Monday, June 30, 2014



 General Motors

General Motors Corp. headquarters.

(AP / Paul Sancya)

DETROIT - General Motors' safety crisis worsened on Monday when the automaker added 8.2 million vehicles, including almost 700,000 in Canada, to its ballooning list of cars recalled over faulty ignition switches.

The latest recalls involve mainly older midsize cars and bring GM's total this year to 29 million, surpassing the 22 million recalled by all automakers last year. The added recalls also raise questions about the safety of ignition switches in cars made by all manufacturers.

GM said the recalls are for "unintended ignition key rotation" and cover seven vehicles, including the Chevrolet Malibu from 1997 to 2005, the Pontiac Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008, and the 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS.

The company is aware of three deaths, eight injuries and seven crashes involving the vehicles, although it has no conclusive evidence that faulty switches caused the accidents.

CEO Mary Barra said the recalls stem from an extensive safety review within the company.

"If any other issues come to our attention, we will act appropriately and without hesitation," she said in a statement.

The announcement of more recalls extends a crisis for GM that began in February with small-car ignition switch problems. GM recalled 2.6 million older small cars worldwide because the switches can unexpectedly slip from "run" to "accessory," shutting off the engines. That disables power steering and power brakes and can cause people to lose control of their cars.

It also stops the air bags from inflating in a crash. GM has been forced to admit that it knew of the problem more than 10 years, yet it failed to recall the cars until this year.



Image: Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Fraenkel 

Israeli Defense Forces

Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and American citizen Naftali Fraenkel in images provided by the Israeli Defense Forces. The three teenagers are believed to have been kidnapped.

A search for three Jewish teens kidnapped in the West Bank ended Monday evening with the discovery of three bodies in a shallow grave and a vow of retribution from the Israeli government. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "all signs" indicate the remains belong to Israeli-born American citizen Naftali Fraenkel, 16, Eyal Yifrach, 16, and Gilad Shaar, 19 — who vanished on June 12.

"They were kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by human animals," Netanyahu said at the start of a security cabinet meeting called to address the situation. "Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay."

Their families of the abducted yeshiva students were notified while forensic teams worked to confirm the identifications. A volunteer on the search team that found the bodies told Israeli army radio that while they were combing a semi-mountainous area northwest of Hebron they spotted something suspicious and cleared away bushes and rock to uncover the remains in a shallow grave.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


Anna brought a bright light to the King of Siam and his great harem of beautiful women and children, but Thailand today is far from Paradise. Human trafficking of women and little girls is big business in Thailand and now, a song pretends to bring "happiness".
The Nazis travelled on "Deutchland Uber Alles", and the Americans sing, "Glory! Glory! Halleluhia!".  France rises up to "La Marseillaise". Soldiers shed blood to charming tunes. If you want to excite and motivate millions of people, give them a great song. For good - or for evil.
Phyllis Carter
Army Unveils Song 'Authored By Gen. Prayuth'

BANGKOK — The Royal Thai Army has released a song reportedly penned by leader of the military junta himself.

The song, titled "Returning Happiness to the People," was released to promote the military's ongoing campaign to restore "happiness" to the Thai public following six months of political protests that ended in a military coup on 22 May.

According to commander of the army marching band Col. Kritsada Sarika, coup-leader Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha spent "one hour" writing the song before submitting the lyrics to a team of musicians who composed its melody. (Scroll down to see an English translation of the lyrics). 

"He wants to convey a message from his heart," Col. Kritsada explained.

The song was released on youtube two days ago and has already attracted more than 110,000 views.

Most of the comments heap high praise on Gen. Prayuth's work.

"I love and respect the spirit and sincerity of Gen. Prayuth," reads one comment. "You sacrificed your personal happiness for the people and the country."

However, some comments are not as warm.

"Don't think people are stupid. This method was used 70 years ago. Soldier bastards! We fed you to protect our homes but you end up biting the house owners," one detractor wrote.  

The military junta's National Council For Peace and Order has been launching a blitz of public relations events aimed at winning the hearts and minds of the Thai public while it simultaneously strips them of basic human rights and political freedoms.

Over the past week, the army has held a number of "Returning Happiness to the People" fairs that feature musical performances by military personnel, free haircuts, free food, and opportunities to take photos with soldiers.

At the same time, the military has sought to silence all critics by detaining hundreds of activists, banning political protests, censoring the press, and threatening to prosecute dissidents in military courts.

"Returning Happiness to the People" 
[Khaosod English's Unofficial Translation]

Lyrics by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha
Melody by Wichian Tantipimolpan

The day the nation, the King, and the mass of people live without danger
We offer to guard and protect you with our hearts
This is our promise
Today the nation is facing menacing danger
The flames are rising
Let us be the ones who step in, before it is too late
To bring back love, how long will it take?
Please, will you wait? We will move beyond disputes
We will do what we promised. We are asking for a little more time.
And the beautiful land will return
We will do with sincerity
All we ask of you is to trust and have faith in us
The land will be good soon
Let us return happiness to you, the people
Today, we will be tired [because of our mission], we know
We offer to fight the danger
Lives of soldiers will not surrender
This is our promise
Today the nation is facing menacing danger.
The flames are rising
Let us be the ones who step in, before it is too late
The land will be good soon
Happiness will return to Thailand



Translation by CNN, made in December 2000:

Russia, our holy country!
Russia, our beloved country!
A mighty will, a great glory,
Are your inheritance for all time!



Deutchland Uber Alles

Song of the Germans

 Literal English
 Germany, Germany above all,
 Above everything in the world,
 When always, for protection,
 We stand together as brothers.
 From the Maas to the Memel
 From the Etsch to the Belt -
Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, Germany, Germany above all
Über alles in der Welt. Above all in the world.
Deutsche Frauen, deutsche Treue, German women, German loyalty,
Deutscher Wein und deutscher Sang German wine and German song,
Sollen in der Welt behalten Shall retain in the world,
Ihren alten schönen Klang, Their old lovely ring
Uns zu edler Tat begeistern To inspire us to noble deeds
 Our whole life long.
 German women, German loyalty,
 German wine and German song.
 Unity and law and freedom
 For the German Fatherland
 Let us all strive for that
 In brotherhood with heart and hand!
 Unity and law and freedom
 Are the foundation for happiness
 Bloom in the glow of happiness
 Bloom, German Fatherland.
 Germany, Germany above all*
 And in misfortune all the more.
 Only in misfortune can love
 Show if it's strong and true.
 And so it should ring out
 From generation to generation:
 Germany, Germany above all,
 And in misfortune all the more.
*The fourth verse was written by Albert Matthäi during the French occupation of the Ruhr region in 1923. It is not part of the anthem today. Since 1952, only the third ("Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit") verse has been the official anthem. 
Melody: Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)
Lyrics: August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben (1798-1874)

La Marseillaise

Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'etendard sanglant est levé
Entendez vous dans les campagnes,
Mugir ces feroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans nos bras
Egorger nos fils, nos compagnes!


Aux armes, citoyens!
Formez vos bataillons!
Marchons! Marchons!
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons!

Amour sacr de la patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs!
Libert, Libert cherie,
Combats avec tes defenseurs!
Sous nos drapeaux, que la victoire
Accoure tes males accents!
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire!


Nous entrerons dans la carrire
Quand nos ains n'y seront plus;
Nous y trouverons leur poussire
Et la trace de leurs vertus.
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre!




First occupied by the Soviets in 1939, then by the Nazis, and then by the Soviets again, Estonia lived through decades of terror. By the end of World War II, more than one-quarter of the population had been deported to Siberia, been executed, or had fled the country. Music sustained the Estonian people during those years, helping to maintain the Estonian language and sense of culture. It was such a crucial part of their struggle for freedom that their successful bid to re-establish their independence is known as the Singing Revolution.

The Singing Revolution film shares how, between 1987 and 1991, hundreds of thousands of Estonians gathered publicly to sing forbidden patriotic songs and share protest speeches, risking their lives to proclaim their desire for independence.

The subjugation began in Estonia in 1939 with the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between Stalin and Hitler that would ignite World War II, to the Siberian Gulag, to the oppressive control tactics of the 1980's. Estonia ultimately would be occupied for more than 50 years. It had no army, no weapons. Estonians knew they could not gain freedom through force. They had to do it their own way, with their spirit, patience and determination.

By the late-1980's, Mikhail Gorbachev's attempts to salvage the empire by offering perestroika (restructuring) and glasnost (free speech) were backfiring, as Estonians saw the new policies as an opportunity. The nation was simmering with unrest. Momentum built to a crescendo in the summer of 1988 when a rock concert in the capital's Old Town Square was stopped by Soviet authorities. "The powers in the communist party were afraid because these songs ignited the passions of the people," recalls artist/activist Heinz Valk.

The crowd walked three miles to a traditional song festival field to continue the concert, and massive crowds gathered for six straight nights to lift hands, sway in unison, and sing illegal patriotic songs. Emboldened, Estonians brought out their old blue-black-and white flags, some from attics and basements where they had been hidden for nearly 50 years. To their own dismay, no one stopped them. For the final night these protest more than 200,000 Estonians gathered.

This was the heart of the "Singing Revolution". The force of the human voice massed in song was the cultural catalyst that awoke, energized and united the nation of Estonia. It was a political and cultural statement that brought all Estonians together and gave them courage to rebel. After that there was no turning up. Three primary freedom movements, with radically different styles, worked both publicly and surreptitiously to push the Soviet system. A series of clever political maneuvers, combined with ever-growing singing demonstrations, overwhelmed a confused and failing Moscow.

The next few years weighed with threats and violence from the struggling Soviet empire; twenty peaceful demonstrators in Latvia and Lithuania died at the hands of Soviet soldiers and hundreds more were wounded in January of 1991. Estonians feared they were next in line.

