seven others who were known as the Chicago Eight. On August 28, 1968 Stokely Carmichael, prime minister of the BPP was expelled from SNCC (the Student Non- Violent Coordinating Committee). In September of 1968, George Murray who was Minister of Culture of the BPP was expelled as a teacher at San Francisco State College. The Black Students Union of SFSC called a campus wide strike. On September 8-12, 1968, Newton was convicted of voluntary manslaughter. This was considered a compromise for the BPP because it was felt that Huey would have gotten the electric chair had he been found guilty of murder. The BPP felt the verdict was a tactical temporary victory and that the mass mobilization techniques had been effective. The University of California (Berkeley) offered Eldridge Cleaver a non-credit lectureship. Governor Ronald Reagan opposed his hiring and sought to cut off UC (Berkeley’s) funds if Cleaver was not fired. UC students responded by staging a sit-in at the administration building. On September 28, 1968, Huey P. Newton was sentenced to 2 to 15 years in state prison. Drunken Oakland police shot up the Panther office. Cleaver was ordered to return to jail and his parole revoked in 60 days. 608 David Hillard, Chief of Staff, took command of the BPP with Newton’s absence. On October 9, 1968, Eldridge Cleaver began his first lecture on the UC Berkeley campus. He led approximately 5,000 students in a chorus of “Fuck Ronald Reagan” on the steps of Sproul Hall. On November 6 th students and some staff at San Francisco State College began a major strike. On November 24 th Eldridge Cleaver disappeared three days before he was scheduled to turn himself in to serve the remainder of the thirteen-year sentence for a 1958 rape conviction. Having fled the United States in 1968 to avoid prosecution for the April 26 shootout he secretly traveled by way of Canada to Cuba where he came into conflict with Cuban authorities about his supposedly sexual behavior. At the bequest of the Cubans, the Algerians gave Cleaver exile status, where he established the international section of the BPP. Cleaver described its main tasks as: internationally publicizing the Panther “struggle”; making alliances with other movements; receiving assistance from other 607 Kathleen Rout, Eldridge Cleaver , [Boston: Twayne Publishers, 1991], p. 136. 608 Ibid, (Kathleen Rout), p.71. 314
groups; and laying proposals before the U.N. in the future. 609 Carmichael and his faction within the Panthers were purged from the party in 1969. Panthers on the East Coast (New York) were involved in the Ocean-Hill Brownsville alternative quality education movement to establish a community-controlled school. They provided some of the foot soldiers, demonstrators and security for the parents and students. 610 On the West Coast, on December 4, 1968, more than five hundred members of the community went to San Francisco State campus to support the strikers. Confrontation between strikers and police resulted in a number of arrests. Throughout 1968 Panther offices were raided and Panthers arrested.
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