wrote of his exploits as a rapist, the crime 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 as
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 King was shot, Cleaver wrote for Ramparts­
magaZIne:
* 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 Shapi ro a San Francisco
,

psychiatrist.

26
Now there is the gun and the bomb, dynamite and the knife, and they will be used
liberally in America. America will bleed. America will suffer.

Not O'nly was this written in Ramparts, but it was subsequently used by the
Peace and Freedom Party as part O'f their campaign literature. They saw Cleaver
as a President O'f the United States, not as the convicted criminal.

Established as a PO'litical figure, Cleaver continued to work fO'r Ramparts maga­


zine and to speak at variO'us Peace and Freedom Election Meetings. Cleaver was
probably the greatest factor in establishing the cO'alitiO'n between the Panthers and
Peace and Freedom. At a meeting O'n March 16, 1968 in RichmO'nd, California,
Cleaver presented a paper, "Revolution in the White Mother CO'untry and National
Liberation in the Black Colony", which called for the unificatiO'n of the twO' parties in
support Df "Black LiberatiDn." Cleaver told delegates, many Df whO'm were or had
been members O'f the Communist Party, USA, or assO'ciated with "Stop the Draft"
and O'ther anti-war organizations, that the coalition between the twO' "Fraternal"
parties was based O'n Stokely Carmicha.el's dictum of "specific coalitiO'ns between
black and white grDUps for specific purposes."

Cleaver cDntinued, "On the basis of this dictum we think that ultimately we
can develop a specific coalition for the specific purpose Df destroying capitalistic
explDitatiO'n and racism." A five-pDint program in the name of the Black Panthers
was then read, and by resolution accepted by the white radicals and lIberals. It
stated :

i) The P&F Party run our proPO'sed candidates.

ii) The P&F Party support our call for the Black Plebiscite.

iii) The P&F Party support our call fO'r UN observers to be stationed in the
majDr cities or in areas O'f concentrated black pDpulatiDn to' halt the 'aggres­
siDn' and the provO'cative tactics of the racist pig gestapo police whO' O'Ccupy
O'ur colDny as fDreign troops occupying conquered territory.
iv) The P&F Party join with the Black Panther Party and the Stop the Draft
Week Drganizers and participate in Stop the Draft demO'nstratiDns in April
to' focus attentiDn and to supply pressure on the demands that the troops
Df the power structure be withdrawn from Vietnam, AND FROM THE
BLACK COLONY.

v) The P&F Party support the Black CO'mmunity's demand that thO'se whO'
police the black cO'mmunity must live in the black communities.

At the expense of the Peace and Freedom Party, Cleaver made speeches around
the country. These culminated at the Berkeley CDmmunity Theater on NDvember 1,
1968 when Cleaver appeared with his Vice-Presidential running-mate, Yippie leader
Jerry Rubin, befO're a capacity crDwd consisting mostly of young people, whO', with
impunity, brO'ke most of the Theaters' regulatiO'ns-sitting in the aisles, smoking
cigarettes and marijuana, and indulging in licentiO'us cO'nduct. On stage, Cleaver
stated that he was smDking "pot," drank frO'm a gallO'n wine bottle and in a tirade of

