Although Gang Stalking has metastasized to include many additional government agencies, as well as private contractors alike, it’s original purpose was to destroy the Black Panther Party and specifically, their free breakfast program for pre-school children. It was thought by the then Director of the FBI, the infamous J. Edgar Hoover, that the free breakfast program was actually an indoctrination program to brainwash kids.
Today, Gang Stalking is a comprehensive mechanism for both social and political control, a “shadow government” if you will.
In 1974 at the age of six years old, I became a Targeted Individual. How does a four year old become a Targeted Individual you ask? Simple, you enjoy the eating of scrambled eggs, bacon and fresh milk that just happened to be provided by the Black Panthers and their historic “Head Start” program for pre-school age children.
I remember those hearty and delicious breakfasts where we sat at a simple fold out table in the middle of a very large and dilapidated gymnasium, I don’t remember ever being talked to about anything at all. The young, light skinned black afro wearing lady simply walked around with a carton of milk while we ate, she never said a word. I was always bewildered as to what it was all about except that the food was so good I didn’t care. I came to look forward to the delicious and filling breakfast everyday, especially since we all got to ride tricycles as fast as we wanted afterward. Thats all we did, pile in everyday to the huge, cold and empty gymnasium (except for the long table and little chairs), eat our food until full and then ride tricycles afterward with gleeful abandon. I was sad when it ended and grieved for a long time, mornings were then a disappointment. I would ask my mom if we were going to “the place” and she had to tell me no, they didn’t have money anymore.
Indoctrination camp? You fucking pieces of shit.
For the past forty three (43) years my life has been interfered with ever since.
Honoring the 44th Anniversary of the Black Panther’s Free Breakfast Program
- Written by Marc Mascarenhas-Swan
- Friday, 18 January 2013 15:54
First day back at school, and I couldn’t help but think of, and thank, the Black Panthers, when my 8 year old daughter went to go and collect the free breakfast for her class from the cafeteria. She handed out, Whole Grain Banana Bread, Low Fat Milk, and Gala Apples, pretty simple stuff really. What I love even more than the healthy food they serve, is that all the kids are offered some; not just the kids from families that qualify for free or subsidized meals, because singling out and stigmatizing kids for needing support just isn’t cool. But like the 8 hour work day, weekends, and free education, things like free breakfast in schools don’t just happen.
The work became so effective, it drew the ire of the director of the FBI:
“The BCP (Breakfast for Children Program) promotes at least tacit support for the BPP (Black Panther Party) among naive individuals .. . And, what is more distressing, provides the BPP with a ready audience composed of highly impressionable youths.. . . Consequently, the BCP represents the best and most influential activity going for the BPP and, as such, is potentially the greatest threat to efforts by authorities to neutralize the BPP and destroy what it stands for. “
J Edgar Hoover, May 15, 1969
As a consequence of the FBI’s concerns, public authorities clamped down on the programs, and they made an effort to control them by requiring filing with authorities, and compliance with various state regulations. This was often beyond the modest means of the party members running the programs, or counter to the spirit and ideals of the work.
All these programs ended with the demise of the BPP, the same conditions of harassment and infiltration that tore the Panthers apart, also prevented their social programs from being sustained. As their programs folded, some ideas, like the Breakfast program were taken up by the state and institutionalized.
“There was an effort to curb their social programs by trying to force them to get various state licenses, which went against what they were trying to do which was create this organic thing. It created a lot of red tape. Their breakfast program became the Head Start program. Their ideas were taken up by the state and institutionalized.”
Alondra Nelson – Author Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight against Medical Discrimination.
So in 1975 the National School Breakfast program was launched, serving free or reduced priced breakfasts to kids in need every school day. Can we argue that this was a direct result of the Black Panthers work, it’s hard to say? But it is clear that the Black Panther Free Breakfast Program scared and embarrassed the state, and highlighted the gross and endemic racialized inequalities inherent in U.S. society.
The Panthers focused their attention on the construction of institutions that provided for the communites needs. Because they knew the state response would be inadequate or non-existent, because it was an arena to politicize their community, and because they were interested in the development of a new society.
“All these programs satisfy the deep needs of the community but they are not solutions to our problems. That is why we call them survival programs, meaning survival pending revolution. We say that the survival program of the Black Panther Party is like the survival kit of a sailor stranded on a raft. It helps him to sustain himself until he can get completely out of that situation. So the survival programs are not answers or solutions, but they will help us to organize the community around a true analysis and understanding of their situation. When consciousness and understanding is raised to a high level then the community will seize the time and deliver themselves from the boot of their oppressors. If they have a need we will serve their needs and attempt to get them to understand the true reasons why they are in need in such an incredibly rich land.”
To Die for the People (Book of essays) – Huey Newton
The path toward fundamental, positive societal transformation is not a straight one. Full of obstacles, turns and steep hills. Co-optation doesn’t have to mean that we are losing, on the contrary it can mean that we are winning. What is crucial is that we remember who fought the battles, and reclaim our history by telling our children.
In the face of intertwined economic and ecological catastrophes, learning from and applying the lessons of those who built politicized, community controlled institutions of self reliance, and furthermore through them contested for power, may be our best hope for survival.
Marc was born and bred in England and buttered in the San Francisco Bay Area. He likes to strategize around, and build political and pragmatic unity between those sectors fighting for social, racial and economic justice, and those that are building grassroots, democratic, economic solutions. He has two amazing kids that he tries to spend as much time as possible with.