tv Democracy Now LINKTV January 30, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PST
01/30/15 01/30/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from the sundance film festival in park city, utah, this is democracy now! >> the thing that led to the panthers was what we were seeing on television every day, attack dogs, fire hoses bombings. >> on the eve of a black revolution. >> i was a cocktail waitress and a white strip club two years before i joined the black panther party.
the rage was in the streets. >> with groups around the country taking on issues of police brutality and accountability, we go back 50 years to another movement confronting the same issues. "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution" is a new film that just premiered here at sundance. one of the seminal moments was december 4, 1969 when police gunned down party leader fred hampton in his bed. >> one of the most amazing things about fred hampton, besides the fact he was 21 years old, when he was making the speeches and head of the chicago branch of the panthers, is one thing he always talked about was racial unity. one of the things that scared j edgar hoover is that he is a real ability to unite people. >> today we spend the hour with award-winning director stanley nelson, and kathleen cleaver
, former communications secretary of the black panther party, now a law professor at emory university. the film also focuses on her late husband eldridge cleaver, huey p. newton and the fbi's attempts to destroy the party. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from park city, utah. the white house is rejecting a call by cuba to return all of guantanamo bay a day after cuban president raul castro said restoring havana's control of the bay is a prerequisite for normalizing ties with the u.s. the united states has controlled the area of cuba since 1903. the area contains the notorious u.s.prison as well as a large naval base. on thursday, white house press secretary josh earnest was questioned about the future of guantanamo. >> is it the president's
intention when he finally does close guantanamo facility to get back the actual territory to cuba? >> no. >> he wants to hang onto guantanamo, even after he empties the prison? >> to present believes the prison a guantanamo bay should be closed down, but the naval base is not something we believe should be closed. >> in other cuba news, eight republican and democratic u.s. senators have introduced legislation to repeal all restrictions on u.s. citizens' travel to cuba. democratic senator richard durban of illinois cosponsored the bill. >> we tried it for 50 years. we close the door on cuba and we said cuba would change. we did not succeed in that policy. it is time for a policy we know is proven to work. >> in pakistan, at least 35 people have reportedly died after a bomb exploded during friday prayers at a shiite mosque in the south province of
sindh. dozens more were wounded. meanwhile in afghanistan, three american contractors were killed thursday in a possible insider attack at a military base attached to kabul's international airport. earlier in the day, 16 afghans -- including four police officers -- died when a suicide bomber targeted the funeral of a slain afghan police commander. in other afghan news, the u.s. military has begun classifying key information about u.s. efforts to train an afghan security force and the cost of u.s.-funded infrastructure projects. the egyptian wing of the islamic state is claiming responsibility for a series of attacks that killed at least 27 security personnel in north sinai province. the first attack targeted a military headquarters base and hotel, killing 25 and wounded at least 58, including nine civilians. south africa has granted parole to apartheid death-squad leader eugene de kock.
he was dubbed 'prime evil' for his role in the torture and murder of scores of black south african activists in the 1980's and early 1990's. he had been imprisoned since 1994, the year nelson mandela and the african national congress came to power. on capitol hill, the republican-led senate has passed a bill to approve the keystone xl oil pipeline. the senate bill passed 62 to 36, five votes short of the number needed to overturn a potential veto by president obama. in new york, the girlfriend of akai gurley says she plans to file a $50 million lawsuit against the new york police department. gurley was shot dead by an officer in the dimly lit stairwell of a brooklyn housing project in november. new york police commissioner william bratton described the shooting as an accident saying gurley, who is african-american, was totally innocent. in academic news, professor steven salaita has filed a
lawsuit against the university of illinois and unnamed donors. last year, the university withdrew a job offer to him after he posted tweets harshly critical of the israeli assault on gaza. a san francisco public defender was arrested tuesday inside a courthouse after she objected to city police officers questioning and photographing two suspects without their attorneys present. when the attorney, jami tillotson, first objected, an undercover police officer threatened to arrest her for resisting arrest. moments later, she was handcuffed. the incident was filmed and posted on youtube. and activists from the antiwar group codepink attempted to perform a citizens arrest on former secretary of state henry kissinger when he arrived thursday to testify at a senate armed services committee meeting.
