POCC speaks before the United Nations: an update wit’ POCC Chairman Fred Hampton Jr.

Suchitoto-El-Salvador-Ch.-Fred-chops-coconut-by-JR, POCC speaks before the United Nations: an update wit’ POCC Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., Archives 1976-2008 Culture Currents
POCC Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. chops one of his loved coconuts after drinking the water to get at the coconut meat. This was in Suchitoto, El Salvador. – Photo: Minister of Information JR


by POCC Minister of Information JR

This is the third and final part of the update that the POCC’s Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. gave to the people via the Block Report about what took place during the United Nations hearings that were recently held in Chicago. You could hear this interview in its entirety at http://www.blockreportradio.com/”www.blockreportradio.com.

MOI JR: I know that Chicago is a major city for “selected” Black leadership, with people like Jesse Jackson – and Al Sharpton passes through there rather frequently. Barack Obama claims to be from there. What were these personalities that a lot of times get put up there as speakers for the Black population, wrongfully so, where were they at? And what did they have to say at this hearing?

Ch. Fred: Well, interestingly, I’m going to say this in general with the class question, this is a similar struggle that we had with a lot of so-called white left progressive forces. If they can’t control it or speak for you or be your leadership, regardless of the fact that you went through the pain or that the police murdered your brother or that your mother is locked up, if they can’t control it, similar to how the ruling class gets down, they don’t want to be around it.

And there’s been a, how can I say it, a media white-out, not only by the bourgeoisie press, but by the petit-bourgeoisie press, white and Black alike. I know for a fact that if a lot of the forces who grab on to be spokespeople, if they were allowed to be on there, with no doubt about it, it would be, if not on the ruling class, then the negro press at least, would be running it back to back.

But again, I say this in all objectivity, it is so important that we got to be clear, and when I say that, I am real careful and real specific about that term because I think that Black people generally, we speak French at the wrong times. In other words, we start saying “we” when it is beneficial to other forces. When I say “we,” I’m talking about people who are out there in the conditions, dealing with the conditions, not just during Black History month, not just when it is beneficial, not just during election time, again on a day to day basis.

And I’m clear who my constituents are and who speaks in my interest – excuse me, in our interest. Because let the record reflect, when I was held captive myself, if it was up to forces like Conrad Worrill and people who were cut from that particular cloth, I would probably at the minimum still be held captive. I would bring tears to some people’s eyes if I told you not only the lack of participation with campaigns to get me and other forces out, but the slander and the work put in to halt us from struggle. People, be very clear, there is work put in, energy, to stop us from speaking in our own interest.

So people must grasp what is this thing that is so important about self-determination. When Aaron Patterson was held captive the first time, (a great) amount of forces came up to him and said, “You cannot do this” and “You receiving a pardon is impossible; you should fight for clemency.” It was the POCC and other organizations out here on the ground that took the arrogant position and the confident position that we must be uncompromising that Aaron Patterson must be free and to recognize the right for self-determination.

So I stress this to the masses, we must recognize what Steven Biko of the Black Consciousness Movement stated: He said that Black people must learn the ability to distinguish intelligence from the ability to articulate. Again, they must learn the ability to distinguish intelligence from the ability to articulate. A lot of us get caught up and believe that we don’t know “proper English,” which is really a bastard language to us anyway. We think then, “Well, I’m not intelligent.”

Be very clear, the masses are very intelligent. Gus Rugley’s mama knows that when the San Francisco police gunned her son down, that that was wrong. Michael Walker in Cabrini Green, his wife knows that the pigs were out of order when they gunned him down in cold blood. The family of Aaron Harrison in Chicago in August of last year, when the pigs gunned him down, they know it is upon us to be very clear and articulate the sentiments of the people.

Ch.-Fred-in-El-Salvador-by-POCC, POCC speaks before the United Nations: an update wit’ POCC Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., Archives 1976-2008 Culture Currents
Prisoners of Conscience Committee Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. speaks passionately during his recent fact-finding trip to El Salvador.

This is terrorism. (We should) not wait for some white left producer, whether it be Oliver Stone or somebody else, to later come out with some movie when it is safe to say, “OK, this is wrong,” not wait for some state sanctioned representative to come out there and get us sidetracked and ask us questions like, “Was your son in a gang?” or “Was your auntie getting high?”

It is on us to be very clear and be consistent on our terms and seize every venue, whether it be a Hip Hop concert, whether it be a poetry venue, or whether it be the street corners, or whether it be the hearings before the United Nations, we will not let up one bit on our relentless demand that political prisoners are victims of terrorism; that our people in Hunters Point, the Acorn projects and the Henry Horners in Chicago, Detroit and throughout the world, these are victims of terrorism; that we must connect the atrocities and terrorism that our people are subjected to, whether it is in Haiti, at home in Africa, to New Orleans with victims of Hurricane Amerikkka, right to the streets of Chicago, man, that we are the OVs, the original victims of terrorism. Whether the state says it or not, whether some state-sanctioned leadership says it or not, we’re clear.

We know injustice when we see it, we been dealing with it so long, and we say that the POCC is going to be out there articulating the sentiments of the people. We work for the people. Our work hours are 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The community, that’s our office. The streets, that’s our office. And we got to be consistent with that.

So again, whatever venue, whether it be the United Nations, we must be consistent with articulating these sentiments, not allowing no class piece. A lot of times they get us caught up with “don’t disagree with Black people in public.” If they speak for the interests of white people or this ruling class, which is born out of white power, if they speak for them in public, we will treat them as so in public.