“In the past we have also handled some cadres in an incorrect way. No matter whether we were completely mistaken in our handling of these people, or only partially mistaken, they should all be cleared and rehabilitated according to the actual circumstances. But generally speaking, this incorrect treatment – having them demoted or transferred – tempers their revolutionary will and enables them to absorb much new knowledge from the masses.” – Mao Tse-tung 
During 2014, an ad hoc panel, calling itself the Afrikan Peoples’ Liberation Tribunal (APLT), was formed by various individuals, for the stated purpose of hearing and deciding on a series of charges made against General TACO (Taking All Capitalists Out), aka Wolverine Shakur, of the Black Riders Liberation Party (BRLP). The charges were made by former BRLP members, and “others,” alleging abuses and misconduct unbefitting a revolutionary by Gen. TACO. The APLT purported to model itself and its proceedings on “Afrikan tradition.”
The APLT notified Gen. TACO of the charges and proceedings, and called on him to submit to its authority and appear before it to answer the charges. He and the BRLP declined to recognize the Tribunal’s legitimacy, but issued a collective statement denying the charges and expressed a willingness to defend against them before “objective elders” of the original Black Panther Party (BPP) and other Movement elders. They also expressed concern that explaining their side of the story before the APLT could expose them to security problems with the enemy Establishment.
They firmly asserted that they would not allow themselves to be divided against TACO by others outside the BRLP, and based on their practicing collective leadership, saw any action against TACO as against the entire Party. It must be noted that among the APLT and its Support Committee were former members of BRLP and members of “Black Panther” formations that can validly be characterized as rivals of the BRLP, such as the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) and the New Panther Vanguard Movement (NPVM).
Despite the BRLP’s expressed security concerns, its refusal to recognize the legitimacy of the APLT and its stated willingness to defend before disinterested elders, the APLT rushed to try TACO in absentia, found him guilty of many of the allegations and issued sanctions against him. The sanctions declared him a permanent persona non grata and forever banned him from leading or participating in any way in future events, political work or liberation movements of the Afrikan/Black community. Although the edict claimed to apply solely to Gen. TACO, it ‘warned’ that any group or person who gave aid or support of any sort to TACO, “do[es] so at their own risk and in opposition to the spirit of unity of the Afrikan community and other progressive forces.”
During 2015, after the conclusion of the APLT’s proceedings, a copy of its records and disposition were sent to me via a mutual acquaintance who was in touch with a member of the APLT’s Support Committee. This was the first notice that I or any member of the NABPP-PC’s Central Committee had of any such charges, proceedings, or sanctions against TACO. As members of the Afrikan/Black community on whose behalf the APLT claims to represent, as active participants in the liberation struggle, and as long-time comrades of the BRLP and Gen. TACO, we feel that we were entitled to notice of these matters before their final disposition so we could have weighed in on them. In that we were not given this consideration and opportunity, and based upon the weight being given to the authority assumed by the APLT’s actions, and their broad implications on the struggle and against many individuals and groups – including NABPP-PC – we feel a need, democratic entitlement and duty to be heard concerning this situation, and to state and rest upon our exception to it; which is the purpose of this paper.
We believe the APLT’s actions were attended by many errors, including the Tribunal’s methodology, structure, and its rush to judgment. We presume it acted with good intentions, but intentions alone do not make for correct choices. We do not presume to pass judgment on TACO’s guilt or innocence of the accusations made against him. That is the task of a properly constituted decision-making body and the broader community. But, in that we also do not feel such a proceeding has been had, as we explain below, he must be presumed and treated as innocent until it has.
This is not to say that emergency initiative and actions were not warranted to address any potential threats from TACO against his accusers. But, any such considerations should have been tempered and tailored to the situation, determination should have been made as to the validity of any claimed threats, (and the true meaning of any words interpreted as such), all to ensure that those who have made mistakes are not isolated, and that splits and factionalism are not generated within an already badly divided movement and people.
In any case, any potential emergency has now passed, without physical harm to anyone we know of. Also, many are now on notice and alert to be attentive to the well-being of TACO’s accusers. So, there’s no reason we cannot revisit these issues now without placing anyone in danger at the hands of the accused. We also believe there was a better way to protect TACO’s accusers from potential harm other than to rush to judgement, as the APLT justified itself in doing.
Inherently Divisive Sanctions
A major concern of ours with the APLT’s actions is the divisiveness inherent in its actions, which assume the power to bind the entire Afrikan/Black world to its holdings, and this without its equally broad participation and consent. And anyone who takes issue with its validity and authority is implicitly threatened with reprisals and being characterized as betraying the people and movement. This can easily be seen as apt to inevitably generate splits and factionalism of all types; including within and/or against the BRLP, (the BRLP foresaw this first danger and quickly expressed that they would not permit it to happen, and as I will show, the latter is already occurring), within the Afrikan/Black Movement, and other revolutionary and progressive forces. All of which undermines important and needed work.
Such splits and harm to important political work have almost immediately evidenced themselves. One example occurred when the BRLP refused to be internally split against Gen. TACO. As a result, the group was prompted to sever ties with the National Jericho Movement for Amnesty and Freedom for all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War. Our PPs/POWs, many of whom have languished in U.S. prisons for decades under torturous conditions, are in dire need of community recognition and support. The BRLP had set up a Jericho chapter in L.A. and took the struggle for PPs/POWs out into the oppressed communities, built support there for such causes as the San Francisco 8, Mumia Abu Jamal, etc., and linked these campaigns up with struggles against police state oppression against the communities, (showing them the connection between these abuses and the political imprisonment and persecution of those who’ve struggled against these oppressions). However, as a result of APLT’s proceedings, the LA chapter and its work were formally shut down by Jericho’s National Office in mid-2014.
Comrade Mike Novick presents another example. Novick is a Movement elder who publishes the anti-racist newspaper Turning the Tide (TTT), which he sends to nearly 2,000 prisoners free of charge across the U.S. Comrade Mumia has endorsed TTT thusly; “Support Turning the Tide, for when you do so, you support yourself, and the movements that are paving the way into the future.” Because Novick continues to work in support of and in collaboration with BRLP and Gen. TACO, APLT functionaries have threatened sanctions against him similar to TACO’s. Novick has been active in the Movement, especially against racist groups and racist social indoctrination by the Establishment, for decades. He has ventured where few dare tread in his work, much of which he began before many of the APLT’s members were even born. Yet, because he recognizes the value of BRLP’s work, and therefor supports them, the APLT presumes to undermine his work and those it reaches by threatening to isolate him.
Yet another example touches on the work of the NABPP-PC and Comrade Tom Watts who co-administers the United Panther Study Group on Facebook, along with former BPP co-founder and Chairman Bobby Seale, which serves as a forum for Panther-oriented folks to share political views and Panther history. This non-sectarian site has been repeatedly “trolled” by APLT supporters who are not members of the group, repeatedly “reporting” any postings made by BRLP members, as part of their campaign to isolate and discredit the Black Riders. We can only assume they are doing the same on other sites where BRLP members post.
