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...how The Panthers Recovered

...how The Panthers Recovered image ...how The Panthers Recovered image
Parent Issue
Day
17
Month
May
Year
1974
OCR Text

rVl:Dr,sJ -+rM „ Hss? Tfunyz ZcaZc Itliiir ""'ca's l, ruggL "ave a f ' Or ;na ". nn I0 Vürf „"O the ' Ule Bh,„, . fttÉtÉËI ISSSS, LLas3S3L tísefcob2ub 7feí of të&L3%&ï Li,í?o :%L}L- "e Tl "One l'ivihi 'cüith, :&?3Sfc8L msc:?s W i"uh has , 'ftí tol? its êmmm sasssr .$ss ' San L 'sTi an ï " we ,. tíSK3fe? si" SI acers L?2SsS?aKí? aiSSiSÉk thf, f P'e r-o.. n' and k. ? tunan d pann," 22; ' 5s "Sí? S o' dOd 'v:Q' íaci. ' e 'fon, ,-. . 4mPW,"v ivai tri ,ncd:; mtig" ,? was ln ■ "s leSai :";a," than 3'"S Öav Jl eiv dcf (íheby } JÉËlÜs á$mmmm iSÍSc .Laa&ïKCs.iaR! 352S5? 'Wen, ZP''bli?Zthn "nainvZ,rlel J How the FBI Attacked the Black Panther Party continued from page 13 The documents lifted ín the Media heist reveal that the FBI received reports on the Panthers' most minute activities from informers. When the Cointelpro directores carne down the FBI regional offices split their intelligence gathering into tvvo divisions: squad No. 3 was designated the"OId Left" desk and squad No. 4 became the 'New Left" desk. Much of the FBI effort consisted of going to meetings, taking down ñames and recording conversations. One informer related in a memo that he visited a commune to attend a meeting but discovered it had been postponed.He was cordially invited to stay and talk. He reported, "All individuáis were sitting around discussing the coming Black Panther Party Conference and smoking marijuana... A meeting of the Women's Liberation group was being held in another room." Prior to the Panther convention the FBI issued a special 10 point list of instrucüons to informers. They were told to report names of participants, the convention agenda, contents of literature, plans for travel and housing, and the details of the security precautions. The Media papers also showed the close eooperatkm between the FBI and the Philadelphia pólice. AFTER PHILADELPHIA The pace of police-FBI activity was swift after the Philadefphia Panther convention. On September 1 6, the New Orfearfs headquarters of the NCCF was raided and 14 peopte held on charges of attempted murder of the pólice. A year later a jury found the defendants not guiity. On September 1 7, a Toledo, Ohio policeman was killed in a non-political incident, providing cause for an assault on the local NCCF office. Two blacks were wounded although no one returned the fire of the poli ce. In Detroit, the pólice and Panthers exchanged gunfire near the headquarters of the NCCF office. Twelve Panthers were charged with attempted murder. A year later a jury acquitted them although three of the defendents, were convicted of feionious assault in a scuffle with the pólice. On November 13, 1971 ten people were wounded in shooting between pólice and Panthers in Carbondale. Illinois and eleven days later pólice staged a predawn raid on a Panther house in Compton, California. These raids were the last in the series. Panther strength liad been seriously depleted by the attacks. The FBI program had successfully thwarted the rise of the Panthers with the help of many other pólice and governmental agencies. The Justice Department admitted that it maintained a special three-man "Panther watching team." In early 1971 the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations was reported to have prepared secret memos oit the Panthers for distribution to commanding offkers at Air Force bases. The Air Force reports were based on data received from the FBI. Still, it was the New York Panther trial (1971) which most clearly revealed the incredible extent of FBI involvement. The defendants were charged with conspiracy to blow up the Bronx Botanical Gardens, various department stores and pólice stations. The bail was set at $2 million. And what was revealed was an amazingiy complex network of agents provocateurs and undercover pólice infiltration. 'Information received by the New York City pólice led to their decisión to classify the organization as "hostilely subversive" according to two policemen who testified at the trial. Vincent Broderick, the former chief of the NYPD, stated at a 1971 conference on the FBI that there was a "direct relationship between the FBI and the Bureau of Special Services (BOSS)." BOSS is the intelligence unit of New York City's pólice, the spawning ground of John Caulfïeld and Anthony Ulasewicz. In 1968, BOSS agents founded the Black Panther Party chapter in New York. They diligently recruited a membership. Detective R. White, who testified under oath al the Panther trial that he was a member of the Party before any of the 21 defendants were, stated that he hired Lumumba Shakur and another defendant to work in a federally financed antipoverty office in the Bronx. The dynamite that was supposed to be used in the plot was supplied to the Panthers by an FBI informer, Roland Hayes. This fact emerged in pretrial hearings but the defense did not calliHayes, fearing that he might teil any story that suited him. Hayes had never told his fellow agents that he had planted the dynamite and the prosecution was as startled by his admission as was the defense. The 30-count indictment was based on the testimony of six undercover agents, one of whom admitted on the stand to being stoned when the Panther conspiracy was supposedly hatched. The most intriguing of the BOSS agents was Gene Roberts, an informer in black groups since 1964. Roberts testified that he had infiltrated the organization of Malcolm X, became his bodyguard and on the night of Malcolnrf s assissination in the Hotel Thersa administered mouth to mouth resuscitation to the dying black leader. Roberts said that he feared the pólice while pretending to be a Panther because his true identity was not known to them (the pólice): A shotgun blast might not discrimínate between agents and activists. Two other undercover agents testified that they recorded the conversations of Panthers with a tiny transistor machine hi'dden in their clothing. In April, 1971 the jury returned after an unusuaily brief deliberation. lt found the defendants not guilty of all charges. But by that time, several of the New York Panthers had skipped bail and the national organization had cracked in half. The pressures of the trials, külings and daring escapes out of the country to the fabled revolutionary land of Algeria, on the one hand, and the abject failure of the insurrectionary posture, on the other, reduced the Panthers from dramatic prominence to scattered isolation. The return of the Panthers to their Oakland lair was a protective, healing retreat. On March 1 , 1971 , Earl Caldwell report ed in the New York Times the results of a survey he had undertaken of the effect of pólice activity on the Panthers. He found the Panther Party "only a skeleton of what it was just a year ago." Stokely Carmichael, who had had his own private dispute with the Panthers, declared from his African exile, "The Panthers are practically finished." Some time in 1971 the Cointelpro program was bandea.