Power to the People Through the People: On The Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party And Community Councils (2021)


Occupy the Hood

Creating Community-Based Political Power

In “Organizing the People,”(1) we explained the role and structure of the basic mass organization, and how it relates to the Revolutionary Intercommunal Black Panther Party (RIBPP). We also explained that the aim of Revolutionary Intercommunalism is to organize the people at the community level to create base areas of cultural, social, and political revolution, and link the liberated communities together in an intercommunal network through which to build socialism on a global scale. The cultural and social aspects of our movement are as important as the political, though the political is the leading aspect. Our focus here is on the political.

To create local base areas of revolutionary political power, the people must have vehicles through which to seize and exercise political control over their communities. There must be an organizational form and structure through which they can seize and exercise dual and contending power that expresses their will in the communities where they live.

The bases of revolutionary intercommunal power at the local level is the Community Council (COMCO).


What Is COMCO?

The COMCO is a body of delegates that is periodically elected by all age-appropriate members of a given neighborhood, with set terms of office. It will assume full responsibility for local affairs. COMCO is itself a mass organization that serves as a parallel government in the oppressed communities, with control over justice and security and community-sponsored programs. It is the supervisory organ of government at the neighborhood level, recognized as such by the electorate below and a Regional Council (RC) above.

The COMCO will draft all local rules and regulations, arbitrate neighborhood disputes, and appoint neighborhood officers from contracting with the People’s Security Forces (PCF), to selecting a neighborhood head (chief elder), to selecting a People’s Guard (PG) captain (2), (we will discuss the development of security forces in a separate paper).

Most disputes should be resolvable by the neighborhood officers, or if not, by the COMCO. It should be only on the rarest occasions that problems are so complicated as to require resolution by the establishment’s courts. The communities should resolve their own problems without involving the state to the greatest extent possible. With neighborhood security forces in control, only with their escort should municipal police or officials be allowed into the neighborhoods, where conditions will be steadily and visibly improving due to programs instituted by the Party and the masses.

Once appointed, officers will administrate the neighborhoods in the name of the COMCO, carrying out its decisions and report routinely (periodically) to the COMCO concerning their area of responsibility. Officers who fail to perform their responsibilities satisfactorily should be removable by the Council at any time.

COMCO should be all-inclusive, representing all people from within the community, and composed of all local class strata, except those from the ruling class and the establishment.

The COMCOs will be part of a much wider government system to be accepted by the regional administrations as a future goal.


A Comprehensive People’s Government

The COMCO forms part of a comprehensive system of people’s government that actualizes revolutionary Pan Afrikanism and organizing all peoples, Black, Brown, and white, in revolutionary Pan-movements, which consolidate into a global revolutionary intercommunal system.

In “On Pan Afrikanism,”(2) we explain the interconnection between Revolutionary Intercommunalism and the revolutionary Pan-Afrikan, Pan-Asian, and Pan-European struggles. In elaborating this system of people’s government, for illustrative purposes we will focus on organizing Black people, but the principles apply the same way to Browns and whites as well, and will be carried out under leadership of the brown and white arms of the RIBPP—the RIBPOC and RIWPO.

The COMCOs sit at the base of a pyramid of representative Councils (Congresses) which will eventually find its apex in a later-Pan Afrikan Congress. Regional Councils (RC) and National Councils (NC) will constitute in-between layers.

Parts of the pyramid base will remain blank where many neighborhoods will be without COMCOs, and second and third levels of the pyramid will also be lacking in places. But since community base areas will be constantly expanding, the Councils will be constituted and consolidated at neighborhood, regional (municipal), state, national, and international levels.

When completed, the pyramid will cover places where New Afrikans and Afrikans are concentrated at these levels. Delegates to each higher level will be chosen by the one below. In this new system power will formally reside in the people. They have the right to elect governing bodies of the communities, the COMCOs, which in turn have the right to elect delegates to the RCs.

As entire neighborhoods are liberated and RCs formed and consolidated, the RCs will join together in electing delegates of the COMCOs representing all people of all democratic classes in all regions and municipalities. The COMCOs will converge to elect delegates to Pan Afrikan Congresses, which will map onto or constitute a Union of Soviet Afrikan Republics (USAR) congress.

