"In high school, Fred was president of the Inter-racial Cross Section Committee. He was not just a leader of Blacks but whites as well. Fred became leader of the youth NAACP at the age of 17, fighting for jobs, better recreation facilities, open housing. He led demonstrations for a swimming pool in Maywood.
Fred attended Triton College, Malcolm X College, and University of Illinois Circle Campus pursuing a pre-law course of studies. So Fred had become very busy—he had worked in groups like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), he met people like Stokely Carmichael, Dr. Ralph Abernathy, Jesse Jackson, Dick Gregory and various other people.
After Fred left the youth NAACP and SNCC and started doing things in the Maywood community, he joined the Illinois Black Panther and they chose him as their chairman. While he was chairman, the Illinois Black Panthers were organizing free medical centers, free breakfast programs, free clothing and free busing to prison programs.
Fred told the people to fight for their rights by any means necessary. He was organizing hospital strikes. He also founded what he called the Rainbow Coalition of poor whites, Blacks, Latinos, Indians and Chicanos in the city of Chicago to fight against oppression.
Fred took the Young Lords, a Puerto Rican gang, and the Young Patriots, a white gang from the Uptown area, and made all these groups into a political organization because he was trying to get them to see that racism wasn’t the only problem—that racism was a byproduct of capitalism. He was going to take these groups to wipe out capitalism and oppression.
During the trial, it was shown that the police and FBI were trying to get the gangs against the Panthers because the Panthers were trying to unite the gangs to fight against their oppression.”
Socialist Worker, “The Murder of Fred Hampton”