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Repression breeds resistance: The black liberation army and the radical legacy of the black panther party

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Abstract

Recent scholarship argues the Black Panther Party (BPP) existed from 1966 to 1982. Many activists and scholars argue that the BPP only existed as a revolutionary organization from 1966 until 1971, in the initial period of its existence. A significant part of the BPP's legacy is the development of and participation in armed resistance in response to a governmental counter‐insurgency campaign. As some BPP members committed themselves to involvement in clandestine resistance, this radical response accelerated the development of the armed movement called the Black Liberation Army. The focus of this study is to examine the influence and participation of BPP members and supporters on the revolutionary armed movement, the Black Liberation Army. This study asserts the activity of the radical faction of the BPP through the form of the Black Liberation Army existed just as long as the Oakland‐based Panthers, perhaps longer since it has current manifestations.
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... If mass entryism and subsequent separation with the War on Poverty had been attempted at an earlier stage in the Party's development, it is possible that the project would have yielded different results and grown the Party's forces. But at this stage in its history, its membership was in steep decline, the organization had fragmented into militarist (Umoja, 1999) and social-democratic (Spencer, 2016, 173-176) currents, and the creative militant passion which had driven its previous organizational experiments in mass anti-state subjectivation had dispersed. ...
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This article analyzes a series of encounters between the Black Panther Party and the U.S. government’s War on Poverty, beginning with the Party’s foundation in a North Oakland anti-poverty office in 1966, and culminating with the resignation of six Party members from elected positions on a West Oakland anti-poverty board in 1973. The essay theorizes these encounters as moments in an antagonistic process whereby the Party sought to separate from and launch incursions into the state’s anti-poverty apparatus, which had been established in the mid-1960s by a discrete stratum of state managers who sought to transform riotous energy into labor-power. This essay understands articles published in the Party’s newspaper, documents from its archive, and records of its community service practice as components of an ideological struggle which sought to reproduce anti-capitalist social relations on an extended scale. On the basis of this historical case study, the essay argues that the autonomy of radical social movement organizations from the state should be understood as a process rather than a status. It shows how social movements which view the state as an enemy can struggle in “close-quarters antagonism” within and against it. It situates this argument in relation to debates within the critical social sciences and state theory, and it considers the political and theoretical repercussions of this hypothesis for radical movements which confront the state apparatus of non-profit organizations today.
... This era is by far the most discussed within the literature and seen by some as the "revolutionary" period of the BPP (Courtwright, 1974;Umoja, 2001). These were the radical years where many members were arrested, and violence between police and the Panthers was rampant. ...
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... inflamaram (Ervin, 1995). (Umoja, 1999 inquestionável. O fato de ser de base comunitária era um aspecto bom" (Balagoon, 1971, p. 270 (Balagoon, 2001: Ervin, 1994 (Ervin, 1993 (Ervin, 1993, p. 92 (Ervin, 1993). ...
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This essay traces the emergence of the carceral warfare project, a clandestine campaign to infuse US prisons with the logics and techniques of counterinsurgency. First exposed by Black Liberation Army member Dhoruba bin-Wahad, the project came into being between 1970 and 1978. The article begins by discussing the theory undergirding the carceral warfare project, a reactionary idea known as “the issue exploitation thesis.” Starting in 1970, seasoned cold warriors renovated their long-standing arguments against communism for application against imprisoned Black revolutionaries. Next, the FBI’s little-known Prison Activists Surveillance Program (PRISACTS) is discussed. Focusing on the words and deeds of George Jackson and Donald Bordenkircher—two central figures positioned on opposite sides of the struggle—the essay shows how the bureau used PRISACTS to treat carceral spaces as zones of counterrevolutionary warfare. Although the FBI officially discontinued PRISACTS in 1976, the final section argues that the FBI’s counterrevolutionary methodology had already been integrated into state prison systems by this date. Ultimately, this essay demonstrates that through prisons, internal security operatives engage in a plausibly deniable form of counterinsurgency warfare that seeks to isolate political prisoners from each other, from the general prison population, from their outside networks of support, and even alienates them from themselves.
Article
The guerilla war that the Black Liberation Army waged against the United States in the late 1960s, 1970s, and early 1980s was part of a multifaceted struggle to redress Black dispossession which has been waged since the first Africans landed in the “New” World.ii But the political trials of BLA soldiers marked an unprecedented moment in the history of that struggle; a moment when it became de rigueur for revolutionaries to refuse the role of defendant and assume (while still in custody and often handcuffed) the role of prosecutor and judge—with the public gallery as jury. This shift comprised an unparalleled inversion of jurisprudential casting in which the court itself (and by extension the U.S. government) became defendants. Assata Shakur recalls how brothers and sisters came to her trial every day to “watch the circus.” Her narrative paints a vibrant picture of an intra-mural conversation between Black folks from all walks of life, for whom the court and the trials functioned much like backwoods churches did during slavery. A courtroom of people who joined the defendants in their refusal to rise when the judge came in; folks giving each other the Black Power salute in full view of the U.S. Marshals; Black Muslim men and women spreading their prayer rugs in the corridors of the court and praying to Allah; Black parents explaining the underlying racism of the American legal system to their children. As the judge entered the courtroom, one such well-educated child looked up and said, “Mommy, is that the fascist pig?” to the laughter and applause of the gallery (Assata 212).
