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August 30, 1963 - Image 29

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Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1963-08-30

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30, 186 THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Inte rationists

Think

Twice on

Demonstratior

NEW YORK-Despite the mas-
sive demonstration in Washington
Wednesday, Negro leaders have in-
dicated that mass protests are go-
ing out of style-at least for the
winter, the Wall Street Journal
reports. .
"This is the watchword now:
Stay out of jail, keep your money
in your pockets and register every
voter you can get your hands on,"
Charles Evers says, who has taken
over as Mississippi field secretary
for the National Association for
the Advancement of Colored Peo-
ple following the murder of his,
brother, Medgar, this summer:
What Evers is calling for are
more intensive boycotts and step-
ped-up voter registration drives in
place of street demonstrations
which put hundreds of Negroes in-
to jail
No Formula
"Negroes are just beginning to
realize that big demonstrations of
the civil disobedience variety are
not. a magic formula,"' Paul An-
thony, field director of the South-
ern Regional Council, says. "Dem-
onstrations have been and will
continue to be useful where they
can trigger community action. But
in some communities, the trigger is
pulled but the gun doesn't go off.
White resistance just solidifies."
There's no doubt the demonstra-
tions have been a costly and wear-
ing proposition to civil rights ad-
vocates in some .Southern cities.
While the massive demonstration
technique did bring dramatic re-
suits in such cities as Birmingham
and Nashville, it has been an ab-
ject failure in other cities such as.
Jackson.
Consolidate Aims
In Dallas, Clarence Laws, South-
west regional secretary for the
NAACP, puts, it this way:; "We're
at a point now where the demon-
stration gains are being consoli-
dated and new techniques devised.
We know a pitcher can't go on
winning games with nothing but a
fast ball."
It's no accident that Negro strat-
egy is being overhauled just as
schools around, the country pre-
pare to open their doors. With the
children back in their classrooms,
Negro leaders realize they won't
be able to muster the huge crowds
they've been able to call into the
streets during the summer vaca-
tion. High school-and often grade
school--youth has formed the bulk
of the Negro civil rights battalions
that have battered at segregation's
walls the past few months. While
4 officials in Savannah, site of big
demonstrations in June and July,
estimate that "75 per cent to 85

per cent of the 2000 demonstrators
they've had to deal with were juv-
eniles."
Discipline Problems
Negroes are well aware that
when school opens their children
will be vulnerable to disciplinary
action by school officials if they
miss school as a result of their
demonstrating. Evers notes: "We
simply can't afford to take the
chance of our children getting ex-
pelled. We remember Birming-
ham."
In that city, 1,081 school chil-
dren were suspended or expelled
for participating in riots in May.
Though a federal court overturn-
ed the school board ruling on a
technicality, sources close to the
Birmingham school board indicate
youthful demonstrators will meet
the same reception if they try
again.
Southern school boards advance
an economic argument for taking
a tough stand on truancy caused
by demonstrations: "We intend to
be very intolerant of truancy of
this nature," Savannah School
Board President Darnell Brawner
promises. "With more than half
our operating revenues coming
from the state on the basis of
average daily attendance, we just
can't afford to look the other way."
New Roles
All this, of course, doesn't nr n
that young Negroes will be t.aen
out of the picture entirely when
school opens. Negro leaders note
that nights and weekends will still
be available for demonstrations.
Also, militant Negro college stu-
dents trooping back to school will
doubtless form the- core of many
demonstrations in towns near their
schools. Nevertheless, the opening
of school signals the death knell.
for massive marches in many com-
munities.'
Besides being influenced by
school reopenings, Negro strate-
gists are reacting to the lack of
success they've had with demon-
strators in such Southern cities as

