Interview with Bobby Seale
QUESTION 35
INTERVIEWER:

Now, you went inside and you met the other observers and Commissioner Oswald and they presented 28 points to you. What was your reaction to the 28 points.

BOBBY SEALE:

Well, they were basically 28 points and to me they were demands, they were the demands of the prisoners, you know. Of course my point was that I needed to get inside the prison to talk to the prisoners about the 28 points. A couple of the people of course said, "We've got to get them to compromise on these last three points." I think Commissioner Oswald had made the statement that we cannot negotiate on these last three points. So we went inside. When I went inside the prison, finally when we got past of all this massive amount of fire power and idiot guards making a statement, you know what I mean, "Yeah, we'll blow your ass away," or something like this, what have you, etc., "If anything happens, you get it too." They were saying that to me and my other party members who was with us. Finally, when we got to where the prisoners were, well the leaders of the negotiation, the prisoners asked me, to have me speak. I spoke. We sit down and we start talking and then three of the brothers pulled me to the side at the other end of the table where no cameras and nobody was there. And started rapping to me about, "We need a helicopter in here. If we can get a helicopter in here and get to eight or nine or ten, whoever it was, they wanted out, who could leave the country and go into exile." Then that, that point they would negotiate on. They would drop the other three points that Oswald would not negotiate on, which involved some prisoners leaving the country as exile, on one of those points, one of those last three points that were non-negotiable. So, in effect, I couldn't, ah, ah, in other words, I, I just couldn't make a decision that I was going to bring a helicopter. I told them I had to go back to Oakland, California. I had to talk the Central Committee of the Black Party to do this. So the next morning, which was Sunday, I came back to the prison, and attempted to go in again. Commissioner Oswald would not let me in.

INTERVIEWER:

Let's cut.


BOBBY SEALE:

Next morning I came back to the prison and I got inside. I went into the negotiating committee's room, you know, this-- and, ah, Commissioner Oswald was there. I told him to tell him I wanted to get in. Commissioner Oswald came out and says, ah, "Oh, are you going to tell them they have to drop the last three points?" I said, "Commissioner Oswald I can't do that at this time," you know. He said, "Well, if you can't tell them to do that then you can't go in the prison." So, I left, caught a plane a couple of hours later. Flew to San Francisco. Immediately had Huey P. Newton and other members of the Central Committee and Charles Garry our lawyer come because we had to make this private between, Charles Garry was all of our lawyers, right. So, if anything come about conspiracy, well this is between our lawyers and us and what legal ground we have. And I explained to them that they wanted a helicopter to fly in over the wall to let the prisoners, nine or ten prisoners get out and then, 'cause they heard we had a United Airlines, Black United Airlines pilot, who was a member of the Black Panther Party, who edited our paper, newspaper part time, sometimes. And they thought maybe we could get a pilot for the helicopter break. Huey P. Newton and I and the rest of the, it was too short a period of time, it was too short notice, even if we, even if we could have got one of our White Radical revolutionary friends. It was too short a notice to even put it all together, that the best thing I could do is go back and try to get with, with the negotiating committee to try to see what we could do now. The problem with me is I wasn't able to, ah, say for the prisoners, that you're going to drop those last three points. I couldn't do that. But that morning, Monday morning when I arrived back in Buffalo, coming from the airport, one of the local lawyers had picked us up, dropped us off at the hotel. We threw our bags in the door. Shut the door. Got back in the car. Live on radio is suddenly, as we're driving a couple of miles from Buffalo, "The prison and the prisoners are being attacked." I mean this is what's going on. We hear this live on radio. We drive a few miles and see they have attacked the prison. I mean this is live. Next day, I was still there in Buffalo. The New York Times has printed that Bobby Seale had went in that last Saturday night and told the prisoners to cut the throats of the guards, which of course, the coroner later confirmed that not one of the prisoners, which I never did tell the prisoners that. Because I would--