||Interview with Kwaku Duren chairman of
New Panther Vanguard Movement + Lawyer. By J.Lee
||Chairman of the NPVM B. Kwaku Duren, (far right) addresses a Protest Rally on the steps of
Los Angeles City Hall with Brown Berets to the left and the New Panthers on the right.
CODE OF CONDUCT
1. It is forbidden for a Black Panther/Vanguard Movement member to commit any crime or act of
physical violence against any other Black Panther/Vanguard Movement member.
2. No member may use, point, or fire a weapon of any kind unnecessarily or accidentally at anyone.
3. If arrested by the police, all members will only give their true name, address, and will sign
nothing. All members shall learn and understand their legal and constitutional rights.
4. It is forbidden to violate the dignity, honor or person of any Black Panther/Vanguard Movement
member or any member of the community.
5. It is forbidden to compromise the integrity of the Panther/Vanguard Movement by committing
illegal acts against the people.
6. No Black Panther/Vanguard Movement member shall be in possession of, or under the influence
of alcohol or narcotics (marijuana, cocaine, crack, etc.) while conducting movement work or while
wearing articles identified with the Black Panther/Vanguard Movement (T-shirts, beret, jacket, etc.).
7. Continuous Political Education is mandatory; the Revised Ten Point Platform and the Code of
Conduct must be known and understood by all members.
8. All members must strive to understand and increase their general knowledge, understanding of
basic sciences, revolutionary and historical principles, and methods of organizing and administering
to the needs of the people and the community.
9. When representing the Black Panther/Vanguard Movement, no member shall use inappropriate
profanity with any member of the community or Media.
10. No Black Panther/Vanguard Movement member shall purposely defame or vilify a person or a
people merely because of their national origin or, racial heritage; the Black Panther/Vanguard
Movement is not a racist organization; we don't fight racism with racism, we fight racism with racial
11. No Black Panther/Vanguard member shall speak to the Media unless authorized by the
appropriate leadership bodies, Confidential organizational information (telephone numbers,
addresses, internal memorandum and study papers, etc.,) shall not be released to persons or
organizations without clearance from the appropriate leadership bodies.
12. Any political, legal, or personal disputes between Black Panthers/ Vanguard Movement
members shall be settled in a just and non-antagonistic manner by internal arbitration or mediation.
13. All Black Panthers/Vanguard Movement members must at all times consider themselves to be
fully accountable not only to our “Movement” but also to the “people in the community.” Therefore,
each member must honor this sacred responsibility with humility, compassion, strength and the
deepest spirituality. All members shall respect all human life, and protect those who cannot protect
themselves. In all actions, both personal and organizational, members must be loyal to the Black
Panther/Vanguard Movement, its ideals and programs, and devoted to the cause of “serving the
people body and soul.”
14. All Black Panthers/Vanguard Movement members must abide by these rules as functional and
active members. Any observed infractions must be reported to the appropriate leadership bodies.
Violations of these rules of conduct must result in disciplinary action, temporary suspensions, or
permanent expulsion from the Black Panther/Vanguard Movement.
15. All chapters, branches, and components of the Black Panther/Vanguard Movement shall have
the right to representation on the “national Leadership council” with full voting rights
TEN POINT PLATFORM AND PROGRAM
POINT NUMBER ONE:
PEACE JUSTICE AND REPARATIONS
We seek and desire peace in our African-American and other oppressed communities. We firmly
support community efforts to promote unity among the many African-American, and other
organizations of oppressed peoples; we particularly support and encourage the advocacy and
organization of a formal “truce” among grass-roots neighborhood youth gangs, including the
numerous factions of the Crips and Bloods, and other OG’s. We believe that is imperative that
these youth groups/gangs come together for our common survival.
Justice is a prime condition for peace. We believe, and also recognize, that in order to achieve
“peace” in our neighborhoods that there must be real justice, particularly in the economic aspect:
massive resources will be necessary before “peace” can actually be achieved. We firmly believe
that “peace, “justice” and “reparations” are attainable goals, but only if we consciously and
consistently act to achieve them.
We demand Black reparations for hundreds of years of enslavement, genocide, and oppression
against African peoples; we also demand economic justice for all peoples: 1) a fair distribution of
the wealth, 2) equal access to finance capital and community-control of modern technology, 3) an
end to usurious lending practices of financial institutions and 4) full and fair employment and
compensation for all working people.
We believe that the economic empowerment of our communities can be achieved immediately
through “community economic development” (CED) and its focus on establishing independent,
community-based economic, social, cultural, and political institutions that serve the collective needs
of our communities.
POINT NUMBER TWO:
FOOD, HOUSING, MEDICAL CARE AND QUALITY EDUCATION
We support the human right to food, decent and affordable housing, quality medical care and
education. We believe housing and medical care must be a part of the public domain and exempt
from the competitive forces of the market place.
We demand education for our people that exposes the true history of this racist and inhumane
treatment of people of color in American society, and the true nature of the System of Capitalism.
We want education that teaches our people knowledge of our true history and role in this present
We believe that the educational process begins at birth and continues throughout life. Childcare
and development institutions must be fully integrated into a comprehensive educational system
based in and controlled by our communities. The present educational system is unacceptable
because it has demonstrated that it cannot prepare the majority of our youth to assume meaningful
and productive roles in this society.
POINT NUMBER THREE:
REFORM OF THE U.S. CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Who can deny that the jails and prisons of America are filled disproportionately with African-
Americans and other poor people of color, who have been historically denied equal access to
justice and economic opportunities, victimized by an uncaring economic system dominated by multi-
national corporations and clearly controlled by a small minority of the white majority population.
