by POCC Minister of Information JR
Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. and the other members of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee have proven time and again their dedication to the cause of our people, nationally and throughout the world through work, not just talking. I wanted to catch up with the chairman so that we could talk about a recent POCC protest in Chicago at the Black radio station WVON, where the POCC was protesting Black radio host Charles Butler, who called Black youth “urban terrorists” on the air.
Also we talked about the protest that was held to address our disrespect for the death of the criminal Edward V. Hanrahan, who is in part responsible for the assassination of Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clarke on Dec. 4, 1969, on the West Side of Chicago. This year marks the 40th anniversary of their assassination, which makes the death of Hanrahan even more relevant. Here’s Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. in his own words.
M.O.I. JR: On BlockReportRadio.com, for the people that live outside of the Illinois area, we saw that the Prisoners of Conscience Committee was engaged in organizing and leading protests against Charles Butler, who is a radio host on WVON, a very popular Black talk radio station in Chicago. He used the term “urban terrorists” on the air to refer to Black youth. Why was it important that the POCC got and is engaged in this campaign? What is the importance of the media, and what makes action, on behalf of the POCC, inevitable in this case?
Ch. Fred: Minister, when we state that our position is that we understand that there is a war being waged on our communities, when we say the term war, we understand that this government wages war on us in a various amount of ways, whether it’s a military attack or what we refer to as sugar-coated bullets, attempts to hijack our struggle, and we also understand the importance of propaganda. We could look at case examples, whether it be attacking Vietnam or either parts of Africa and other colonized countries, prior to actually sending the guns and the military to do their part – the whole usage of a slander campaign of propaganda to “justify” the attacks.
As you stated, this WVON in particular, which bills itself as a Black radio station, we see that this cat Charles Butler, used the term “urban terrorists” among other terms that he used to refer to Black youth in particular and Black people in general. Many people may think that this slight is “no big thing; it’s just a term that they use,” but again we understand the whole justification that this negro sets forward as I said once before is setting the stage to literally send our babies to the grave.
This term terrorist we know is a trigger word that justifies elite police units, police kicking through our doors, the violation of any front that there is some kind of civil rights that the government has to adhere to. And the government needs these forces, these J. Edgar Hoovers of journalism, to send the slander campaign out on our people. So what it does is open the door for attacks.
The POCC takes the position that we will not just idly sit back while this warfare is enacted on our people. We will defend ourselves. Whether it be (against) the straight out military attacks that come via the police department, whether it comes through the foster care system or the colonial schools, we stand in defense of the people when it comes in the form of this propaganda.
Again it sets the stage to literally send our babies to the grave. That can be one of the tactics and responses can literally be viewed on blockreportradio.com, where the people from all walks of life the POCC had organized in particular (were) the same one who were targeted. When he said the youth were urban terrorists, we literally went out there and got the youth to literally go out there and stand in defense of the community.
M.O.I. JR: Recently, Edward V. Hanrahan, a former Cook County States Attorney and former U.S. attorney, also known for his role in the assassination of Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clarke of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, recently passed away. Can you talk about who this criminal was, and what is his importance to history?
Ch. Fred: As you stated, Minister, Edward V. Hanrahan, was the former U.S. Attorney and – notice the word I’m going to say – was “elevated” to later become the Cook County States Attorney. Now only in Chicago, can it be seen as a promotion to go from U.S. Attorney to States Attorney. This is a sign of the times on how powerful the Daley machine was and still is today.
And Richard Daley Sr., who was the mayor of Chicago, there were recorded conversations between Daley Sr. and Lyndon Baines Johnson about the political aspirations of Edward V. Hanrahan. Many people referred to Edward V. Hanrahan as Mayor Daley’s political water boy. He was a spokesperson, and again he was known for what a lot of people referred to then as well as now as the Irish mob that pulls a lot of strings in Chicago – and with Daley being a major player in this whole criminal enterprise.
For people who reviewed the footage of what we refer to as “The Assassination of Chairman Fred,” there is some actual film footage that shows details of how the police fired over 99 rounds through the home of Chairman Fred and his wife and comrade Akua Njeri, formerly known as Deborah Johnson, Edward V. Hanrahan was the one in the footage that was telling the Chicago Tribune that they had bullet holes proving that the Panthers fired back on them, which later came out to be nail heads. It showed again that there were no shots fired at the police from the Panthers.
But again Hanrahan was a symbol for the “Massacre on Monroe.” I’m talking about what happened on Dec. 4, 1969. And although he is dead, and other criminals like J. Edgar Hoover are physically dead – even this criminal Richard Daley – we like to make a point and draw the connection that the same day he died, the infamous Red Squad was re-instituted by the present Daley administration.
M.O.I. JR: What is the Red Squad?
Ch. Fred: The Red Squad was and still is an elite police unit, and they worked with the GIU, Gang Intelligence Unit, and they were disbanded for committing certain violations against other white left organizations such as SDS and other organizations. However, it was not (considered) a crime they engaged in, these violations against Chairman Fred and other representatives of the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement in general. So they were disbanded when it came out later.
The book is called “Protectors of Privilege: Red Squads and Political Repression in Urban America” by this guy named Frank Donner. He talks about when he created these crimes against white people. That’s when the Red Squad was disbanded – kind of similar to Adolph Hitler. When they done what they had done to the Africans on the northern coast of Africa, there was no problem. When they committed the acts against white people, that’s when it became a “crime” and you saw repercussions come down.
But the Red Squad again has been re-instituted under the present day Daley administration. And again Hanrahan was a symbol, and to this day when you hear about pigs, they look up to him, kind of like how they look up to J. Edgar Hoover, but more on a local level.
As you said, he just passed, and there were no tears. And they attempted to – when I say them, I’m talking about the state and representatives of the state – attempted to have a big going away party. As you know and you are very aware of, one of the POCC’s major obligations is, as Panther Cubs, to carry the legacy of the Black Panther Party.
And we know that you can’t talk about the legacy of the Black Panther Party unless we talk about forces like Chairman Fred, Minister Huey P. Newton and so many other sources – but (also) even those criminals who played the role in moving forward with the military defeat of the Black Panther Party. And remember it was J. Edgar Hoover who said, “By the end of 1969, the Black Panthers have to be destroyed.”
And we understand that Dec. 4, 1969, Hanrahan along with the federal government made this move against Chairman Fred and Defense Captain Mark Clarke, which was a hearty military blow to the Black Panther Party and the Black Power Movement in general. So with this funeral for this criminal Hanrahan, it was at a straight white nationalist venue. I think it was St. Giles Church, which is a place in Oak Park, right outside of Chicago. We represented. We were and we are still up front to express our disrespect for this criminal. There was other criminals at the funeral who tried to grab us and make moves on us.
You heard statements like, “This is my uncle’s funeral; don’t disrespect this” and so on and so forth. And some elderly white lady, she ran out the funeral talking about “the Black Panthers are here.” And we were upfront in our position. We came to express our disrespect. You heard of this food that they serve called “pigs in a blanket”? We went to go see pigs in a casket.
And the Panthers had a saying in the ‘60s: “The only good pig was a dead pig.” And now, for the record, Edward V. Hanrahan can be classified as a good pig.
Editor’s note: Donations for the upcoming Chairman Fred Streetz Party birthday celebration and the 40th anniversary of the assassination known as the massacre on Monroe can be sent to Fred Hampton, P.O. Box 368255, Chicago IL 60636.