Seattle Chapter - Black Panther Party

In April of 1968, a delegation of Black Students Union members from Garfield High School and the University of Washington traveled to San Francisco State University to attend the second annual West Coast Black Student Union Conference. A day after arriving Aaron and Elmer Dixon and Anthony Ware and others drove over to Oakland to attend the funeral of Lil Bobby Hutton who had been gunned down only days earlier.

Later that evening Bobby Seale accompanied by Kathleen Cleaver and Warren Wells arrived at San Francisco State to give the keynote address. After that speech Aaron, Elmer and Anthony knew that they were going to be Party members. A week later Bobby Seale and George Murray were in Seattle crisping the first chapter of the BPP outside of California. Within the first month of the opening of the Party office, there were over 300 people whom had signed up to join the Party.

It wasn't long before the Seattle Panthers began armed patrols of the police and defending the rights of the Black Community. In 1969, the first Breakfast Program for School children was established and that same year saw the opening of the First Medical Clinic in the Northwest. The Seattle Chapter also was charged with the overseeing Black Panther offices in Portland, and Eugene Oregon as well as Tacoma Washington. By late 1969, three Panthers lost their lives. The Seattle Chapter went on to establish a Bussing Program to Prison, a Liberation School, Legal Aid Program and the cities first Free Food Program, as well as the First Medical Clinic that is still open now in 2003, it has served thousands.

In the late months of 1968, 13 armed Panthers entered Rainier Beach High School to defend Black Students who were been attacked and threatened by the white students. The school staff had refused to protect the Black Students there were 30-40 police in front of the school at the time.

In the summer of 1968, the Seattle Chapter was raided and Aaron Dixon was arrested for possession of a stolen typewriter, the arrest touched off a 3-day riot in Seattle, which lead to a two year war between the Seattle Chapter and Seattle Police.

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