27
Dbscenity abdicated his Presidential aspirations in favDr Df a pig wheeled into the
auditDriwn by a group of half-clothed Yippies.
On NO'vember 27, 1968, Eldridge Cleaver, due to' face a parO'le hearing, went
"underground" ; and O'n December 23, when he did not appear in CO'urt in connectiO'n
with the April 6 Oakland ShO'ot-Dut, which had resulted in his and five other Panthers
being charged with the attempted murder of a pO'lice O'ffice-r, the $50,000 bail mO'ney
was fO'rfeited. Subsequently, Cleaver was declared a fugitive from justice by the FBI
and is still being sought by law enfOorcement agencies. Despite his flight, the Inter­
national Committee to' Defend Eldridge Cleaver has cDntinued its activities under
the directO'rship of Ramparts magazine editor, Robert Scheer. This CDmmittee,
stating that Cleaver is in "political exile," is raising mO'ney fOor his defense and for a
court action seeking to' establish that the revocation of his parole was illegal. The
peO'ple supporting this Defense CO'mmittee represent a varied spectrum of radicals
and liberals, and highlight the many areas of support that the Panthers can obtain.
SpO'nSO'rS include such well-known left-O'f-center names as Bertrand Russell, Murray
KemptO'n, NO'rman Mailer, LeRoi Jones, Jessica Mitford, GO'dfrey Cambridge,
Sidney Lens, Connor Cruise O'Brien, StaughtO'n Lynd, Julian BO'nd, TO'm Hayden,
CarltO'n GO'odlet and Douglas F. Doud.
NO' accO'unt O'f Cleaver's role in the Black Panther Party WO'uld be cO'mplete
without mention of his wife, Kathleen, 24 years old when he married her in December
1967. Kathleen Cleaver, CO'mmunications Secretary of the Party, is, perhaps, more
typioal of the New Left than of the Black Militant movements. Her father, Dr.
Ernest Neal, nO'w wO'rking for AID, was a college professor when she was born; and,
in the first years O'f her life, the Neal family lived in college tO'wns all O'ver the country,
including Tuskegee, Ala. Of Tuskegee, Kathleen Cleaver said: " . . . it is black
bourgeO'is to' the hilt. The whites who live there are poO'r and ill-educated; they're
really the inferior ones. Later the idea that anyO'ne could think black people are
inferior struck me as absurd." After Tuskegee Dr. Neal started working for the
FO'reign Service and Kathleen lived successively in New Delhi, the Philippines,
Liberia and Sierra Leone, where she was an hO'nor student at American schools,
public high schO'ols in the US and at the GeO'rge School, a Quaker boarding schO'ol
in Bucks county, Pa. After graduating she spent a year at Oberlin College, dropped
O'ut Df college to take twO' government jobs in Washington and then tried Barnard
College, New York, but left after one semester to' work fO'r SNCC, first in New
York and then in Atlanta as that organizatiO'n's Campus Program Secretary. After
meeting Eldridge Cleaver, Kathleen left SNCC to wO'rk for the Panthers. She has
become a star attractiO'n at party rallies, for bO'th the Black Panthers and the Peace
and Freedom Party.
The "fraternal coalitiDn" between the Black Panthers and the Peace and
Freedom Party did not in any way preclude the Panthers frO'm accepting help from
O'ther segments O'f the radical left.
Charlene Mitchell, Communist Party USA's Presidential candidate in 1968;.
flew from New York to Oakland at the beginning of her campaign to' take part in a
demonstration on the first day of Huey Newton's trial, July 16, pledging support
frO'm the CO'mmunist Party for the Black Panthers and their efforts to "Free Huey
28
Newton." Mrs. Mitchell told reportef's that she had cDnferred with Eldridge Cleaver
to Dffer party support. "He welcomed the O'ffer and said he wished he had mDre from
all over the country," she said, adding that the Communists "will SUPPDrt Peace and
FreedDm Party candidates wherever they are on the ballDt." Apart frO'm Mrs. Mit­
chell, many identified Communists and Communist sympathizers have been active
on behalf of the Black Panthers. These include Roscoe PrO'ctor, Robert Treuhaft and
his wife Jessica Mitford, Yetta Land, a 1919 CP charter member, Vincent Hallinan;
and, of particular impO'rtance to the Panthers, AttDrney Charles Garry and Attorney
Benjamin Dreyfus. Charles Garry is the principal attorney for the numerous majDr
cases invO'lving the Black Panther Party and Huey Newton, Cleaver and Seale.

Other support for the Panthers has come from the Socialist WDrker's Party,
whose bDy-wonder, Peter CamejO', led a march through Oakland on the day that
NewtO'n's trial Dpened. Still Dther suppDrt cO'mes from the Medioal CDmmittee
for Human Rights, and especially from Dr. Phillip ShapirO' whO' is on recDrd as
paying the fares fDr Black Panthers to' travel to' Mexico en rO'ute to' Cuba. *