Later that same year, on August 19, 1991, a hard-line coup toppled Gorbachev's government in Moscow, creating chaos - as well as opportunity. The Estonian Soviet parliament united with freedom activist groups and voted unanimously to re-establish Estonia's independence, not knowing how the coup would be resolved or what the repercussions might be. During the vote, Estonian citizens gathered at the TV tower and radio stations to link arm-in-arm in front of tanks, risking their lives to protect their main source of communication with the outside world. On August 21, 1991 the nightmare of the Soviet Union was over; and Estonia emerged - once again - a free nation.

The Singing Revolution tells the moving and dramatic story of how the Estonian people strategically, willfully, sung their way to freedom--and helped topple an empire along the way.

The Singing Revolution is the first film to tell this historically vital tale. "This is a story that has not been told outside Estonia," said filmmaker James Tusty, who is of Estonian descent. "We felt it was time the rest of the world knew of the amazing events that happened here."

In 1999, Tusty and his wife and co-producer Maureen lived in Tallinn, Estonia, while teaching film production at an Estonian University. The experience sparked their interest in the Singing Revolution, and in 2001 they returned to Estonia to teach and also to begin the meticulous research that would anchor their documentary.

To make the film, the Tustys interviewed more than one hundred movement leaders, Estonian statesmen, and average citizens. They also combed through archives around the world...unearthing rare, forgotten footage of life under Soviet rule.

Four years in the making, The Singing Revolution is a moving, intensely human testament to the sustaining power of hope and the motivating strength of song. The film reflects the indomitable human drive for personal freedom, political independence, and self-determination.

"Imagine the scene in 'Casablanca' in which the French patrons sing 'La Marseillaise' in defiance of the Germans, then multiply its power by a factor of thousands, and you've only begun to imagine the force of 'The Singing Revolution'."

Most people don't think about singing when they think about revolution. But song was the weapon of choice when Estonians sought to free themselves from decades of Soviet occupation. The Singing Revolution is an inspiring account of one nation's dramatic rebirth. It is the story of humankind's irrepressible drive for freedom and self-determination.

The Singing Revolution shares how, between 1987 and 1991, hundreds of thousands of Estonians gathered publicly to sing forbidden patriotic songs and share protest speeches, risking their lives to proclaim their desire for independence. While violence and bloodshed was the unfortunate end result in other occupied nations of the USSR, the revolutionary songs of the Estonians anchored their struggle for freedom, which was ultimately accomplished without the loss of a single life.


The Singing Revolution tells the moving and dramatic story of how the Estonian people peacefully regained their freedom--and helped topple an empire along the way.

"I'd pronounce this unity of the Estonian people as nothing short of extraordinary."

"The young people, without any political party, and without any politicians, just came together ... not only tens of thousands but hundreds of thousands ... to gather and to sing and to give this nation a new spirit," remarks Mart Laar, a Singing Revolution leader featured in the film and the first post-Soviet Prime Minister of Estonia. "This was the idea of the Singing Revolution."

Matt Zoller Seitz, The New York Times

NOTE:  I have just watched the film. It is stunning to see thousands of people - as far as the eye can see -  all singing together in sweet harmony. The expressions on their faces are angelic. The power of song ! I know it in my personal life *, but I have never seen and heard so many people singing together, and so beautifully.

Good against evil.  Song against tanks.  Peace against war.


Phyllis Carter

Friday, June 27, 2014



Cystic Fibrosis | Anthony Sauder

Paolo Macchiarini, MD, PhD

He is a world-renowned surgeon who has been described both as a daring pioneer and as a cowboy who takes dangerous risks with his patients.

Dr. Paolo Macchiarini of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, is pushing the boundaries of the emerging field of regenerative medicine, which involves using a patient's own cells to rebuild tissues and organs. Eventually scientists hope to get to the point where any replacement body part or organ you need would simply be manufactured in a lab, man-made, just for you. This could eliminate the need for donor organs, which are in short supply all over the globe.

But for now, there is only one surgeon in the world who is doing transplants in humans with artificially grown organs. Patients come to the controversial surgeon because he is literally their only hope.

Take Julia Tuulik, a Russian dancer whose trachea was destroyed after a car accident.

"They offered for me this one chance," Tuulik told Meredith Vieira for NBC News' "A Leap of Faith: A Meredith Vieira Special," airing Friday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT. "And I haven't other chance in my life."

Or little Hannah Warren. Born without a trachea and unable to breathe on her own, she had spent her entire life in the hospital, kept alive only by a tube. No child with her disorder has ever lived past the age of six, and Dr. Macchiarini's artificial trachea was her only hope.

Or Ciaran Finn-Lynch, an Irish boy who was born with a windpipe less than a tenth of an inch wide. At age 10, he was the first child in the world to get a transplant made from a donor organ and his own stem cells.

Many of Macchiarini's patients have been given only months or a few years to live, left with no options or any hope.

"You see a patient and this patient has no other alternatives," Macchiarini said. "And he will die very, very soon. As a human and as a doctor are we allowed to say no? I don't think so."

Though it might sound like science fiction, scientists around the world are actively experimenting with this promising science. Recent accomplishments include Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center's announcement that four teenage girls with a rare genetic disorder were implanted with lab-grown vaginas, and at the University of Basel in Switzerland, scientists regrew the nose tissue of older people whose noses had been partially lost to skin cancer.

But while scientists are eagerly working toward being able to grow vital organs like hearts, lungs and kidneys in the lab, it will be years before they are ready to attempt transplanting those in humans.

But Dr. Macchiarini has already taken the science out of the lab. He first made headlines six years ago, in 2008, when he transplanted the world's first lab-made windpipe. It was constructed from a donor trachea that had been stripped of its original cells, leaving it as a skeleton upon which a new trachea could be built with the patient's own stem cells. The groundbreaking method would allow Macchiarini to bypass two of the major problems associated with donated organs: the risk of rejection and the need to take powerful anti-rejection drugs.

By 2011, the Italian surgeon had moved on to plastic as a scaffold, rather than a donated trachea. The first recipient would be Andermariam Beyene, a 36-year-old engineer from Eritrea

Macchiarini's team began by collecting stem cells from Beyene's bone marrow. Those cells were mixed with special growth factors and then poured onto a scaffold made from plastic — in fact, the very same plastic that is used to make soda bottles — which had been made to mimic the shape of a real windpipe.

In just a matter of days, the scaffold began to transform into an actual functioning windpipe.

Macchiarini described the magical sounding process like this: "It's like if you roast a chicken. It's the same thing. You fill this box with fluid that includes cells. And then this chicken scaffold just is submerged in this fluid and the cells penetrate inside."

Eight patients have now received his completely artificial, bio-engineered tracheas, but because the surgery is still highly experimental and unproven, critics worry that he is putting his patients at risk and taking the science out of the lab prematurely.

Skeptics have questioned whether he is using his desperate — and highly vulnerable — patients as human guinea pigs.

"I do believe he's in the gray zone," Dr. Joseph Vacanti, surgeon- in-chief at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, told Vieira in September of 2013.

Not all of Macchiarini's patients have survived, but supporters argue that this is how surgery advances.

"Take a look at any major turn in surgery," said Dr. Rick Pearl, pediatric surgeon-in-chief at Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria. "It never started out working, did it?

"Tom Starzl, when he started doing liver transplants, the first seven, eight, nine patients all died. Everybody said he was nuts, OK? Christian Barnard, when he started doing heart transplants, everyone threw rocks at him. This is how we're going to treat diseases in the future and this is the start of it."

One of Macchiarini's most promising success stories is Claudia Castillo, a Spanish mother who is doing so well six years after her transplant that an increasing number of Macchiarini's colleagues are beginning to see him in a new light.

"I believe, for the field, we are now at the end of the beginning," Vacanti said. "And so, he may feel alone, but he is not alone. He's part of the group that's making fantasy real."


Dr. Macchiarini, scientific advisor for the tracheal transplantation, regenerative strategies, and was the leading surgeon of the operation. 

A Professor of Regenerative Surgery at the Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, Dr. Macchiarini is a world-renowned thoracic surgeon who is a leader and pioneer in the field of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. His primary research interest involves the transplantation of intrathoracic organs and tissues. 

In 2008 in Barcelona, Dr. Macchiarini made transplant history by using stem cells to help achieve the world's first successful in-human transplantation of a tissue-engineered organ (windpipe) without immunosuppression. In 2011 in Stockholm, Dr. Macchiarini again made history by transplanting the world's first bio-artificial windpipe using a completely artificial, lab-made nanocomposite.

Dr. Macchiarini earned his medical degree at the Pisa (Italy) University School of Medicine in 1986. After completing postgraduate training in general surgery in Italy, he did a two-year clinical fellowship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, under the supervision of Dr. Richard McElvein and Dr. John Kirklin. Dr. Macchiarini then trained in general thoracic and vascular surgery, and heart-lung transplantation and research at the Centre Chirurgical Marie-Lannelongue (CCML) in Paris under the supervision of Professor Philippe Dartevelle. He was a consultant at the CCML until 1998 during which time he earned his PhD in organ and tissue transplantation at the Franche-Compte University in France with a thesis in "allotransplantation of the trachea". 

In 1999, Dr. Macchiarini became Chairman of the Department of General Thoracic and Vascular Surgery at the Heidehaus Hospital, and Professor of Surgery at the Hannover Medical School in Germany. He then became Chairman of the Department of General Thoracic Surgery at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Spain. In 2010, he joined the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, where he is currently Professor of Regenerative Surgery and  Director of the European Airway Institute and Advanced Center of Translational Regenerative Medicine.

Dr. Macchiarini's clinical interests include adult and pediatric surgery for complex tracheal, lung, esophageal and mediastinal diseases, as well as intrathoracic, non-cardiac transplantation (lung, heart-lung and airways). He has contributed to more than 150 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 40 book chapters. He has received numerous awards and is Visiting or Honorary Professor at several leading Academic Institutions worldwide.


Shias killing Sunnis,
Sunnis killing Shias.
And both sects eager to kill
Jews and Christians.
Does it have anything to do with God?
Or is it really about hatred, vengeance,
A hunger for wealth and power?