The USAR will be the formal socialist Pan Afrikan state composed of all Afrikan people across the continent and Diaspora, which is also discussed in, “On Pan Afrikanism,” and will be explained in greater detail elsewhere.


Relationship between the Party and COMCOS

As previously stated, the COMCOs are mass organizations and the highest authority in the communities. They should have democratic bases in which RIBPP acts as a faction. Other factions will promote their own ideological and political views and programs. These Councils would, based upon internal struggle, represent the will of the people.

Party members must in any case obey the COMCOs’ decisions and carry them out. At the same time, the Party Unit must discuss and make up its own mind on important issues before the COMCOs, bring its own conclusions before the COMCO, and put them before other delegates for approval. If the other COMCO delegates support the Party’s opinions they will be implemented. If they oppose them, the Party Unit must reconsider and discuss the matter again. If the Unit still believes its decisions are correct and COMCO delegates still disagree, then the Unit can take the matter to higher Party bodies (namely the Branch).

Even if the Branch agrees with the Unit, it cannot recommend that the COMCO be overridden. The Branch can only advise the local Party Unit to persist in further elaboration and education on issues and await future COMCO agreement.

As for COMCO, it has its own higher body, the RC of the municipality, which is made up of delegates of COMCOs all over the city. If there are serious disagreements which cannot be resolved despite the foregoing attempts, they can be taken to higher bodies on both sides.

The Party, unlike the COMCOs, is not in a position to exercise government power in any form. Its authority is based on persuasion and example. While Party members can be elected to the COMCOs, no Party member can have more power than other delegates.


Dealing with Community Offenders

The COMCOs and the security and community service organizations under their control will address those who commit offenses against the communities, and act as a diversionary program that avoids involving the state.

The offender will seek the protection of the COMCO and agree to accept its judgment. The COMCO accepts responsibility for the offender and their rehabilitation.

The power of the COMCOs in this respect will lie in its ability to give the offender the choice of bowing to its authority (knowing s/he won’t do time) or facing the criminal courts on criminal charges. The COMCOs can expel and exile offenders from the community, levy fines and award restitution as in a “People’s court,” and order community service under conditions of probation, during which the COMCO reserves the right to withdraw its protection against the offender’s receiving criminal charges.

The intelligence section of the security force will work closely with the COMCO in interrogation of those brought before COMCO on charges. The idea is to turn people from lumpen to proletarian and enlist their cooperation in “cleaning up the hood.”

Community service should not be humiliating nor treated as punishment. It should involve the offender in serving the people through labor and conscious effort. They should be rewarded with positive attention and encouragement by the COMCO.

Part of community service would be political education conducted by the Party in a classroom setting and in discussion groups under the Party’s Education Ministry. Community service crews can perform work of cleaning up and beautifying the neighborhood, providing public health services, literary programs, tutoring, or any number of projects.

There should be created a Director of Community Services (DCS) under COMCO, and a staff of counselors attached to the Office of Community Service (OCS). Ex-offenders would make good counselors. They would act as a probationary officer to the offender, check on their work and see that they live by their agreement with the COMCO.

The counselor should befriend the offender and try to create a bond whereby the offender will look to the counselors for help and advice. The counselors will evaluate the person’s needs and skills, to recommend appropriate referrals and placements.

Organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and others must be enlisted to interface with the COMCO and assist in the rehabilitation effort. The person might also be on state probation or parole and the counselor will have to interface with state officers in this regard.

If this is tiered right the prisons will become strongholds of re-educators where lifers and long-timers can serve as deans and professors in the schools of liberation. The waves of short-timers will get a crash course in spiritual and political re-orientation.

This system of community based political power answers the needs of our oppressed communities, placing control into the hands of the people who live there, and building programmatically toward the achievement of global Revolutionary Intercommunalism.

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the People!



  1. Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “Organizing the People: On the PSO and Intermediate Organizations” (Part 1) (2021) http://rashidmod.com/?p=3006
  2. Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, “On Pan Afrikanism: Part One kf an Interview with Comrade Rashid by JR Valrey (Block Report Radio) htyp://rashidmod.com/?p=2525
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