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The Demonstrators


Ann Froines


I wanted to work on the New Haven trial for a couple of reasons. First, I had witnessed the manner in which Bobby Seale had been treated in Chicago-the binding and the gagging-and I wanted to work for his political defense. Another thing, which outraged all of us in Chicago, was the murder of Fred Hampton. The fact that the Chicago pigs would go that far and knew nothing would ever happen to them made a great impression on many people. We knew that we could no longer talk loosely about organizing political support for the Panthers but that it was essential we do it. And third, I read a letter that Frances Carter wrote describing how she felt about having her baby in jail and then having it taken away from her. It touched me deeply.

After I came to New Haven, I spent much of my time attempting to organize the May Day demonstrations, speaking to local groups, making arrangements. I dealt mostly with movement groups. Other organizations were working in the liberal community. I felt strongly that the movement had to mobilize around the trial.

Even with the Mclucas trial over, there are many reasons for continuing to hold demonstrations. We have to defend Bobby Seale and Ericka Huggins now because we are locked in a struggle with the people who want to put them in jail. It would be negligence on our part, and a defeat, if we were not able to show those forces that want to destroy the.Black Panther Party and jail Bobby Seale that we will not stand for it.

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