In this week’s episode of his TeleSUR show “Days of Revolt,” Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges speaks with former Black Panther Eddie Conway and former Black Liberation Army member Ojore Lutalo about the state’s response to the uprisings in the black community during the 1960s and ’70s and how that applies to the Black Lives Matter protests today.

“[The uprisings] definitely had an effect, and that’s what needed today in our communities because the police are back on a kick of burying us without regard, burying us without any kind of consequences,” Lutalo says. “They don’t fear us or respect us, so that’s why they do what they do.”

WATCH: VIDEO: Chris Hedges and Larry Hamm Talk Police Violence and America’s Deep-Rooted Racism

“Was your decision to go underground in an armed revolutionary movement, that’s not a decision you’d take back?” Chris asks Lutalo later in the interview.

“No, because I’m still being oppressed,” Lutalo explains. “I don’t have a choice in the matter. Either, like I just said, I can remain a slave or rebel. I chose to rebel.”

Conway, a political prisoner who spent 44 years behind bars before being released in 2014, says the lessons he’s learned are applicable to today’s protests against the violence and police brutality in the black community.

“Well, what I think of the things that we have learned, hopefully that we have learned, is that you have to organize in the communities, community by community, and you have to try and do it legitimately,” Conway says. “You have to recognize that you can still be framed. I’m an example of that. But in the face of all that, the alternative is to accept the fact that it’s not just violence being committed by the police or law enforcement elements or others kind of elements against individuals, it’s massive violence by the capitalist system itself on the population. …”

“The houses are collapsing, the hope is gone, the poverty is there,” he adds. “I mean, that’s violence, all that is violence. And it’s violence that will destroy a people. It’s violence that almost rises to the point of genocide. …”

Watch the complete interview below:


–Posted by Jenna Berbeo

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