Still mDre left-wing support has been given to the Panthers by the Students
fDr a Democratic Society (SDS) who at its national convention in June 1968
agreed to give full sUPPDrt fO'r the defense Df Huey Newton, both natiDnally and
locally, and pledged that "the national office shall coDrdinate a natiDnal prDgram Df
educatiDn abDut the Black Panther Party and Df full support for the Black Panther
Party." Tom Hayden, a founder Df SDS and Dne O'f the best knO'wn activists Df the
New Left, undertoDk the task of coordinating Cleaver's campaign fDr President, and,
in sO' dQing, stated, " . . . radical politics must be extended intO' the pDlitical arena . . . "
and described Cleaver's candidacy as "one mechanism fDr dO'ing this." In New YDrk
City, April 1969, SDS was responsible fDr setting up picket lines around the Crimi­
nal CDurt Building, in co ntravention of the law, to' prDtest the indictment Df 2 1
New Y0'rk Panthers for conspiracy t0' bomb Department StDres. (It i s notewDrthy
that the Black Panthers and SDS have been joined on these picket lines by members
Df the Socialist Worker's Party, the Communist Party, W.E.B. DuBois Clubs,
Progressive Labor Party, Medical Conunittee fDr Human Rights, Yippies, Sparta­
cists and the Peace and FreedO'm Party) .
PrO'fessiDnal support has been extended to' the Black Panthers by the Medical
Committee fDr Human Rights and from the National Lawyer's Guild. In addition
to Charles Garry and Benjamin Dreyfus in San FranciscO', the Panthers call Dn the
services Df William Kunstler, Gerald Lefcourt, Arthur TurCO', Henry De SueverD
and FIDrynce Kennedy, all well knO'wn attorneys whO' have espDused left-wing causes
Dver the years.
During the past two years, the news media has tDld the story of the criminal
activities of the Black Panther Party: The murders of police Dfficers and political
rivals, bDmbings and gun-fire attacks on pDlice statiDns and officers Dn patrol in
* Landon Will iams, George Murray and David Hilliard, all Panther leaders who accepted invitations from the Cuban
G overnment to visit Havana, were stopped in Mexico City on August 8, 1968 and returned 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 .

29
Richmond, California ; Jersey City, N. J . ; New York City and San Francisco; at­
tempts to murder police officers in Los Angeles and New York; arson in Des Moines,
Iowa, grand larceny in Seattle; and, conspiracy to bomb or to riot in New York,
Chicago and Los Angeles. The news media has also told of the Black Student
Union, and of its activities on dozens of campuses, such as vandalism, assaults and
a total disruption of the educational process. The Black Student Union has its na­
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 the question :

"What does the Black Panther Party Want?"

To this question Panthers provide an answer which is part rhetoric, part dif­
fusion, and part a universal 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 peace . . . " Nobody
can 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 freedom
for all black men held in jails."

The Panthers have a charisma about them which has contributed considerably
to their rapid expansion. To many young Negro men it is exciting, attractive, and
basically masculine with strong par.a-military attractions. Discipline is strict and
members who violate the code risk temporary or permanent ostracism. The many
rules and regulations adopted by the Panthers aptly illustrates the combination of
ideologies put to use. The strict discipline governing a Panther's public behavior is
reminiscent of M,alcolm X and the Black Muslim manner of displaying serious but
quiet confidence. The quotations and insistence on rote memory is a Communist
Chinese propaganda technique, while much of the Panthers' belief that they are true
revolutionaries comes from the writings of Che Guevera and Castro. Over all, there
is a strong emphasis on Marx and Lenin.
Taking all these varied issues into account an editorial column in the University
of California's Daily Californian, August 2, 1968, sums up many view on the
Panthers. The Daily Californian, not usually noted for its conservative views,
blasted the "non-thought, gut reaction to oppression" 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 never
articulated "plausible short-term goals." "As a group of home-grown guerrilla war­
riors, they simply don't make it; as a group of righteous assassins or protectors of
the community, they simply don't make it; and most importantly, as a radical group
in the black community dedicated to changing the community for the better, they

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simply don't make it," were the comments of the editorial writer. He asked, "Do they
want a socialist state . . . seriously want their own police . . . seriously want the ad­
ministrative responsibilities of running their own commwrities? If they do, I would
ask that they shut up for once and get down to business. '"

What the Panthers do want is "the power to determine the destiny of our black
commwrity" and that destiny, as proclaimed by the Panthers, would be a socialist
state; and, since the "socialist" states they seem to admire and seek to emulate are
Cuba and Red China, it must be assumed this is the form of government they wish
to see exist in America.
The Panthers know that an alien form of government will never be achieved in
the United States by democratic process, so their power must be obtained "through
the barrel of a gun," or not at all .

The Black Panthers and their many militant radical supporters must be
stopped before they can do serious harm to our society.

Published as 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 : Edgar C. Bundy. Founded in 1937, Chicago, Illinois.

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