These actual and threatened divisive tactics inherent in the APLT’s actions can only continue to multiply and wreak havoc (as intended) within the Movement, despite APLT’s claim to be motivated by building unity. Comrades in the Movement have expressed divisive views against other comrades, (including myself), for expressing disagreement with the APLT and continuing to uphold the BRLP and TACO as comrades. No individual, group or party can be above criticism, but we should adhere to the Principles of Three Dos and Don’ts: “Do: Practice Marxism, and not revisionism; unite, and don’t split; be open and aboveboard, and don’t intrigue and conspire and Don’t: Pick on others for their faults; Put labels on people; and don’t use a big stick.”
When incorrect practices cause problems, we must revisit and correct them. Many have expressed disagreements with the sanctions decreed by APLT, but refrain from publicly voicing them for fear of being targeted themselves. The implied threats and stigma against such dissenting voices by APLT are far more formidable and dangerous than the threats and stigmas allegedly made by TACO against his own detractors. Yet he is being punished and held up to censure for just such alleged misconduct.
So, not only is the APLT doing the very thing it has tried and condemned TACO for allegedly doing, but it is causing the very sort of liberalism that it claimed to oppose in ‘daring to stand up to TACO.’ People are afraid to speak out or defy the APLT for fear of the “risk” to themselves, and being stigmatized as acting “in opposition to the spirit of unity of the Afrikan Community and other progressive forces;” in the APLT’s own words.
However, as Maoists, we in the NABPP-PC recognize that there can be no unity without struggle against incorrect actions and ideas, and the most dangerous deviation is that which is not being struggled against. We therefore decline to practice such liberalism in avoidance of provoking negative reactions or opinions from those we feel are harming the struggle, so we firmly adhere to Mao’s call to, in all situations, and at whatever cost, “Combat Liberalism.”
Following Afrikan Tradition
The APLT claims to have based its structure and proceedings on “Afrikan tradition,” and claims itself to be a revolutionary body. This is problematic, since merely imitating Afrikan forms does not make a group or practice ‘revolutionary.’ No more so, in fact, than one becomes a revolutionary or is made free from oppressive conditions by donning a dashiki. As Comrade Fred Hampton, Sr. once noted in criticism of just such a notion, “Political power does not grow out of the sleeve of a dashiki.”
Indeed, our movement’s history provides valuable examples of this, and it is a trend that our best leaders have also fought against. Recall, the BPP was born from Comrade Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale’s split with groups who emphasized imitating Afrikan traditions which proved to provide no solutions to our people’s oppressed conditions within this capitalist-imperialist empire. They went on to correctly reject this line which they called “pork chop nationalism,” and was embodied in such racialist groups as Ron Karenga’s US organization, who pretended we could win our freedom by imitating Afrikan traditions. The pigs actually promoted this line as a counter to the BPP’s work and line of organizing the masses to collectively meet their own needs and build institutions of people’s power right in their oppressed communities. It was a revolutionary proletarian line versus Afrikan formalism. The former line proved correct, and we must uphold it.
In the same vein, the great Afrikan revolutionary theorist, Kwame Nkrumah, also pointed out that “Afrikan tradition” is not inherently communalist, socialist, or revolutionary, even in its pre-colonial forms, so we “must recapture not its structure…but its spirit.” He explained:
“Today, the phrase ‘African socialism’ seems to espouse the view that the traditional African society was a classless society imbued with the spirit of humanism and to express a nostalgia for that spirit. Such a conception of socialism makes a fetish of communal African society. But an idyllic, African classless society (in which there are no rich and no poor) enjoying a drugged serenity is certainly a facile simplification; there is no historical or even anthropological evidence for any such society. I am afraid the realities of African society were somewhat more sordid.
“All available evidence from the history of Africa, up to the eve of the European colonization, shows that African society was neither classless nor devoid of social hierarchy. Feudalism existed in some parts of Africa before colonization; and feudalism involves a deep and exploitative social stratification, founded on the ownership of land. It must also be noted that slavery existed in Africa before European colonization, although the earlier European contact gave slavery in Africa some of its most vicious characteristics. The truth remains, however, that before colonization, which became widespread in Africa only in the nineteenth century, Africans were prepared to sell, often for no more than thirty pieces of silver, fellow tribesmen and even members of the same ‘extended’ family and clan. Colonization deserves to be blamed for many evils in Africa, but surely it was not preceded by an African Golden Age or paradise. A return to the precolonial African society is evidently not worthy of the ingenuity and efforts of our people.
“All this notwithstanding, one will still argue that the basic organization of African societies in different periods of history manifested a certain communalism, and that the philosophy and humanist purpose behind that organization are worthy of recapture. A community in which each saw his well-being in the welfare of the group was pursued certainly was praiseworthy, even if the manner in which the well-being of the group was pursued makes no contribution to our purposes. Thus, what socialist thought in Africa must recapture is not the structure of the ‘traditional African society’ but its spirit, for the spirit of communalism is crystallized in its humanism and in its reconciliation of individual advancement with group welfare…”
In this regard, there are time-tested decisional processes applied across Afrikan communal societies that captured that spirit of communal interest, and are worthy of adoption, which, however, were not applied in this case. In fact, the BRLP appealed to those very measures when they asked for a tribunal of Movement elders who have been informed, tempered and seasoned by decades of lived experience in the struggle, who would be much more qualified than younger comrades to judge this situation and propose a method of correction if needed. In this respect, the BRLP was more than justified in refusing to accept the ‘authority’ of the APLT and insisting instead on having a body of disinterested elders to pass judgement in this matter.
In communal Afrikan societies, the governing decision-making body was a council of elders, democratically chosen by their age peers, based upon proven integrity, demonstrated wisdom, temperance and consistency of good character and commitment to the welfare of the community. They were not self-appointed partisans with an axe to grind. Furthermore, their ‘hearings’ were mass proceedings in which the entire community took part and spoke freely. As Frantz Fanon observed of these communal “criticism/self-criticism” proceedings, they were conducted with a mood of good humor in a relaxed atmosphere, which encouraged open and unfettered mass participation and everyone’s willingness and ability to express their views and concerns about the alleged grievances. This is the sort of atmosphere and ‘community spirit’ that Mao held to be essential for people’s democracy to flourish and was applied in revolutionary China’s mass rectification campaigns.
The APLT, however, stifled free and open mass participation and expression, under threat of anyone who did not conform “being disinvited from participation in any aspect of the Tribunal and [being] removed from the premises.” Its self-appointed decision-makers were not elders and were overly presumptuous, evidenced by their self-empowerment to bind Afrikan/Black people everywhere, under threat of reprisals, and this without the consent or input of even a fraction of the affected masses, who, again were not even given an opportunity to participate in the proceedings. Even the U.S. bourgeois courts recognize the ‘right’ (even if only formally) of an accused to be heard and tried by a jury of impartial peers in an open court.
