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The Lincoln Hospital's acupuncture drug detoxification clinic was founded in the South Bronx by activists involved with The Black Panther Party, The Republic of New Afrika, the Young Lords, and Students for a Democratic Society. The clinic offered drug rehabilitation with a holistic approach, employing acupuncture, political education classes and community service.

In the courses, participants learned about their addiction in a political context, exploring how their addiction harmed themselves, their community and family. It also explored the role of governmental institutions such as the CIA in drug trafficking and profiteering as well as how drug addiction has worked against progressive and revolutionary change.

Community work was also politicized: doing work such as helping an evicted tenant find housing, welfare rights work, helping a family with transportation to go see an imprisoned relative, or attending a trial showing support for one of the many political prisoners who were being railroaded into prisons for their political work.

Eventually the center was targeted by the FBI under COINTELPRO. FBI agents would attempt to turn drug addicts involved in the center into informants, often successfully. The tension came to a head when over 200 members of the New York Police Department and their SWAT teams used excessive force to close it down. The government claimed that clinic workers were mismanaging funds, but others claim it was an excuse to close the clinic because of its revolutionary politics.


  • Churchill, Ward Vander Wall. The COINTELPRO Papers: documents from the FBI's secret wars against dissent. 2002. p. 309.
  • Nehanda's Story at Columbia University's Social Justice Wiki