"For me, the most important lesson
[of the Freedom Movement] is that by respecting the fact that fellow activists could passionately disagree over strategy and tactics—yet remain allies—they strengthened SNCC and the Movement as a whole."
From Bruce Hartford's article in the current issue of Urban Habitat.
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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Scarred Justice (Aug. 7)

Here are some reflections from the Chalk Talk following the screening of excerpts following the Orangeburg Massacre:

*Reflections on Greensburg, SC--I'm surprised this episode in the Civil Rights Movement isn't as well known or publicized by mass communications and media. I like the emphasis on what black power is; that it is about organizing and not about violence. It is about Democracy... and people still live in fear.

*I found the violent outbreaks to be very shocking. How police can open fire on civilians is hard to watch; cops hurt the very people they are sworn to serve. This era seemed like a time of chaos; Governor McNair did not seem to know how to react to the restless passion of political activists.

1.) "Too many" officers for such "a small group" of KIDS---sad
2.) Black kids "Did not" matter...had it happened to "White kids" at Kent State
3.) It surprised me that the "Black Panther" movement "Did not" do more of an outcry and considering Cleveland Sellers and Stokeley were friends.
4.) What was Dr. King's response to this??? and the SCLC
5.)How many students were there that night?

*How the plot has not changed
*Non-violent protest cops arrive in full force and armed beat and shoot pushing the crowd to react by attack students
*the media rewrites whole story blaming protesters--armed shot cops (no mention of the tanks)
*Change selected students perhaps discouraging one
*The recent Oscar Grant protests are another case of this. How could anyone believe the media version.
*In 1991 (I think) Bush I bombed Iraq the SFPD blamed all the antiwar protests in the Bay Area. They actually pressed charges until finally someone laughed at them enough that they dropped the charges. The ability to demonize someone beyond logic by the state/enforced by the cops is endless and repeating.

*So many thoughts...
*Injustice that situation of segregation existed
*That situation escalated to point of students being gunned down by police and that this could and does happen in U.S.
*Where was nonviolent training for both police and students throughout
*The injustice and manipulation of charges against Cleveland Sellers
*The parallels to what was going on about this time with the American Indian Movement and the incarceration of Leonard Pelter who is in prison to this day for unproven charges against him

*Federal troops called to bring "peace to the city"
*Controlling access to the media
*Failure of the justice system
*Has there been a resolution of this case?

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