In the final event, any credible claim of expressing the will and spirit of the masses must authentically come from the people of the affected community. Otherwise, there is only a resort to the old bourgeois practice of self-delegated “community spokespeople” and condescending saviors substituting themselves for the people of the Black community; which is the exact opposite of revolutionary people’s power.
What Sort of Democracy?
In revolutionary struggle, there are two types of contradictions and conflicts, those amongst the people and those between the people and the enemy; and they require qualitatively different methods of resolution. We certainly do not want to repeat the errors that are sometimes credited to “Stalinism,” (not that Stalin was not a great revolutionary leader), where these two types of contradictions and methods of resolution were sometimes treated the same. As Mao explained: “To criticize the people’s shortcomings is necessary, . . . but in doing so we must truly take the stand of the people and speak out of whole-hearted eagerness to protect and educate them. To treat comrades like enemies is to go over to the stand of the enemy.”
In this respect conflicts and contradictions among the people must be resolved by democratic means, while those between the people and the enemy must be resolved by means of dictatorship or organized people’s power and force. As we will show, the APLT’s sanctions operate dictatorially against the people, who took no part in their proceedings but are under compulsion to obey them. Determining a matter by democracy means determining right from wrong by means of discussion, debate, reason and education. Once a matter is thoroughly discussed and a consensus is reached or determination made by a majority vote, then this mass decision can be enforced as needed.
This obviously does not work where the decision-making body is self-appointed and the masses are excluded from participation, or when Mao’s instruction; “In treating an ideological or a political malady, one must never be rough and rash but must adopt the approach of ‘curing the sickness to save the patient,’ which is the only correct and effective method,” is not applied. Then it is not a mass decision and it is not binding on the masses.
Dictatorship means use of compulsion and coercion to impose the will of the masses, (or anyone), on their enemies in an antagonistic contradiction, or otherwise subjecting their enemies to their will without the benefit of their participation in the decision making process. This is the method employed by APLT in applying sanctions against Comrade TACO and any who oppose their edicts. It is treating the comrades of BRLP, the Movement and the people as if we are their enemies.
In determining which method was the correct one to apply in resolving the matter with TACO, the APLT first had to determine if he is of the people or the enemy. Clearly he is not the people’s enemy, indeed, no one has made any such claim. He is not a member nor an enforcer or agent of the capitalist-imperialist ruling class, but is a product and member of the oppressed New Afrikan/Black community. He is a veteran fighter with years of service to this community. Therefore, it was incorrect to apply dictatorial methods to resolve a contradiction regarding his practice in the community.
The question then turns on what form of democracy applies to this situation. In dealing with a political party that applies democratic centralism (DC), matters pertaining to their internal operations and discipline are resolved by means of what is called inner-party democracy. Depending on the security situation and the nature of the matters to be decided, these proceedings also allow input and participation of the masses outside the party. On the other hand, there is people’s democracy, which is democratic struggle applied to matters outside of such parties that affect and concern the masses. This process involves the full participation of the broad masses in freely voicing their views and concerns in hearing and deciding such issues. As a member, and leader, of a party that practices DC, both forms of democracy can be applied to the issues involving General TACO. Which form should be applied turns on whether he is being accused of offences against his fellow party comrades or of abusing individuals outside the party. The former calls for inner-party democracy and the latter people’s democracy, or possibly a combination of the two would be most appropriate.
In that the entire BRLP has stood with TACO in denying these charges that he abused party comrades, it appears that efforts of people outside the party to interfere with the inner-party democracy of the BRLP are unwarranted and unprincipled. As NABPP-PC and BRLP each have our own inner-party democracy and neither is under the DC of the other, it would be unprincipled at best for us to attempt to interfere in their internal affairs. Any ideological-political differences we have with BRLP are completely separate issues and must be conducted in the normal course of two-line struggle as is proper for revolutionary parties and organizations without interference in the internal affairs of the other. We expect their cadre will advance and defend their line as we will our own, combining unity and struggle with the intent to clarify issues and advance the people’s struggle.
Only when a party is clearly harming the interests of the masses and the struggle in a major way, such that it becomes a force of counter-revolution, are outsiders justified in overriding a party’s DC, as Mao led the Chinese masses to do in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China, when it was found that powerful members within the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CPP) and state were scheming to reverse China’s gains in building socialism and to restore capitalism. There are no charges here against the BRLP as a whole, but rather against TACO personally, so there is no justification to invalidate the BRLP’s DC and interfere in their internal democracy. Ex-party members, whether they quit or were expelled, are now outside that internal democracy.
However, if TACO is alleged to be oppressing others outside the BRLP, and/or, harming the interests of the masses, then it is a matter for the people to sit in judgement of him, not a small circle of his political rivals acting in lieu of the masses under the guise of a “People’s Tribunal.” This smacks of manipulation of public opinion by character assassination and is unworthy of revolutionaries and progressive-minded people. By using the title “People” in its name, APLT recognized the right, at least in theory, of the masses’ unfettered participation in its proceedings which it presumed to portray as the will of the masses and the right of the masses to call for centralized enforcement of democratically arrived at decisions. However, the APLT was not a mass forum and there cannot be any mandate of the people or centralized enforcement of its edicts. As Mao taught us:
“We cannot overcome difficulties without democracy, of course, it is even more impossible to do without centralism, but if there’s no democracy there won’t be any centralism.
“Without democracy there cannot be any correct centralism because people’s ideas differ, and if their understanding lacks unity then centralism cannot be established. What is centralism? First of all it is centralization of correct ideas, on the basis which unity of understanding, policy, planning, command and action are achieved. This is called centralized unification. If people still do not understand problems, if they have not vented their anger, how can centralized unification be established? If there is no democracy, if ideas are not coming from the masses, it is impossible to establish a good line, good general and specific policies and methods.”
The APLT applied neither inner-party democracy, (it couldn’t because it is not part of BRLP), nor people’s democracy, (it was not a mass forum, was not delegated by the masses, did not permit the masses unfettered participation nor decision-making role in the proceedings), so in neither case can the Tribunal claim to have applied revolutionary principles nor the right or authority to bind anyone to its decisions. There having been no democracy, there can be no centralized agreement or enforcement of its sanctions against TACO.
In any revolutionary movement, the question of democracy is one of class line, and revolutionary forces are bound in all areas to uphold the proletarian mass line, which seeks in all cases to empower the people, (hence our slogan, “All Power to the People!”), not perpetuate or continue with the line of the oppressor bourgeois class, which seeks to impose the will of self-appointed groups over the masses, and without their knowing consideration or consent.
The Impossible Impartiality
Even the bourgeois U.S. courts grant an accused the entitlement to be judged by a body of the common people who are examined to determine their qualifications and impartiality. No such consideration was extended by the APLT to TACO.
