Sunday, 9 November 2008
PANTHER LEGACY IN PARLIAMENT: 5th Nov 08
[pictured left-right: Sukant Chandan (chair), Emory Douglas, George Galloway MP and Billy X]
Another great meeting held last night [05/11/08] in the Grand Committee Room in the Houses of Parliament.
Again, time does not allow me to give full credit to the content of the contributions by George, Emory and Billy X.
The meeting was jointly organised by the Respect political party and the Black Panther Commemoration Committee (BPCC). George Galloway Member of Parliament is the Respect party's leader, and also spoke last night.
On a day when the USA elected its first African-American President, we too made a little bit of history on this day by having Black Panthers speaking for the first time (to the best of our knowledge) in the Houses of Parliament.
The meeting was packed with around 80 people in attendance.
George Galloway made a great speech as per-usual, focusing on the mis-representation of the Black Panthers as offensively militaristic. Galloway stressed that rather their strategy was always one of self-defence. Galloway also spoke at some length about Obama's victory, and the controversies around his presidential campaign in relation to Bill Ayers and Obama's Muslim background. George mentioned that there must be something good in Obama's victory if only judging from the hysteria around his middle name 'Hussein', and the general right-wing and Zionist frenzied campaign against Obama.
Emory and Billy X both made great speeches recounting their experiences that led them to join the Panthers and their experiences thereof.
Emory talked of how the underlying injustices continue for working class and oppressed people of colour in the USA despite the Obama's achievement of reaching the presidency. Emory stressed that the causes of indecent housing, unemployment and racism still needs to be addressed. Emory also stated that McCain and those like him have not gone away and will keep putting pressure on Obama to disable him from making any progress.
It was particularly great to see so many young people attending this meeting. It is not often in political meetings that young working class people from both black and white backgrounds come together to and engage in discussion regarding the issues of race and class oppression and what to do about these issues.
After the the session of speeches and debate people in the room continued to discuss with each other in a general positive atmosphere of friendship and solidarity with the Panthers.
On behalf of the Black Panther Commemoration Committee I would like to thank Caroline, Kevin Ovenden and George Galloway, Alexandra, Fahim, Carrie and the Treatment Room crew, Black 9 Films who filmed the event, Steve and Henna who photographed the event, all those who attended, and all the BPCC volunteers and organisers.
Black Panther Commemoration Committee