Poor people of color have been, and continue to be, subjected to selective and discriminatory
prosecutorial practices and policies that originate from a legislative process inherently hostile to the
interests and needs of poor people of color.
Although we condemn the abusive use of narcotics, harsh narcotics sentencing laws, in
particular, violate the spirit if not the letter of the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and
unusual punishment. Those addicted to narcotic use, and those in possession of small amounts of
narcotics, are routinely convicted and locked away in prisons across the country, while the large
suppliers and those who make enormous profits literally go free.
POINT NUMBER FOUR:
FREEDOM FOR ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS
We demand freedom for all political prisoners held unjustly in state and federal prisons, including
but not limited to those individuals imprisoned from the following organizations: the Black Panther
Party movement and/or the Black Liberation Movement, the Black Guerilla Army, the American
Indian Movement, the New Afrikan Peoples organizations, and the Puerto Rican Independence
organizations. We know that, in reality, there are literally hundreds of thousands of political
prisoners in the United States, victimized and criminalized by the existing American economic,
social, and political systems; the “freedom” of many of these comrades imprisoned will come only
after the full power of the people has been organized to make that a reality.
POINT NUMBER FIVE:
AN END TO POLICE BRUTALITY, TERROR AND ABUSES OF POWER
The Police Institution is a key component of the overall Criminal Justice System; it is at this level
that our people have the most lasting impressions of the so-called criminal justice system. We
demand and seek an immediate end to all forms of police brutality, murder, and abuses of their
power. We believe that it is unreasonable and impractical to expect the Police Institution, as it
presently exists, to police itself, and that history and bitter experience has shown this to be so.
We believe the entire criminal justice system as well as, the police institution itself, must be
drastically and fundamentally transformed so that it is properly based in, and controlled by, the
neighborhoods and communities which it should serve.
POINT NUMBER SIX:
SENTENCING REVIEW AND REDUCTIONS
We believe that monies required to imprison youth can be more effectively used to educate, train,
and rehabilitate those who are, in reality, victims of a racist and insensitive economic and political
We propose that African-Americans and other people of color, particularly those imprisoned for
“victimless” narcotic use or possession, have their sentences reviewed and reduced so that they
may be released with real opportunities for educational advancement and/or job training.
POINT NUMBER SEVEN:
SOLVING THE DRUG PROBLEM
We want to eliminate, within the community, the destruction and human devastation caused by
this so-called illegal trade in drugs. We believe that community-based program of decriminalization
and removal of the profit motive from the sale of so-called illegal drugs would eliminate the main
cause of the violence and crime that are a direct product of the narcotic trade.
We believe that the Central Intelligence Agency, the Drug Enforcement, and internationally
organized criminal organizations, have been largely Responsible, directly and indirectly, for the
massive infusion of “drugs” into our communities. In order to concretely resolve this international
“drug trade” the CIA, and the DEA, and these “criminal organizations,” must be dissolved.
Ultimately, the abusive use of drugs, is also a medical problem; it is also, in large part, a social
and political problem including alcohol, reflecting the reality of widespread despair and
hopelessness among the broad masses of people, particularly among the youth. We believe that
“drug use” has been a part of human culture since time immemorial; however, drug “abuse” can
only be eliminated when all people have equal access to humane drug treatment, decent
educational opportunities, and meaningful employment.
POINT NUMBER EIGHT:
AN END TO MILITARY AGGRESSION
We recognize that African-Americans have been disproportionately represented in the rank and
file of the United States Military, primarily because of the racist employment practices and the lack
of educational opportunities in the American society. We believe, therefore, that African-Americans
have a particularly special interest in ensuring that the U.S. military is not used as a “tool of
repression” or “economic domination” for the private benefit of Multi-national corporations and their
We seek an end to unilateral American military aggression against, and intervention into, the
domestic affairs of sovereign nations. We see the end of the so-called Cold War as an opportunity
to drastically reduce the size of the U.S. Military budget so that tax dollars can be used to fund
economic development programs in our communities. We support the demand for “jobs with
peace” and the total conversion of the U.S. economy to “peace-time” production.
POINT NUMBER NINE:
RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE AND SEPARATION OF STATE AND RELIGION
We believe that African people come from a rich and diverse spiritual tradition. Although not
without criticism, we support and appreciate the role of religious teachings in our communities. We
advocate religious tolerance based on a mutual respect and regard for truth, justice and human
We recognize that the institutions of the church, masjids and temples have traditionally played a
leading role in our struggle for peace, freedom and justice. From the spiritual teachings of Nat
Turner, to Malcolm X, and Dr. King, our communities rose and struggled under the bold leadership
of these activist ministers. Our current religious leaders must follow the leadership of these
activists, unite, and cooperate in order to stop the collective decline of our communities.
We believe that religious faith and belief is not enough, they must be tied to action in the inspiring
tradition of Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (Peace be unto them). The spirituality of African-
Americans embraces our long quest for freedom and justice; it is our very spiritual beings which
dictate that we organize for collective survival and future progress. We must instruct our youth, by
example, as to the true meaning of individual ethics and social responsibility. We believe that
history has taught well the lesson that the “state” and the “church” must be strictly separated in
order to achieve religious freedom. We believe it is wrong for the United States government to
endorse or repress any genuine religious practice or institution.
POINT NUMBER TEN:
FREEDOM IS ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE