The goal is to have 100,000 signatures urging the release of Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald on July 2 by the California Board of Parole Hearings.
Imperial, CA (BlackNews.com) – On July 2, 2008, the possibility of freedom awaits Romaine “Chip” Fitzgerald, who has been in prison over 38 years. This is the date of his upcoming parole hearing. Chip’s case epitomizes the culmination of the dirty tricks and tactics the U.S. government employed in its effort to destroy the Black Panther Party, of which he was a member when he was arrested.
It is well-documented that, in the late 1960s, the FBI and other policing agencies of the government developed and carried out a concerted plan to neutralize or wipe out the Black Panther Party, after FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover issued his infamous declaration that the Party was the “greatest threat” to the nation’s security. As a result of the FBI’s brutal campaign, many Party leaders were assassinated, falsely imprisoned, imprisoned under extraordinary sentences, slandered and demonized, as Party offices were assaulted and Party programs were undermined. On January 17, 1969, the Party’s Southern California Chapter, of which Chip was a member, suffered the loss of its main leaders, Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins, at the hands of FBI-sponsored assassins. Prior to that, in August of 1968, Los Angeles police gunned down Panthers Tommy Lewis, Steve Bartholomew and Robert Lawrence in a single incident.