Interview with Bobby Seale
QUESTION 25
INTERVIEWER:

The police and the FBI raided the Chicago Panther headquarters several times in 1969 and at one point they, like, broke in and knocked it down. Could you just tell that story about the time they tore the place apart and what you advised them to do and what the community did in, in response to what happened afterward.

BOBBY SEALE:

In 1969 practically every branch and chapter of the Black Panther Party throughout the United States was attacked not less than once and as much as five times particularly in Chicago. Ah, there was, wait a minute, I'm goofing up here.


BOBBY SEALE:

The Chicago Chapter of the Black Panther Party was attacked several times. And one particular time I remember they raided the Black Panther Party office and they had a short shoot out. And of course we had a rule that we would take an arrest. But somehow or another, you know, it was another incident, so they took the arrest. But what the police did is they went in like Eliot Ness with sledgehammers. I mean, our press, all of our IBM typewriters that had been donated by the White radicals, our newspapers, I mean our mimeograph papers by the caseload and then set the whole building on fire. This is what the FBI and the Chicago Police did. Now, the idea on the part of the police was to psyche the community out. They called me up the next day, I says, "Is the office open?" "Well, no the police boarded the place up." I say, "Open it back up. You got the lease to the place." "What?" I says, "Open it up. Take all that boarding down. Paint that place." And the Black Panther Party members started working for a couple of days. The next thing you know the community started bringing wood, paint, and everything, and opened that Black Panther Party office right back up. And of course, this is an attempt to terrorize us out of existence. At the same time if they, if we would close down, it would leave the Black community saying, "Well, they stopped them.".**