Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Blood in the Street

(On Monday afternoon, June 10, the police arrested thirty-eight persons including [SNCC field secretary Avon] Rollins as they marched to City Hall, still pressing for their demands of municipal government jobs for blacks and an end to segregation of the town's public facilities. The Danville [Virginia] police turned fire hoses on them and beat them with clubs.)

"[Later] a group of sixty-five Negroes (and one whitewoman, a SNCC office worker) walked five abreast from Rev. Campbell's church to the city jail. SNCCer [Bob] Zellner was along, photographing the march. ...The group, led by Rev. H.G. McGee, sang hymns and circled the jail once...

Chief of Police E.G. McCain bellowed 'Let 'em have it' and firemen turned hoses on the people...Nightstick wielding police and deputized garbage collectors smashed into the group, clubbing Negroes who were bunched for safety against parked cars. Some were washed under the cars; others were clubbed after the water knocked them down. Bodies lay on the street, drenched and bloody. Police and garbage collectors chased those demonstrators who were able to walk for two blocks.

At the Bible Way Church, pastored by Rev. Campbell, bloody men and women came in by twos and threes and were shuttled to the hospital. Of 65 demonstrators, 40 were hurt....

After that night's mass meeting at Rev. Campbell's church, police, armed with submachine guns, set up roadblocks near the church .... Standing near the four patrol cars loomed a riot tank with four machine guns mounted on top."

--Dorothy Miller, June 1963
from The Making of Black Revolutionaries by James Forman


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