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Stephen Shames

July 28, 1968 - Oakland, California, USA: Black Panther Chairman and co-founder Bobby Seale speaks at a Free Huey rally in Defermery Park (named by the Panthers Bobby Hutton Park) in West Oakland. Left of Seale is Bill Brent, who later went to Cuba. Right is Wilford Holiday, known as Captain Crutch. (Stephen Shames/Polaris) On October 28, 1967, Oakland police officer John Frey was shot to death in an altercation with Huey P. Newton during a traffic stop. In the stop, Newton and backup officer Herbert Heanes also suffered gunshot wounds. Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter at trial, but the conviction was later overturned. At the time, Newton claimed that he had been falsely accused, leading to the "Free Huey" campaign. This incident gained the party even wider recognition by the radical American left. Newton was released after three years, when his conviction was reversed on appeal. As Newton awaited trial, the Black Panther party's "Free Huey" campaign developed alliances with numerous individuals, students and anti-war activists, "advancing an anti-imperialist political ideology that linked the oppression of antiwar protestors to the oppression of blacks and Vietnamese".The "Free Huey" campaign attracted black power organizations, New Left groups, and other activist groups. The Black Panther Party collaborated with the Peace and Freedom Party, which sought to promote a strong antiwar and antiracist politics in opposition to the establishment democratic party. The Black Panther Party provided needed legitimacy to the Peace and Freedom Party's racial politics and in return received invaluable support for the "Free Huey" campaign. The Black Panther Party was one of the most influential responses to racism and inequality in American history. The Panthers advocated armed self-defense to counter police brutality, and initiated a program of patrolling the police with guns and law books. Their enduring legacy is their programs, like Free Breakfast for Child

July 28, 1968 – Oakland, California, USA: Black Panther Chairman and co-founder Bobby Seale speaks at a Free Huey rally in Defermery Park (named by the Panthers Bobby Hutton Park) in West Oakland. Left of Seale is Bill Brent, who later went to Cuba. Right is Wilford Holiday, known as Captain Crutch. (Stephen Shames/Polaris)
On October 28, 1967, Oakland police officer John Frey was shot to death in an altercation with Huey P. Newton during a traffic stop. In the stop, Newton and backup officer Herbert Heanes also suffered gunshot wounds. Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter at trial, but the conviction was later overturned. At the time, Newton claimed that he had been falsely accused, leading to the “Free Huey” campaign. This incident gained the party even wider recognition by the radical American left. Newton was released after three years, when his conviction was reversed on appeal.
As Newton awaited trial, the Black Panther party’s “Free Huey” campaign developed alliances with numerous individuals, students and anti-war activists, “advancing an anti-imperialist political ideology that linked the oppression of antiwar protestors to the oppression of blacks and Vietnamese”.The “Free Huey” campaign attracted black power organizations, New Left groups, and other activist groups. The Black Panther Party collaborated with the Peace and Freedom Party, which sought to promote a strong antiwar and antiracist politics in opposition to the establishment democratic party. The Black Panther Party provided needed legitimacy to the Peace and Freedom Party’s racial politics and in return received invaluable support for the “Free Huey” campaign.
The Black Panther Party was one of the most influential responses to racism and inequality in American history. The Panthers advocated armed self-defense to counter police brutality, and initiated a program of patrolling the police with guns and law books. Their enduring legacy is their programs, like Free Breakfast for Child

The Black Panthers
USA   www.stephenshames.com

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s founding by two college students, Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton following the assassination of Malcolm X in 1966, a group emblematic of the Black Power movement that helped shape the tumultuous years of the late 1960s and early 1970s, leading to the election of Barack Obama as America’s first black president. They remain cult heroes today, nearly 50 years after their founding. On the other hand, progress is not apparent in jobs, housing, the justice system. Black male youth are still at-risk. Efforts to feed children or give everyone access to good quality medical care, are under attack.

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