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Info on Podcast #104

Govt. murder of Fred Hampton. Author Jeffrey Haas talks about his new book, The Assassination of Fred Hampton: How the FBI and Chicago Police Murdered a Black Panther. Haas was an attorney for the charismatic Hampton, chairman of the Black Panther Party in Chicago, at the time of the police raid in 1969. Stonewalled for years by the FBI and Chicago leaders, Haas ultimately proved that the hit on Hampton and Mark Clark was part of the FBI’s Cointelpro program, with instructions from J. Edgar Hoover to disrupt black nationalist groups and “prevent the rise of a new black messiah” following Dr. King’s assassination in 1968. Haas and his underpaid colleagues at the People’s Law Office took on the FBI, the Daley Machine, and an incredibly biased judge–it took more than 10 years to win a $1.85 million settlement for the survivors and Hampton’s family. In doing so, they exposed the darkest aspects of the American system of “justice”. PBC was hosting a talk show in Chicago as the legal battle unfolded, and has personal insights about the times and some of the players. The book is fascinating, and highly recommended. Get more info here. The story is important history, and informs the resurgence of a police state in the US, where the Patriot Act was just renewed, the FBI admits wide abuse of “national security letters” and massive surveillance of our phones and emails continues under Obama.