Counter Attack. New Haven: New Haven Panther Defense Committee, May 1970.
Insert abstract here....
POWER TO THE PEOPLE
"We live today in a system that is in the last stages of the protracted process of breaking
up on a worldwide basis. The rulers of this system have their hands full. Injustice is being
challenged at every turn and on every level. The ruler perceive the greatest threat to be the
national liberation movements around the world, particularly in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
In order for them to wage wars of suppression against these national liberation movements abroad,
they must have peace and stability and unanimity of purpose at home. But at home there is a
Trojan Horse, a Black Trojan Horse that has become aware of itself and is now struggling to get
on its feet. It, too, demands liberation."
Minister of Information
Black Panther Party
STATE OF THE MOVEMENT MESSAGE
Recent events in Cambodia, New Haven and finally now at Kent State University should come as no
surprise to anyone the least bit familiar with the policies, internal and external, of the United
States government. What the revolutionary movement in America has been talking about is the fact
that the people have no control over the government and that the government which exists in the
form of Nixons and Mitchells and Rockefellers does not serve the people but rather is designed to
perpetuate the monetary interests of these privileged few. The invasion of Vietnam by U.S.
imperialism was simply the broadening of the colonial domain, and for the most part we related to
U.S. aggression as an abstraction since we couldn't see it. The intensification of the Black
Liberation struggle here in AmeriKKKa began to bring the reality of U.S. aggression home, but this
too was an abstraction because AmeriKKKa is also racist and the domestic colony is real only to
But over the past few years the anti-war movement has been transformed into an anti-imperialist
movement. A movement founded on moralistic protest has evolved into a revolutionary body of
brothers and sisters bound together in their determination to defeat U.S. imperialism and follow
the example of their Black comrades. A movement has been forged where people are willing to die
in order to transform a system of exploitation and oppression, predicated on a morality relevant
to a select few, into a revolutionary society capable of implementing the ideas and beliefs of the
new man and the new woman. And we've found that with all The Man's bullshit, with all his fascist
tactics and his midnight gestapo raids, our movement has grown; that the revolutionary spirit of
the people has spread through all parts of the country and we've linked hands with our brothers
and sisters in Cuba and Vietnam, in Japan and Europe, wherever capitalism continues to exploit and
The gathering of revolutionaries in New Haven and the recent murders in Ohio have ripped away the
final mask from the face of the capitalist state. By the fall we can expect the total occupation
of university campuses throughout the United States by National Guard or Army or the like. The
broadening of the war in Asia is the broadening of the war at home. The resistance of the
Vietnamese people and by the Black Panther Party against U.S. imperialism abroad and fascism at
home, is now IN ACTUALITY our struggle also. We didn't see Watts or Detroit or Newark, but we
have all lived Berkeley, New Haven, Santa Barbara, Orangeburg, and now Kent.
The time for theorizing is over because the concepts we need to move on have all been laid out.
At this point the question is not whether to move or not, but rather how to move best. We must
develop the strategies which will allow us to destroy an economic and cultural system objectively
definable as racist, imperialist and fascist and we must develop the strategies and tactics which
will allow us to survive and build for the revolutionary future...
SEIZE THE TIME!
ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE
New Haven Panther Defense Committee
RAISING THE FIST
Over the past three weeks we have seen imperialist aggression and fascist repression clearly
defined as the foreign and domestic policies of the United States. What was once defined as the
issues of protest things like the Vietnamese War or civil rights, can now be seen as part and
parcel of an international system of exploitation and oppression whose sole design both abroad and
at home is to manipulate the mind and to debase the body for the purposes of capitalist plunder.
We have seen how the struggle for National Liberation; and, what was originally a struggle for
Black ‘civil rights' became defined as a struggle for National Liberation and self-determination
for all colonized people in America. As the events and situations at home and abroad have
intensified our understanding, our ability to comprehend and act upon the institutions which guide
and define the nature of imperialism and fascism has also increased. In fact the protest movement
which was typified by organizations such as SDS can now be seen in real terms as a mass-based
revolutionary movement. This is not the wishful thinking of movement organizers but rather the
everyday reality of North American Youth who have been dispossessed of all rights as human
beings. The movement which was seen in terms of organizational identities can now be seen in
terms of the revolutionary consciousness of the people. This is by no means accidental, but is
a direct result of the heightening of the contradictions here at home. So finally the movement
which in our heads is revolutionary must also be revolutionary in our bodies and the struggle
which was waged through analysis and issue clarification must now be waged in terms of guerilla
tactics and the spirit of the people. The system which we define as our enemy has shown itself
to be consistently unreceptive to our pleadings and totally unresponsive to our needs as human
beings. Peaceful protest has been met with shots in the back; massive protest has been met with
increased brutality and murders. In fact this system has shown itself to be so lacking of any
sense of morality whatsoever, that after all we have done, after so many people have held back
their rage, after so many of our brothers and sisters have been murdered and jailed, the
AmeriKKKan government has increased its racist genocidal policies against Black people and
against the Vietnamese and all Yellow People. The Yellow is not just China but all of Asia;
and is the Brown peril of Cuba and Puerto Rico and all of Latin America, and is the Black peril
of Africa and the mid-East and the ghettoes of Babylon, which as we all know now is the righteous
revolutionary spirit of all people everywhere Black, Brown, Red, Yellow and White. Revolutionary
thought and revolutionary action is the peril, is the plague of the ruling class, of the
privileged few; it is the death blow to all that oppress and exploit us, and now it is a wave of
energy that can never be stopped.