kissinger served as secretary of state and national security advisor during the vietnam war under president nixon and ford. >> arrest henry kissinger for war crimes! arrest henry kissinger for war crimes! >> in the name of the people of vietnam, in the name of the people of east timor, and the name of people in cambodia, in the name of the people of laos -- >> senator john mccain lashed out at the protesters and called on the capitol hill police to remove them. >> i have been a member of this committee for many years, and i've never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took
place. you're going to have to shut up, or i'm going to have you arrested. get out of here, you low life scum. >> thirty minutes later, two more members of codepink interrupted henry kissinger's testimony before the senate arms services committee. >> as we look around the world we encounter of people -- of people and chaos. >> arrest henry kissinger for war crimes. vietnam, kissinger, working for richard nixon, oversaw the slaughter in vietnam, cambodia and laos. it led to the death of millions -- many thousands more died from the effects of agent orange, unexploded bombs the cover the countryside. henry kissinger was one of the principal architects of the coup in chile in 1973.
overthrew the democratically elected allende. >> they were taken out of the senate hearing room and henry kissinger continued with his testimony. and those are some of the headlines, this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from park city, utah, where the sundance film festival is wrapping up. with groups around the country taking on issues of police brutality and accountability, we go back 50 years to another movement confronting the same issues. it was the 60's. as black history month is about to begin, we spend the hour with a remarkable new documentary that just premiered here called, "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution." >> the thing that led to the
panthers was what we were seeing on television every day, attack dogs, fire hoses bombings. >> we stand on the eve of the black revolution. >> i was a cocktail waitress in a white strip club two years before i joined the backplane to party -- like under party. the rage was in the streets. it was everywhere. >> i say that ronald reagan is a coward and i challenge him to a duel. >> eldridge at the ability to step into the heart of the enemy. was he insane? [bleep] yeah. that boy was crazy. >> they were trying to change government as we know it to terrorist activity. >> in the midst of heated debate when army grows armed shot, marched into the capital.
>> what is the answer? >> vigorous law enforcement. >> how about justice? >> justice is merely incidental to law and order. >> the fbi saw the panthers as these very, very threatening and violent revolutionary movement. the absolutely wanted this organization to be destroyed. >> i felt absolutely free. i was a free negro. and that little space i had, i was the king. that is what i felt. >> the great strength of the black panther party was its ideals and youthful vigor and enthusiasm. the great weakness of the party was its ideals and its youthful vigor and enthusiasm. that sometimes can be very dangerous, especially when you are up against the united states government.
>> that's the trailer for "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution." it's set to play in theaters and air on pbs later this year. but today we bring you the first look at this brand new film. it tells the history of black panthers through rare archival footage and interviews with party leaders, rank and file members, journalists and even police, and fbi informants. i sat down this week for an extended interview with one of its subjects, kathleen cleaver who served as communications secretary of the black panther party. she is not law professor at emory university. -- she is now a law professor at emory university. and with stanley nelson, the film's award-winning director. nelson has made several films about the civil rights movement, including "freedom rides" and "freedom summer," and i began by asking him why he was now drawn to make a film about the black panther party. >> there is no one reason. one of the reasons was, of a 15-year-old kid in 1966, i was enamored of the panthers. i am 16 and new york, all of a
sudden, here these people with leather jackets and berets and sunglasses and looking so cool and talking about revolution. i'm like, yeah, that sounds good to me. i have always been fascinated by the panthers. as a filmmaker, there's always more than one reason why you want to make a film. as a filmmaker, it's just such a wonderful story. the people who are part of the story -- the majority of them are still alive. they were only 20 years old or so at the time. the panthers were this media sensation. there is a credible amount of footage and still pictures to construct the film. all of those things can together, and i became interested in the panther story. i think also i realized how the whole story reverberates with what is going on in the country today. >> issue of police brutality was seminal to the black panthers. >> the black panthers were started in oakland california,
