Interview with Bobby Rush
QUESTION 6
TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

You were speaking before about some of the alliances, tell me what- that the Panthers did seek alliances with other groups. What were some of the alliances you were seeking?

BOBBY RUSH:

Well, we had, um, uh, the Panthers were always involved in coalition building. Always involved in coalition building, and, and that's how, one of the ways that we rejected certain--





TERRY ROCKEFELLER:

Who were the Panthers seeking to build alliances, coalitions with?

BOBBY RUSH:

Well, as you know, the Panthers, we wanted alliances with all progressive groups that we could work with toward a common goal. And we certainly and specifically with--here in Chicago, we, early on in the history of the Panthers we developed a very, very close relationship with, the Young Lords who were a Hispanic group of actually ex-gang members, and not only ex-gang members but they were also middle class students and things like that too. They were, they were, they were an organization we decided to work closely with under Cha-cha Jimenez. And then we also developed a close alliance with the Young Patriots which was, um, a young White organization that was involved in uptown. They were young, Appalachian Whites. And Bob Lee, who was the one of the field lieutenants within the Panther Party actually came from the north side and he was familiar with some of these groups. And he actually worked very hard to pull us closer together. And we developed what we called the Rainbow Coalition. It was the first indication that, I mean, first time that the Rainbow Coalition was used. And we actually had buttons, little small buttons with different colors on it, that there was some alliance, that we were promoting the Rainbow Coalition. And this was back in s--the early part of se--'69. So we also worked very closely with SDS and, and then other organizations throughout the city of Chicago and, and, and I'm just speaking sp--specifically of Chicago now because we thought that there was a role that needed to be played by all those groups, especially in their own neighborhoods, in their own communities. We had--