[Hpn] Fwd: [BRC-NEWS] Today's Protesters Must Learn From Past

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Tue, 01 Aug 2000 16:10:35 -0700

>Date: Mon, 31 Jul 2000 20:59:25 -0400
>From: Leone Hankey <lsandrah@aol.com>
>Reply-To: ReachBs@msn.com, seale@bobbyseale.com
>Subject: [BRC-NEWS] Today's Protesters Must Learn From Past
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>Philadelphia Inquirer
>July 30, 2000
>Today's Protesters Must Learn From Past
>By Bobby Seale <seale@bobbyseale.com>
>Right on time! The protest movement in America is alive,
>well organized, and kicking.
>What will happen at the Republican National Convention this
>week? Will there be riots, arrests, indictments and court
>trials? Let's hope not. For my anti-political-convention
>protest back in the day, I was put in jail. It was another
>time, but we seized it.
>Today's protesters have inherited an even greater burden of
>issues than we had in the '60s: global economic exploitation
>of the poor; human rights issues touching every single
>individual on earth; killer diseases; ecological
>degeneration and destruction.
>These protesters have picked up the mantle of our '60s era,
>but with their own updated perspectives: That we live in
>an overdeveloped, fast-paced, high-tech, computerized,
>globalizing social order, still controlled by too many
>avaricious corporate interests - whom the Republicans
>avowedly support with draconian policies and legislative
>Back in the '60s, for the same basic advocacy, my Black
>Panther Party organization alone wound up with 28 dead and
>68 wounded, with policemen at around 12 dead and 35 wounded.
>Thirty-two years later, I am living in Philadelphia, where
>many thousands of another generation of protesters promise
>to amass, march and demonstrate against the Republican
>Convention here in Philly, and later in Los Angeles.
>And I will be among the speakers.
>I'll be summing up how things are different today, so far,
>from the late '60s, when eight people, including myself,
>won, as Jerry Rubin so aptly put it, "The Academy Awards
>of Protest," which were to be indicted and subjected to
>a literal "political" trial - the great Chicago Eight
>conspiracy trial, which became the Chicago Seven after I
>was chained, gagged and shackled to a chair for three days
>in Judge Julius Hoffman's federal courtroom. Then the judge,
>rest his racist soul, severed me from the trial and
>sentenced me to four years.
>What do today's protesters need? Exactly what they've got
>at their disposal: the Internet, which allows activists to
>organize in a global but definitive way. Look at the success
>the Green Party has had in advocating its platform.
>The Internet can help us evolve a greater direct democracy,
>in which the people have more decision-making power in
>opposition to the too many bought politicians. Our two-
>party system, much outmoded, has allowed politicians to
>double-talk their way around the bottom-line, human-rights
>issues, while rubberstamping the concentration of political
>and economic power with the corporate-money rich.
>And there's a way of thinking today's protesters should
>adopt, especially suited for this new global reality. I call
>it the "non-linear analytical view." We must see how things
>are interconnected, interrelated and interdependent. That
>vision should guide the way we organize, the way we
>calculate the outcome of our liberation activity.
>It's a way of thought that reflects fact and science and yet
>encompasses all ethnocentric views. That's the way we were
>trying to think in our '60s coalition politics, crossing all
>racial, ideological and organizational lines. (Most people
>ignored this fact about us, preferring to think of us as a
>one-race advocacy group.)
>It's actually a way of seeing things as they are as
>comprehensively as possible. Such enlightened thinking
>is why the "pig" power structure attempted to terrorize us
>out of existence. You could find that kind of thinking in
>everyone from the Black Panther Party to the Rev. Dr. Martin
>Luther King Jr. It exemplifies effective protest, and there
>has never been a better time for such thinking than now.
>We did it then with our lives on the line. Today's protesters
>can do it on a higher, more profound global level today -
>all in the name of a future world of collaboration humanism,
>where decent relationships between peoples, nations, men and
>women and individuals and lifestyles, including all earth's
>essentialities, ultimately prevail.
>And be ready for arrests, charges, indictments and trials.
>They come with the territory.
>Bobby Seale, founding chairman and national organizer of the
>Black Panther Party, is author of "Seize the Time." His Web
>site is <http://www.BobbySeale.com> and his e-mail addresses
>are <ReachBs@msn.com> and <seale@bobbyseale.com>.
>Copyright (c) 2000 Philadelphia Newspapers, Inc.
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