with five guys who started and said, we have to do something about police brutality. which was heightened in oakland. the oakland police department was notorious. because there was a law in california that said you could carry a weapon, a loaded weapon as long as it wasn't concealed, so they would drive around and follow the police. when the police jumped out to make a stop, they would jump out behind the police. and what their guns drawn, stand a little ways back, and make sure that no brutality or violence occurred on the part of the police. that is how the panthers started. from there these five or six guys, the movement took off. >> explained who they were. >> they were college students. this was huey newton, bobby fields, couple of others. they were college students, by and large, who just wanted to end the brutality that was in their lives with the police. >> kathleen cleaver, how did you
become a leader of the black panther party? >> i met eldridge cleaver who came to conference that sncc organized. when he went back to california, we were in love anyone a me to visit him. i came to visit him and came back to atlanta in august, then in october, he and newton were shot. he was wounded and facing the gas chamber if convicted of police murder. eldridge said, yes to come help us. i came back to california. i think it was in november to work with the panthers on that case. we got married in december. >> you were born in texas? >> yes unfortunately. >> how did you go from where you came from to be a member of the black panthers? >> it is not that complex. my parents were very well educated. they met at the university of michigan. my father had been an activist,
working on the naacp campaigns in texas to win the right to vote. my mother had been protesting segregation in richmond, virginia. mike pence were part of civil rights activism. the way i was brought up, and i lived in alabama, where the movement started and i wanted to be in the student nonviolent court ending committee -- court ending committee. in new york in 1966 about two weeks after the call for black power, i was able to get intosncc. i was thrilled. it was the best thing that ever happened in my life. i could be in this revolution. that was the beginning and that is how i ended up in the panthers. >> how did the black panthers compared to sncc in terms of their goals and what they were responding to? >> sncc was collapsing. i didn't know this, but sncc was an organization dependent upon
funding from outside. once they turn into a black car organization, and or some other issues that happened, the funding drive dried up. the organization was declining getting smaller. when i got involved with the black panthers, it was a brand-new group. there were five and i got there. most of them were in prison after the visit to supplement joe. it was very, very exciting. it was one of the first organizations based on the concept of black power that have been articulated in mississippi. and by sncc. i got involved with them and in december eldridge and i got married and i stayed out there and continued to work with the panthers. >> how did dr. martin luther king fit into this picture? >> in what way? my picture or the country? >> did he inspire you?
how did the black panthers relate to him? >> everyone was inspired on some level by martin luther king. he was a tremendously decent and caring person. he was extremely intelligent and inspired a lot of christians. now, eldridge made a comment in national and said, how about integrating some of this bloodshed? that was one issue he had. it was too much that the black people should absorb all the punishment, that we should be forgiving and want to be peaceful in the face of murderous brutality in the middle of the vietnam war. it wasn't really a message a lot of people cared for. when the black panthers started talking about self-defense droves of people wanted to do that. i thought that was -- we followed robert williams. he said, if you're confronted by racist who believes himself
superior, and your arms, yes to consider, does he want to risk his superior life to take your inferior life? if you have a gun, you can put them in a position. nine times out of 10, he doesn't, and that is the end of the violence. we believed self-defense was a way to put a reduction to violence. >> stanley nelson, you have done a documentary on the freedom riders and freedom summer. as you are doing those, the black panthers, you're clearly looking at, people are responding to as you go further on into the 1960's, how do they compare in their strategy? >> it is a different strategy. i think it was a natural offshoot of some of those movements. so the freedom riders believes in a freedom summer. what happens at the end of freedom summer is at the democratic -- a convention, the mississippi freedom them a credit party is defeated. in a kind of underhanded way by
lyndon johnson and his forces. so many of the people in sncc at that time felt betrayed. they felt, we have done everything we can do, we are done it the right way, we've done everything. you said you are on our side. and then when we get to the moment when we have to share power, you back out. >> and this was to replace the all-white mississippi party with the integrated party. >> right. lyndon johnson engineers kind of an underhanded way to defeat them. at that point, a lot of people left sncc. some left the movement altogether. but of the things that happened at the end of freedom summer is there is a shot -- carmichael goes down to alabama and gets on top of that truck or bus or whatever it is, and starts yelling, black power! black power!
that is one of the first things in "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution" is stokely carmichael on that vehicle yelling "black power! one thing led to the other. >> stanley nelson, the award-winning director of the new film, "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution" and kathleen cleaver, who served as communications secretary of the black panther party. we'll continue our conversation in a minute. ♪ [music break]
>> "for god's sake give more power to the people," by the chi-lites. a song featured in the documentary we're looking at today. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue to look at a new film that is premiering here at the sundance film festival in park city, utah. our last day broadcasting here. the film is called "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution."
i sat down with one of its subjects, kathleen cleaver and former black panther comedic asian secretary, now a law professor at emory university as well as the film's director, stanley nelson. i asked him to describe one of the early landmark events when cofounder huey newton led a march of armed black panthers to the california state capital in sacramento to protest the passage of an anti-gun law. the year, 1967. >> so the panthers were patrolling the police, following the police around with guns. and a congressman -- state legislator in oakland introduces a law to ban carrying weapons in the open. but the law is still in existence, so the panthers go to sacramento and walk into the legislature with guns drawn. now, just so happens that ronald reagan, who was the governor
then of california, is giving a speech right outside the legislature. so all the cameras are on ronald reagan -- >> and a group of school kids. >> and a group of school kids. all of a sudden, they see all these black men with guns, so they turn from ronald reagan instead of following these black men with guns into the legislature. they actually get on the floor of the legislature with guns. that starts the whole thing. this becomes a huge news event were this little group that was in oakland, california, is now on the national news. as we document in the film, african americans all over the country are like whoa, what is that? one guy says, i want to be a part of that, whatever that was. the panthers catch on and become this national movement very very quickly. >> when i heard about
sacramento, i was like, damn these brothers are bad. they're here in the capital? packing? >> the boldness, the courageous miss about it, the arrogance of it -- that the whole new face on things. i said, man, i want to be a part of this, whatever that is. >> i walked into the office and told them i wanted to join the black panther party. they kind of laughed. i didn't know there were any other women in the party at that time. but then i asked, could i have a gun? >> i was a student at lincoln university outside philly when i first heard about the black panther party. i found my friend john hagan and said, we need to leave this
stupid campus. we have work to do. we got in his little car, drove across the country from new york. when we got to the west coast we join the black panther party. >> what we want, what we believe . >> we want freedom. we want -- >> decent housing. >> we want an immediate and the police brutality. >> people join for all caps of reason, but the panthers have a 10 point program that really was like the fundamental organizing tool and orientation tool. >> the civil rights movement was basically a southern movement. when had an organization like the panthers who was taking on things like housing and welfare and health, that was to people in the north could relate to and rally behind. >> our attack was not only
against white supremacy, but also capitalism. we actually thought the way in which capitalism created a working-class that was kept absolutely destitute that was wrong. >> we took the position in order for us to be free, that system had to be dismantled. we cannot be free a system that oppressed us in the first place. so you have to get rid of that system. >> that's a clip from "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution." where were you then? >> i was in atlanta, georgia. i heard about it. because i was working jointly with carmichael and his been a lot of time working in california, raising money, i was there. we were very excited about the black panthers and this new energy and you organization. in fact, stokely said, this is the first group that is incremented black power. it was one of the earliest lack
power organizations. >> one of the black panthers said the civil rights movement was the southern movement. the black panthers was urban about health about police brutality, about housing. >> that is what the panthers were. that is one of the reasons why they were so fascinating to me back in 1966, 1967, 1968. they were talking about issues that concerned me in new york. >> kathleen cleaver, you worked on a huey newton campaign. >> i came in when he was sitting in jail facing the gas chamber. there were five us in the room. >> how did he end up in jail? >> there was an incident in october 1967 when he was confronted by policemen and oakland policeman. i think he said, oh, we have the great huey newton. there was a confrontation. 26-year-old policeman and
26-year-old panther. huey wasn't armed, but he ended up taking a policeman's gun and in a shootout, shooting episode. one policeman was wounded and one was killed. huey and seven the hospital and then he is arrested and charged with murdering a police officer and facing the gas chambers. that all happened before i got there. i got there and sometime late november, talking about how can we free him and what we have to do is -- it is five of us because all of the others were arrested for going to sacramento. eldridge cleaver was sealed one over 17 in the room. maybe a murray was with us. i'm not sure. i was 22, he was 31. he became the spokesman. we said if you want to do something, what are you have a demonstration at the courthouse to bring attention to his case. "i don't want to march, but i will march for huey."
