Interview with Bobby Rush
QUESTION 21
TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

I wanted to go back to something we kind of skipped over, which was the Panthers' relationship with the gangs, especially the Black, Black Peace Stone Nation. What were some of the events that happened around trying to?

BOBBY RUSH:

Well, you know, I think early on the Panthers r--r--remember now, we organized a, we opened our office on November the 17th of '68. Okay? And earlier on, within that period of thirty days we, we had created a, a, quite a furor within the city of Chicago. Ah, we, the press was hounding us, I mean, we were getting, you know, so we were really a, a newsworthy event. The Stones had become aware of us, okay? And Jeff wanted to meet with us, and we decided that we would meet with Jeff because we wanted to try to influence the gangs in Chicago to stop killing each other and stop perpetuating crimes in the community but an--and to join and try to do, do some programmatic thrusts that would benefit the community from our point of view. And so Jeff wanted to meet with us and we wanted to meet with him. Fred--

TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

There was a meeting one night--

BOBBY RUSH:

Sure. And Fred, Fred had a real keen ability to understand power relationships, okay? And he knew, uh, and had been told--

TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

We need to stop. You're doing great, we just need to change the batteries--