There is a headline today on AOL's opening screen:
It says,
North Korea Threatens
'Resolute and Merciless Response,'
Even 'All Out War'
AOL classifies this report as


What if God isn't Santa Claus?
What if God doesn't care?
What if God is not kind and loving?
What if God hears our prayers,
And just says,
"No" ?
What's left?
Each other.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


A month long national effort to capture sex predators led to 275 arrests in Southern California that included a teaching assistant for special needs kids, a retired sheriff's deputy and a U.S. Army soldier, authorities said Thursday.

The effort dubbed "Operation Broken Heart" involved dozens of local, state and federal authorities throughout the month of May who targeted sex offenders, child sex traffickers, pimps, child porn traders and sex tourists traveling abroad.

In a technique reminiscent of the infamous show "To Catch a Predator," the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes Against Children task force had its investigators pretend to be 12 to 14-year-old children online and arrested many individuals when they showed up to engage in sex acts with children.

"The dirty old man stereotype no longer applies," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge of ICE Homeland Security Investigations, which works on the task force. "The perpetrators in these cases come from all walks of life and virtually every strata of the socio-economic spectrum they're community leaders, white-collar professionals and even law enforcement personnel. The common denominator in most of these cases is the Internet. It has become the preferred playground for child sex predators."

At a news conference Thursday in a park where children played, authorities emphasized the importance of educating youth about the dangers of the Internet and insisted that parents strictly supervise and are aware of their children's online activities.

"You lock your doors and windows every night to be able to keep predators out of your home," said Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. "If your child is in the next room on the Internet, you may have a predator basically sitting virtually in the next room and you're giving that predator access."

A number of the more than 275 people arrested were in positions of trust and with easy access to children. Arrestees included:

A teacher's assistant was arrested by the Los Angeles Police department after allegedly showed up to a meeting believing he was going to have sex with two children.

— A retired Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was arrested for allegedly distributing child pornography through several websites.

Of the arrested, California parole agents picked up 186 sex offenders for violating their terms of release. Three were found in possession of child pornography, multiple found in places where they're barred such as parks, schools and children. Of the 186 sex offenders arrested, 155 were sent back to court with recommendations to have their parole revoked.

A 64-year-old computer programmer was arrested by Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies after allegedly traveling to a park to try to meet with a 15-year-old child for sex. A search warrant for his home and business indicated he'd exchanged emails with multiple other children and had posted 100 advertisements looking for sex with young girls.

A U.S. Army soldier on leave responded to two separate undercover investigators posing as young girls and was arrested after showing up to have sex.

A former substitute teacher allegedly posted a personal ad seeking sex with a father and a son. He was arrested after allegedly traveling to meet with what he believed was an 8-year-old boy.

The number of arrests and potential allegations are expected to grow as forensic investigators continue analyzing seized evidence. Law enforcement conducted the operations in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.



For all who choose to limit themselves to the religions written centuries ago, I respect your choice, as long as you do no harm.
I do not, however, respect anyone who tries to intimidate people who are not satisfied with limiting God to books written by men or buildings built by men.
My belief is that The Creator is much greater than human beings can imagine.
The old books say God spoke to Moses, and He spoke to the Prophets and He spoke to Jesus, and He spoke to Mohammed.
And then God shut up.
If God spoke to them, why would He not speak to anyone else?
Did God get laryngitis after he spoke to Mohammed?
And why do millions of people choose to believe and obey human beings who say that THEY speak for God?
No human being can tell me what I should believe. I look out to the stars and search for information to help me know more about The Creator.
I believe we are all sparks from the Main Source, and each of us has some particular function and reason for being.
I believe we are all part of The Great Puzzle of the Universes, and we must be different from each other in some ways or we could not possibly fit together.
Anyway, I think. Therefore - I am.
Phyllis Carter

Wednesday, June 25, 2014



1964 - America  - Caucasian, Christian and Jewish young men and women from the northern American states travelled to Mississippi to encourage and help the Negro people there to register to vote.

Those young students left their families, their schools and their jobs to help simple strangers to stand up for what was rightfully theirs. A human right - to choose one's leaders.

The volunteers took their lives in their hands. Many of them were beaten, strip searched, imprisoned, and severely injured. Some of them were murdered.

In Mississippi, Negro people were frequently lynched  - in our time. There was no penalty for lynching Negroes in a place where the government and the police were red-neck murderers. By day, they sat at desks, wore uniforms with badges and wielded clubs. By night, they wore white sheets and hoods and burned crosses and lynched anyone they pleased.

Slavery was formally ended, but the White people of the south were the slave owners, and sons and daughters of the slave owners. Their property - their slaves, the labourers and servants who built the wealth of America in the cotton fields  - had been taken from them. They could do anything they wanted to Negro people and no one would stop them. Yes, It was America in the 1960's.

The dark skinned people of Mississippi outnumbered the slave owners. If the Negro people could vote, they could elect Negro leaders, Negro sheriffs, a Negro government. To prevent that nightmare, the White ladies and gentleman were ready to kill - and they did.

Now America has a president who is as much Negro as he is White. You might not agree with everything he does, but Barack Obama is the light of America. As president, he is proof that the blood shed by the innocent was not for naught.

But, to this day, I believe there is no "United States of America." Given the opportunity, the Republicans would bring back the Olde South.

Phyllis Carter

A member of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the United Klans of America, Inc., holds her young daughter, also robed in a Klan suit, at a Ku Klux Klan rally in Atlanta, Ga. on June 5, 1965. Some 600 persons attended the rally. The woman did not want to be identified. (AP Photo)

In this April 30, 2008, file photo Senate President Pro Tem Sen. Robert Byrd., D-W.Va., bangs the gavel on Capitol Hill in Washington prior to a joint meeting of Congress. Byrd, a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and a one-time opponent of civil rights legislation, is endorsing Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination and says Obama has the qualities to end the Iraq war. In a written statement, Byrd called Obama "a shining young statesman, who possesses the personal temperament and courage necessary to extricate our country from this costly misadventure in Iraq." (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)


In 1964, civil rights organizations including the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organized a voter registration drive, known as the Mississippi Summer Project, or Freedom Summer, aimed at dramatically increasing voter registration in Mississippi.

The Freedom Summer, comprised of black Mississspians and more than 1,000 out-of-state, predominately white volunteers, faced constant abuse and harrassment from Mississippis white population. The Ku Klux Klan, police and even state and local authorities carried out a systematic series of violent attacks; including arson, beatings, false arrest and the murder of at least three civil rights activists.


Although the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) had labored for civil rights in rural Mississippi since 1961, the organization found that intense and often violent resistance by segregationists in rural areas of Mississippi would not allow for the kind of direct action campaigns that been successful in urban areas such as Montgomery and Birmingham. The 1964 Freedom Summer project was designed to draw the nation's attention to the violent oppression experienced by Mississippi blacks who attempted to exercise their constitutional rights, and to develop a grassroots freedom movement that could be sustained long after student activists left Mississippi.

When SNCC activist Robert Moses launched a voter registration drive in Mississippi in 1961, he confronted a system that regularly used segregation laws and fear tactics to disenfranchise black citizens. In 1962, he became director of the Council of Federated Organizations, a coalition of organizations led by SNCC that coordinated the efforts of civil rights groups within the state. Capitalizing on the successful use of white student volunteers in Mississippi during a 1963 mock election called the ''Freedom Vote,'' Moses proposed that northern white student volunteers take part in a large number of simultaneous local campaigns in Mississippi during the summer of 1964.

Letters to prospective volunteers alerted them to conditions in Mississippi, explaining the likelihood of arrest, the need for bond money and subsistence funds, and the requirement that drivers obtain Mississippi licenses for themselves and their cars. Volunteers were also asked to prepare for the experience by reading several books, including King's memoir of the Montgomery bus boycott, Stride Toward Freedom, and Lillian Smith's novel Killers of the Dream.

On 14 June 1964 the first group of summer volunteers began training at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio. Of the approximately 1,000 volunteers, the majority were white northern college students from middle and upper class backgrounds. The training sessions were intended to prepare volunteers to register black voters, teach literacy and civics at Freedom Schools, and promote the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party's (MFDP) challenge to the all-white Democratic delegation at that summer's Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Just one week after the first group of volunteers arrived in Oxford, three civil rights workers were reported missing in Mississippi. James Chaney, a black Mississippian, and two white northerners, Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, disappeared while visiting Philadelphia, Mississippi, to investigate the burning of a church. The abduction of the three civil rights workers intensified the new activists' fears, but Freedom Summer staff and volunteers moved ahead with the campaign.

Voter registration was the cornerstone of the summer project. Although approximately 17,000 black residents of Mississippi attempted to register to vote in the summer of 1964, only 1,600 of the completed applications were accepted by local registrars. Highlighting the need for federal voting rights legislation, these efforts created political momentum for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

In an effort to address Mississippi's separate and unequal public education system, the summer project established 41 Freedom Schools attended by more than 3,000 young black students throughout the state. In addition to math, reading, and other traditional courses, students were also taught black history, the philosophy of the civil rights movement, and leadership skills that provided them with the intellectual and practical tools to carry on the struggle after the summer volunteers departed.

At Mose's invitation King visited Greenwood, Mississippi, to show the support of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for the summer project and to encourage black Mississippians to vote despite acts of violence and intimidation. Less than three weeks after King's visit, the murdered bodies of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were found. King characterized their brutal deaths as ''an attack on the human brotherhood taught by all the great religions of mankind'' (King, 4 August 1964).

Freedom Summer activists also worked to make the MFDP a viable alternative to Mississippi's ''Jim Crow'' democratic convention delegation. King publicly supported the MFDP, telling the 1964 convention's credentials committee, ''if you value your party, if you value your nation, if you value democratic government you have no alternative but to recognize, with full voice and vote, the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party'' (King, 22 August 1964). While the MFDP was initially unsuccessful, some of its members were seated at the 1968 convention.