we got young men and girlfriends and students to have a demonstration when he first went to court. i said, we have to notify the press. i created a press release. we continued demonstrating. that free huey movement radicalized the community and all these people wanted to join and be black panthers. it grew phenomenally all over the country, along with the free huey movement. >> ultimately, how did he get out? >> by law, the court of appeals -- i think it was -- the case was overturned. the conviction was overturned because of some dispute about what had been said by one of the witnesses, whether the bus driver who testified had or had not seen his face. it was unclear, and that was a mistake.
therefore, he was granted a new trial. and he got out on bail. >> let's talk about informants, about the fbi. stanley nelson, talk about what happened to the black panther party and what to edgar hoover did in particular. >> the black panther party, as the rises, much more public interest, j edgar hoover takes notice of the panthers. j edgar hoover had always had a problem with african-americans in any kind of quest for equality. we did a film almost 15 years ago called "marcus garvey." in 1923, the fbi agent who hounds marcus garvey out of the country is j edgar hoover. so now it is like 1967 and he is still around, head of the fbi. he pretty much has immunity to do whatever he wants. the fbi -- the panthers comes to
his attention and he goes nuts. he issues these memos that say do anything you want to destroy the party. the great thing about it is, those memos are all available. so we used those memos in the film. it is not just conjecture or rumors about hoover, it is his actual words were he says, "do whatever you can just destroy the party." that was the directive of the fbi. though intel pro has 290 actions against black nationalist groups , 245 of those 290 are against the black panthers. the black panthers are riddled with informers because they have no security. all you had to do was go down to the office and say, i want to join the black panthers. they're like, fine, you can join. the informers are setting up the panthers. we haven't former fbi agent in the film are talks about the fact -- we have a former fbi
agent in the film who talks about what the fbi would do was get one of their informants who was in the panthers to arrange for the panthers to get guns. then they would go to the local police department and say, oh those panthers have guns, you better raid the office. one of their directives for panther members was, don't let the police just come and break down your door. they have no right to just break down your door and start shooting. and you are in danger if they do write down your door. the police would raid the panthers based on the evidence of the fbi that the fbi had bought the guns for them, and the panthers which you back it would become a shootout. >> talk about the swat team in los angeles. wasn't this the first swat raid? >> this was the creation. in los angeles, the first swat ever created within the los
angeles police department, in his first action was to take out the black panther office. >> when was this? >> 1969, in december. the confrontation was four days after the murder in chicago of fred hampton. >> let's talk about that first, the murder of fred hampton which you document so well industry documentary. i want to go to a clip, but maybe you can set it up for us of fred hampton, who is actually espousing racial unity. >> one of the most amazing things about fred hampton, besides the fact he was 21 years old when he is making the speeches and head of the chicago branch of the panthers, is one thing he always talked about was racial unity. one of the things that scared j edgar hoover about fred hampton is he at the real ability to unite people, besides being an credible speaker, incredibly bright, he had been the leader of the naacp youth branch in
chicago. so he had those connections. yet connections -- he had connections all over chicago. one of the things he always said was, we have to unite -- all unite. their problems we have in common and we need to unite on these. he was building this coalition in chicago that really scared j edgar hoover. >> this is a clip from, "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution." we're starting with michael koski. >> he was head of student for democratic society, which at that point, was the largest student organization in the country. i think there are over 100 hausa members on cap says all over the country -- 100,000 members on campus all over the country. >> wiest to called in the vanguard of the movement because they were out in the forefront kind of setting the pathway. the things we would face some
