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Old 03-12-2006, 10:59 AM   #1
lord patch
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Default >>INTERVIEW: bobby l. rush on Fred Hampton

http://bc.indymedia.org/newswire/dis...4733/index.php

>>INTERVIEW: bobby l. rush


Fred Hampton deserved and deserves this street renaming honor. Fred Hampton was the most dynamic, articulate, courageous man that I have ever known...Fred Hampton was assassinated for political reasons and those same forces are responding to this iniative for political reasons....The Black Panther Party was a group young men and women who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, fought to house the homeless and spoke up and put their lives on the line on injustice throughout this nation—including police injustice, police brutality, racial profiling and indeed police murder....



>>INTERVIEW: bobby l. rush
===========================

Congressman Bobby L. Rush
Press Conference Transcript: “I Support Chairman Fred Hampton Way”
February 28, 2006 – 2:30 p.m. * 3361 S. King Drive, Chicago


CONGRESSMAN RUSH: First of all I want to thank you all for coming out to this press conference. The purpose is to announce that I fully support the renaming of a stretch on Monroe Street as Chairman Fred Hampton Way.

I also want to announce that I will fight any attempt to not only challenge this effort but I will also will fight those who are attempting to re-write such an important part of the American and Chicago’s history.

Fred Hampton deserved and deserves this street renaming honor. Fred Hampton was the most dynamic, articulate, courageous man that I have ever known. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t miss him tremendously.

It is unfortunate that we still have individuals who just won’t let the past go. Fred Hampton was assassinated for political reasons and those same forces are responding to this iniative for political reasons.

Its kind of ironic to me that on this day when the headlines were blasted about the resistance of the police([search]) union that [that] same union leader was sitting in my office in Washington this morning pleading with my staff to support his and the unions activities at the federal level. It’s ironic and it’s disingenuous.

The Black Panther Party was a group of young men and women who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, fought to house the homeless and spoke up and put their lives on the line on injustice throughout this nation—including police injustice, police brutality, racial profiling and indeed police murder.

No matter what the police union or anybody else wants to say they cannot rewrite that history. I spent years, I spent hours, weeks and months working side by side with Fred Hampton and mark Clark and others and I’m not going to allow anyone to besmirch their legacy nor besmirch their contributions. We will fight to the end to make sure that this legislation, this ordinance passes the City Council.

I woke up this morning and it was on the front page of the newspaper. I didn’t seek this fight, I didn’t go looking for this fight, but I am determined to fight for this street designation until the bitter end. It will become a reality in the City of Chicago.

I call on all of my former colleagues in the City Council, those whom I worked with when I was a member (and) those who have come seeking my assistance and support since that time. I call on a broad coalition of members of the City Council to stand behind this ordinance and to fight to make sure it becomes a reality.

I ask that the sponsor of this legislation that she stands firm. Don’t buckle under the pressure and under the criticism. Stand tall, stand behind this ordinance. I will stand right beside her, and if necessary I will stand in front of her.

Again, I didn’t ask for this fight, I didn’t seek this fight, but I am determined to fight this fight until the bitter end.


QUESTION: Congressman, I need to ask you one question. Ald. Bernie Stone says he has a lot of respect for you, but to put a street sign up for someone who espoused murdering a police officer, he cannot support. He said all the good in the world doesn’t matter; you can’t honor someone who said off the pigs.

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: Well, I know Bernie Stone and I will sit down and talk with Bernie Stone. He cannot find a direct quote from Fred Hampton that I am aware of that would say those things that he has said Fred Hampton has said. Let me say this, I want to make sure it is clear. The Panther Party stood for self defense. Self defense against police forces throughout the nation that wantonly murdered and brutalized unarmed individuals in the Black community, particularly young Black men. At the time that the Panther Party was started it was a constitutional right. Fred Hampton was murdered while he was laid in his bed asleep next to his pregnant girlfriend. Our toxicologist, the Panthers’ toxicologist said that he had been drugged the night before. The police came in and shot 99 times into that apartment and the evidence from the grand jury indicated that possibly one shot was fired by the Panther Party.

He was politically assassinated.

QUESTION: Did he espouse violence against police officers?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: Let me tell you, he espoused self defense against police officers. I espoused self defense against police officers. I am telling you that what Fred Hampton did was exercise his constitutional right to free speech. [Press attempts to interrupt] And, let me just say this… because he sacrificed his life Chicago is a better city today. Because he sacrificed his life, the police department is even a better police department. Because he sacrificed his life the community that I love and live in is a better community. That’s the bottom line. And, I also believe those in the City Council who think clearly about these issues will support this ordinance and it will become the law of the city and we will be able to put up a sign on Monroe Avenue naming it Chairman Fred Hampton Way.

QUESTION: Congressman there are quotes. In fact the Sun Times mentions several quotes today. One, “you touch this (blank) program, I’ll blow your head off, I’ll blow your head off…” The other one is “we are at war with the pigs…” Those who of us who were around remember the Black Panther coloring books that indicated that they should kill police officers, showed police officers being killed. Congressman, whatever happened over there it was incendiary of the Chicago Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police Says there are a lot of other people we would rather recognize.

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: Dick, let me just say you can’t ever, you can’t show where there was any official Black Panther Party certification or endorsement of any coloring book or any other… The 60s as you recall, because some of you were there, were very incendiary times. A lot of rhetoric passed back and forth. But Fred Hampton gave his life for this community for this city, and for the poor and down trodden. Bottom line, he was assassinated politically by members of the Chicago Police Department. They ultimately were acquitted, but had to settle the civil suit because they were in the wrong. The police in the federal grand jury report proved that they were wrong. This is a distinct honor for our community and we’re going to fight to see that it culminates in the passing of this particular ordinance.

QUESTION: Did you talk to the alderman about this—Alderman Hitchcock?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: I haven’t talked with her as of yet, but I intend to talk with her soon. {Attempt at interruption} I haven’t had the opportunity yet, but I will be calling her.

QUESTION: Bobby why is this cause worth ripping open all those old racial wounds?

CONGESSMAN RUSH: Well, I don’t think it has. If it results in ripping apart old wounds then I think that the truth has to come out regardless of whether or not wounds get ripped open. I didn’t ask for this fight and I didn’t seek it, but I am committed to fight until the bitter end to see that it happens. I think that the president of the police union over reacted. I think the president of the police union can’t let go. There are some police officers who can’t let go, but the majority of the Chicago Police Department they are not against this particular ordinance. Because the Chicago Police Department is a better police department because of Fred Hampton and Mark Clark and others. Its more sensitive, more racially inclusive, we’ve got more minorities on the police force and more women on the police force and these are some of the things that Fred Hampton sacrificed his life for.

QUESTION: Congressman, let’s say you had been in that apartment on Monroe or on the night or morning hours of December 4th, what might have been your fate? And, secondly what would Fred Hampton be today had he lived.

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: Well, of course I would have either been wounded or killed. And if you remember the very next morning the Chicago Police Department came into my apartment at 2030 S. State early in the morning also. [They] shot my door down, looking for me. Had I been in my apartment the very next morning they would have killed me also. They said they were looking for weapons, which they didn’t find. They said that there was a bag of marijuana in my house which later the lab tests showed was a bag of bird seed. For those things, reasons like that they came to my apartment and they would have killed me. I wouldn’t be standing here today had it not been for the grace of God.

QUESTION: What would Fred Hampton had been if he had lived?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: If Fred Hampton had lived I would assume he would have either been a leader of one of the great churches of America; he would have been a lawyer. He aspired to be a lawyer. He would have probably been one of the best defense attorneys in the country ala some other great lawyers. I am sure he would have been one of America’s greatest lawyers had he not been murdered. He would have probably surpassed Johnnie Cochran as a great defense attorney. So, he was killed at the early age of 21 and frankly he was a remarkable man even at an early age. He was someone who had tremendous insight, tremendous talent, courage of a lion and he was a remarkable young man.

QUESTION: Bobby, you talk about the Fraternal Order of Police not being able to let go. The circumstances are that history will probably bear you out on the circumstances surrounding the killing of Fred Hampton, but here were policemen accused of murder and tried for it. And, how do you expect him to support him renaming a section of Monroe after police officers have been accused of murder?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: Well, you know, what he supports is really kind of immature to me. The fact is that we engaged in battle now. He’s got his forces and we’ve got what I believe is a community (and most folk in this city) who are behind us. It’s just unfortunate that he made the incendiary remarks that he made today and in today’s paper.

QUESTION: Have you talked to him>

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: No. He’s in Washington.

QUESTION: Did you know about the headlines at the time?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: No I did not know he had been in my office. I wasn’t scheduled to go into Washington until later on this evening. He was talking to my staff.

QUESTION: What was he seeking, pension help?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: I’m not sure; I don’t know the nature of the meeting.

QUESTION: Was it gun control?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: He comes in every year.

QUESTION: Are you going to be less inclined to cooperate with him given what he’s said.