Freedom Summer marked one of the last major interracial civil rights efforts of the 1960s, as the movement entered a period of divisive conflict that would draw even sharper lines between the goals of King and those of the younger, more militant faction of the black freedom struggle.


Carson, In Struggle, 1981.

King, Statement before the Credentials Committee, 22 August 1964, MLKJP-GAMK.

King, Statement on the deaths of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, 4 August 1964, MLKJP-GAMK.

Martinez, Letters from Mississippi, 1965.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Soldiers are called heroes,
But their business is killing.
Doctors are often heroes,
They save lives.
Doctors are well paid
Highly esteemed.
But Firefighters
Are hardly ever thought of -
Until your house is in flames,
And they risk their lives to save yours.
They are real heroes.


Victims' Voices
An independent, non-profit newsletter
dedicated to victims' rights
Copyright: Phyllis Carter, Montreal, Quebec, Canada,
Founded September 15, 2000
Montreal, Quebec, May, 2001
I started publishing Victims' Voices in September, 2000, after trying everything I could think of to get the MUC Police to take action and recover my belongings stolen in 1996. Through Victims' Voices, I am publicizing my story and my observations about other injustices - particularly those that affect people in the Montreal area - as well as the stories other people tell me. My purpose is to focus attention on injustices in our so-called Justice System. Stop telling victims to forgive and forget ! We deserve justice. So I encourage silent victims to speak up.
But I have been afraid to tell one aspect of my own story. I have kept quiet about the events of May 23, 1998 when an MUC Police officer with some personal problems of his own took action to intimidate me, to humiliate me and to destroy my credibility. I have been afraid to publicize this part of my story because I was afraid that people would believe exactly what that policeman hoped people would believe. I have kept this part of my story quiet - except for my repeated appeals to the Police Ethics Commissioner. But Me.Denis Racicot and his lawyer, Me. Paul Monty refused to act. I suddenly realized that my silence is exactly what these officers of the law have wanted all along. So here is the truth for all  the world to see:
A Montreal Police Officer sent me to hospital
for "thirty-days' mental evaluation".
This is what happened: On May 23, 1998, I was walking in the vicinity of  the teenage thief's house. My purpose for being there was to draw attention to the robbery. After appealing for help to the police and many other authorities for two years, I felt I had run out of options. When every reasonable effort had failed,
I decided that PEACEFUL PROTEST was all I had left
It was late afternoon. I was walking along the street by the curb across from the thief's house. I was not on private property. I was not impeding anyone's movements. I was not blocking traffic. I did not approach any vehicle, dwelling or person. I was not making any sound. I was not threatening anyone in any way. I wore posters saying why I was there. I walked slowly along the street, praying silently for protection and for justice. I prayed that someone in authority or perhaps the media would hear about me and would care enough to help my case. I carried a wooden cross - because it was my Christianity that had made me an easy target for my niece. The thief, Dawn McSweeney knew that my mother felt terrible about my conversion and she used that to turn my mother against me and set me up for the robbery.
As I walked along the curb, an MUC police car came up from my right, did a 180 degree turn and screeched to a halt immediately in front of me. I stood absolutely still, facing the officer as he jumped out of his car. Red-faced, he demanded "What's going on here!"
I explained. The officer ordered me to leave the area immediately. I laid down my cross carefully on the lawn beside me to avert any concern on the part of the nervous policeman.
I told the officer that I would not leave because "I believe we have a right to peaceful protest in this country." I said that, if he believed I was doing something illegal, I was ready to submit to arrest and an opportunity to have my case heard in court.
He just glared at me. He was so edgy. He paced back and forth in front of me making offensive, aggressive comments each time he passed close to me. "You're no goddamn Christian! I'm a Christian! You're no goddamn Christian!"
I offered to remove my placards to assure him that I had nothing hidden. He burst out, "No! No! You wear them! You wear them!" (Yes, he did repeat himself that way.)
Then he said that, where I was going, I would be subjected to a thorough search. His tone conveyed a frightening image. He meant it to do just that. My heart started pounding, but I wouldn't let him see my fear. I took a deep breath and prayed.
A second police car arrived with two young officers. One of them was in the process of putting on rubber gloves as he approached. I was surprised! I'm a widow in my 60's, not a thug. I said, "Don't worry. I'm a Jew and a Christian." I spoke spontaneously to reassure the young officer that I was not aggressive. I had no way of foreseeing how my benign statement would be misinterpreted.
The first officer suddenly exploded ! "My brother died of AIDS!" he raged. "Now I'm going to take care of you ! I'm not going to arrest you ! I'm going to send you to the hospital for thirty-days' mental evaluation !"
I did nothing to oppose him. In fact I apologized to him quietly. I felt sorry that he had lost his brother. I had not intended to infer anything about people suffering from AIDS. I had only intended to assure the young officer that he had no reason to fear me.
All this did nothing to calm the angry policeman. His manner, from the moment he arrived on the scene, was like that of a raging bull desperate to break out of his stall.
A man and woman passing by stopped their bikes and also tried to calm him and reason with him, but he raged on. Through all of this unique experience in my life, I conducted myself with gentleness and dignity. Under fire, I hung on tight to God, and hope.
The angry policeman called for an ambulance - an ambulance that might have been needed to carry a sick person to hospital. When it arrived, I asked the officer if I might move my car off the street to the home of a friend who lived close by. If I was to be hospitalized for thirty days, my car would surely be towed away.
"You're not going to move your car!" he snarled. "I'm going to have it towed to the pound and it's going to cost you sixteen dollars a day!" I didn't say a word. I submitted.
I stepped up into the ambulance and I was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital, miles away from Pierrefonds where I had been picketing the home of the thief. It was a long drive.
By the time I was seen, it was about midnight. Since my car was many miles away, I had no way to get home. I appeased the very strange doctor who wanted me to stay the night. I said I wouldn't mind spending the night in the waiting room. He said, "Do you see this? I am wearing a white coat. That means I am a doctor. You are a patient, so you have to wear this little blue gown." I was definitely not going to argue with him.
Good friends came in the middle of the night to get my keys and my car registration so they could rescue my car. But I stayed until morning so as to avoid complications.
In the morning, another psychiatrist noticed me in passing. He stopped what he was doing and looked at me. "What are you doing here?" he asked. I wondered if he was someone I knew. As it turned out, he was just expressing surprise to see me there. He saw at a glance that I didn't belong there. I told him what had happened and he sent me home.
I reported all this to the Police Ethics Commissioner, Maitre Denis Racicot, but he has refused to act on any part of my case. I advised him that the officer who was so enraged at me has the potential to do serious harm to anyone who might be less docile, but the Commissioner has closed the file, and his ears - and his eyes.
Through all of this, since the robbery of October 7, 1996, all my requests for police reports have been ignored.
There is another aspect to this story that is quite an eye-opener. I had attended a seminar in a Chinese church in downtown Montreal, earlier in the day that I was arrested: That is the correct term, because I was stopped by the police - from doing something that I believe is a human right. The keynote speaker was a Chinese missionary. During her presentation she reported that, in China, people are no longer sent to mental institutions for being dissidents. Ironically, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, that very same day in 1998, a woman was sent to a mental hospital for committing a peaceful protest.
In order to intimidate, discredit and silence me, in the year 2007, shortly after my mother's death, Dawn McSweeney's partners in crime obtained a court order declaring that I was insane and dangerous and, once again, Montreal Police arrested me, taking me this time to the Jewish General Hospital for a thirty-day mental evaluation.
After a day, due to overcrowding in the JGH emergency department, I was transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital, where doctors hearing my story were incredulous. They couldn't believe this could happen, as they told a reporter from The Suburban weekly Montreal newspaper. I was released unconditionally after a total of three days.
The Suburban reported the story in two parts in September, 2007 under the headlines THE PHYLLIS CARTER DETENTION and CONDEMNED IN FOUR MINUTES ( in absentia.)
See all the details of these human rights violations in Montreal, Quebec, Canada at

Previously published at -

Copied to:
June 24, 2014
More than 152,000 readers around the world,
From America to Europe to Russia,
But still no justice for
Victims of the Montreal Police


A 'Freedom Bus' in flames, six miles southwest of Anniston, Ala.,
A "Freedom Bus" in flames, six miles southwest of Anniston, Ala., May 14, 1961. (Birmingham Public Library)
Freedom Riders Jimmy McDonald, left, and Hank Thomas and regular passenger Roberta Holmes sit in fro
Riders Jimmy McDonald, left, and Hank Thomas and regular passenger Roberta Holmes sit in front of the burned-out shell of a "Freedom Bus" on May 14, 1961. 
Ku Klux Klansmen beat black bystander George Webb in the Birmingham Trailways station, May 14, 1961.
Ku Klux Klansmen beat black bystander George Webb in the Birmingham Trailways bus station, May 14, 1961. The man with his back to the camera (center right) is FBI undercover agent Gary Thomas Rowe.
Jim Peck, seated, talks with a Justice Dept. representative and Ben Cox on the "freedom plane" to Ne

Jim Peck, seated, talks with a Justice Dept. representative and Ben Cox on the "freedom plane" to New Orleans, May 15, 1961. Photo by Theodore Gaffney.

Oxford University Press

In 1961, the Freedom Riders set out for the Deep South to defy Jim Crow laws and call for change. They were met by hatred and violence — and local police often refused to intervene. But the Riders' efforts transformed the civil rights movement.

Raymond Arsenault is the author of Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. The book details how volunteers — both black and white — traveled to Mississippi and Alabama to fight segregation in transit systems.

Despite being backed by recent federal rulings that it was unconstitutional to segregate bus riders, the Freedom Riders met with obstinate resistance — as in Birmingham and Montgomery, where white supremacists attacked bus depots themselves.

In Freedom Riders, Arsenault details how the first Freedom Rides developed, from the personal level to the legal maneuvering involved. His narrative touches on elements from the jails of Alabama to the Kennedy White House.

Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History and co-director of the Florida Studies Program at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg. His previous writing includes Land of Sunshine,State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida and Crucible of Liberty: 200 Years of the Bill of Rights, which he edited.

Read an excerpt from Freedom Riders:

Alabama Bound

We had most trouble, it turned into a struggle,

Half way 'cross Alabam,

And that 'hound broke down, and left us all stranded,

In downtown Birmingham.

— Chuck Berry

Jim Farmer's unexpected departure placed a heavy burden on Jim Peck, who suddenly found himself in charge of the Freedom Ride. As Farmer left for the Atlanta airport, Peck could not help wondering if he would ever see his old friend again. They had been through a lot together — surviving the depths of the Cold War and CORE's lean years, not to mention the first ten days of the Freedom Ride. Now Peck had to go on alone, perhaps to glory, but more likely to an untimely rendezvous with violence, or even death. When Peck phoned Fred Shuttlesworth, the outspoken pastor of Birmingham's Bethel Baptist Church and the leader of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, to give him the exact arrival times of the two "Freedom Buses," the normally unflappable minister offered an alarming picture of what the Freedom Riders could expect once they reached Birmingham. The city was alive with rumors that a white mob planned to greet the Riders at the downtown bus stations. Shuttlesworth was not privy to FBI surveillance and did not know any of the details, but he urged Peck to be careful. Peck, trying to avoid a last-minute panic, relayed Shuttlesworth's warning to the group in a calm and matter-of-fact fashion. He also repeated Tom Gaither's warning about Anniston, a rest stop on the bus route to Birmingham. But he quickly added that he had no reason to believe the Riders would encounter any serious trouble prior to their arrival in downtown Birmingham. Barring any unforeseen problems, the four-hour ride would give them plenty of time to prepare a properly nonviolent response to the waiting mob — if, in fact, the mob existed.

Faced with staggered bus schedules, the two groups of Freedom Riders left Atlanta an hour apart. The Greyhound group, with Joe Perkins in charge, was the first to leave, at 11:00 A.M. The bus was more than half empty, unusual for the Atlanta-to-Birmingham run. Fourteen passengers were on board: five regular passengers, seven Freedom Riders — Genevieve Hughes, Bert Bigelow, Hank Thomas, Jimmy McDonald, Mae Frances Moultrie, Joe Perkins, Ed Blankenheim — and two journalists, Charlotte Devree and Moses Newson. Among the "regular" passengers were Roy Robinson, the manager f the Atlanta Greyhound station, and two undercover plainclothes agents of the Alabama Highway Patrol, Corporals Ell Cowling and Harry Sims. Both Cowling and Sims sat in the back of the bus, several rows behind the scattered Freedom Riders, who had no inkling of who these two seemingly innocuous white men actually were. Following the orders of Floyd Mann, the director of the Alabama Highway Patrol, Cowling carried a hidden microphone designed to eavesdrop on the Riders. Unsure of the Freedom Ride's itinerary, Mann — and Governor John Patterson — wanted Cowling to gather information on the Riders and their plans.

During the ninety-minute trip to Tallapoosa, the last stop in Georgia, on Highway 78, none of the passengers said very much, other than a few words of nervous small talk. Around one o'clock the bus crossed the Alabama line and followed the road in a southwesterly arc to Heflin, a small country town on the edge of the Talladega National Forest. After a brief rest stop in Heflin, the Greyhound continued west through De Armanville and Oxford before turning north on Highway 21 toward Anniston. The largest city in Calhoun County and the second largest in east-central Alabama, Anniston as a no-nonsense army town that depended on nearby Fort McClellan and a sprawling ordnance depot for much of its livelihood. Known for its hard-edged race relations, Anniston boasted a relatively large black population (approximately 30 percent in 1961), a well-established NAACP branch, and some of the most aggressive and violent Klansmen in Alabama.

Just south of Anniston, the driver of a southbound Greyhound motioned to the driver of the Freedom Riders' bus, O. T. Jones, to pull over to the side of the road. A white man then ran across the road and yelled to Jones through the window: "There's an angry and unruly crowd gathered at Anniston. There's a rumor that some people on this bus are going to stage a sit-in. The terminal has been closed. Be careful." With this message the Riders' worst fears seemed to be confirmed, but Joe Perkins — hoping that the warning was a bluff, or at least an exaggeration — urged the driver to keep going. A minute or two later, as the bus passed the city limits, several of the Riders couldn't help but notice that Anniston's sidewalks were lined with people, an unusual sight on a Sunday afternoon in a Deep South town. "It seemed that everyone in the town was out to greet us," Genevieve Hughes later commented.

Amazingly enough, Hank Thomas did not recall seeing anyone on the streets. He did remember the strange feeling that he and the other Riders experienced as the bus eased into the station parking lot just after 1:00 P.M. The station was locked shut, and there was silence — and then suddenly, as if out of nowhere, a screaming mob led by Anniston Klan leader William Chappell rushed the bus. Thomas thought he heard Jones encourage the attackers with a sly greeting. "Well, boys, here they are," the driver reportedly said with a smirk. "I brought you some niggers and nigger-lovers." But it all happened so fast that no one was quite sure who was saying what to whom.

As the crowd of about fifty surrounded the bus, an eighteen-year-old Klansman and ex-convict named Roger Couch stretched out on the pavement in front of the bus to block any attempt to leave, while the rest — carrying metal pipes, clubs, and chains — milled around menacingly, some screaming, "Dirty Communists" and "Sieg heil!" There was no sign of any police, even though Herman Glass, the manager of the Anniston Greyhound station, had warned local officials earlier in the day that a potentially violent mob had gathered around the station. After the driver opened the door, Cowling and Sims hurried

to the front to prevent anyone from entering. Leaning on the door lever, the two unarmed investigators managed to close the door and seal the bus, but they could not stop several of the most frenzied attackers from smashing windows, denting the sides of the bus, and slashing tires. "One man stood on the steps, yelling, and calling us cowards," Hughes noticed, but her attention soon turned to a second man who "walked by the side of the bus, slipped a pistol from his pocket and stared at me for some minutes." When she heard a loud noise and shattering glass, she yelled, "Duck, down everyone," thinking that a bullet had hit one of the windows. The projectile turned out to be a rock, but another assailant soon cracked the window above her seat with a fist full of brass knuckles. Joe Perkins's window later suffered a similar fate, as the siege continued for almost twenty minutes. By the time the Anniston police arrived on the scene, the bus looked like it had been in a serious collision. Swaggering through the crowd with billy clubs in hand, the police officers examined the broken windows and slashed tires but showed no interest in arresting anyone. After a few minutes of friendly banter with members of the crowd, the officers suddenly cleared a path and motioned for the bus to exit the parking lot.

A police car escorted the battered Greyhound to the city limits but then turned back, once again leaving the bus to the mercy of the mob. A long line of cars and pickup trucks, plus one car carrying a news reporter and a photographer, had followed the police escort from the station and was ready to resume the assault. Once the entourage reached an isolated stretch of Highway 202 east of Bynum, two of the cars (one of which was driven by Roger Couch's older brother Jerome) raced around the front of the bus and then slowed to a crawl, forcing the bus driver to slow down. Trailing behind were thirty or forty cars and trucks jammed with shrieking whites. Many, like Chappell and the Couches, were Klansmen, though none wore hoods or robes. Some, having just come from church, were dressed in their Sunday best — coats and ties and polished shoes — and a few even had children with them. The whole scene was darkly surreal and became even more so when a pair of flat tires forced the bus driver to pull over to the side of the road in front of the Forsyth and Son grocery store six miles southwest of town, only a few hundred yards from the Anniston Army Depot. Flinging open the door, the driver, with Robinson trailing close behind, ran into the grocery store and began calling local garages in what turned out to be a futile effort to find replacement tires for the bus. In the meantime, the passengers were left vulnerable to a swarm of onrushing vigilantes. Cowling had just enough time to retrieve his revolver from the baggage compartment before the mob surrounded the bus. The first to reach the Greyhound was a teenage boy who smashed a crowbar through one of the side windows. While one group of men and boys rocked the bus in a vain attempt to turn the vehicle on its side, a second tried to enter through the front door. With gun in hand, Cowling stood in the doorway to block the intruders, but he soon retreated, locking the door behind him. For the next twenty minutes Chappell and other Klansmen pounded on the bus demanding that the Freedom Riders come out to take what was coming to them, but they stayed in their seats, even after the arrival of two highway patrolmen. When neither patrolman made any effort to disperse the crowd, Cowling, Sims, and the Riders decided to stay put.

Eventually, however, two members of the mob, Roger Couch and Cecil "Goober" Lewallyn, decided that they had waited long enough. After returning to his car, which was parked a few yards behind the disabled Greyhound, Lewallyn suddenly ran toward the bus and tossed a flaming bundle of rags through a broken window. Within seconds the bundle exploded, sending dark gray smoke throughout the bus. At first, Genevieve Hughes, seated only a few feet away from the explosion, thought the bomb-thrower was just trying to scare the Freedom Riders with a smoke bomb, but as the smoke got blacker and blacker and as flames began to engulf several of the upholstered seats, she realized that she and the other passengers were in serious trouble. Crouching down in the middle of the bus, she screamed out, "Is there any air up front?" When no one answered, she began to panic. "Oh, my God, they're going to burn us up!" she yelled to the others, who were lost in a dense cloud of smoke. Making her way forward, she finally found an open window six rows from the front and thrust her head out, gasping for air. As she looked out, she saw the outstretched necks of Jimmy McDonald and Charlotte Devree, who had also found open windows. Seconds later, all three squeezed through the windows and dropped to the ground. Still choking from the smoke and fumes, they staggered across the street. Gazing back at the burning bus, they feared that the other passengers were still trapped inside, but they soon caught sight of several passengers who had escaped through the front door on the other side.