And not only must the objectivity and impartiality of a decision-making body be demonstrated in fact, it should also exist in appearance so that there is public confidence and trust in the proceedings. No sensible or fair-minded person could place legitimacy in the decisions of a tribunal that had a vested interest in the outcome of the matter under consideration, or any bias for or against the defendant. So impartiality is universally recognized as a basic principle of justice and fairness in any tribunal, jury or deliberative body. In the case of the APLT and its Support Committee, they were clearly not impartial with respect to the proceeding against General TACO.
As we have already noted, these bodies contained people who have left the BRLP (for whatever reasons) and members of groups competing with BRLP for members and the status of continuing the legacy of the original BPP, who people can clearly see are not impartial or disinterested: People who have grudges and something to gain by discrediting TACO and destroying the BRLP. This is reflected in the rush to judgement, refusal to consider BRLP’s offer to present their case before a different body they would consider met a test of impartiality, and the vindictive “Big Stick” tone of the sanctions decreed.
What’s more, we have the leadership of the NBPP on record denouncing the original BPP while attempting to hijack its legacy and symbols, in which case there is every likelihood they would benefit from sabotaging the BRLP and other groups attempting to continue the BPP’s line and legacy, which is the stated intent of the BRLP. Many BPP veterans and PP’s/POW’s have publically denounced the NBPP, particularly since their brutal assault on former BPP PP/POW elder Dhoruba Bin Wahad on August 8, 2015 in Atlanta, where one of TACO’s alleged “victims” is now a leading NBPP member. So how indeed can we trust the participation of its members in actions against a group like the BRLP and its leader?
Then too, the APLT rushed to take action against TACO and denounce and declare him persona non grata for his alleged misconduct, but we’ve heard not a word of criticism from them against the NBPP for attempting to stomp Elder Dhoruba Bin Wahad to death, breaking his jaw in three places and knocking the septuagenarian unconscious with a metal chair in front of an auditorium full of people. Dhoruba, and other original BPP elders have been vocal in calling out the NBPP as a hate group, infiltrated by the FBI, and functioning as a modern day version of COINTELPRO acting to divide the Black Movement and push it to the extreme right. The 71-year old Dhoruba was silenced before he could speak to the assembly in Atlanta.
Yet APLT has given a free hand to NBPP members to participate in their proceedings against TACO, who has been publically honored by original BPP veterans, such as Kathleen Cleaver, who in 2013 presented General TACO with the prestigious “Continuing the Struggle” award on behalf of the BPP Alumni Association. Respected BPP elders from Mumia Abu Jamal and Jalil Muntaqim to Elbert “Big Man” Howard have denounced the NBPP. Consider the words of founding BPP member “Big Man Howard”:
“If this group is anything, it is a collection of racist, reactionary thugs and tools of the still-very-much-alive COINTELPRO government agency…. Since coming to public notice, this group has shown itself to be little more than opportunistic, treading on the work dedication and sacrifices of others….
“The so-called New Black Panther Party has proven itself to be one which consists of agents for the corrupt system designed to undermine the legacy of the Black Panther Party.”
“Big Man” is right. In the wake of the assault on Dhoruba, Hashim Nzinga, the National Chair of NBPP, released a video which concluded with him condemning the BPP for “terrorizing” Amerika and bringing COINTELPRO down on Black people. Never mind that COINTELPRO was in existence since 1956, a decade before the BPP was founded, and targeted Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and every other Black and Leftist organization and leader with orders to, “disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or otherwise neutralize the activities of black nationalist hate type organizations.” If for no other reason than the involvement of NBPP in APLT, this Tribunal failed to meet the standard of impartiality and fairness a reasonable person would expect, and the BRLP was justified in declining to participate in their proceedings.
The Danger of COINTELPRO
The APLT made a decision, early on, to not even consider the possibility that the accusations against TACO might be the result of a government campaign against him and the BRLP. Anyone with even the most basic familiarity with COINTELPRO’s history, knows that holding one up to public ridicule and character assassination was a standard tactic employed by the FBI against targeted individuals and groups. According to attorney Brian Glick in his book War at Home, the FBI used four main methods during COINTELPRO:
- Infiltration: Agents and informers did not merely spy on political activists. Their main purpose was to discredit and disrupt. Their very presence served to undermine trust and scare off potential supporters. The FBI and police exploited this fear to smear genuine activists as agents.
- Psychological Warfare From the Outside: The FBI and police used myriad other “dirty tricks” to undermine progressive movements. They planted false media stories and published bogus leaflets and other publications in the name of targeted groups. They forged correspondence, sent anonymous letters, and made anonymous telephone calls. They spread misinformation about meetings and events, set up pseudo movement groups run by government agents, and manipulated or strong-armed parents, employers, landlords, school officials and others to cause trouble for activists.
- Harassment Through the Legal System: The FBI and police abused the legal system to harass dissidents and make them appear to be criminals. Officers of the law gave perjured testimony and presented fabricated evidence as a pretext for false arrests and wrongful imprisonment. They discriminatorily enforced tax laws and other government regulations and used conspicuous surveillance, “investigative” interviews, and grand jury subpoenas in an effort to intimidate activists and silence their supporters.
- Extralegal Force and Violence: The FBI and police threatened, instigated, and themselves conducted break-ins, vandalism, assaults, and beatings. The object was to frighten dissidents and disrupt their movements. In the case of radical Black and Puerto Rican activists (and later Native Americans), these attacks—including political assassinations—were so extensive, vicious, and calculated that they can accurately be termed a form of official “terrorism.”
False accusations formed the basis of many of the political prosecutions and imprisonments of Movement comrades. We can name multitudes of such cases engineered by the pigs, including Comrade Dhoruba’s, Mumia’s, the Angola 3’s, and so on – all of whom have won some level of relief because of later exposures of COINTELPRO set-ups and the work of prisoner support groups. Yet in TACO’s case, the APLT ruled out any consideration of even the possibility of the pigs’ hands in fomenting the charges being made against him.
We can appreciate the APLT’s stated concern to avoid wrongfully villainizing actual victims of unscrupulous elements within the Movement, and as a result, effectively intimidating them and others from coming forward to expose abusers, but a broader and greater danger and concern is always present that the pigs, and even potential political rivals, will generate false accusations amongst the people against comrades to undermine their work, especially if they’ve been effective, which cannot be denied of Comrade TACO. There is certainly much of substance in the BRLP’s reminder, in denying TACO’s guilt, that we need to be mindful of COINTELPRO, and we are more than justified in taking heed to them.
It is beyond question that the BRLP and TACO have long been targets of counterintelligence operations of the LAPD, FBI, the L.A. DA’s Office, etc. And, as we’ve noted, they have political opponents, not only within the ranks of the Movement, but within APLT itself. Haven’t opportunists within revolutionary movements always acted to destroy the images of their rivals, and even joined with the enemy in their campaigns to do the same?
