'Fred Hampton Day' Declared by Chicago City Council

'Fred Hampton Day' Declared by Chicago City Council

Monica Moorehead

Thirty-five years ago, on Dec. 4, 1969, Fred Hampton, deputy chair
of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party, was brutally
assassinated by members of the Chicago Police Department as he
lay sleeping. Hampton was only 21 years old.

Mark Clark, a member of the Black Panther Party's Peoria, Ill., chapter,

was also killed. Other Panther members were injured during these
shootings, including Hampton's companion, Akua Njeri, who was nine
months pregnant.

These cowardly killings were coordinated in conjunction with the FBI's
repressive Counter Intelligence Program (Cointelpro), which targeted
leaders of national liberation movements like the Panthers inside the
United States. Not one Chicago police officer was ever prosecuted
for this terrible crime.

Today Hampton's son, Fred Hampton Jr., champions the release of
U.S. political prisoners such as Mumia Abu-Jamal. Hampton is himself
a former political prisoner.

The Chicago City Council unanimously approved a resolution introduced
by former Alderwoman Marlene C. Carter commemorating Dec. 4, 2004, as
"Fred Hampton Day in Chicago."

The resolution reads in part: "Fred Hampton, who was only 21 years
old, made his mark in Chicago history not so much by his death as by
the heroic efforts of his life and by his goals of empowering the most
oppressed sector of Chicago's Black community, bringing people into
political life through participation in their own freedom fighting

Hampton was one of the most dynamic, inspiring freedom fighters
of any generation. One of his most notable quotes was, "You can
kill a revolutionary but you can never kill the revolution."