People Power

"The greater, more immediate problem is the survival of the entire world. If the world does not change, all its people will be threatened by the greed, exploitation, and violence of the power structure in the American empire. The handwriting is on the wall. The United States is jeopardizing its own existence and the existence of all humanity.

If Americans knew the disasters that lay ahead, they would transform this society tomorrow for their own preservation." - Huey P. Newton


BPP: Ten-Point Program
BPP: Pocket Lawyer of Legal First Aid

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The 10-Point Program

by the Black Panther Party

  1. We Want Freedom. We Want Power To Determine The Destiny Of Our Black Community.
  2. We believe that Black people will not be free until we are able to determine our destiny.

  3. We Want Full Employment For Our People.
  4. We believe that the federal government is responsible and obligated to give every man employment or a guaranteed income. We believe that if the White American businessmen will not give full employment, then the means of production should be taken from the businessmen and placed in the community so that the people of the community can organize and employ all of its people and give a high standard of living.

  5. We Want An End To The Robbery By The Capitalists Of Our Black Community.
  6. We believe that this racist government has robbed us, and now we are demanding the overdue debt of forty acres and two mules. Forty acres and two mules were promised 100 years ago as restitution for slave labor and mass murder of Black people. We will accept the payment in currency which will be distributed to our many communities. The Germans are now aiding the Jews in Israel for the genocide of the Jewish people. The Germans murdered six million Jews. The American racist has taken part in the slaughter of over fifty million Black people; therefore, we feel that this is a modest demand that we make.

  7. We Want Decent Housing Fit For The Shelter Of Human Beings.
  8. We believe that if the White Landlords will not give decent housing to our Black community, then the housing and the land should be made into cooperatives so that our community, with government aid, can build and make decent housing for its people.

  9. We Want Education For Our People That Exposes The True Nature Of This Decadent American Society. We Want Education That Teaches Us Our True History And Our Role In The Present-Day Society.
  10. We believe in an educational system that will give to our people a knowledge of self. If a man does not have knowledge of himself and his position in society and the world, then he has little chance to relate to anything else.

  11. We Want All Black Men To Be Exempt From Military Service.
  12. We believe that Black people should not be forced to fight in the military service to defend a racist government that does not protect us. We will not fight and kill other people of color in the world who, like Black people, are being victimized by the White racist government of America. We will protect ourselves from the force and violence of the racist police and the racist military, by whatever means necessary.

  13. We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality And Murder Of Black People.
  14. We believe we can end police brutality in our Black community by organizing Black self-defense groups that are dedicated to defending our Black community from racist police oppression and brutality. The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States gives a right to bear arms. We therefore believe that all Black people should arm themselves for self- defense.

  15. We Want Freedom For All Black Men Held In Federal, State, County And City Prisons And Jails.
  16. We believe that all Black people should be released from the many jails and prisons because they have not received a fair and impartial trial. We Want All Black People When Brought To Trial To Be Tried In Court By A Jury Of Their Peer Group Or People From Their Black Communities, As Defined By The Constitution Of The United States.

    We believe that the courts should follow the United States Constitution so that Black people will receive fair trials. The Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution gives a man a right to be tried by his peer group. A peer is a person from a similar economic, social, religious, geographical, environmental, historical and racial background. To do this the court will be forced to select a jury from the Black community from which the Black defendant came. We have been, and are being, tried by all-White juries that have no understanding of the "average reasoning man" of the Black community.

  17. We Want Land, Bread, Housing, Education, Clothing, Justice And Peace.
  18. When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume, among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and nature's God entitle them, a decent respect of the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That, to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and, accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

Pocket Lawyer of Legal First Aid

by the Black Panther Party

This pocket lawyer is provided as a means of keeping Black people up to date on their rights. We are always the first to be arrested and the racist police forces are constantly trying to pretend that rights are extended equally to all people. Cut this out, brothers and sisters, and carry it with you. Until we arm ourselves to righteously take care of our own, the pocket lawyer is what’s happening.

  1. If you are stopped and/or arrested by the police, you may remain silent; you do not have to answer any questions about alleged crimes; you should provide your name and address only if requested (although it is not absolutely clear that you must do so). But then do so, and at all times remember the Fifth Amendment.
  2. If a police officer is not in uniform, ask him to show his identification. He has no authority over you unless he properly identifies himself. Beware of persons posing as police officers. Always get his badge number and his name.
  3. Police have no right to search your car or your home unless they have a search warrant, probable cause or your consent. They may conduct no exploratory search, that is, one for evidence of crime generally or for evidence of a crime unconnected with the one you are being questioned about. (Thus, a stop for an auto violation does not give the right to search the auto.) You are not required to consent to a search; therefore, you should not consent and should state clearly and unequivocally that you do not consent, in front of witnesses if possible. If you do not consent, the police will have the burden in court of showing probable cause. Arrest may be corrected later.
  4. You may not resist forcibly or by going limp, even if you are innocent. To do so is a separate crime of which you can be convicted even if you are acquitted of the original charge. Do not resist arrest under any circumstances.
  5. If you are stopped and/or arrested, the police may search you by patting you on the outside of your clothing. You can be stripped of your personal possessions. Do not carry anything that includes the name of your employer or friends.
  6. Do not engage in “friendly” conversation with officers on the way to or at the station. Once you are arrested, there is little likelihood that anything you say will get you released.
  7. As soon as you have been booked, you have the right to complete at least two phone calls—one to a relative, friend or attorney, the other to a bail bondsman. If you can, call the Black Panther Party, and the Party will post bail if possible.
  8. You must be allowed to hire and see an attorney immediately.
  9. You do not have to give any statement to the police, nor do you have to sign any statement you might give them, and therefore you should not sign anything. Take the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, because you cannot be forced to testify against yourself.
  10. You must be allowed to post bail in most cases, but you must be able to pay the bail bondsmen’s fee. If you cannot pay the fee, you may ask the judge to release you from custody without bail or to lower your bail, but he does not have to do so.
  11. The police must bring you into court or release you within 48 hours after your arrest (unless the time ends on a week- end or a holiday, and they must bring you before a judge the first day court is in session).
  12. If you do not have the money to hire an attorney, immediately ask the police to get you an attorney without charge.
  13. If you have the money to hire a private attorney, but do not know of one, call the National Lawyers’ Guild or the Alameda County Bar Association (or the Bar Association of your county) and ask them to furnish you with the name of an attorney who practices criminal law.
  14. This page is not referenced in the menu, yet it exists.

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