Burning Spear News
The 50th anniversary of Bobby Hutton's assassination
Little Bobby Hutton (front) storming the Sacramento State Capitol in 1967.
Lil' Bobby Hutton was only 17 years old when Oakland pigs assassinated him on April 6, 1968.
He was killed merely two days after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered by the U.S. government.
He was the first and youngest member of the Black Panther Party, serving as the Party’s treasurer during his tenure.
Hutton was just one of hundreds of young Africans that would join the Panthers or engage in other revolutionary organizing during the height of the Black Liberation struggle.
He is an iconic figure in our history, but during the height of the Black Revolution, he wasn’t an anomaly.
Young Africans throughout the country during the late ‘60s fearlessly participated in revolutionary struggle, up until the point that the U.S. government initiated an assault on our movement.
Part of that assault occurred on the night of April 6, 1968 when police encountered Hutton, Eldridge Cleaver and other Panthers in a car.
The police pulled up to the side of their car and began to shoot at the Panthers.
Hutton and Eldridge managed to escape to a nearby building, only to be teargassed and smoked out by the pigs.
Eldridge stripped completely naked while Hutton stripped down to his underwear unarmed.
When Hutton walked out of the building he was immediately shot and killed by Oakland police.
He was shot more than 12 times.
The murder of Lil' Bobby Hutton caused great outrage for the African community.
It became suspected that Eldridge Cleaver, exposed later on as an agent for the FBI, was directly responsible for Hutton’s death.
The U.S. government’s counterinsurgency program
Lil' Bobby Hutton’s assassination two days after MLK’s assassination was not a coincidence.
The U.S. government and the FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover led an intense counterinsurgency program to discredit, quiet and murder black political leaders.
The Black Panther Party and entire Black Liberation Movement was under attack by the U.S. government.
At one point, Hoover infamously declared, “The Black Panther Party, without question, represents the greatest threat to internal security of the country.”
Both Hutton and MLK were highly respected figures; Hutton an inspiration to young Africans aspiring to organize and King with his ability to mobilize millions of people at the drop of a hat─both a threat to white power if the figures were not promoting an imperialist agenda.
This was especially dangerous when African and other oppressed and colonized peoples around the world were actively engaged in revolutionary struggle to overthrow colonialist capitalism; an era in which the people took up the slogan “Black Power” and “Off the Pigs”.
It was this period that gave rise to these very important figures and that was why both MLK and Bobby Hutton had to die.
In order for the counterinsurgency to be successful (and it was), all of our leaders had to be either imprisoned, killed and all others scared into hiding or exile.
A sizeable sector of our people who dared felt compelled to keep the revolution going ended up addicted to crack cocaine as a result of the CIA pumping the drug into our communities.
Our people were pushed into a state of depressing demoralization and the once trending Revolution had become a taboo.
Bobby Hutton in Revolution
Despite the crippling counterinsurgency war imposed on our movement, the African People’s Socialist Party, founded by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, assumed the responsibility to complete the Black Revolution of the ‘60s, proving that the revolution does not die with the death of a revolutionary.
Bobby Hutton is our example.
White power killed Hutton to crush our movement permanently, but instead the murder of Hutton and his stance as a young revolutionary, taking the necessary stance to free our people, inspires the new wave of young forces─literally and politically─to holding themselves to the same standards.
The Party is experiencing a wave of young people coming into our movement and into our ranks taking on major tasks of the revolution.
Africans as young as 15 years old are organizing in this movement at the same time as Africans in their 20s holding high ranking critical positions and running for office, or ten year olds participating on committees to build for our Party’s Seventh Congress.
On this anniversary, we remember our martyr Little Bobby Hutton, not in death, but in revolution.
We remember his courageous stance. We remember him as a significant figure for our movement.
Long Live Lil' Bobby Hutton!
Long Live the Revolution!
Join the African People’s Socialist Party!