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: He’s doesn’t represent the entire Chicago Police Department nor the feelings and attitudes of the Chicago Police Department.

QUESTION: Well Alderman Hitchcock has suggested to the Sun-Times that she didn’t want to offend the policemen, and if the police have a serious objection she may not even go through with it.

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: One of the purposes of this press conference is to tell her to go through with it. If she doesn’t go through with it we will see what can be done. But we’re not going to allow this particular issue to just die on the vine or dissipate. We intend to fight for this particular issue. I would ask and encourage and plead with the alderman who sponsored this legislation to stay firm, don’t back down, don’t buckle up—just stay firm. We’re behind her and we will be behind her—and that’s not easy for me to say in terms of Madeline Hitchcock, but I will be behind her 1,000 percent on this particular issue.

QUESTION: I understand this came from Fred Hampton’s son?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: Yes. I think that is what happened that’s right.

QUESTION: Now that this issue has been elevated, what do you think will be the reaction of Black Chicagoans?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: I think Black Chicagoans, Brown Chicagoans, White Chicagoans, Asian Chicagoans…I think that freedom loving people will stand together behind this alderman, behind myself and others who will fight to ensure this ordinance passes. I intend to go and reason with colleges. I’ve served with Bernie Stone, he is someone who has taken positions on controversial issues as it relates to those freedom fighters that he loves and respect and he’s gotten support from different quarters. And so, I am sure I can reason with Bernie Stone and if not we’ll get the 26 votes of 50 to pass this.

QUESTION: Are you going to be there tomorrow?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: I haven’t decided if I would be there or not. Possibly and probably.

QUESTION: Did you think Chicago had gotten passed this?

CONGRESSMAN RUSH: I really had. I know there will always be some recalcitrant and implacable individuals out there who would not or want to keep Chicago anchored to this checkered pass, however, I really thought this was…when I heard about it or read about it… I thought our city was better than this, that we could honor a man who really spent his young life feeding hungry children, fighting for justice, fighting for equality---a young man who epitomized commitment to people. Frankly, I thought that this would not be…and we would not be having this press conference at this point in time.

PRESS SECRETARY: This press conference has officially concluded. Thank you.

###

see also:


n Sunday, December 4th, 2005 the Native Youth Movement will be celebrating National Revolutionary Day by hosting Feed The People (F.T.P.) in Oppenheimer Park, Vancouver, BC. NYM members will be serving soup to homeless and street People in memory of Fred Hampton Sr.... -- "NYM Members Arrested, Harrassed and Interogated by INSET"


http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2005/12/46518.php

or

http://friendsofgrassynarrows.com/ad...e=F&itemtype=C

and


What's the most efficient way to deal with a 'freedom fighting revolutionary' who has a growing following? That's easy. Kill him! Unfortunately, we're not discussing some old Rambo knock-off, but instead a riveting b&w documentary that focuses on the short life of Fred Hampton, the founder of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, who, at the age of 21, was assassinated by a FBI-organized unit of the Chicago Police Department as he lay face down in his bed. Sadly, this powerful film is rarely screened nowadays, and if 'The Man' had his way, it never would've been released. -- "Documentary: THE MURDER OF FRED HAMPTON (1971)."

http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2005/10/44797.php

or

http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movie...ml?v_id=155135

and

see also:

"We have to understand very clearly that there's a man in our community called a capitalist. Sometimes he's Black and sometimes he's white. But that man has to be driven out of our community because anybody who comes into the community to make profit off of people by exploiting them can be defined as a capitalist....You know, a lot of people have hang-ups with the Party because the Party talks about a class struggle. We say primarily that the priority of this struggle is class...but there's three basic things that you got to do anytime you intend to have yourself a successful revolution. "-- fred hampton

http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2005/10/44159.php

or

http://www.magnolia.ch/MAGNOLIA/TIKI...html~mainFrame

and

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAhamptonF.htm

and

We have to understand very clearly that there's a man in our community called a capitalist. Sometimes he's Black and sometimes he's white. But that man has to be driven out of our community because anybody who comes into the community to make profit off of people by exploiting them can be defined as a capitalist....You know, a lot of people have hang-ups with the Party because the Party talks about a class struggle. We say primarily that the priority of this struggle is class...but there's three basic things that you got to do anytime you intend to have yourself a successful revolution. "


http://victoria.indymedia.org/news/2005/10/44159.php

and

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAhamptonF.htm

or

http://www.magnolia.ch/MAGNOLIA/TIKI...html~mainFrame
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