On the 50th Anniversary of the Murder of Fred Hampton
What Is Worth Living and Dying For?

Statement from Revolution Club, Chicago

Updated | revcom.us


Fred Hampton was 21 years old when he was shot to death, December 4, 1969, at 4:45 am. The Chicago pigs working with the FBI and the state’s attorney had an informant drug his food the night before and then assassinated him while he slept in his bed. They busted in shooting at the West Side apartment where he lived with other members of the Black Panther Party, also murdering another Panther leader, Mark Clark.

Fred Hampton, revolutionary leader of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party, led people to put their lives on the line for something liberating. He showed people how to live for the people and die for the people. He said, “When I die, you remember I said, the last word on my lips was, I am a revolutionary.” He said, “We love the people,” and “I’m high off the people.”

Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party of the 1960s put their lives to fighting to end hundreds of years of oppression of Black people and others. They were a vanguard force in the revolutionary movement that involved not only thousands of Black people who came to join the Panthers, but also millions of people of all nationalities who were inspired by this: the university students and others in the antiwar movement, people everywhere who were throwing off the shackles of this society and lifting their sights to liberation. In Chicago, Fred was also working to bring people in the gangs into the revolution. The whole society was being shaken and more and more people were getting radicalized.

For these reasons, the government massively targeted the Black Panther Party. One way the FBI tried to do that in Chicago was by sending fake letters to Fred Hampton and to Jeff Fort of the P Stone Nation, trying to get them to kill each other, divide and conquer. Fred was leading people to get clear on who the real enemy is, and these letters didn’t work. The pigs put informants into the BPP and tried to use anything they could to paint the Panthers as thugs and dangerous, and they used these informants to help lock up and murder revolutionary leaders. These are bitter lessons that those fighting for revolution today must learn from and learn well.

Fred Hampton’s death weighed heavier than a mountain. His life had been about something that actually mattered, that was higher than himself, liberating, part of actually changing something. The revolution he was fighting for then still has not been made, but his efforts to make it actually did help change how millions of people think and point the way forward.

What is worth living and dying for?

Today, more than ever we need revolution. Now, this system has produced a fascist regime in power which is preparing for a police state speed-up of genocide against Black people and Latinos, putting immigrants in concentration camps, taking away basic human rights of women and LGBTQ people, and intensifying a nuclear threat to the world. The planet itself is now at the edge of catastrophe for all of humanity.

But today, people are walking around with the outlook of the system that causes all this: talking about, “I gotta make money,” and “I gotta worry about me,” trying to get property, including turning women into property. Trying to get over on everybody else, killing and dying with no good purpose. Instead of millions of people fighting to get humanity free, millions are thinking about survival, revenge, comfort, “safe spaces” or just straight-up “me, me, me.” Wasted lives and deaths that are lighter than a feather. They don’t mean anything, and worse, they keep this all going.

Who today is going to break with all that shit and take up the fight to get humanity free? Who is going to put their lives on the line for something higher than themselves, for a fight that could change everything?

Today, we now have the revolutionary leadership we need, that has broken through with new understanding about the kind of revolution we need and how to make it and the science to see this—the new communism, including developing the strategy for how to win and the plan for leading a new society. This breakthrough leader we have today is Bob Avakian, who was inspired by and worked with the Panthers back in the day and has never stopped doing the work to see how to go forward and leading others to see it and fight for it. We also now have a determined core taking up this leadership and fighting to grow the revolutionary leaders and revolutionary movement NOW that could go all the way, working to hasten the conditions that would make it possible for an all-out fight to win.

This core, right now most concentrated in the National Tour to Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution, lives by and fights for the Points of Attention for the Revolution. ANYONE who wants to contribute to fighting for this revolution, to get out of all the “me, me, me” and live and die for something that will really matter, can and should start living by and fighting for those Points of Attention, get organized with the Revolution Club, and go to work NOW on making revolution.

Bob Avakian has said,

If you have had a chance to see the world as it really is, there are profoundly different roads you can take with your life. You can just get into the dog-eat-dog, and most likely get swallowed up by that while trying to get ahead in it. You can put your snout into the trough and try to scarf up as much as you can, while scrambling desperately to get more than others. Or you can try to do something that would change the whole direction of society and the whole way the world is. When you put those things alongside each other, which one has any meaning, which one really contributes to anything worthwhile? Your life is going to be about something—or it’s going to be about nothing. And there is nothing greater your life can be about than contributing whatever you can to the revolutionary transformation of society and the world, to put an end to all systems and relations of oppression and exploitation and all the unnecessary suffering and destruction that goes along with them. I have learned that more and more deeply through all the twists and turns and even the great setbacks, as well as the great achievements, of the communist revolution so far, in what are really still its early stages historically.

What are YOU going to do?


Revolution Club Chicago
FB/Twitter: @revclubchi | IG @revclub.chi

Outside the U.S. Courthouse October 29, 1969, Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, speaks at a protest against the trial of eight persons accused of conspiracy to cause a riot during the Democratic National Convention in 1968. Photo: AP 

BA Through the Years - 1969, 1979, 2003.




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