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Black Panthers = Occupy =Terrorists?

By       Message Douglas C. Smyth     Permalink
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Some of us remember Fred Hampton. He was a Black Panther in Chicago, a rising personality in the Black Panther Party when he was murdered. He was murdered by a tactical unit of the Cook County's Attorney General's office, in an attack planned and initiated by the FBI.

Dangerous, we were told, shooting back when the police raided, at 3 AM. Actually, one Black Panther, who was on watch, fired only one shot. He shot it reflexively, in his death throes. Fred Hampton was shot four times in the head, while he slept, drugged by an informant.

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Hoover had it in for the Panthers. He ordered Cointelpro to go after them regardless of any facts: he was sure they were violent revolutionaries who threatened the nation--uppity blacks with their free schools and their breakfast program for hungry youth in the ghettos.

Now, FOIAs provided to the Partnership For Civil Justice Fund have revealed that the FBI was about to do it again, this time to Occupy activists. Only this time, they were going to assassinate leaders--not that there were any--with snipers! The plot was never carried out, but it clearly was in the planning stages. Why?

This was in 2011, when Occupy was just beginning and was primarily 'occupying Wall Street.' In the memos, they treat the protesters as if they were potential terrorists or revolutionaries. Hoover, remember, was concerned that the Black Panther Party was going to foment a revolution for radical change.

Did FBI agents in the hierarchy see the Occupiers as similarly threatening? The BPP had been armed; it had emerged, at least in part, from violence in the black ghettos, so guns were to be expected. But the OWS was largely white, even middle class, and except for the black bloc, determinedly non-violent.

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Yet, the FBI was going to kill the leaders "via suppressed sniper rifles." Later, it seems clear, there was a nationally coordinated effort, probably at least aided by the FBI, to close down the encampments, peacefully or not.

Again, why?

Occupy popularized consciousness of the extreme inequality of wealth growing in the US. It also protested the bailouts that aided Wall Street, but few others. Their ideas were potentially revolutionary, but they had no revolutionary program; they had no program, at all.

Still, the FBI saw them as such a threat, they were going to assassinate the leaders!

Some Occupiers spoke of revolution: we had one stay with us for four days; too long, but their ideas were for the kind of non-violent change that made sense--unless you felt the wealthy must be defended at all costs.

The FBI plotting reveals which people they're really defending: it ain't you and me. It's the wealthy: Occupy identified them as "the One Percent."

Maybe their protectors are pulling Obama's strings, too. That might explain a lot.

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I am a writer and retired college teacher. I taught college courses in Economics and Political Science (I've a Ph.D) and I've written as a free-lancer for various publications.

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