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Sun Aug 20, 2017, 04:03 PM

1979 Klan-Nazi attack survivor hopes for a 'justice river' [View all]

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Source: Associated Press

Martha Waggoner, Associated Press
 Updated 3:39 pm, Sunday, August 20, 2017

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The Rev. Nelson Johnson needs no reminders of the massacre of five of his labor-activist friends almost 40 years ago — he still has the faded scar on his left arm, left by a Nazi who stabbed him as white supremacists descended on a march for workers through black neighborhoods in Greensboro.

But the violence surrounding the Aug. 12 march by Ku Klux Klansmen and Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the death of a young woman hit by a car there, brought the events of Nov. 3, 1979, in sharper focus for him.

. . .

Johnson, now 74, was a member of the Workers Viewpoint Organization, which planned a march through a public housing project in Greensboro before a labor conference on Nov. 3, 1979. While the focus was on workers, textile mill wages and brown lung disease, it was also billed as a "Death to the Klan" rally. Both the rally title and the organization's decision to rename itself the Communist Workers Party were mistakes, Johnson now acknowledges.
 
Nazis and Ku Klux Klansmen drove into the march and then fired at demonstrators, and a report found that some demonstrators also were armed and fired in response. Five marchers were killed and at least 10 people were wounded, including Johnson. All-white juries at two trials acquitted the Klan and Nazi members, who claimed self-defense. Testimony showed both the police and the then-Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had been warned by informants about the Klan-Nazi plans.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/us/article/1979-Klan-Nazi-attack-survivor-hopes-for-a-11945392.php



Wikipedia:
Greensboro massacre

The Greensboro massacre is the term for an event which took place on November 3, 1979, when members of the Communist Workers' Party and others demonstrated in a Brown Lung in Textile Workers march in Greensboro, North Carolina, United States. The CWP, which had advocated that Klan members should be "physically beaten and chased out of town", engaged in a shootout with members of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party.[1] Four members of the Communist Workers' Party, and one other individual were killed and eleven other demonstrators and a Klansman were wounded. The CWP had supported workers' rights activism among mostly black textile industrial workers in the area.[2][3]

Two criminal trials of several Klan and ANP members were conducted: six men were prosecuted in a state criminal trial in 1980, five were charged with murder. All were acquitted by an all-white jury. A second, federal criminal civil rights trial in 1984 concluded with the acquittal of the nine defendants by an all-white jury.

. . .

In November 2004, marking the 25th anniversary of the killings, about 700 people marched through Greensboro to city hall, on the original route.[6] That year, private citizens organized a Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, modeled after commissions in South Africa and elsewhere. The intention was to investigate and hear testimony concerning the events of 1979. The organization failed to secure authority or local sanction when the mayor and most of the City Council voted against endorsing the undertaking. It lacked both subpoena power to compel testimony, and the ability to invoke the punishment of perjury for false testimony. The commission issued a Final Report concluding that, while both sides had contributed to the massacre by engaging in inflammatory rhetoric, the Klan and ANP members intended to inflict injury on protesters, and the police department had colluded with the Klan by allowing anticipated violence to take place. In 2009 the Greensboro City Council passed a resolution expressing regret for the deaths. In 2015 the city unveiled a historical marker to acknowledge the Greensboro Massacre. Three hundred people attended the ceremony. In August 15, 2017, the Greensboro City Council apologized for the massacre.[7]

More:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensboro_massacre





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Reply 1979 Klan-Nazi attack survivor hopes for a 'justice river' [View all]
Judi Lynn Aug 2017 OP
jpak Aug 2017 #1
Chemisse Aug 2017 #2