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.
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.
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'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