Patriot Party (American New Left)

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The Patriot Party (formerly Young Patriot Organization or Young Patriots) was a 1970s White radical New Left political organization based in New York City and supportive of the Black Panthers. They issued a publication called The Patriot with a southern rebel flag on the masthead. The paper attempted to appeal to "oppressed" White people. The Patriot Party broke from the Young Patriot Organization in Chicago which was part of the original Rainbow Coalitions of Appalachian whites and Puerto Ricans in support of the Black Panthers. They began calling themselves "hillbilly nationalists."[1]

William Fesperman known as "Preacherman" was chairman of the party with Arthur Turco designated as chief of staff. The group setup their headquarters in Yorkville, at the time a poor White neighborhood of New York City.[2] In the 1930s Yorkville was a thriving German-American community. On February 22, 1970 police raided the apartment headquarters of the Patriot Party confiscating guns, drugs, and arresting twelve party members.[3] Fesperman and Turco expanded the party to several cities including Eugene, Oregon, New Haven, Connecticut, Cleveland, Ohio, Richmond, Virginia, and Washington DC. The fledgling group had a few dozen members.

Turco was a radical lawyer associated with William Kunstler a defense attorney for the Chicago Seven. Before Turco was associated with the Patriot Party he was involved in the murder of a Black Panther supporter in Baltimore.

Officers

  • William "Preacherman" Fesperman, Chairman of the Party[4]
  • Arthur Turco, Chief of Staff
  • Judy Ericson, New York Lieutenant of Information
  • Nancy Willis, breakfast coordinator for New York City
  • Larry Moore, National Defense Captain[5]
  • Thomas Dostou, New Haven Field Marshal
  • Chuck Armsbury, Eugene, Oregon chapter

Notes

  1. Hillbilly Nationalists, Urban Race Rebels, and Black Power: Community Organizing in Radical Times by Amy Sonnie, James Tracy, and Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
  2. "Patriots in Purgatory", Columbia Daily Spectator
  3. "Raid Uncovers Gun Cache", Beaver County Times (Beaver, Pennsylvania), February 24, 1970
  4. AIM: Bulletin of the American Independent Movement, Volume 5, 1970
  5. "Patriots Work for Revolution" Yale Daily News January 14, 1970

External links