The trick in such cases is to strike the proper balance between ferreting out possible pig or opportunist involvement in trumping up character attacks and protecting those with valid complaints. That the APLT could not, or was unwilling to, do this, only shows that it was not qualified for the difficult undertaking that it tasked itself with. Everyone wants justice, but justice must be ‘blind,’ which is to say ‘disinterested’ to the outcome, and both the accuser and the accused must be subject to scrutiny and investigation while being protected. Various additional factors made necessary the consideration of possible pig involvement behind the allegations. One being the timing of the charges, which arose at the very point that BRLP has been expanding into a national organization and its support in the Movement is growing. Rivalry between BRLP and NBPP is sharpening as in cities across the country both parties are broadly recruiting and competing for membership in the same oppressed communities. Some cadre are switching from one group to the other.
At this time, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), which works closely with the pigs as an ‘intelligence’ gathering and sharing partner, recently labeled BRLP as a “Black separatist hate group,” without explanation. During 2009, I was labeled in the exact same manner in a “Terrorist Threat Assessment” report compiled by the Virginia State Police, in collaboration with federal agencies, which preceded my being transferred several times to prison systems across the country and being subjected to various abuses therein. But, more telling, is under COINTELPRO, the FBI used the very same sort of label in the 1960’s – 70’s (namely that of “Black nationalist hate group”), which in 1976 the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities of the United States Senate, (aka the Church Committee), found in its investigation of COINTELPRO were used by the FBI to speciously justify targeting and persecuting Black dissidents involved in perfectly legal political actions, including Martin Luther King, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, SNCC and the BPP. As Mike Novick pointed out:
“This [label applied by the SPLC] can only be seen as part of a concerted state attack against the BRLP, a new, repressive COINTELPRO operation aimed at discrediting them, perhaps even setting them up for assassinations, as were the Black Panthers by similar propaganda.”
Is it mere coincidence that just when the pigs and SPLC were slandering BRLP charges would surface against TACO? Certainly this was not something to be disregarded in considering the guilt or innocence of Comrade TACO. Throughout history, revolutionaries have been attacked from all sides, especially when they are being effective. In fact, Mao emphasized that the more heinous the enemy paints us to be, the more credit it lends to our work, and testifies to the effectiveness of what we are doing, and the fact that we’re clearly distinguishing ourselves from the enemy. Mao said:
“I hold that it is bad as far as we are concerned if a person, a political party, an army or a school is not attacked by the enemy, for in that case it would definitely mean that we have sunk to the level of the enemy. It is good if we are attacked by the enemy, since it proves that we have drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves. It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us as utterly black and without a single virtue; it demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves but achieved a great deal in our work.”
As for the fact of BRLP being a target of pig counterintelligence, we can give several examples; and even of their efforts to infiltrate agents into the BRLP. In the February issue of Police Chief magazine, the LAPD’s deputy chief outlined just such measures against the BRLP. He described slanders against the BRLP claiming falsely that they were plotting to murder cops, labeling them a domestic terrorist group, and admitted efforts to infiltrate the Party. Also, in 2011, LAPD chief, Charles Beck, wrote a personal letter to the head of the Sacramento, CA parole office, claiming falsely that TACO was plotting to kill cops, in an effort to lend his influence to having TACO sent back to prison. Should anyone doubt the intensity of police scrutiny the BRLP has been (and is) subjected to, consider this eye-witness account, again by Novick:
“There’s no other current formation in the U.S. that has been targeted for more consistent and protracted repression than the Black Riders, including frame up arrests, massive police/FBI raids with tanks, helicopters and armored personnel carriers, constant surveillance and harassment by local police. Yet they persevere and grow. Some years ago, I was out for the Martin Luther King Day parade in Los Angeles, passing out copies of Turning the Tide. I turned the corner and there were 30 or so Black Riders in uniform, marching along, trailed by a phalanx of cops, numerous patrol cars and a helicopter overhead. The state clearly understands and fears the threat that the Black Riders Liberation Party represents to the system of oppression and exploitation that police departments, espionage and counter-insurgency agencies are designed to serve and protect.
“That the SPLC attack took place in the midst of a series of arrests and police raids directed against the Black Rider leaders, members, and their families in L.A. and Oakland is no coincidence. This is clearly high level coordination of attacks on the Black Riders.”
We are not saying the charges against Taco were in fact the work of the pigs, but there is certainly enough history of the pigs using such dirty tactics, and the timing is consistent enough with other attacks by the pigs on the BRLP – especially against its leadership and its public image – that the possibility of pig involvement should not have been dismissed out of hand as the Tribunal did. The BRLP themselves certainly felt there was such a link; and it is not as though their concerns are completely baseless.
There also should have been greater inquiry into the possibility that the charges could have been the product, at least in part, of political or personal opportunist plots against the group or TACO. Instead of such matters being allowed to be considered in TACO’s defense, the APLT established that only if TACO could otherwise prove his innocence, would it consider these possibilities, after the fact. Again, even the bourgeois courts allow consideration of such matters in the process of proving one’s innocence.
Have Mistakes Been Made?
What’s most important in revolutionary work, is that revolutionary cadre be servants of the people, and lead by applying the Mass Line and Revolutionary Praxis. Comrades must be self-disciplined and self-controlled. We must lead by example. If errors are made, we must sum them up, correct them and use them to strengthen our practice in the future. That’s how revolutionary praxis works. The struggle itself is a great teacher, if we don’t learn from our errors, we will face them over and over again until we do.
On the question of whether the BRLP has made mistakes, and how we should view them, Movement elder, Comrade Tom “Big Warrior” Watts, wrote to the NABPP-PC’s Central Committee the following:
“[Has the BRLP] made errors? This is quite likely. Being composed of former gang members, it is likely there have been un-remolded lumpen tendencies, errors of commandism, sexism and bullying, which is what is being alleged, particularly in their early years. Did we not see such errors in the original BPP? It is also likely there have been attempts at pig infiltration of their ranks and attempted sabotage. We could say this would have been ‘par for the course.’ What we see today is that the BRLP members have a high degree of loyalty to their leader and that there are strong sisters in leadership positions. They appear to be well disciplined and full of fighting spirit.”
Comrade Tom makes several important observations, that go to the root of the matter, how it must be approached, (from a class perspective), and remedied. Foremost, it must be recognized that BRLP and TACO are not products of the student-based Movement, nor are they so refined as those from the higher strata of society, rather they came from the streets, the urban gang culture, the so-called ‘criminal underclass’ otherwise known as the lumpen proletariat. And unless the influences of this class have been consciously and continuously struggled against and the individuals remolded, they will be reflected in the practice of its members.
The original BPP largely came from this class also, in fact its founders saw its work in politicizing the lumpen as essential to the success of the overall struggle against the predatory capitalist-imperialist system, lest, as Frantz Fanon warned, they be used by the imperialists against the revolutionary forces. As Bobby Seale stated:
“Huey understood the meaning of what Fanon was saying about organizing the lumpen first, because Fanon explicitly pointed out that if you didn’t organize the lumpen proletariat and give a base for organizing the brother who’s pimping, the brother who’s hustling, the unemployed, the downtrodden, the brother who’s robbing banks, who’s not politically conscious – that’s what lumpen proletariat means – that if you didn’t relate to these cats, the power structure would organize these cats against you.”
