For some, all they truly know of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense are images of black leather jackets, black berets and amazing afros. The BPP was much more than a “Black-glam” moment in our history. Others will dig deeper and study the “Ten-Point Plan”. That is the seminal document that outlined the grand vision and purpose for which the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense placed themselves on the front line.
But another document from the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense is deserving of as much scrutiny and study as the “Ten-Point Plan”. Without it the Party could not have stood as long as it did against COINTELPRO and other forces of repression. That document is the “Rules of the Black Panther Party” and is posted below:
Rules of the Black Panther Party
Every member of the Black Panther Party throughout this country of racist America must abide by these rules as functional members of this party. Central Committee members, Central Staffs, and Local Staffs, including all captains subordinated to either national, state, and local leadership of the Black Panther Party will enforce these rules. Length of suspension or other disciplinary action necessary for violation of these rules will depend on national decisions by national, state or state area, and local committees and staffs where said rule or rules of the Black Panther Party were violated. Every member of the party must know these verbatim by heart. And apply them daily. Each member must report any violation of these rules to their leadership or they are counter-revolutionary and are also subjected to suspension by the Black Panther Party. The rules are:
1. No party member can have narcotics or weed in his possession while doing party work.
2. Any part member found shooting narcotics will be expelled from this party.
3. No party member can be drunk while doing daily party work.
4. No party member will violate rules relating to office work, general meetings of the Black Panther Party, and meetings of the Black Panther Party anywhere.
5. No party member will use, point, or fire a weapon of any kind unnecessarily or accidentally at anyone.
6. No party member can join any other army force, other than the Black Liberation Army.
7. No party member can have a weapon in his possession while drunk or loaded off narcotics or weed.
8. No party member will commit any crimes against other party members or black people at all, and cannot steal or take from the people, not even a needle or a piece of thread.
9. When arrested Black Panther members will give only name, address, and will sign nothing. Legal first aid must be understood by all Party members.
10. The Ten-Point Program and platform of the Black Panther Party must be known and understood by each Party member.
11. Party Communications must be National and Local.
12. The 10-10-10-program should be known by all members and also understood by all members.
13. All Finance officers will operate under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance.
14. Each person will submit a report of daily work.
15. Each Sub-Section Leaders, Section Leaders, and Lieutenants, Captains must submit Daily reports of work.
16. All Panthers must learn to operate and service weapons correctly.
17. All Leaders who expel a member must submit this information to the Editor of the Newspaper, so that it will be published in the paper and will be known by all chapters and branches.
18. Political Education Classes are mandatory for general membership.
19. Only office personnel assigned to respective offices each day should be there. All others are to sell papers and do Political work out in the community, including Captain, Section Leaders, etc.
20. Communications–all chapters must submit weekly reports in writing to the National Headquarters.
21. All Branches must implement First Aid and/or Medical Cadres.
22. All Chapters, Branches, and components of the Black Panther Party must submit a monthly Financial Report to the Ministry of Finance, and also the Central Committee.
23. Everyone in a leadership position must read no less than two hours per day to keep abreast of the changing political situation.
24. No chapter or branch shall accept grants, poverty funds, money or any other aid from any government agency without contacting the National Headquarters.
25. All chapters must adhere to the policy and the ideology laid down by the Central Committee of the Black Panther Party.
26. All Branches must submit weekly reports in writing to their respective Chapters.
8 Points of Attention
1. Speak politely.
2. Pay fairly for what you buy.
3. Return everything you borrow.
4. Pay for anything you damage.
5. Do not hit or swear at people.
6. Do not damage property or crops of the poor, oppressed masses.
7. Do not take liberties with women.
8. If we ever have to take captives do not ill-treat them.
3 Main Rules of Discipline
1. Obey orders in all your actions.
2. Do not take a single needle or piece of thread from the poor and oppressed masses.
3. Turn in everything captured from the attacking enemy.
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