Chapter
Within the American Black Movement, the Black Panther Party (BPP) became the most prominent and influential organization of the 1960s and 1970s. The movement initiated in Oakland (California) and captured the attention of politicians, journalists, intellectuals, and scholars. From a documentary corpus that shows its protagonists' perspective, this chapter aims to focus on the actions, goals, and development of the Black Panthers: what they did, how and why they did it, and what they represented to the Black freedom struggle. It offers an analysis of their tactics and strategies of struggle against police brutality, poor housing and living conditions, unemployment, poverty, and structural racism. The authors aim to show how the BPP went from being a local grassroots organization to a national and highly popular political party for collective action, much more complex and influential than what the collective memory and the dominant historiography have shown.
Article
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Social movements often become spaces for learning, although this type of learning has been overlooked by activists and scholars alike. Analysing the case of the collapsed Anti-Privatisation Forum (APF), the article submits that the APF was not only an organisation that challenged privatisation, but also a learning space for activists from middle-class and working-class backgrounds. Non-formal educational platforms, such as political education workshops, organisational and practical skill training sessions, and campaigns, organised by the APF and its partner organisations, were instrumental in transferring skills to community-based activists. After the demise of the APF, its activists applied the skills and competences they had acquired to continue advancing social and economic justice in other organisations. Furthermore, community-based activists educated middle-class activists about the conditions of working-class communities and the challenges of building working-class movements in post-apartheid South Africa.
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This chapter examines truthfulness, or veracity, in the context of health care services within prisons, jails, and detention facilities in the United States. Mainstream discussions of bioethics often highlight the general importance of veracity within the patient-provider relationship, including providers’ obligations and constraints with respect to telling the truth to their patients, and, to a lesser extent, patients’ responsibilities and concerns regarding truthful reporting to their providers. However, a great deal of this literature largely overlooks how structural barriers to health care impact the functions of veracity in the provision of health care—including racist and sexist biases in clinical judgment, inadequate staffing, infrastructure, and accessibility in medical facilities, and institutionally specific constraints. Through an analysis of Assata Shakur’s political autobiography, this chapter focuses on such structural barriers to health care in carceral facilities with a focus on the institutionally specific constraints that arise through the punitive aims of carceral facilities. By focusing on the intersection between punishment and health, this chapter argues that bioethicists and clinicians alike would be better equipped to analyze structural barriers to health care that exist both within and beyond prison walls through a nonideal approach.
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Sumario: Sit-ins -- Getting organized -- Freedom rides -- Radical cadre in McComb -- The Albany movement -- Sustaining the struggle -- March on Washington -- Planning for confrontation -- Mississippi challenge -- Waveland retreat -- Breaking new ground -- The new left -- Racial separatism -- Black power -- Internal conflicts -- White repression -- Seeking new allies -- Decline of black radicalism
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--Emory University, 1996. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 247-259). Microfilm of typescript. s
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Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of California, Santa Cruz. Bibliography: p. 167-175. Photocopy. s
New Afrikan: Organ of the Provisional Government of the Republic of
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In US-Brinks' Trial New Afrika Wins!," New Afrikan: Organ of the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika 9:3 (1983), p. 3.
Downloaded by [University of Otago
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Black People, My People! My Name is Fulani-Ali Arm the Spirit: A Revolutionary Prisoners Newspaper 14 (Fall 1982), p. 6. 95 Silvia BaraldiniSilvia Baraldini: Italian National Political Prisoner," in Can't ]ail the Spirit: Political Prisoners in U
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The New Urban GuerillaOn the Expulsion of Geronimo from the Black Panther Parly The Black Panther
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Kenneth O'Reilly, Racial Matters: The FBI's Secret File on Black America (New York: Free Press, 1989), p. 320. 39 Geronimo Pratt (ji Jaga), "The New Urban Guerilla," in Humanity, Freedom, Peace (Los Angeles: Revolutionary Peoples Communication, 1972), p. 26. *° Huey Newton, "On the Expulsion of Geronimo from the Black Panther Parly," The Black Panther (January 23, 1971), p. 7. Downloaded by [University of Otago] at 17:35 06 January 2015 47 On February 26, 1971, Newton arranged a telephone conversation with Cleaver on a San Francisco television show.
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