FUNCTIONAL DEFINITION OF POLITICS
Politics is war without bloodshed. War is politics with bloodshed. Politics has its particular
characteristics which differentiate if from war. When the peaceful means of politics are
exhausted and the people do not get what they want, politics are continued. Usually it ends up
in physical conflict which is called war, which is also political.
Because we lack political power, Black people are not free. Black reconstruction failed because
Black people did not have political and military power. The masses of Black people at the time
were very clear on the definition of political power. It is evident in the songs of Black people
at that time. In the songs it was stated that on the Day of Jubilee we'd have forty acres and two
mules. This was promised Black people by the Freedman's Bureau. This was freedom as far as the
Black masses were concerned.
The Talented Tenth at the time viewed freedom as operative in the political arena. Black people
did operate in the political arena during reconstruction. They were more educated than most of
the whites in the south. They had been educated in France, Canada, and England, and were very
qualified to serve in the political area. But yet, Black Reconstruction failed.
When one operates in the political arena, it is assumed that he has power or represents power; he
is symbolic of a powerful force. There are approximately three areas of power in the political
area: economic power, land power (feudal power) and military power. If Black people at the time
had received 40 acres and 2 mules, we would have developed a powerful force. Then we would have
chosen a representative to represent us in this political arena. Because Black people did not
receive the 40 acres and 2 mules, it was absurd to have a representative in the political arena.
When White people send a representative into the political arena, they have a power force or power
base that they represent. When White people, through their representatives, do not get what they
want, there is always a political consequence. This is evident in the fact that when the farmers
are not given an adequate price for their crops the economy will receive a political consequence.
They will let their crops rot in the field; they will not cooperate with other sectors of the
economy. To be political, you must have a political consequence when you do not receive your
desires - otherwise you are non-political.
When Black people send a representative, he is somewhat absurd because he represents no political
power. He does not represent land power because we do not own any land. He does not represent
economic or industrial power because Black people do not own the means of production. The only
way he can become political is to represent what is commonly called a military power - which the
Black Panther Party for Self-Defense calls Self-Defense Power. Black people can develop
Self-Defense Power by arming themselves from house to house, block to block, community to
community, throughout the nation. Then we will choose a political representative and he will
state to the power structure the desires of the black masses. If the desires are not met, the
power structure will receive a political consequence. We will make it economically non-profitable
for the power structure to go on with its oppressive ways. We will then negotiate as equals.
There will be a balance between the people who are economically powerful and the people who are
potentially economically destructive.
The White racist oppresses Black people not only for racist reasons but because it is also
economically profitable to do so. Black people must develop a power that will make it
non-profitable for racists to go on oppressing us. If the White racist imperialists in America
continue to wage war against all people of color throughout the world and also wage a civil war
against the Blacks here in America, it will be economically impossible for him to survive. We
must develop a strategy that will make his war campaigns non-profitable. This racist United
States operates with the motive of profit. He lifts the gun and escalates the war for profit
reasons. We will make him lower the guns because they will no longer serve his profit motive.
Every man is born, therefore he has a right to live, a right to share in the wealth. If he is
denied the right to work then he is denied the right to live. If he can't work, he deserves a
high standard of living, regardless of his education or skill. It should be up to the
administrators of the economic system to design a program for providing work or livelihood for
his people. To deny a man this is to deny him life. The controllers of the economic system are
obligated to furnish each man with a livelihood. If they cannot do this or if they will not do
this, they do not deserve the position of administrators. The means of production should be
taken away from them and placed in the people's hands, so that the people can organize them in
such a way as to provide themselves with a livelihood. The people will choose capable
administrators motivated by their sincere interest in the people's welfare and not the interest
of private property. The people will choose managers to control the means of production and the
land that is rightfully theirs. Until the people control the land and the means of production,
there will be no peace. Black people must control the destiny of their community.
Because Black people desire to determine their own destiny, they are constantly inflicted with
brutality from the occupying army, embodied in the police department. There is a great similarity
between the occupying army in Southeast Asia and the occupation of our communities by the racist
police. The armies are there not to protect the people of South Vietnam, but to brutalize and
oppress them for the interests of the selfish imperial power.
The police should be the people of the community in uniform. There should be no division or
conflict of interest between the people and the police. Once there is a division then the police
become the enemy of the people. The police should serve the interest of the people, and be one
and the same. When this principle breaks down, then the police become an occupying army. When
historically one race has oppressed another and policemen are recruited from the oppressor race to
patrol the communities of the oppressed people, an intolerable contradiction exists.
The racist dog policemen must withdraw immediately from our communities, cease their wanton murder
and brutality and torture of Black people, or face the wrath of the armed people.
Huey P. Newton
Minister of Defense
Black Panther Party