He went on to add:
“Huey wanted brothers off the block – brothers who had been out there robbing banks, brothers who had been pimping, brothers who had been peddling dope, brothers who ain’t gonna take nothing, brothers who had been fighting pigs – because he knew that once they get themselves together in the area of political education (and it doesn’t take much because the political education is the ten-point program), Huey P. Newton knew that once you organize the brothers he ran with, fought with, he fought against, who he fought harder than they fought him, once you organize those brothers, you get niggers, you get Black men, you get revolutionaries who are too much.”
But Huey didn’t go far enough in politicizing the lumpen whom he focused on drawing the BPP members from. He didn’t take into consideration nor recognize the importance of remolding their class perspective, so that they developed the genuinely revolutionary outlook of the revolutionary proletariat – the only “all-the-way revolutionary” class. As I’ve previously written:
“Because the BPP failed to recognize the predominant role of the revolutionary proletariat and its line, and that all other sectors must embrace this line, they didn’t require Party members to develop a specifically proletarian consciousness. This allowed lumpen values to persist within the BPP, leading to many deviations in the Party and the moral degeneration of key leaders, like Huey, Eldridge Cleaver, and others. Huey’s demise was clearly because of his regression into lumpen values and behavior prompted by the system’s attacks on him and the BPP; which included extortion, robbery, drug addiction, even alleged murder – all directed at members of the oppressed communities he was charged with leading the struggle to liberate. Worse still; he began running the Party like a street gang. Ultimately, his reversion to the lumpen lifestyle cost him his life, in a street corner drug deal gone bad.”
Unremolded lumpen values make mistakes of these sorts inevitable, so we must approach and address them not as personal failings but instead as ones based in class conditioning that must be remolded from the outset. Our NABPP-PC emphasized the importance of this work in our founding paper, “The NABPP-PC: Our Line.” Without this mandatory and ongoing process of remolding lumpen elements to develop the world outlook of the revolutionary proletariat, we will always see comrades from this sector degenerate into lumpen behaviors as will the groups they form, just as the BPP did. In fact, BPP veterans like Comrade Sundiata Acoli have attributed the BPP’s demise in large part to its unremolded lumpen practices:
“It can be safely said that the largest segment of the New York City BPP membership (and probably nationwide) were workers who held everyday jobs. Other segments of the membership were semi-proletariat, students, youths, and lumpen-proletariat. The lumpen tendencies within some members were what the establishment’s media (and some party members) played-up the most. Lumpen tendencies are associated with lack of discipline, liberal use of alcohol, marijuana, and curse-words; loose sexual morals, a criminal mentality, and rash actions. These tendencies in some Party members provided the media with better opportunities than they would otherwise have had to play up this aspect, and to slander the Party, which diverted public attention from much of the positive work done by the BPP.”
As Tom observed, many of the charges laid against TACO were against behaviors that the original BPP also engaged in, especially during its early years, yet many of APLT’s members and supporters who condemn TACO are supporters or imitators of the BPP, but none has taken the position of throwing the baby out with the bathwater with respect to the BPP as they have with TACO, for similar behaviors. Indeed, Comrade Thandisizwe Chimurenga, who is a member of the Support Committee, recently wrote an article promoting the BPP as a model for Blacks today struggling against continuing oppression. This is clearly a double standard.
Various memoirs and autobiographies of credible former Panther leaders attest to deviant behaviors of Panthers at all levels, especially their leaders. We find some were engaged in extortion and robberies of local businesses, drug dealing, hustling, etc., we hear of wimyn comrades coerced into sexual relations with superiors, and there was a great deal of inner-party brutality and violence (in fact a common discipline against rule-breaking was “mudholing,” or putting the victim in the center of a group of Panthers and “stomping him down”). Threats were made against people outside the Party (and not merely detractors). For example, a mild conflict with the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) over the BPP’s demand for community control of police in the white neighborhoods elicited the following response from the BPP to their SDS allies:
“SDS had better get their politics straight because the Black Panther Party is drawing some very clear lines between friends and enemies. And that we’re gonna make it very clear that we’re not going to be attacked from any of those motherfuckers…. We’ll beat those little sissies, those little schoolboys’ asses if they don’t straighten up their politics. So we want to make it known to SDS and the first person motherfucker that gets out of order better stand in line for some kind of disciplinary actions from the Black Panther Party.”
Activists of the time said this of such threats, “The contempt shown SDS in this instance cannot be said to exemplify the conduct and attitude one has a right to expect (and demand) from anyone claiming to be revolutionary.” Isn’t this the same sort of failure of principles that the APLT condemned TACO for allegedly committing? But not the BPP?
Flores Forbe’s autobiography Will You Die With Me? and Elaine Brown’s A Taste of Power recount numerous other examples of unremolded lumpen behavior within the Party, such as the beating of Ike and Tina Turner and their band and back-up singers, when they refused to perform at a BPP event because of a disagreement over payment. Elaine Brown recounts her own experience of being beaten up by a Panther leader who she then had “mudholed” after she was promoted to National Chair of the Party. These abuses match and exceed anything we’ve heard alleged against Comrade TACO. But APLT members and supporters are able to overlook these excesses and errors by the original BPP members and claim to be following in their footsteps while banning TACO from any participation in the struggle for life. How is this consistent?
“Revolution is not a dinner party,” as Mao explained, “or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another.” Contradictions among the people are not a bad thing. In fact, without contradictions there can be no growth, no opportunity to build struggle, in fact there could be nothing at all. In mass political work, unity and struggle go hand in hand. To reach unity, we must engage in struggle. Our aim here is to struggle against erroneous lines on the handling of cadre, (building and testing our line in practice), to the end of achieving greater unity within our movement and on a higher level than we began with.
Within the prisons, where our work is concentrated, we are dealing with a predominantly lumpen element. It is where we all come from. Few, if any of us got here for having overdue library books or spitting on the sidewalk. Some of us did terrible things, but no one can change the past. We can only learn from it. Proletarians are revolutionary optimists. As Engels pointed out long ago: “The development of the proletariat proceeds everywhere amidst internal struggles. And when, like Marx and myself, one has fought harder all one’s life long against the alleged socialists than against anyone else (for we only regarded the bourgeoisie as class and hardly ever, involved ourselves in conflicts with individual bourgeois), one cannot greatly grieve that the inevitable struggle has broken out.” (Frederick Engels’ Letter to August Bebel, October 28, 1882.)
There are some disturbing trends in the Movement right now that we are concerned with. In part they reflect what has been dubbed as “Identity Politics” and “Post Modern Idealism” which smell a lot like COINTELPRO shit, intended to disunite and wreck the Movement. We see comrades who have contributed significantly to the struggle being targeted, attacked and declared persona non grata without a fair opportunity to defend themselves or attempt to rehabilitate themselves. Without a doubt, Comrade TACO has been under attack by the pigs and elements within the Black Movement. We cannot overlook that the accusations against him may be connected to these pig attacks, whether or not there is any truth to these allegations. As we have shown, he has not been afforded the entitled forum to defend himself, and therefore must be presumed innocent.