They were all lucky to be alive. Several members of the mob had pressed against the door screaming, "Burn them alive" and "Fry the goddamn niggers," and the Freedom Riders had been all but doomed until an exploding fuel tank convinced the mob that the whole bus was about to explode. As the frightened whites retreated, Cowling pried open the door, allowing the rest of the choking passengers to escape. When Hank Thomas, the first Rider to exit the front of the bus, crawled away from the doorway, a white man rushed toward him and asked, "Are you all okay?" Before Thomas could answer, the man's concerned look turned into a sneer as he struck the astonished student in the head with a baseball bat. Thomas fell to the ground and was barely conscious as the rest of the exiting Riders spilled out onto the grass.

By this time, several of the white families living in the surrounding Bynum neighborhood had formed a small crowd in front of the grocery store. Most of the onlookers remained safely in the background, but a few stepped forward to offer assistance to the Riders. One little girl, twelve-year-old Janie Miller, supplied the choking victims with water, filling and refilling a five-gallon bucket while braving the insults and taunts of Klansmen. Later ostracized and threatened for this act of kindness, she and her family found it impossible to remain in Anniston in the aftermath of the bus bombing. Even though city leaders were quick to condemn the bombing, there was little sympathy for the Riders among local whites. Indeed, while Miller was coming to the Riders' aid, some of her neighbors were urging the marauding Klansmen on.

At one point, with the Riders lying "on the ground around the bus, coughing and bleeding," the mob surged forward. But Cowling's pistol, the heat of the fire, and the acrid fumes wafting from the burning upholstery kept them away. Moments later a second fuel tank explosion drove them back even farther, and eventually a couple of warning shots fired into the air by the highway patrolmen on the scene signaled that the would-be lynching party was over. As the disappointed vigilantes slipped away, Cowling, Sims, and the patrolmen stood guard over the Riders, most of whom were lying or sitting in a daze a few yards from the burned-out shell of the bus. But no one in a position of authority showed any interest in identifying or arresting those responsible for the assault. No one wrote down the license numbers of the Klansmen's cars and pickup trucks, and no one seemed in any hurry to call an ambulance. Several of the Riders had inhaled smoke and fumes and were in serious need of medical attention, but it would be some time before any of them saw a doctor. One sympathetic white couple who lived nearby allowed Hughes to use their phone to call for an ambulance, and when no one answered, they drove her to the hospital. For the rest of the stricken Riders, getting to the hospital proved to be a bit more complicated. When the ambulance called by one of the state troopers finally arrived, the driver refused to transport any of the injured black Riders. After a few moments of awkward silence, the white Riders, already loaded into the ambulance, began to exit, insisting they could not leave their black friends behind. With this gesture — and a few stern words from Cowling — the driver's resolve weakened, and before long the integrated band was on its way to Anniston Memorial Hospital.

Unfortunately, the scene at the hospital offered the Riders little solace. The first to arrive, Hughes found the medical care in Anniston almost as frightening as the burning bus:

There was no doctor at the hospital, only a nurse. They had me breathe pure oxygen but that only burned my throat and did not relieve the coughing. I was burning hot and my clothes were a wet mess. After awhile Ed and Bert were brought in, choking. We all lay on our beds and coughed. Finally a woman doctor came in — she had to look up smoke poisoning before treating us. They brought in the Negro man who had been in the back of the bus with me. I pointed to him and told them to take care of him. But they did not bring him into our emergency room. I understand that they did not do anything at all for Hank. Thirteen in all were brought in, and three were admitted: Ed, the Negro man and myself. They gave me a room and I slept. When I woke up the nurse asked me if I could talk with the FBI. The FBI man did not care about us, but only the bombing.

Hughes's general distrust of the FBI's attitude toward civil rights activists was clearly warranted, but — unbeknownst to her — the FBI agent on the scene had actually intervened on the Freedom Riders' behalf. At his urging, the medical staff agreed to treat all of the injured passengers, black and white, though in the end they failed to do so. When the ambulance full of Freedom Riders arrived at the hospital, a group of Klansmen made an unsuccessful attempt to block the entrance to the emergency room. Later, as the crowd outside the hospital grew to menacing proportions, hospital officials began to panic, especially after several Klansmen threatened to burn the building to the ground. With nightfall approaching and with no prospect of adequate police protection, the superintendent ordered the Riders to leave the hospital as soon as possible.

Hughes and several other Riders were in no shape to leave, but Joe Perkins, the leader of the Greyhound group, had no choice but to comply with the evacuation order. Struggling to conceal his rage, he told the Riders to be ready to leave in twenty minutes, though it actually took him well over an hour to arrange safe passage out of the hospital. After both the state troopers and the local police refused to provide the Riders with transportation — or even an escort — Bert Bigelow called friends in Washington in a vain effort to get help from the federal government. A few minutes later Perkins placed a frantic call to Fred Shuttlesworth in Birmingham. A native of the Alabama Black Belt, Shuttlesworth knew enough about towns like Anniston to know that the Freedom Riders were in serious danger. Mobilizing a fleet of eight cars, he planned to lead the rescue mission himself until his longtime bodyguard, Colonel Stone "Buck" Johnson, persuaded him to remain in Birmingham with the Trailways Riders, who had arrived in the city earlier in the afternoon. Just before the cars left for Anniston, Shuttlesworth reminded Johnson and the other volunteers that this was a nonviolent operation. "Gentlemen, this is dangerous," he admitted, "but... you mustn't carry any weapons. You must trust God and have faith." All of the "deacons" nodded in assent, but as soon as they were safely out of sight, several of the faithful pulled out shotguns from beneath their seats. Checking triggers and ammunition, they made sure they would be able to defend themselves if the going got rough.

While the Riders waited for Shuttlesworth's deacons to make their way across the back roads of the Alabama hill country, the Anniston hospital superintendent grew impatient and reminded Perkins that the interracial group would not be allowed to spend the night in the hospital. Perhaps, he suggested with a wry smile, they could find refuge in the bus station. Fortunately, the superintendent's mean-spirited suggestion became moot a few minutes later when the rescue mission pulled into the hospital parking lot. With the police holding back the jeering crowd, and with the deacons openly displaying their weapons, the weary but relieved Riders piled into the cars, which promptly drove off into the gathering dusk. "We walked right between those Ku Klux," Buck Johnson later recalled. "Some of them had clubs. There were some deputies too. You couldn't tell the deputies from the Ku Klux."

As the convoy raced toward Birmingham, the Riders peppered their rescuers with questions about the fate of the Trailways group. Perkins's conversation with Shuttlesworth earlier in the afternoon had revealed that the other bus had also run into trouble, but few details had been available. The deacons themselves knew only part of the story, but even the barest outline was enough to confirm the Riders' worst fears: The attack on the bus in Anniston could not be dismissed as the work of an unorganized mob. As the deacons described what had happened to the Trailways group, the true nature of the Riders' predicament came into focus: With the apparent connivance of law enforcement officials, the organized defenders of white supremacy in Alabama had decided to smash the Freedom Ride with violence, in effect announcing to the world that they had no intention of letting the law, the U.S. Constitution, or anything else interfere with the preservation of racial segregation in their sovereign state.

The Trailway Riders' ordeal began even before the group left Atlanta. As Peck and the other Riders waited in line to purchase their tickets, they couldn't help noticing that several regular passengers had disappeared from the line after being approached by a group of white men. The white men themselves — later identified as Alabama Klansmen — eventually boarded the bus, but only a handful of other regular passengers joined them. The Klansmen were beefy, rough-looking characters, mostly in their twenties or thirties, and their hulking presence gave the Riders an uneasy feeling as the bus pulled out. There were seven Freedom Riders scattered throughout the bus: the Bergmans, Jim Peck, Charles Person, Herman Harris, Jerry Moore, and Ike Reynolds. Simeon Booker and his Jet magazine colleague, photographer Ted Gaffney, were also on board. Seated in the rear of the bus, the two journalists had a close-up view of the entire harrowing journey from Atlanta to Birmingham. "It was a frightening experience," Booker later reported, "the worst encountered in almost 20 years of journalism."

He was not exaggerating. The bus was barely out of the Atlanta terminal when the Klansmen began to make threatening remarks. "You niggers will be taken care of once you get in Alabama," one Klansman sneered. Once the bus passed the state line, the comments intensified, giving the Riders the distinct impression that something might be brewing in Anniston. Arriving at the Anniston Trailways station approximately an hour after the other Riders had pulled into the Greyhound station, Peck and the Trailways Riders looked around warily before leaving the bus. The waiting room was eerily quiet, and several whites looked away as the unwelcome visitors walked up to the lunch counter. After purchasing a few sandwiches, the Riders walked back to the bus. Later, while waiting nervously to leave, they heard an ambulance siren but didn't think much of it until the bus driver, John Olan Patterson, who had been talking to several Anniston police officers, vaulted up the steps. Flanked by eight "hoodlums," as Peck later called them, Patterson gave them the news about the Greyhound riot. "We have received word that a bus has been burned to the ground and passengers are being carried to the hospital by the carloads," he declared, with no hint of compassion or regret. "A mob is waiting for our bus and will do the same to us unless we get these niggers off the front seats." His bus wasn't going anywhere until the black Freedom Riders retreated to the back of the bus where they belonged.

