Fred Hampton once said, “You can kill a revolutionary but you can’t kill the revolution.” On August 21, 1971, the FBI, the state of California and other law enforcement agencies killed Black Panther Party Field Marshal George Lester Jackson at San Quentin Prison, but they failed to kill the revolutionary struggle of Black and poor prison inmates that George was instrumental in organizing throughout this country.
The recent prison rebellions at Folsom, California, Pontiac and Joliet, Illinois, and Reidsville, Georgia, are testaments to the life and untiring work of George Jackson to expose the inhumane conditions suffered by the millions of men and women warehoused in the prisons and jails of America. In their twisted and warped minds, the power structure – the real “criminal” – thought that by murdering George they could destroy the prison movement and the Black Panther Party.
Instead, the prison movement has continued to grow and spread throughout the country in the seven years since the cold- blooded murder of the BPP Field Marshal. Each week, THE BLACK PANTHER receives dozens of letters from prison inmates whose ideas strongly reflect the work and beliefs of George Jackson. Who can deny that the Attica Prison uprising of September 11, 1971, was partially caused by inmate anger over the killing of their beloved leader?
Former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) agent provocateur Louis Tackwood testified in 1976 at the San Quentin 6 trial that his first assignment was to help plot George’s murder. The state could not afford to allow the BPP Field Marshal to continue his highly successful prison organizing activities. Beyond the legendary reputation George had within the California penal system, his books were widely read by both prison inmates and those outside prison, books that challenged those opposed to the American penal system to take concrete action to overturn it.
It is left to us, the poor and oppressed, to keep up the fight that George Jackson so brilliantly waged “behind the walls.”
The prison movement is not dead. GEORGE JACKSON LIVES!