In all regards, we give credit to Comrade TACO and BRLP for the good work they have done and the accomplishments they have achieved. This does not, however, mean that we do not have criticisms and difference with them over ideological-political line, and we will voice these as appropriate in the course of two-line struggle between revolutionary formations. We congratulate them on their 20th anniversary and wish them continued successes. Their work has been inspirational to us, particularly in our decision to continue the legacy of the original BPP when we formed NABPP-PC in 2005. We are very grateful for the support they have given to political prisoners and the ground-breaking work they did with their “Watch-A-Pig” program in the oppressed communities and bringing together Bloods and Crips as a model for other ganged-up youth across the country.
In NABPP-PC, we strive to be “all-the-way revolutionary” not “revolutionary-but-gangsta” nor any other sort of “half-way” combination of bourgeois or petty-bourgeois idealism and revolutionary ideology that is popularized in the Movement today. We base ourselves on dialectical-materialism because we believe it to be the most advanced of the ideologies contending to lead the people in struggle. Where others “combine two into one,” we “divide one into two” and throw away what is counter-revolutionary and bourgeois. It is bourgeois ideology that “gums up the works” and produces liberalism. Dialectical-materialism is the “Science of Revolution” that has been forged in the fires of actual struggle by the revolutionary proletariat. We say “Pantherism is illuminated by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the theoretical and practical contributions of the original Black Panther Party and allied formations.”
In spite of the short-comings of Huey Newton as a leader, and I have touched on some of them here, he was a great revolutionary and made some important contributions to the “Science of Revolution.” In particular, his “Theory of Revolutionary Intercommunalism” broke new ground and will have great impact on the struggle in the 21st Century. Huey summed up that nationalism no longer had revolutionary application because capitalist-imperialism has rendered independent nations obsolete, in short, it has made the world too small for it, and we can’t go back. It would be reactionary to attempt it, in any case. We can only go forward, and that is a good thing!
The United States is no longer a nation but a globe-reaching capitalist empire attempting to consolidate its global hegemony, and the principal contradiction in the world at this stage is between Empire’s need to consolidate its global hegemony and the chaos and anarchy it is unleashing by attempting to do so. This is what is sharpening all the contradictions in the world and moving us to a revolutionary situation worldwide. Our aim is therefore to build a worldwide united front against capitalist-imperialism, racism and police state repression, and this is what we are doing in the prisons and calling for people to do in the oppressed communities worldwide.
As Huey explained, capitalist-imperialism can no longer profitably exploit a majority of the people as workers. This surplus labor power has become unemployable under the system of private ownership of the means of production. The “War on the Poor,” which is global, can only be ended by World Proletarian Socialist Revolution. The ranks of the lumpen-proletariat will continue to swell as working people are forced to survive by any means necessary and therefore the lumpen will by necessity become the main force in the revolution, but it is the ideology of the revolutionary proletariat that must lead us to become “all-the-way revolutionary” and defeat the system of capitalist-imperialism. Lumpen literally means “broken” or “raggedy.” Hustling and the lumpen lifestyle pulls us to a “raggedy” version of bourgeois ideology and a practice of exploiting the people in various ways.
It is only by overcoming this “broken,” lumpen, world view through ideological remolding and becoming “all-the-way revolutionary” that we can lead the masses, not just the Black masses, and the Brown masses, but the overwhelming majority of the masses of every color and every country in the world to unite and rise up to defeat the capitalist-imperialist ruling class and their lackeys and Seize the Time! We must transform ourselves into the vanguard of the world revolution, because we are in the strategic place – the Belly of the Beast! As Mao pointed out:
“Our comrades must understand that ideological remolding involves long-term, patient and painstaking work, and they must not attempt to change people’s ideology, which has been shaped over decades of life, by giving a few lectures or by holding a few meetings. Persuasion, not compulsion, is the only way to convince them. Compulsion will never result in convincing them. To try to convince them by force simply won’t work. This kind of method is permissible in dealing with the enemy, but absolutely impermissible in dealing with comrades or friends.”
We believe that the BRLP and other “New Generation Black Panther” formations can play a very important role in all this. As Mao explained:
“The speedy development of the struggle of the American Negroes is a manifestation of the constant sharpening of class struggle and national struggle within the United States; it has been causing increasingly grave anxiety to the U.S. ruling clique…. At present, it is the handful of imperialists, headed by the United States, and their supporters, the reactionaries in different countries, who are carrying out oppression, aggression and intimidation against the overwhelming majority of the nations and peoples of the world. They are the minority, and we are the majority. At most they make up less than ten percent of the 3,000 million people of the world. I am deeply convinced that, with the support of more than ninety per cent of the people of the world, the just struggle of the American Negroes will certainly be victorious. The evil system of colonialism and imperialism grew on along with the enslavement of the Negroes and the trade in Negroes; it will surely come to its end with the thorough emancipation of the black people.”
Further he Explained:
“At present, the world revolution has entered a great new era. The struggle of the Black people in the United States for emancipation is a component part of the general struggle of all the people of the world against U.S. imperialism, a component part of the contemporary world revolution. I call on the workers, peasants, and revolutionary intellectuals of all countries and all who are willing to fight against U.S. imperialism to take action and extend strong support to the struggle of the Black people in the United States! People of the whole world, unite still more closely and launch a sustained and vigorous offensive against our common enemy, U.S. imperialism, and its accomplices! It can be said with certainty that the complete collapse of colonialism, imperialism, and all systems of exploitation, and the complete emancipation of all the oppressed peoples and nations of the world are not far off.”
It is in this context that we must struggle to transform the ‘slave pens of oppression’ into ‘schools of liberation’ and the oppressed communities into ‘base areas of cultural, social and political revolution.’ Veteran comrades like Gen. TACO are valuable assets and should not be discarded if they have made mistakes, rather they should be protected and if necessary rehabilitated. Panther Love should guide us and not a mean vindictive spirit.
Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the People!
 Mao Tse-tung, “Talk at an Enlarged Central Work Conference,” January 30, 1962.
 The BRLP account themselves to be “the New Generation Black Panther Party.”
 Mao Tse-tung, “Combat Liberalism,” September 7, 1937.
 Kwame Nkrumah, “African Socialism Revisited,” Paper read at the Africa Seminar held in Cairo at the invitation of the two organs At-Talia and Problems of Peace and Socialism. Revolutionary Path, (International Publishers, 1967), pps. 438-445.
 Several accounts have been given of these Elders Councils in African communal societies, see, Oginga Odinga, Not Yet Uhuru: The Autobiography of Oginga Odinga (New York, Hill and Wang 1967), p. 12, and Auberon Waugh and Suzanna Cronja, Biafra: Britain’s Shame (London: Michael Joseph, Ltd.) pp. 22-23.
 For descriptive accounts of mass hearings as they developed during the Chinese Revolution see, Willian Hinton, Fanshen: A Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village (New York: Monthly Review Press, 2008), especially Part IV.