repression for, they would face it 10 times as great. they were sacrificing oftentimes, their lives in the struggle. >> [indiscernible] >> fred hampton in chicago was the main voice of racial unity. >> we don't care what anybody says. we're going to fight and solidarity. >> we worked with organizations such as the young lords and the young patriots -- families, white boys. >> [indiscernible]
he is fighting for some of the same causes we are fighting for. >> rob lee had a meeting and he was explaining why we should work together. >> the coalition fred was building a chicago represented the latinos the poor whites and poor blacks, but also because he is been in the naacp, he had images with folks and congregations and working class folks. fred was building a broad-based coalition in chicago. that was the threat. >> that is a clip from "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution." talk about what happened in december 1969, kathleen cleaver. >> fred hampton had been spied
upon. the floor plan of his apartment have been given to the fbi. the fbi created a death squad. they had certain individual policeman they hand-picked to take actions that was to murder fred hampton. they went into his house shooting. they did not knock. they came in at like 3:00 in the morning. everybody was asleep or half asleep. they came in shooting. >> one of the most amazing things about this shooting, i can't even say shoot out because they didn't return it in fire shot -- >> which is not what the police said. >> this is walls made a plasterboard. the bullets are going all the way through the walls from one room to the other to the other to the other. there is a scene in there afterwards where they put sticks in the holes. and there are hundreds of sticks
in the holes. the police just when in shooting. they actually -- another panther was killed, kid named mark clark. he is shot through the door as he goes to answer the door. they kill him by shooting him through the door. >> it is important to recognize the informant who is in their -- >> o'neill 01/30/15 01/30/15 had drug fred hampton's orange juice. he did not drink out all so he put it in his orange juice. he drank the orange juice and was drugged. he was falling asleep when they came. he could not wake up. >> and he was laying next to his from a girlfriend. >> she could not wake him up and actually lays on top of him to protect him. fred hampton is shot. she is wounded. fred hampton is wounded. they drag her out of the room and issued fred hampton in the head to kill him. >> i heard a story told shortly
after martin luther king's death by a policeman, "your next." by the cointelpro standards, the were making sure that no black leader could rise to be a messiah to unify the black masses. so king was the number one target. what martin luther king was dead by 1968, december 1969, fred hampton was assassinated. >> we have a couple of black policeman in the film -- they get statements from back then about how horrible this was. they are still alive and they give statements in the film. one of them told us he had told fred hampton a couple of weeks before that, you should watch it because your under fire. there were plans to try to fly fred hampton to canada. they had a plan to do that. but fred had like one more thing to do, one more thing to do, one more thing to do.
of course, never made it out. >> william o'neil was his bodyguard, the agent, the informant for the fbi. >> right. he was fred hampton's bodyguard. >> and he never had any suspicion? >> no. people thought william o neil was weird. they said he was weird. he would come up with these plans to do easy things. you know, let's get some hand grenades and do this. were like, what he talking about? these crazy things. they thought it was strange. but nobody thought he was an fbi informant. the thing we have to understand is, at that point, the cointelpro was completely secret. nobody understood the fbi was doing this crazy stuff -- >> which stands for counterintelligence program. >> now we know but back then -- i mean, these are kids. the fbi was a tv show on abc. that was the fbi. nobody even suspected the fbi
was doing this kind of crazy thing, much less murder. >> that is stanley nelson director of "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution." and kathleen cleaver. she served as communications secretary of the black panther party. the film is premiering here is sundance. we will continue with them in a moment. ♪ [music break]
>> a song about bobby seale who would go on to run for mayor of oakland. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we are broadcasting from park city, utah, from the sundance film festival as we continue to look at the brand-new film premiering here called, "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution." as we continue a conversation with the film's award-winning director stanley nelson and kathleen cleaver, former black panther communications secretary. now a law professor at emory university. kathleen cleaver, what did you understand at the time?
