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Organizing Self Defense Groups

The Black Panther Party

Republished from the March 28, 1970 issue (vol. IV, no. 17) of The Black Panther.

Editor's note:

In this series of brief articles transcribed and republished from the weekly newspaper, The Black Panther, we hope to provide our readers with a scholarly examination of what the Black Panther Party felt were tried and tested methods of organizing for purposes of community protection and defense in the face of white supremacist terror. In an era of reemergent fascism and a racism so pervasive as to warrant widespread public protest, we feel that it is our duty as activist-minded scholars to make accessible the strategies, tips, and tactics undertaken and sharpened by the Black Panther Party during their struggles against fascistic white supremacy.


In organizing self-defense groups at this stage of the struggle, the most important consideration is whether or not the person to be incorporated into the group understands fully that what he or she is doing is the right thing to do. At this stage of the struggle, if any members of a self-defense group are weak-minded or do not understand that the only way to put an end to brutality and murder by this racist power structure is to organize self-defense groups and counterattack, practice has shown that if this weak-minded person is ever captured he or she will certainly not be able to withstand the methods of persuasion used by the fascist pigs and they will talk, give up information. So the first priority for any self-defense group is to be armed ideologically.

Because of the consequences if anything goes wrong during an operation, members within the group must maintain a face-to-face relationship, get to know each other's strengths and weaknesses thoroughly, and participate fully in the planning of operations. Liberalism at this level can cost the lives of comrades and/or jeopardize the success of an operation.

At this time, self-defense groups should have no more than four to six members. The struggle at this time requires no operation that can't be handled by four to six people. Also, security is sacrificed, the larger the group. At this time, self-defense groups should be formed across BabylonNorth, South, East, and West. However, at this time, groups must work unanimously. Under no circumstances should any group seek out and try to make contact with another group. Due to the fact that this level of struggle is in its embryonic stages, and fools, agents, and provocateurs are scattered all across Babylon, if autonomy is maintained when a member of the group is captured, he or she will only be able to give up information on one group: their own.

Know the enemy. At this time, pigs have three things going for them:

1. Communication

2. Mobility

3. Information


When planning any operation, the pigs' C.M.I. must be taken into consideration when planning tactics.

Part 2 will appear at a later date and will deal with self-defense weapons and training.




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