Prison Radio
Mumia Abu-Jamal

“December in Chicago.”

It was an early morning in December, 1969. When a joint FBI-Chicago Police crew raided an apartment building ostensibly for weapons charges. In fact, they came to kill Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Chicago chapter of the Black Panther Party and the man chosen by the Party Central Committee to become the new Chief of Staff of the national organization.

Hampton, barely 21, would be shot to death in his bed, in his sleep. Also killed: Mark Clark, a captain from Peoria, Illinois, who was security for the apartment. The killing of Fred made him a martyr for blacks in Chicago and for Panthers across the nation. This year marks 50 years since his assassination. How many cops were sent to death row in Illinois for this most premeditated of murders in Chicago?

I think you know the answer: zero. Fred’s wife worked for black freedom movements for years. His son, sleeping in her belly while his father was assassinated by the state, became an outspoken freedom fighter for the black nation and Fred Hampton, though gone is not forgotten. He remains a martyred symbol of resistance.