you sir experienced the power the surveillance of the fbi and her husband eldridge cleaver. >> we thought they wanted to kill us, to eliminate us. that was the way the evidence was going, that they would spy on us, followed was, and wanted to eliminate our organization. what we did not understand was this very insidious type of internal disputes they wanted to provoke, the conflict they established between hewing newton who was in the u.s. in prison and eldridge cleaver in algeria in exile and all kinds of ways to turn people against each other. the assassination of fred hampton was a police operation, but the fbi funded it and took credit for it. so the manner in which the organization was being dismantled was very vicious and very violent, but we were determined to defend ourselves and not to let that happen. >> explain what happens a few
days later in los angeles. >> in los angeles, the panthers new the lapd was planning to attack their office. they knew this because they had come by a few days before this and geronimo, the defense minister said, look, that was a great common sense. they're going to come back. -- that was a reconnaissance. there going to come back. they just did not know what it was going to be. demand was on top of the roof named cotton smith, was actually a police informant. the police told him that we are going to attack at a certain time. guess what? they came a few hours early. so that informant had to shoot at us. there were several hours of shooting back and forth. no one was killed. the panthers themselves -- we cannot let this go down after
what they did a fred hampton. so the spirit of fred engine and the hostility to what had happened infuriated -- fueled their determinations not to let anything happen that. >> i should say also, by this time, a bunch of the panthers were vietnam vets and had combat experience. what they did was they put sand in between the wall. they poured sand in between the wall. they had shooting fortes. they had sandbagged up the wall so when the police attacked, the bullets were not getting through by and large. so it became this five-hour gunbattle. and because the battle lasted five hours, the local news could get there. the local news gets their -- we're talking about 50 years ago -- they get close enough to film a lot of it. this gunbattle is being filmed.
>> coming down the streets store the building to see what is going on. we are police officers. it looks like vietnam combat uniforms. automatic weapons. holding us back. shotguns everywhere you can look. >> i looked at tv and channel five headed on life -- 5 had it on live. i can speak in the back and join them. crazy, i'm thinking. >> they're putting the pressure [indiscernible] so we can witness this. >> when the police were trying to creep up on the side, you could see the reflection through the windows across the street. they got close enough, they would tell me, ok, throw it now, and it would throw a damn palmetto police. they would run back.
we see this little cloud of smoke and that is the tear gas >> what we did was we put the cigarette butts in our nose to filter out the fumes. >> we're looking at the panther headquarters. the devastation is astounding. bullet holes all over the place screens ripped out. >> a guy got shot here, shot in the arms. they missed my head. i got buckshot all in me. they shot that room up. this arm was dead. now i am up there with just one arm, leading all down the face and stuff, but i'm alive. quick i felt free. i felt absolutely free. i was a free negro.
i was making my own rules. you couldn't get in, i couldn't get out, but in my space, i was the king. in that little space i had, i was the king. and that is what i felt. understand? that is what i felt. >> kathleen cleaver,, you mentioned your husband eldridge cleaver was in a jury. take us back. >> martin luther king was assassinated april 4 1968. on april 6 in oakland, eldridge cleaver was leaving a group of black panthers who wanted to retaliate against the killing of king. their idea was to go and find police and kill police, because they killed king. there was a crew of maybe seven or eight panthers.
they came across police and scattered. eldridge and bobby hutton ended up in the basement of the house. somewhere in the bushes. the actual long-term shooting back and forth was between two panthers, eldridge cleaver and bobby hutton, and the terror guess canister started to burn in the basement. they decided to surrender and eldridge told bobby hutton take off all your close and they can accuse you of having a weapon. and he only took off his shirt. he walked out with his hands up and was shot immediately. he was murdered. >> how old was bobby hutton? >> 17. >> he was the first member to join that group of four or five who formed -- one of the first members. >> there was a policeman willing to testify he was murdered. i have his statement. nothing was ever done. eldridge was taken back to san quentin and he was a parolee, so
his parole was violated, so it's like he had four more years in apparently of his start. our lawyer represented him in a hearing and solano county, i believe, i'm not sure where -- anyway, to everyone's surprise the judge -- because the group in charge of parole had no evidence. all of the evidence came from our attorney. the city should be released because of his eloquence. he was out on his bail. $50,000 in june 1968. about two weeks before the murder of -- >> robert kennedy -- >> and los angeles. it was a very intense time. eldridge was very public about not going back to prison.