Jackson, Albany, Ga., and Danville,
Va. Demonstrations having failed
to gain the objective in these
towns, Negroes are switching to
more subtle methods which some
refer to as "guerrilla warfare."
Consider Albany, a little south-
western Georgia trade center. Big
demonstrations there in 1961 and
last year have failed completely to
budge an adamant city govern-
ment. Quick police action has con-
sistently broken up Negro demon-
stration efforts and, as a result,
there hasn't been a major demon-
stration all this year, Negro and
white leaders report.
No Effect
"We had to switch strategy after
the demonstrations had no tangi-
ble effect," M.S. Page, executive
secretary of the Albany movement,
says. "And frankly, many of our
adult Negroes simply don't have
the backbone for it; they've been
frightened off. So now we're wag-
ing guerrilla warfare, hanging on
with bulldog tenacity."
The Albany Negroes have turn-
ed to a mass boycott. Since it be-
gan early this year, Negroes drive
out of town to buy in nearby
Moultrie, in Columbus, 85 miles
away and even in Atlanta 170 miles
away. Some go in a car pool ar-
ranged by the movement. "I figure
I've spent some $2000 out of town
this year," says Page, who re-
cently motored to Atlanta to buy
an air conditioner for his home.
Negro leaders elsewhere are
turning to the boycott as a pri-
mary weapon. "We're finding that
a lot of people don't begin to feel
any pangs of conscience until the
cash register stops ringing," Laws
says.
In strife-torn Danville where
demonstrations have flagged, lead-
ers have turned to an extensive
boycott. "It's obvious the boycott
can be the most effective weapon
of all," Rev. Lendell Chase, head
of the Danville Progressive Asso-
ciation, says. His group has had
a boycott in effect since May, and

now Chase is extending it to the
entire county. Furthermore, he's
asking Negro tobacco farmers not
to sell their product in Danville
markets; instead ,they're to truck
it out of the county.
Elsewhere, Negroes are also driv-
ing hard on voter registration. In
some cases, these drives are being
accompanied by experiments in,
self-improvement. In Spartanburg,
S.C., CORE is sponsoring com-
munity workshops in which Negro
adults are taught to read and
write. They're also urged to form
neighborhood improvement asso-
ciations which would help insure
that trash is put out promptly and
houses painted. "We're trying to
prepare them for a fuller citizen-
ship," Frank Robinson, CORE
field secretary says, who believes
such action will help answer the
charge from some whites that Ne-
groes are not responsible citizens.
Factional Strife
Predictably, squabbles over stra-
tegy have opened deep rifts be-
tween Negro factions in some
towns. In Savannah, the NAACP
refused to support mass marches

held downtown in July by the
Chatham County Crusade for
Voters (CCC), a former NAACP
voter-registration arm that sepa-
rated from the parent group and
was converted into a direct action
organization. The NAACP, dismay-
ed at what it considered question-
able elements attracted by the CCC
says its youth leaders were already
negotiating with businessman over
admission to restaurants, bowling
alleys, and other facilities when
the demonstrations erupted.
Both sides overtly have patched
their differences, and businessmen
have agreed to a desegregation
plan effective Oct. 1. But the Ne-
gro alliance is shaky and business-
men fear squabbles among rival
Negro groups could touch off new
troubles.
It appears Negroes will need all
the solidarity they can muster to
combat the growing skill shown by
many of the so-called "white pow-
er structures" with which they'll
have to deal. In some cities,; such
as Shreveport and Danville, adult
civil rights leaders have been

charged with contributing to the
delinquency of minors after dem-
onstrations by Negro youths;
Jackson and Danville, among
others, have obtained injunctions
against demonstrating, Savannah
officials have robbed the CCC of
its leadership by holding leaders
in jail for extended periods on
peace warrants. In other places,
bail is set at high levels and cash
instead of property is required for
bond.
The determination of some white
authorities to crush demonstra-

tions and other direct action
movements is exemplified by the
city of Jackson. The Mississippi
capital in June alone spent an
extra $150,000 on its law enforce-
ment program to meet the Negro
demonstration efforts. Much of it
went to overtime pay for police-
men but $50,000 went for addi-
tional jail facilities. "We don't re-
gret a penny of it," Mayor Allen
C. Thompson says.
While this summer's rash of
public demonstrations (the Jus-
tice department counts 1,122 since

it began tallying them on May
will undoubtedly taper off, no
expects they'll stop comple
There's a feeling they've I
more successful in the North t
in the South, for instance, and
decline there would be less dr:
than in Dixie. Some Negro les
also claim that "spontane
demonstrations are apt to b
out when newly-militant Neg
become aroused over some si
tion-such as Congressional 3
sal to pass a strong civil ri
law.

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