Freedom riders

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1. Freedom RidersBy Stacey, Hannah, Emma and Hannah. 2. May 14th 1961 On May 14, Mother's Day, in Anniston, a mob of Ku Klux Klansmen, somestill in church attire, attacked the first of the two buses (the Greyhound). The driver tried to leave the station, but was blocked until KKK membersslashed its tires. The mob forced the crippled bus to stop several milesoutside of town and then firebombed it. As the bus burned, the mob held the doors shut, intending to burn theriders to death. Sources disagree, but either an exploding fuel tank or anundercover state investigator brandishing a revolver caused the mob toretreat, and the riders escaped the bus. The mob beat the riders after they escaped the bus. Only warning shotsfired into the air by highway patrolmen prevented the riders from beinglynched. That night, the hospitalized Freedom Riders, most of whom had beenrefused care, were removed from the hospital at 2 AM, because the stafffeared the mob outside the hospital. The local civil rights leader Rev. FredShuttles worth organized several cars of blacks to rescue the injuredFreedom Riders in defiance of the mob. 3. At the bus station on South Court Street, a whitemob awaited. They beat the Freedom Riderswith baseball bats and iron pipes. The localpolice allowed the beatings to go onuninterrupted. Again, white Freedom Riderswere singled out for particularly brutal beatings.Reporters and news photographers wereattacked first and their cameras destroyed, butone reporter took a photo later of Jim Zwerg inthe hospital, showing how he was beaten andbruised.Seigenthaler, a Justice Department official, wasbeaten and left unconscious lying in the street.Ambulances refused to take the wounded to thehospital. Local blacks rescued them, and anumber of the Freedom Riders werehospitalized. 4. People showing honour to the freedom riders On Sunday, May 21,(the day after the attack atMontgomery) more than 1500 people packed in aChurch to honour the Freedom Riders. One if the Speakers was Martin Luther King, Jr.,who was newly based in Montgomery. But there was still hatred and hardy anybody forprotection; Outside, a mob of more than 3,000 whitesattacked blacks, with a handful of the UnitedStates Marshals Service protecting the churchfrom assault and fire bombs. With city and state police making no effort torestore order, the civil rights leaders appealed tothe president for protection. 5. Despite all the violence On may 22nd more freedom riders arrived in Montgomeryto continue the freedom ride, despite all the violence andabuse these freedom riders have got already on theirjourney. However when the bus arrived in Jackson withoutincident, the riders were immediately arrested when theytried to use the white-only facilities at the depot. 6. They were arrested !!!In Jackson, where they werearrested and jailed.Once the Jackson and Hinds Countyjails were filled to overflowing, thestate transferred the Freedom Ridersto the infamous Mississippi StatePenitentiary.Abusive treatment there includedplacement of Riders in the MaximumSecurity Unit (Death Row), issuanceof only underwear, no exercise, andno mail.When the Freedom Riders refused tostop singing freedom songs, prisonofficials took away their mattresses,sheets, and toothbrushes. MoreFreedom Riders arrived from acrossthe country, and at one time, morethan 300 were held in the StatePenitentiary. 7. A little summary Freedom Rides, in U.S. history, a series of political protests againstsegregation by blacks and whites who rode buses together through theAmerican South in 1961. In 1946 the U.S. Supreme Court banned segregation in interstate bustravel. A year later the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and theFellowship of Reconciliation tested the ruling by staging the Journey ofReconciliation, on which an interracial group of activists rode together ona bus through the upper South, though fearful of journeying to the DeepSouth. Following this example and responding to the Supreme CourtsBoynton v. Virginia decision of 1960, which extended the earlier ruling toinclude bus terminals, restrooms, and other facilities associated withinterstate travel, a group of seven African Americans and six whites leftWashington, D.C., on May 4, 1961, on a Freedom Ride in two buses boundfor New Orleans. Convinced that segregationists in the South wouldviolently protest this exercise of their constitutional right, the FreedomRiders hoped to provoke the federal government into enforcing theBoynton decision. When they stopped along the way, white riders usedfacilities designated for blacks and vice versa.