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Emblem of the Black Panther Party of 1966
[Photo source]

The Black Panther Party originally began as the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense and their aim was to protect people from police brutality and to promote Black power and consciousness in the US.  They originally began in Oakland, California where the police force was specifically and notoriously brutal against Black people.

I was really interested to read that they had a Ten-Point Program, eight points of attention and three main rules of discipline.  To be honest, the rules and principles could have helped so much in liberation organisations around the world.

The Ten-Point Program of the Black Panther Party

[source]
  1. WE WANT FREEDOM. WE WANT POWER TO DETERMINE THE DESTINY OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
    We believe that Black and oppressed people will not be free until we are able to determine our destinies in our own communities ourselves, by fully controlling all the institutions which exist in our communities.
  2. WE WANT FULL EMPLOYMENT FOR OUR PEOPLE.
    We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every person employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the American businessmen will not give full employment, then the technology and means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.
  3. WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIES.
    We believe that this racist government has robbed us and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of our fifty million Black people. Therefore, we feel this is a modest demand that we make.
  4. WE WANT DECENT HOUSING, FIT FOR THE SHELTER OF HUMAN BEINGS.
    We believe that if the landlords will not give decent housing to our Black and oppressed communities, then housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that the people in our communities, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for the people.
  5. WE WANT DECENT EDUCATION FOR OUR PEOPLE THAT EXPOSES THE TRUE NATURE OF THIS DECADENT AMERICAN SOCIETY. WE WANT EDUCATION THAT TEACHES US OUR TRUE HISTORY AND OUR ROLE IN THE PRESENT-DAY SOCIETY.
    We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of the self. If you do not have knowledge of yourself and your position in the society and in the world, then you will have little chance to know anything else.
  6. WE WANT COMPLETELY FREE HEALTH CARE FOR All BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE.
    We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but which will also develop preventive medical programs to guarantee our future survival. We believe that mass health education and research programs must be developed to give all Black and oppressed people access to advanced scientific and medical information, so we may provide our selves with proper medical attention and care.
  7. WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO POLICE BRUTALITY AND MURDER OF BLACK PEOPLE, OTHER PEOPLE OF COLOR, All OPPRESSED PEOPLE INSIDE THE UNITED STATES.
    We believe that the racist and fascist government of the United States uses its domestic enforcement agencies to carry out its program of oppression against black people, other people of color and poor people inside the united States. We believe it is our right, therefore, to defend ourselves against such armed forces and that all Black and oppressed people should be armed for self defense of our homes and communities against these fascist police forces.
  8. WE WANT AN IMMEDIATE END TO ALL WARS OF AGGRESSION.
    We believe that the various conflicts which exist around the world stem directly from the aggressive desire of the United States ruling circle and government to force its domination upon the oppressed people of the world. We believe that if the United States government or its lackeys do not cease these aggressive wars it is the right of the people to defend themselves by any means necessary against their aggressors.
  9. WE WANT FREEDOM FOR ALL BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE NOW HELD IN U. S. FEDERAL, STATE, COUNTY, CITY AND MILITARY PRISONS AND JAILS. WE WANT TRIALS BY A JURY OF PEERS FOR All PERSONS CHARGED WITH SO-CALLED CRIMES UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS COUNTRY.
    We believe that the many Black and poor oppressed people now held in United States prisons and jails have not received fair and impartial trials under a racist and fascist judicial system and should be free from incarceration. We believe in the ultimate elimination of all wretched, inhuman penal institutions, because the masses of men and women imprisoned inside the United States or by the United States military are the victims of oppressive conditions which are the real cause of their imprisonment. We believe that when persons are brought to trial they must be guaranteed, by the United States, juries of their peers, attorneys of their choice and freedom from imprisonment while awaiting trial.
  10. WE WANT LAND, BREAD, HOUSING, EDUCATION, CLOTHING, JUSTICE, PEACE AND PEOPLE'S COMMUNITY CONTROL OF MODERN TECHNOLOGY.
    When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
    We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are most disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpation, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

8 Points of Attention

[source]
  1. Speak politely.
  2. Pay fairly for what you buy.
  3. Return everything you borrow.
  4. Pay for anything you damage.
  5. Do not hit or swear at people.
  6. Do not damage property or crops of the poor, oppressed masses.
  7. Do not take liberties with women.
  8. If we ever have to take captives do not ill-treat them.

3 Main Rules of Discipline

[source]
  1. Obey orders in all your actions.
  2. Do not take a single needle or piece of thread from the poor and oppressed masses.
  3. Turn in everything captured from the attacking enemy.

The Black Panther Party also had several rules which can be found on the marxists.org website.

About Mandy Southgate

Mandy Southgate is an accountant living and working in London. She is passionate about world events such as genocide and apartheid and has a desire to understand how these events continue to occur in the modern world. With a focus on the 20th and 21st centuries, A Passion to Understand reflects her continuing research and reading on these topics.
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4 comments:

  1. If you take the Panthers on one hand and MLK and his minions on the other, you are staring at the legacy of what the defeat of Hitler left the "free world" with.

    The jackboots are more elegantly polished and the sheep not nearly as willing to line up for free showers, but collateral damage is only being floated as a policy that teabaggers will eventually embraced.

    Cynicism is bit too positive a philosophy for me.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I had friends who were friends with Angela Davis. These are some words and rules to live by. Great informative post. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Maybe I'm taking too many political economy classes becuase the first thought I had while reading the manifesto was "wow, the black panthers are not in favor of a liberal market economy and clearly don't understand the fundamentals of market capitalism". And as for the payment of 40 acres and two mules - 3. WE WANT AN END TO THE ROBBERY BY THE CAPITALISTS OF OUR BLACK AND OPPRESSED COMMUNITIESif it were paid to the community, in the dollar sum it was worth at the end of the Civil War, it would not amount to much... plus, the money would come the the budget of the national governemtn thus taking money away from other social services thus propogating injustice.

    "We Want Completely Free Health Care for All Black People". Me too, but health care is provided on the basis of many things... notably living in a social market economy, which the US is not. And even in social democracies health care is not free, it's paid for by taxes or other transfer payments.

    Economics: 1
    Black Panthers: 0

    ReplyDelete
  4. @ Doctor Faustroll: I don't even know where to start in replying to your comment. At best it seems horribly offensive - are you saying it would have been a better world had Hitler not been defeated? I certainly hope not.

    @ Jo: I had to look up Angela Davis's name (I'm very much a novice in all this). She looks like an amazing woman - I might read up more on her.

    @ Jen: I think it is important to remember that this is the manifesto of an organisation from the 1960s and 1970s. Communism had not been shown to be a failure and in fact, thrived in Cuba until the mid-1980s. I think it is interesting and must be viewed in that context but I don't think many organisations would want to adopt this as their policy today.

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