After a few moments of silence, one of the Riders reminded Patterson that they were interstate passengers who had the right to sit wherever they pleased. Shaking his head in disgust, he exited the bus without a word. But one of the white "hoodlums" soon answered for him: "Niggers get back. You ain't up north. You're in Alabama, and niggers ain't nothing here." To prove his point, he suddenly lunged toward Person, punching him in the face. A second Klansman then struck Harris, who was sitting next to Person in the front section of the bus. Both black Freedom Riders adhered to Gandhian discipline and refused to fight back, but this only encouraged their attackers. Dragging the defenseless students into the aisle, the Klansmen started pummeling them with their fists and kicking them again and again. At this point Peck and Walter Bergman rushed forward from the back to object. As soon as Peck reached the front, one of the attackers turned on him, striking a blow that sent the frail, middle-aged activist reeling across two rows of seats. Within seconds Bergman, the oldest of the Freedom Riders at sixty-one, suffered a similar blow, falling to the floor with a thud. As blood spurted from their faces, both men tried to shield themselves from further attack, but the Klansmen, enraged by the white Riders' attempt to protect their "nigger" collaborators, proceeded to pound them into a bloody mass. While a pair of Klansmen lifted Peck's head, others punched him in the face until he lost consciousness. By this time Bergman was out cold on the floor, but one frenzied assailant continued to stomp on his chest. When Frances Bergman begged the Klansman to stop beating her husband, he ignored her plea and called her a "nigger lover." Fortunately, one of the other Klansmen — realizing that the defenseless Freedom Rider was about to be killed — eventually called a halt to the beating. "Don't kill him," he said coolly, making sure that no one on the bus mistook self-interested restraint for compassion.

Although Walter Bergman's motionless body blocked the aisle, several Klansmen managed to drag Person and Harris, both barely conscious, to the back of the bus, draping them over the passengers sitting in the backseat. A few seconds later, they did the same to Peck and Bergman, creating a pile of bleeding and bruised humanity that left the rest of the passengers in a momentary state of shock. Content with their brutal handiwork, the Klansmen then sat down in the middle of the bus to block any further attempts to violate the color line. At this point a black woman riding as a regular passenger begged to be let off the bus, but the Klansmen forced her to stay. "Shut up, you black bitch," one of them snarled. "Ain't nobody but whites sitting up here. And them nigger lovers . . . can just sit back there with their nigger friends."

Moments later, Patterson, who had left during the melee, returned to the bus, accompanied by a police officer. After surveying the scene, both men appeared satisfied with the restoration of Jim Crow seating arrangements. Turning toward the Klansmen, the police officer grinned and assured them that Alabama justice was on their side: "Don't worry about no lawsuits. I ain't seen a thing." The officer then exited the bus and motioned to Patterson to head out onto the highway. Realizing that there was a mob waiting on the main road to Birmingham, the driver kept to the back roads as he headed west. When none of the Klansmen objected to this detour, the Freedom Riders were puzzled but relieved, thinking that perhaps there were limits to the savagery of the segregationists after all, even in the wilds of eastern Alabama. What they did not know, of course, was that the Klansmen were simply saving them for the welcoming party already gathering in the shadows of downtown Birmingham.

During the next two hours, as the bus rolled toward Birmingham, the Klansmen continued to taunt and torment the Riders. One man brandished a pistol, a second threatened the Riders with a steel pipe, and three others served as "sentries," blocking access to the middle and front sections of the bus. As Booker recalled the scene, one of the sentries was "a pop-eyed fellow who kept taunting: 'Just tell Bobby [Kennedy] and we'll do him in, too.'" When one of the Klansmen approached Booker threateningly, the journalist nervously handed him a copy of Jet that featured an advance story on CORE's sponsorship of the Freedom Ride. Over the next few minutes, as the article was passed from Klansman to Klansman, the atmosphere became increasingly tense. "I'd like to choke all of them," one Klansman confessed, while others assured the Riders that they would get what was coming to them when they arrived in Birmingham. By the time the bus reached the outskirts of the city, Peck and the other injured Riders had regained consciousness, but since the Klansmen would not allow any of the Riders to leave their seats or talk among themselves, there was no opportunity for Peck to prepare the group for the impending onslaught. He could only hope that each Rider would be able to draw upon some combination of inner strength and past experience, some reservoir of courage and responsibility that would sustain the Freedom Ride and protect the viability and moral integrity of the nonviolent movement.

Though battered and bleeding, and barely able to walk, Peck was determined to set an example for his fellow Freedom Riders. As the designated testers at the Birmingham stop, he and Person would be the first to confront the fully assembled power of Alabama segregationists. The terror-filled ride from Atlanta was a clear indication that they could expect some measure of violence in Birmingham, but at this point Peck and the other Trailways Riders had no detailed knowledge of what had happened to the Greyhound group in Anniston two hours earlier. They thought they were prepared for the worst. In actuality, however, they had no reliable way of gauging what they were up against, no way of appreciating the full implications of challenging Alabama's segregationist institutions, and no inkling of how far Birmingham's ultra-segregationists would go to protect the sanctity of Jim Crow. This was not just the Deep South — it was Birmingham, where close collaboration between the Ku Klux Klan and law enforcement officials was a fact of life. The special agents in the Birmingham FBI field office, as well as their superiors in Washington, possessed detailed information on this collaboration and could have warned the Freedom Riders. But they chose to remain silent.

The dire consequences of the bureau's refusal to intervene were compounded by the active involvement of FBI informant Gary Thomas Rowe. In the final minutes before the Trailways group's arrival, Rowe helped ensure that the plot to "welcome" the Freedom Riders would actually be carried out. The plan called for Rowe and the other Klansmen to initiate the attack at the Greyhound station, where the first group of Freedom Riders was expected to arrive, but news of the Anniston bombing did not reach Birmingham until midafternoon, just minutes before the arrival of the Trailways bus. A frantic call from police headquarters to Rowe, who quickly spread the word, alerted the Klansmen waiting near the Greyhound station that a bus of Freedom Riders was about to arrive at the Trailways station, three blocks away. The "welcoming committee" had just enough time to regroup at the Trailways station. Years later Rowe recalled the mad rush across downtown Birmingham: "We made an astounding sight . . . men running and walking down the streets of Birmingham on Sunday afternoon carrying chains, sticks, and clubs. Everything was deserted; no police officers were to be seen except one on a street corner. He stepped off and let us go by, and we barged into the bus station and took it over like an army of occupation. There were Klansmen in the waiting room, in the rest rooms, in the parking area."

By the time Peck and company arrived, the Klansmen and their police allies were all in place, armed and ready to do what had to be done to protect the Southern way of life. Police dispatchers, following the agreed-upon plan, had cleared the "target" area: For the next fifteen minutes there would be no police presence in or near the Trailways station. The only exceptions were two plainclothes detectives who were in the crowd to monitor the situation and to make sure that the Klansmen left the station before the police arrived.

Since it was Sunday, and Mother's Day, there were few bystanders, aside from a handful of news reporters who had been tipped off that something big was about to happen at the Trailways station. Despite the semisecret nature of the operation, the organizers could not resist the temptation to let the outside world catch a glimpse of Alabama manhood in action.

One of the reporters on hand was Howard K. Smith, a national correspondent for CBS News who was in Birmingham working on a television documentary titled "Who Speaks for Birmingham?". Smith and his CBS colleagues were investigating New York Times columnist Harrison Salisbury's charges that Alabama's largest city was consumed by lawlessness and racial oppression. "Every channel of communication, every medium of mutual interest, every reasoned approach, every inch of middle ground," wrote Salisbury in April 1960, "has been fragmented by the emotional dynamite of racism, reinforced by the whip, the razor, the gun, the bomb, the torch, the club, the knife, the mob, the police and many branches of the state's apparatus." After several days of interviews, Smith was still trying to decide if Salisbury's claims were exaggerated. A Louisiana native with considerable experience in the Deep South, Smith was more than intrigued when he received a Saturday night call from Dr. Edward R. Fields, the president of the ultra-conservative National States Rights Party (NSRP), an organization known to promote a virulent strain of white supremacist and anti-Semitic extremism. Identifying himself simply as "Fields," the arch segregationist urged Smith to hang around the downtown bus stations "if he wanted to see some real action."

A gun-toting Birmingham chiropractor with close ties to the infamous Georgia extremist J. B. Stoner, Fields himself had every intention of taking part in the action. Along with Stoner, who had driven over from Atlanta for the occasion, and several other NSRP stalwarts, Fields showed up at the Greyhound station on Sunday afternoon armed and ready for the bloodletting — even though Klan leader Hubert Page warned him to stay away. Page and his police accomplices were having enough trouble controlling their own forces without having to worry about Fields and his crew of professional troublemakers.

With Police Chief Jamie Moore out of the city and Connor lying low in an effort to distance himself from the impending violence, Detective Tom Cook was in charge of the operation, but Cook did not share Page's concern. When Rowe called Cook to complain that the NSRP was complicating the Klan's plans, the detective told him to relax. "You boys should work together," Cook suggested.

Connor — who spent Sunday morning at city hall, barely a stone's throw away from the Greyhound station — was probably the only man in Birmingham with the power to call the whole thing off. But he was not about to do so. Resisting the entreaties of several friends, including his Methodist pastor, John Rutland, who warned him that joining forces with the Klan was a big mistake, he cast his lot with the extremists. He knew that the welcoming party might backfire — that it could complicate the mayoral campaign of his political ally Art Hanes, that Birmingham might even become a second Little Rock, a city besieged by federal troops — but he simply could not bring himself to let the Freedom Riders off the hook. He had been waiting too long for an opportunity to confront the Yankee agitators on his own turf. It was time to let Earl Warren, the Kennedys, the Communists, and all the other meddling Southhaters know that the loyal sons of Alabama were ready to fight and die for white supremacy and states' rights. It was time for the blood to flow.

At 4:15 on Sunday afternoon, Connor got all the blood he wanted — and then some. As soon as the bus pulled into the Trailways terminal, the Klansmen on board raced down the aisle to be near the front door. Following a few parting taunts — one man screamed, "You damn Communists, why don't you go back to Russia. You're a shame to the white race" — they hustled down the steps and disappeared into the crowd. They had done their job; the rest was up to their Klan brethren, several of whom were waiting expectantly in front of the terminal. The Klansmen's hurried exit was a bit unnerving, but as Peck and the other Freedom Riders peered out at the crowd there was no sign of any weapons. One by one, the Riders filed off the bus and onto the unloading platform, where they began to retrieve their luggage. Although there were several rough-looking men standing a few feet from the platform, there was no clear indication that an attack was imminent. After a few moments of hesitation, Peck and Person walked toward the white waiting room to begin testing the terminal's facilities. In his 1962 memoir, Peck recalled the intensity of the scene, especially his concern for the safety of his black colleague. "I did not want to put Person in a position of being forced to proceed if he thought the situation was too dangerous," he remembered, but "when I looked at him, he responded by saying simply, 'Let's go.'" This bravery was not born of ignorance: Person had grown up in the Deep South; he had recently served sixteen days in jail for his part in the Atlanta sit-ins, and he had already been beaten up earlier in the day. Nevertheless, neither he nor Peck was fully prepared for what was about to happen.

