Dec. 4 marks the 40th assaination of Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark by Chicago policemen who pumped a one-way torresnt of more than 80 bullets into their apaprtment. The police could not have expected much resistance; Hampton was unconsciouss after being drugged by a police informant. Despite the one-sided slaughter, the police and other intelligence agencies involved were, as expected, absolved.
In the four decades since the murder of the charismatic, articulate and astute Hampton,
government repression has generally become more subtle–and more accepted as a result of the frenzy about terrorism since 9/11.
Police and military forces, armed to the teeth with the latest instruments of violence,have turned demonstrations against corporate globalization (eg., Pittsburgh’s recent G-20 protests, Seattle, Genoa, Miami, etc.) and the Iraq war (eg., the various political party conventions in the US) into wars against the exercise of civil liberties. Protesters have been ghettoized into distant, caged "protest zones" which thus officially marginalizes their messages. Meanwhile, the same docile media that facilitated US entry into wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (see valuable accounts of the major media’s miserable performance by FAIR, Michael Massing, Danny Schecter, Robert Scheer, Sheldon Rampton and John Stuaber, Frank Rich and others) has ignored the war against basic liberties for Americans speaking out against the crimes of the US empire.
The murder of Fred Hampton, more specifically, marked a key moment in the US government’s many-faceted war against the black liberation movement and should remind us of today’s dangers as well.