“I believe I’m going to die doing the things I was born to do. I believe I’m going to die high off the people. I believe I’m going to die a revolutionary in the international revolutionary proletarian struggle.”
– Fred Hampton
Fred Hampton was born August 30th, 1948. He was a pre-law student at Triton Junior College. He was the Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. He was a soldier for equality and an intellectual from the streets. He was a peacemaker among the gangs of Chicago. He was a gifted orator and organizer. He advocated and helped create alliances with the the Young Patriots, (White leftists), the Young Lords (Puerto Ricans), the Students For A Democratic Society, (nationwide leftist students), the Blackstone Ranger, (Black civil rights gang), the Brown Berets, (Chicano’s), and the Red Guard Party, (Asians). Hampton had brought together these various organizations who had so much in common under a “rainbow coalition”. It was probably this work in the unification of different peoples struggles that brought the attention of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI to Fred. In 1967 the FBI opened a file on Fred and in two short years Fred amassed a twelve volume four thousand page file.
J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI felt that the Black Panther Party were the number one threat to the internal security of the United States. He started an operation to destroy the Black Panthers and other organizations like it with a program called COINTELPRO, the COunter INtelligence PROgram. COINTELPRO infiltrated it’s way into organizations and worked to destroy them from the inside.
It’s no surprise that Fred Hampton was a target of Hoover’s COINTELPRO. On December 4th of 1969 a CONINTELPRO infiltrator William O’Neil who was Fred Hampton’s personal bodyguard had prepared a late night meal for Fred Hampton, Mark Clark, Deborah Johnson (who was due to give birth to Fred’s child in two weeks) and a few other Panthers who had come back from a political education meeting at a local church. WIlliam O’Neil had slipped a heavy barbiturate in the meal so that they would be defenseless against a planned raid by the police later that night. When the police stormed the apartment they came in firing 99 shots into the apartment. Fred and the other panthers were unable to defend themselves. Mark Clark who was asleep in a chair guarding Fred’s bedroom sat with a shotgun on his lap. When the police came in Mark was shot and killed almost immediately. Fred who was asleep was shot and wounded in the shoulder. Deborah who was desperately trying to wake Fred was also wounded in the gunfire. Deborah and other Panthers yelled at the police that there was a pregnant woman in the room. They stopped firing and removed Deborah from the bedroom.
This is what Deborah heard as police inspected the bedroom. “He’s barley alive. He’ll never make it.” The police then shot Fred Hampton in the head… twice. Someone screamed as the last round of shots were fired and the police stopped firing. And then Deborah heard “He’s good and dead now.” It was December 4th of 1969, Fred Hampton was 21 years old.
If you don’t know why Fred Hampton was assassinated then you need to familiarize yourself with his brilliance. Once you do that you’ll understand why J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI had him assassinated. You’ll understand the threat that he was to the system’s order. You’ll see that had he lived the world could have quite possibly been a different place.