From former members of the Black Panther Party
NO! In the Name of Humanity We Refuse to Accept a Fascist America.
January 13, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
We former members of the Black Panther Party call upon ALL former members—and ALL people—to sign and ACT on the Call from RefuseFascism.org which appeared in the January 4 edition of the New York Times and appears this week in the Washington Post.
Today the fascist pig Trump, his pick for attorney general Jeff Sessions, and the rest of those who make up the Trump-Pence regime—this whole legion of doom is shouting: “Law and Order!” as they threaten to force people to respect the police and respect their whole way of governing and ruling... or else.
“Law and order” has always been a code word.
A code word for Black people.
It was used in the ’60’s and early ’70s to describe Black people who were restless, who were rebellious, who were in a defiant mood about their conditions of oppression, who demanded that 400 years of oppression be brought to an end NOW.
It was also used to describe those who boldly stepped forward, like the Black Panther Party, to serve these feelings amongst Black people with revolutionary struggle and leadership to get at the source of the problem: the system.
All of this was very contagious. It was spreading everywhere. It spread amongst ALL nationalities/races of people. It spread among all those who hate oppression.
It spread onto the college campuses, in the communities, at the workplace.
The then-president, “Tricky Dick” Nixon, as well as the Department of INJustice—especially the FBI—used “law and order” to slander, lie about, spread DISinformation about the Black Panther Party, and to justify the brutal and murderous campaign against the Panthers which was unleashed and led from the highest levels of the U.S. government.
“Law and order” was part of labeling the Panthers “enemy # 1” and the “greatest threat to the internal security of the U.S.”
Among other murderous crimes, this “law and order” labeling was the justification which led to George Jackson being set up and assassinated in prison. George had gotten involved in the struggle inside prison—in his own words he “went from the criminal mentality to the revolutionary mentality.” His transformation inspired many of us like him who were once caught up in “the life.” Comrade George became a revolutionary leader and joined the Black Panther Party while in prison at San Quentin in California. For this he was murdered.
It was also the labeling used by the government and its enforcement agents which led to the murder of Fred Hampton, a 21-year-old revolutionary leader and a visionary in the Black Panther Party. Fred was drugged by an FBI informant who was acting as his security. Comrade Fred was sleeping when he was shot to death—murdered—by the Chicago police.
“Law and order” was what the government generally used to launch their brutal, crippling, murderous campaign to destroy the Black Panther Party. A campaign with the official name COINTELPRO, which the government launched not only against the Panthers, but against Native American, Puerto Rican, Chicano, antiwar, and student radicals, i.e. against the whole movement of resistance, defiance, rebellion, and revolution of that time.
More than 25 other Panthers were killed by police, government agents, or those who worked with these groups. Hundreds of others were framed on so-called “criminal charges”—many still in prison today. Still others were driven out of the country.
What does it mean today that “law and order” is a central platform of the Trump-Pence regime?
To answer this it is important to grasp just exactly what is fascism.
At its core fascism is the exercise of blatant dictatorship by the capitalist ruling class—ruling through reliance on open terror and violence, trampling on what are supposed to be civil and legal rights, wielding the power of the state, and mobilizing organized groups of fanatical thugs to commit atrocities against masses of people, particularly groups of people identified as “enemies,” “undesirables,” or “dangers to society.”
We in the BPP experienced first hand some of the open terror and violence of the capitalist state. But fascism is a leap beyond what we experienced. It takes that terror and violence to a new level. It greatly intensifies it—it doubles down on it, puts it on steroids; it spreads its brutal repression amongst wider sections of people here and around the world.
We call on everyone to join us in the fight to stop fascism before it is able to get started.
Signed by former members of Black Panther Party,
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