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BAYAN-USA Commemorates Black Panther Party’s 50th Anniversary

Press Release
October 20, 2016
Reference: Jessica Antonio, Secretary General,

BAYAN USA Commemorates Black Panther Party’s 50th Anniversary!

Freedom and self-determination, full employment, restitution for slavery, decent housing and education, free health care, an end to police brutality, an end to all wars of aggression, liberation from jails and the rotten justice system, the people’s community control of their own livelihood—the Ten-Point Program of the Black Panther Party resonates as strongly today as it did 50 years ago, when the BPP was founded. On the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, BAYAN USA honors the courageous people who established the BPP, fought to make its program a reality, and defended the black community against severe state repression. We also honor those BPP members who are still being persecuted by the state as political prisoners for the “crime” of serving the people.

BAYAN USA commemorates the founding by continuing to be in solidarity with the Black liberation struggle. From the struggle to end African slavery to the development of the Black Panther Party, the Black resistance movement in this country is centuries old and has long provided visionary and groundbreaking leadership for many oppressed communities demanding freedom in the U.S. and abroad. The self-determination and national liberation of Black people is not only crucial to the movement for freedom and democracy in the US, but for the whole world as we advance the worldwide anti-imperialist movement. We recognize the suffering and exploitation plaguing our communities as rooted in the history of slavery and anti-black racism. It was on the backs of enslaved Africans that the wealth and power of the United States was accumulated, enabling the genocide of Native Americans and the colonization of countries throughout the world the years after.

The urgency of the fight to end anti-Black oppression remains, as evident in the murder of 1 Black person every 28 hours and the state’s policy of impunity for police officers responsible for the extrajudicial killings of unarmed Black men, women, children and gender nonconforming people. The need to address oppressed communities’ issues around land, housing, education, and self-determination, as outlined in the BPP’s Ten-Point Program, remain critical today as evident in the existence of some of the groundbreaking social and economic programs the BPP initiated, some of which still exist, such as the Women, Infant and Children Program (WIC).

BAYAN USA is proud to be a part of continuing the rich history of peoples’ movements and international solidarity in the U.S. inspired by the legacy of Black resistance, organizing, and leadership of the BPP. Our member organizations across the U.S. continue to take collective action to denounce state repression and police murders of Black people, to demand an end to Urban Shield, and march with Black Trans and Gender non-conforming people fighting for access to housing and healthcare alongside the communities most impacted by state repression –Black, Muslim, Migrant, Gender nonconforming, and poor and working class people.

BAYAN USA salutes the many achievements and legacy of the Black Panther Party celebrating its 50th Anniversary! We stand in firm solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Liberation struggle demanding genuine social, economic, and political change in the United States. BAYAN USA and its member organizations are gathering in Chicago this Saturday, October 22 for the U.S. conference of the International League of Peoples Struggle (ILPS), culminating in the streets to demand Justice for Laquan McDonald on his 2nd year murder anniversary. We invite all organizations to join us in contributing to the anti-imperialist movement by building the United States chapter of ILPS!