he said it publicly and said it in speeches. he said, i'm not going to go back. he was supposed to turn himself in in november 1968, certain date, and he wasn't there. he did not turn himself in. what he exited, i found a minute years later, he went to montréal. he got on a boat and went to havana. he was disguised as a cuban soldier. while in havana, a group of other hijackers and different people there created a cluster of black panthers that did not exactly sit well with the cuban authorities. so at one point, eldridge was required to be there -- no publicity whatsoever. a new story comes out. i was on my way to a jury a to get a plane to go to cuba to join him. the new story says, eldridge cleaver is hiding in cuba. unlike ok this is a problem.
because of the revelation he was there -- they said, we're going to send you to algeria to take the heat off and you can be with your wife. >> so you did join him in algeria. >> it was a stop on the way to havana. you have to find another flight from the united days. 45 minutes before i got on the plane to go to algeria to i got a message from a journalist who said he had a message for my husband, he said, do not try to come to cuba. stay in algeria, that is coming there. >> how long did you live there with him? >> four years. we had two children. i was pregnant when i got there. my son was born in july, about five weeks after i got there. my daughter was born in chong yang -- pyongyang the follow
near. >> why pyongyang? >> eldridge and -- >> and a journalist. >> that a delegation, taking this delegation until the koreans, i cannot leave my wife for all this time. they said, they invited the -- the korean korean women's unit invited me. >> when he is in algeria, the tension between him and huey newton, who has been released, is growing intense. >> eldridge was thrilled with the release of huey. he wanted him to sit international section of the black panther party and algeria. get a big portrait of huey. this would be the crowning achievement that you can see our international section. on the other hand in the u.s.,
huey has been fed all this misinformation about eldridge and made to think eldridge is try and undermine him and all these crazy types of things. huey is believing that eldridge once and to come to algeria so he can kill him. he did believe this. he doesn't want to come. the proceedings of what is going on in the party and people -- and geronimo who had led the amazing defense of the panthers against the lapd, geronimo is expelled and accused of being all sorts of things. that was a huge blow in the party. the new york to one who question after they got out, some of them question what was being done with the money being raised for bail and legal fees in question huey newton publicly in an underground paper statement they got expelled. to make a long story short eldridge and huey had a conversation on an a.m. show and
eldridge condemned these activities and said you should get rid of david hilliard, he is destroying the party. and the show ended. after that, huey newton expels eldridge from the party. eldridge, me, and don cox. 33 members in a jury at the time. he expelled us. -- there were three members in all jury a but the time. he expelled all of us. people who supported his organization revered geronimo, they did not understand how can you be the ideal revolutionary one year and the next year, the a cia agent and a scumbag? >> who he was. >> he was the defense minister, deputy defense minister in los angeles. he was also the hero who made it possible for the defense of the office. the newspaper just glorified him. he was a great hero, this and that. a year later, he is expelled. you know there's something wrong, but people did not know
what. >> did you have any idea about the fbi at the time? >> we did not have the idea there were constantly everyday monitoring, pushing information. i have read their documents and saw how they was thrilled. they were so happy the party was split. they figured they had accomplishment, it was over. because people want underground and the panthers began to fight each other. there was retaliation and killings among panthers in response to the situation that huey had created with the expulsion. the fbi was very much involved. >> thank you so much to both of you, kathleen cleaver and stanley nelson, the new documentary that has come into great acclaim here is called called, "the black panthers: vanguard of the revolution." that does it for today's show. and our week of live broadcast from the sundance film festival. now in his 31st year in park city, utah. to see her get a copy of the dvd of any of the shows, go to