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Joe Veale’s Tribute to Former Black Panther Party Member Terry Cotton

Terry Cotton has died. Terry was a good friend of mine, a very good friend of revolution, of the Revcoms.

As former members of the Black Panther Party (BPP), in January 2017 Terry and I wrote a letter calling on everyone to take up the call of Refuse Fascism to say NO! to a fascist America.

Terry Cotton in 1969


Terry Cotton, 1969    Photo: Jerry Teller

Though he had little money Terry would send what he could to support the work the revcoms were doing in developing a movement for revolution amongst those who catches the hardest hell from this system in Chicago and Los Angeles—Terry knew we are building this revolution nationwide—amongst all sections of the people—to overthrow this system—he was excited about this and it would bring out the best in him.

Though he was on the other side of the digital divide, Terry would make it to Revolution Books in Berkeley or receive material through the postal service that he would take out to different sections of the people in the Bay Area—and at his work place.

Terry had tremendous respect for Bob Avakian (BA). From back in the day and most especially for what BA has continued to do—for the revolutionary communist leader he has become.

He would regularly ask for writings by Bob Avakian to read and study and to share with others.

He would call in reporting on different response he would get. He would make new plans to spread what he was learning further.

Terry made a statement and gave money to the Revolution Tour. 

The last materials he received were A Declaration, A Call To Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution from the revcoms and This Is A Rare Time When Revolution Becomes Possible—Why That Is So, And How To Seize On This Rare Opportunity by BA.

He was planning to send money so that more copies of these materials could be printed before his health took a sudden turn.

From the Revcoms: A Declaration, A Call to Get Organized Now For A Real Revolution


Terry joined the BPP in the 1960s. He was with a group of Panthers who one night in 1968 were collecting food for a picnic they were having the following day.

They were stopped by the Oakland pigs who riddled 17-year-old Bobby Hutton's body with bullets—killing him—as he was ordered by these murdering pigs to walk toward a police car with his hands up. Terry and others who survived faced a number of trumped-up charges. 

Even though I had not seen Terry in decades, we stayed in touch over the phone. No matter what city I was in I would get a call from him.

I always enjoyed talking with him because he still had so much enthusiasm for revolution.

Revolution continued to burn deep in his belly.

He refused to live content on what we had did in the ’60s.

He knew we had unfinished business to tend to.

Though we did not see eye to eye on everything about revolution...

Though his health was rapidly fading—Terry was inspired and made stronger by the revolutionary activity of the revcoms—he did all he could to support this revolution, the revcoms, and BA.

Terry Cotton



Terry Cotton's statement of support for the National Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour:

April 19, 2020

Dear friends and comrades,

I was one of the first members of the Black Panther Party, along with Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. I was with Lil’ Bobby Hutton when he was murdered by the Oakland Police Department on April 6, 1968. This was two days after Martin Luther King was murdered. About 50 Panther members were murdered due to their political beliefs and activities between 1968 and 1970. The book Reappraisal of the Black Panther Party: Selected Essays for the 21st Century by J. Vern Cromartie has my story and photo in there.

I want to do what I can to support you all for the National Tour for an Actual Revolution. We did a lot of programs in the Black Panther Party. We organized. I will send what donation I can when me and my wife are able to. But I want to call on others now, especially people who have the means and money to do so, to contribute to this movement for an actual revolution. I had met Joe Veale of the RCP at a BPP reunion in Oakland some years back and I have some of Bob Avakian’s writings and books.

We got to get the message out about the need to organize for this movement for revolution. We need to keep it real.

All Power to the People,

Terry Cotton, ex-BPP member

Help Make 2024 Our Year—a Year of Revolution! 
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From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War. 

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

The website follows and applies that leadership and is essential to all this. We post new materials from BA and curate his whole body of work. We apply the science he’s developed to analyze and expose every key event in society, every week. posts BA’s timely leadership for the revcoms (revolutionary communists), including his social media posts which break this down for people every week and sometimes more. We act as a guiding and connecting hub for the growing revcom movement nationwide: not just showing what’s being done, but going into what’s right and what’s wrong and rapidly learning—and recruiting new people into what has to be a rapidly growing force.

Put it this way: there will be no revolution unless this website not only “keeps going” but goes up to a whole different level!

So what should you give to make 2024 our year—a year of revolution? 
Everything you possibly can! 
DONATE NOW to and get with BA and the revcoms!    

Your donations contribute to:

  • Promotion of BA on social media and the Bob Avakian Interviews on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show 
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  • Fund revcoms to travel to national “hotspots,” where extreme contradictions are pulling apart the fabric of this country and creating the possibility of wrenching an actual revolution out of this intensifying situation
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