‘You Can Kill a Revolutionary But You Can’t Kill the Revolution!’ Speaking Tour Nov. 7-13: Seven events – full schedule below
On Dec. 4, 2009, it will be 40 years since a squad of police entered the house at 2337 W. Monroe St. on the West Side of Chicago and opened fire. The police say it was self defense while the residents of the house, members of Chicago’s formidable chapter of the Black Panther Party, say they were fired on as they lay sleeping. And while the accounts vary, the outcome is unquestionable: 15 minutes and 91 shots later, Black Panther Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and Defense Captain Mark Clark were dead.
But Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. and the Prisoners of Conscious Committee have been keeping his father’s spirit and activism alive and to commemorate 40th anniversary of what Hampton Jr. calls the “Massacre on Monroe,” the POCC has spent 2009 traveling around the country speaking and raising awareness about cases of police abuse throughout the country. Chairman Fred and members of the POCC will return to the Bay Area from Nov. 7-13 for a week-long speaking tour. (See the schedule of events below.)
Throughout the tour there have been screenings of the film, “The Murder of Fred Hampton,” which documents the activities of the young revolutionary and dissects the police testimony and evidence related to the case. There will also be a series of Q&As discussing the deaths of Oscar Grant III, Lovelle Mixon, Adolph Grimes, Kathryn Johnston, Deondre Brunston, Donte Story, Annette Garcia, Daryl Hamiliton, Sean Bell and others.
Chairman Fred says he considers the assassination of his father by local police and J. Edgar Hoover’s COINTELPRO to be “one of the most violent manifestations of police terrorism to ever happen on American soil” and an example of the extremes those in power will go to to dissuade dissenting voices.
“We call the assassination site one of the community’s ground zeros.” On the anniversary day, Akua Njeri, Chairman Hampton’s widow and chair of the International December 4th Committee, will be leading tours and pointing out key discrepancies in the police department’s testimony, similar to the way Panthers led tours after the incident, which led to increased scrutiny of the official records.
But despite overwhelming evidence pointing to premeditated actions on the part of the Chicago police, the charges brought against the police officers involved were dropped.
But Hampton Jr. says this hasn’t stopped the struggle for justice in his father’s case and support is constantly building. He says there is a talk of a movie starring MC Mos Def and the POCC is involved in several on-the-ground protests, including the case of Oscar Grant.
Chairman Fred says that he and the POCC will continue the work started by his father and the Black Panthers, including raising awareness about the situation surrounding his father’s death, adding that “there is no legal precedent for terrorism.”
Attend an event and spread the word
The seven stops on this historic tour are:
*Saturday, Nov. 7, 7 p.m., Black Dot Cafe, 1195 Pine St., West Oakland
*Monday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m., Sonoma State University, Stevenson Hall 1002
*Tuesday, Nov. 10, 6:30 p.m., Black Community Services Center, 418 Santa Teresa St., Stanford
*Wednesday, Nov. 11, 12:30 p.m., Diablo Valley College, 321 Golf Club Rd, Pleasant Hill
*Wednesday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m., Barrios Unidos, 1817 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz
*Thursday, Nov. 12, 6:30 p.m., Poor Magazine 2nd Floor Theater, Redstone Building, 2940 16th St., near 16th St. BART, San Francisco
*Friday, Nov. 13, 7 p.m., Niebyl Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave., Oakland
The tour is endorsed by 393 Films, Brown Berets, Barrios Unidos, NAACP, Black New World and Poor Magazine.
Bay Area writer Kwan Booth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.