 Op. cit., note 1.
 Elbert “Big Man” Howard, “Concerning Reactionaries and Thugs: The New Black Panther Party,” San Francisco Bay View, Vol. 40, No. 9 (September, 2015) pp. 1, 19.
 Tim Weiner, Enemies: A History of the FBI, (2012), p. 271.
 Brian Glick, War at Home: Covert action against U.S. activists and what we can do about it (South End Press Pamphlet Series), 1989.
 Mike Novick, “On the Black Riders, Revolutionary Intercommunalism and the Way Forward,” Turning the Tide, Vol. 27, No. 2 (April-June 2014).
 Mao Tse-tung, To Be Attacked by the Enemy is Not a Bad Thing but a Good Thing [On the Third Anniversary of the Founding of the Chinese people’s Anti-Japanese Military and Political College], May 26, 1939.
 Op. cit., note 11.
 Bobby Seale, Seize the Time: The Story of the Black Panther Party and Huey P. Newton (Baltimore: Black Classic Press, 1991) p. 30.
 Ibid, p. 64.
 Sundiata Acoli, “A Brief History of the Black Panther Party and its place in the Black Liberation Movement in Amerika,” 1985.
 Thandisizwa Chimurenga, “Who Will Protect and Defend Black Life? The Black Panthers Had the Right Idea,” San Francisco Bay View, Vol. 41, No. 1 (January 2015) pp. 6, 9.
 J.T. Rice, Up on Madison, Down on 75th, Part One, pamphlet (Evanston, Ill.: The Committee, 1983) p. 23.
 Kirkpatrick Sale, SDS (New York: Vintage Books, 1974) p. 591.
 Ibid, p. 590.
 Flores Forbes, Will You Die with Me? My Life in the Black Panther Party (New York: Atria, 2006).
 Elaine Brown, A Taste of Power: A Black Woman’s Story (New York: Pantheon, 1992).
 Ibid, pp. 339-340.
 Ibid, pp. 308-313.
 Mao Tse-tung, Quotations from Mao Tse Tung, Chapter 2.
 Ibid, Chapter 13.
 Mao Tse-tung, Oppose Racial Discrimination by U.S. Imperialism: “Statement Supporting the Afro-Americans in Their Just Struggle Against Racial Discrimination by U.S. Imperialism” (August 8, 1963).
 Mao Tse-tung, A New Storm Against Imperialism: “Statement by Comrade Mao Tse-tung, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, in Support of the Afro-American Struggle Against Violent Repression” (April 16, 1968).
PANTHERS VS. PIGS AND ALLIGATORS
Reprinted from Black Riders: African Intercommunal News Service, Vol. 9, No. 1 (Spring 2016)
Revolutionary Greetings! Today we want to educate our people on a different type of warfare being waged on Black people. This type of attack is not new but historically has been very effective in attempting to disrupt, paralyze, weaken, and cause an utter meltdown in many Black militant formations. This type of attack was used by COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program), which was a secret plan designed by the racist FBI and other pigs to destroy the original Black Panther Party that started in 1966. This type of attack gains strength and mobility from us being brainwashed as a people by the racist oppressors to NOT trust other Black People.
What is this type of attack – well, it is the “CHARACTER ASSASSINATION ATTACK!” This attack has proven to sometimes be more effective than a physical attack, for it presses on the one thing we lack as a people – “True Trust!” Now take this weakness and compound it with our inability to separate a good leader from a miracle worker messiah, and we are left with a near perfect recipe for a racist created disaster.
This attack is most preferred by our racist enemies and their sell-out house negro puppets, because it reduces or eliminates the Black masses uprising as blow back for an actual physical assassination. Sometimes, as Malcolm X’s grandson, Malcolm Shabazz, suffered and spoke on, “CHARACTER ASSASSINATION leads to PHYSICAL ASSASSINATION!” This is similar to what Tupac Shakur went through when our racist enemy set him up and sent him to jail on trumped up charges. The racist enemy in our generation has learned from the 60’s that outright PHYSICAL ASSASSINATION creates revolutionary heroes and martyrs of the movement, propelling Black people to higher level of Black Consciousness and revolutionary activities, so they try to avoid this at all costs. In our generation the racist enemy has also been known to physical remove our strong leaders by causing sickness like strokes, heart failures, brain aneurisms, malaria, cancer, etc. The racist enemy will attempt to create hostilities between one Black militant formation and another Black militant formation to physically remove a targeted strong individual or individuals, especially in Los Angeles, where historically original Black Panthers Bunchy Carter and John Huggins were ASSASSINATED.
This racist enemy will send a “paid agent” female or male, to get close to the strongest and most outspoken among us. They will usually will try to gain the CON-fidence of the intended FBI target in the Black community. Once this is done, then the paid operative(s) will begin to spread lies on FED-book or Instigram social media to spin a tangled web of half-truths, rumors, lies, and FAKE ALLEGATIONS that will attempt to eat away at the moral fibers of the Black militant formation. Also, we live in a racist society so because of racist conditioning we have very little patience for a true investigation, so we simply react to what is fed to us on the bandwagon of distrust. Let’s look at the people who have been slandered without a strong stitch of real substantial evidence!!! Be very mindful of this, Black American Family! Look at the patterns. Every time one of us steps up and stands up for our people, they are looked at differently and sometimes looked at as “out of their minds.”
Then ask, 1. Who are the people who are making these outlandish claims? 2. What are they doing now? 3. Where did they come from? 4. How long have they been here? 5. Are these people a part of the problem or a part of the solution, which is Armed Revolution and the salvation of the Black Nation?
Let’s try to avoid reacting in an attempt to show our so-called NOBILITY – lol – We must avoid just hopping on the band wagon of distrust and a first class ticket to self-redemption, by attempting to cleanse yourself of cowardice and guilt, in the blood of a strong leader like General T.A.C.O. and your failure to help lead people through sincere inspiration and information to wake up, clean up, and stand up for Black freedom. WE RIDE WITH GENERAL T.A.C.O. (Taking All Capitalists Out). Black Riders, Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop! Alligators, the People just don’t believe ya’ll! Don’t politically hate just Educate and Congratulate! It’s our 20-year Anniversary, and the Black Riders National Expansion!!!
Written collectively by: Sister Laalaa Shakur, Sister Etana Shakur, Sister Aryanna Shakur, Sister Khalifa, Sister Fiyizah
P.S. Alligator- n. An opportunistic, deceptive, ill-natured creature, that dwells at the bottom of the swamp, awaiting the moment to pull a Black Panther below the surface to discredit, disturb, disrupt and destroy the progress of the Panther. Makes allegations against the Panther to portray themselves as the victims of an unprovoked attack by the Panther. Quote from M.O.P. – E. Da Ref.
“A Pig is an ill-mannered beast who has no respect for law and order, a foul traducer who’s usually found masquerading as a victim of an unprovoked attack.” – Quote from O.G. Panthers