The Red Guards were an Chinese-American civil rights militant group active during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The movement drew inspiration from a variety of sources including the Boxer Rebellion, The Red Guards in China, and the Black Panthers. The I Wor Kuen were a similar group operating in New York City modeled after the Boxers, who later merged with the west coast based Red Guards. The I Wor Kuen would later form the political front for the Red Guard Party as the more militant elements went underground. The Red Guards were modeled after and closely aligned with the Black Panther movement. The Black Panther's official newspaper had this to say about the Red Guard movement:

"San Francisco’s Red Guard was patterned closely after the Black Panther Party. In 1969, the federal government wanted to shut down a Tuberculosis testing center located in San Francisco’s Chinese community. At the time, Chinatown had the highest TB rate in the country. The young Asians in the Red Guard organized the community and staged successful protest demonstrations to keep that TB testing center open. Through these protests and the programs that the Red Guard initiated, Chinatown’s citizens were enlightened and became open to more progressive politics. In 1970, members of the Red Guard were part of a delegation that was invited to join Eldridge Cleaver and they accompanied him in a visit to China, North Korea, and North Vietnam. After about two and a half years, due to political and police repression, such as office raids, arrests without warrants, false arrest, and armed stand-offs with police, the organization collapsed."