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At 4am on the morning of 4 December 1969, police raided a Chicago apartment, killing Hampton while he slept with two shots in the head. Another Panther leader, Mark Clark, was killed while sleeping in a chair in the living room.
According to a federal grand jury investigation, the police fired 90 shots in the apartment. Just one was fired at them in return, yet the Panthers who survived the onslaught, including Hampton’s eight-months-pregnant girlfriend, were charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault.
FBI director J Edgar Hoover described the Black Panthers as ‘the greatest threat to the internal security of the country’. Many of their members were gunned down by police before the organisation eventually disintegrated.
Black Panthers’ Ten Point Programme
1. We want power to determine the destiny of our black and oppressed communities.
2. We want full employment for our people.
3. We want an end to the robbery by the capitalists of our Black Community.
4. We want decent housing, fit for the shelter of human beings.
5. We want decent education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present-day society.
6. We want completely free health care for all black and oppressed people.
7. We want an immediate end to police brutality and murder of black people, other people of color, all oppressed people inside the United States.
8. We want an immediate end to all wars of aggression.
9. We want freedom for all black and oppressed people now held in US Federal, state, county, city and military prisons and jails. We want trials by a jury of peers for all persons charged with so-called crimes under the laws of this country.
10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, peace and people’s community control of modern technology.
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