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Mar 25

Huey P. Newton at California Men's Colony

huey-newton1.jpg
November 20, 1968

11-20-1968-huey-newton.jpgA little over 40 years ago another tragic traffic stop in Oakland lead the arrival of a notable convict at the California Men’s Colony.
Huey P. Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the killing of Oakland policeman John Frey.
Two years earlier in 1966 Newton had co-founded of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense with Bobby Seale.
The organization advocated revolution and had Maoist and Marxist underpinnings.

Sounding a little like an announcer for a blaxploitation film trailer staff writer Gilbert Moore took an edgy hipster voice to start the story.

Huey P. Newton, the bad black man, foe of fuzz everywhere. Communist, revolutionary, the man who thought up and founded those Black Panthers, Eldridge Cleaver’s boss and leader is here in the flesh.
Sitting in a little office at the state prison out on Highway 1.
All the officials out here say Huey isn’t any different from any other prisoner, he’s just another con now.
But all that is baloney because Huey P. Newton these days is “the” prisoner in California prisons.
The Black Panther defense minister is doing 2 to 15 years for voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of an Oakland policeman last year.

After a few inches of introduction the remainder of the story is given over to quotes from Newton.

“I treasure myself becoming a revolutionary evolving to the new man, the revolutionary man.
“This is a pre-revolutionary period in America and always in the period prior to the revolution people seem to strip the veils of ignorance away.
“No, I don’t think I have any disagreement with Marx, Lenin, Trotsky. I disagree with the Russian brand of Marxism though. That’s not socialism but state capitalism which cares about bureaucracy instead of people.
“The Russians only need a political revolution but here we need a political and social revolution.”

The article stays on politics for a while then moves to a new subject.

About Newton’s views on violence. (Panther chairman Bobby Seale describes him as “the baddest (censored) ever to set foot inside of history.)
“I never compare myself with Jesus, but Jesus didn’t preach violence. Jesus did teach self-defense to some extent. One time he drove the money changers out of the temples. He picked up a whip and drove ‘em out.
“Near the end, before the Crucifixion, he told the Disciples they would have to defend themselves.
“I’m not a pacifist. I don’t believe in submitting to brute officialdom with no respect for human life. Many of us are going against the giant monster continually inflicting violence and brutality on us.”

Newton served 22 months. He was released after the conviction was overturned and two retrials. He was murdered in Oakland in 1989.

Though David Ranns was credited, Michael Raphael made the photos.

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