Moments after the two Freedom Riders entered the waiting room and approached the whites-only lunch counter, one of the waiting Klansmen pointed to the cuts on Peck's face and the caked blood on his shirt and screamed out that Person, who was walking in front of Peck, deserved to die for attacking a white man. At this point, Peck tried to explain that Person was not the man who had attacked him, adding: "You'll have to kill me before you hurt him." This blatant breach of racial solidarity only served to incite the crowd of Klansmen blocking their path. After an Eastview Klansman named Gene Reeves pushed Person toward the colored waiting room, the young black Freedom Rider gamely continued walking toward the white lunch counter but was unable to sidestep a second Klansman who shoved him up against a concrete wall. Standing nearby, NSRP leader Edward Fields pointed toward Peck and yelled: "Get that son of a bitch." Several burly white men then began to pummel Person with their fists, bloodying his face and mouth and dropping him to his knees. When Peck rushed over to help Person to his feet, several Klansmen grabbed both men by the shoulders and pushed them into a dimly lit corridor leading to a loading platform. In the corridor more than a dozen whites, some armed with lead or iron pipes and others with oversized key rings, pounced on the two Riders, punching and kicking them repeatedly. Before long, the assault turned into a chaotic free-for-all with "fists and arms... flying everywhere." In the ensuing confusion, Person managed to escape. Running into the street, he staggered onto a city bus and eventually found his way to Fred Shuttlesworth's parsonage. In the meantime Peck bore the brunt of the attack, eventually losing consciousness and slumping to the floor in a pool of blood.

The fracas had been moved to the back corridor in an effort to avoid the reporters and news photographers roaming the white waiting room, but several newsmen, including Howard K. Smith, witnessed at least part of the attack. Smith, who had only been in Birmingham for a few days, could hardly believe his eyes as the rampaging Klansmen and NSRP "storm troopers" swarmed over the two Freedom Riders. But he soon discovered that this was only the beginning of one of the bloodiest afternoons in Birmingham's history.

While Peck and Person were being assaulted in the corridor, the other Riders searched for a refuge. Jerry Moore and Herman Harris avoided detection by losing themselves in the crowd and slipping away just before the assaults began. Frances Bergman, at her husband's insistence, boarded a city bus moments after their arrival, but Walter himself was unable to escape the mob's fury. Still woozy from his earlier beating, with blood still caked on his clothing, he bravely followed Peck and Person into the white waiting room.

After witnessing the initial assault on his two colleagues, he searched in vain for a policeman who could help them, but soon he too was knocked to the floor by an enraged Klansman. When Simeon Booker entered the terminal a few seconds later, he saw the bloodied and defenseless professor crawling on his hands and knees. Recoiling from the grisly scene, Booker retreated to the street, where he found a black cabdriver who agreed to whisk him and Ted Gaffney away to safety.

Others were less fortunate. Several white men attacked Ike Reynolds, kicking and stomping him before heaving his semiconscious body into a curbside trash bin. In the confusion, the mob also attacked a number of bystanders misidentified as Freedom Riders. One of the victims was actually a Klansman named L. B. Earle, who had the misfortune of coming out of the men's room at the wrong time. Attacked by fellow Klansmen who failed to recognize him, Earle suffered several deep head gashes and ended up in the hospital. Another victim of the mob, a twenty-nine-year-old black laborer named George Webb, was assaulted after he entered the baggage room with his fiancée, Mary Spicer, one of the regular passengers on the freedom bus from Atlanta. The last person to leave the bus, Spicer was unaware of the melee inside the station until she and Webb encountered a group of pipewielding rioters in the baggage area. One of the men, undercover FBI informant Gary Thomas Rowe, told Spicer to "get the hell out of here," and she escaped harm, running into the street for help. But Rowe and three others, including an NSRP member, immediately surrounded Webb and proceeded to pummel him with everything from their fists to a baseball bat. Webb fought back but was soon overwhelmed as several more white men joined in. Dozens of others looked on, some yelling, "Kill the nigger." But moments later the assault was interrupted by Red Self, one of the plainclothes detectives on the scene, who grabbed Rowe by the shoulder and told him it was time to go. "Get the boys out of here," he ordered. "I'm ready to give the signal for the police to move in."

During the allotted fifteen minutes, the violence had spread to the sidewalks and streets surrounding the Trailways station, making it difficult to get the word to all of the Klansmen and NSRP members involved in the riot. But by the time the police moved in to restore order, virtually all of the rioters had left the area. Despite Self's warning, Rowe and those attacking Webb were among the last to leave. "Goddamn it, Tom," Self finally screamed at Rowe, "I told you to get out of here! They're on the way." Rowe and

several others, however, were preoccupied with Webb and continued the attack until a news photographer snapped a picture of Rowe and the other Klansmen. As soon as the flashbulb went off, they abandoned Webb and ran after the photographer, Tommy Langston of the Birmingham Post-Herald, who made it to the station parking lot before being caught. After one man grabbed Langston's camera and smashed it to the ground, Rowe and several others, including Eastview klavern leader Hubert Page, kicked and punched him and threatened to beat him with the same pipes and baseball bats used on Webb. In the meantime, Webb ran into the loading area, where he was recaptured by a pack of Klansmen led by Gene Reeves. With the police closing in, Webb, like Langston, was released after a few final licks, though by this time both men were bleeding profusely. Stumbling into the parking lot, Webb somehow managed to find the car where his terrified fiancée and aunt had been waiting. As they drove away to safety, Langston, whose life had suddenly become intertwined with the beating of a man whom he had never met, staggered down the street to the Post-Herald building, where he collapsed into the arms of a shocked colleague. Later in the afternoon, another Post-Herald photographer returned to the scene of the assault and retrieved Langston's broken camera, discovering to his and Langston's amazement that the roll of film inside was undamaged.

The graphic picture of the Webb beating that appeared on the front page of the Post-Herald the next morning, though initially misidentified as a photograph of the attack on Peck, turned out to be one of the few pieces of documentary evidence to survive the riot. Immediately following the attack on Langston, Rowe and Page grabbed Birmingham News photographers Bud Gordon and Tom Lankford and promptly destroyed all of the unexposed film in their cameras. Neither photographer was beaten, but Clancy Lake, a reporter for WAPI radio, was not so lucky. As Rowe and two other Eastview Klansmen, Billy Holt and Ray Graves, walked toward the Greyhound station parking lot to retrieve their cars, they spied Lake sitting in the front seat of his car broadcasting an eyewitness account of the riot. Convinced that Lake had a camera and had been taking photographs of the scene at the Trailways station, the Klansmen smashed the car's windows with a blackjack, ripped the microphone from the dashboard, and dragged the reporter onto the pavement. Although Lake noticed a passing police car and screamed for help, the officer drove on, leaving him at the mercy of attackers. At one point the three men pushed him into a wall, but after Holt swung at him with a pipe and missed, Lake bolted into the Trailways station, where he was relieved to discover that a squad of police had just arrived. With the police on the scene, the gritty reporter was able to resume his broadcast via telephone, as Rowe and his companions called off the pursuit and once again headed toward their cars.

Along the way, they encountered a smiling Bobby Shelton, who congratulated them for a job well done and offered them a ride to the Greyhound parking lot in his Cadillac. Upon their arrival, the Imperial Wizard and his passengers were shocked to discover several local black men writing down the license plate numbers of the Klansmen's cars. Following a brief struggle — at least one of the overmatched blacks was in his mid-sixties — the Klansmen ripped up the pages with the incriminating numbers before heading to Rowe's house for a victory celebration. Arriving at the house around five o'clock, they stayed there only a few minutes before a phone call from Sergeant Tom Cook sent them back downtown to intercept another bus full of Freedom Riders. The Greyhound freedom bus, having been burned in Anniston, never actually arrived, but Rowe and Page had too much blood lust to return home without getting some action. Wandering into a black neighborhood on the north side of downtown, they picked a fight with a group of young blacks who gave as good as they got. The battle put one Klansman in the hospital and left Rowe with a knife wound in the neck serious enough to require immediate attention from a doctor. None of this, however, dampened the sense of triumph among the Klansmen and their police collaborators.

At a late-night meeting with Rowe, Red Self suggested that the shedding of a little blood was a small price to pay for what they had accomplished. After weeks of anticipation and careful planning, they had done exactly what they set out to do. Carried out in broad daylight, the assault on the Freedom Riders had turned a bus station into a war zone, and the Klansmen involved had come away with only minor injuries and little likelihood of criminal prosecution. In the coming days and weeks, the publication of Langston's photograph would be a source of concern for those who were identifiable as Webb's attackers — and for Rowe's FBI handlers, who were furious that one of their informants had allowed himself to be captured on film during a criminal assault. But as Self and Rowe congratulated each other in the waning hours of May 14, there was no reason to believe that anything had gone wrong. Backing up words with action, the white supremacists of the Eastview klavern and their allies had demonstrated in no uncertain terms that they were ready to use any means necessary to halt the Freedom Rides.

The late-afternoon scene at the Trailways station testified to the success of the operation. Within twenty minutes of the Freedom Riders' arrival, the mob had vanished, leaving surprisingly little evidence of the riot and few witnesses with a clear sense of what had just happened. When Peck regained consciousness a few minutes after the assault, he was alone in the corridor.

Excerpted from Freedom Riders by Raymond Arsenault. Copyright © 2005 by Raymond Arsenault. Excerpted by permission of Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.