Races: Freedom--Now

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park. The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, one of King's top advisers, yelled helplessly at rioters from in front of the church, finally took a blast of water that slammed him violently against a wall. An ambulance took him away, and when Bull Connor heard about it later, he leered in mock despair: "I waited a week down here to see that, and then I missed it. I wish it had been a hearse." Now it was over. The Negroes were forced back into the church, and Commissioner Connor glared at the closed doors. Said he: "If any of those guys in that church there is a preacher, then I'm a watchmaker—and I've never seen the inside of a watch. They say they're nonviolent? I got three men hurt today. Is that nonviolence?" That night. Alabama's ultra-segregationist Governor George Wallace sent 600 men to reinforce Bull Connor's weary cops. And Martin Luther King appeared before his followers to say: "We will turn America upside down in order that it turn right side up." Birmingham had already been upset—and all but overturned. Downtown mer chants, plagued for more than a year by a Negro boycott that was 90% effective, saw their profits plunging even more because of the demonstrations. Birmingham's racist reputation had long been bad enough to frighten away potential industry; rioting by King's forces would further scar the city's image. And, despite the headline-hogging prominence of such racists as Bull Connor and Governor Wallace, there were a significant number of moderates in Birmingham who wanted peace, simply because they believed the Negro indeed deserved better treatment than he was getting. In fact, last month Birmingham had elected Mayor Albert Boutwell, 58, a relatively cool thinker on racial affairs, over Bull Connor. The Pallid Peace. Even as Negroes fought whites on Birmingham's streets, peace talks were under way. A team of Justice Department lawyers, headed by Assistant Attorney General Burke Marshall, went to Birmingham, began a series of meetings with local businessmen. Of the white negotiators, Martin Luther King made four demands: 1) desegregate all public facilities in department and variety stores; 2) give Negroes equal job opportunities; 3) drop all charges against the 2,500 Negroes who had been arrested during the demonstrations; 4) set up a biracial committee to establish a time table for reopening parks and other facilities which Birmingham's city fathers had closed to avoid integration. The first meetings were held in deep secrecy, for the white businessmen involved feared both economic and physical reprisals from redneck hoodlums in Birmingham. Marshall attended nearly all of them. Negroes were represented by a local committee, including A. G. Gaston. one of the U.S.'s few Negro millionaires. Sidney Smyer, a lawyer and real estate man, was the chief spokesman for the whites—and, at week's end, still the only negotiator from that side who had the courage to permit himself to be publicly identified. There were meetings on Sunday and Monday—handled much like union-management negotiations, with representatives bringing results of the conference back to their leaders. To add to the pressure, the crisis spurred dozens of pleading phone calls from Washington and such Administration officials as Bobby Kennedy, Treasury Secretary Douglas Dillon and Defense Secretary
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