Negro marchers attacked; church council rallies support

By United Press International

SELMA, Ala. March 8, 1965 (UPI) -- The National Council of Churches today called on Christians throughout the nation to join Negro demonstrators in a protest march tomorrow from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

The call was issued in Washington as Negroes in Selma planned to ask a Federal Court injunction against Alabama state and local officers who sent them reeling and bleeding under a barrage of tear gas and attack with clubs and whips yesterday. At least 67 Negroes were injured in the freedom-march attack.


The call came from the council's Religion and Race Commission headed by Dr. Eugene Carson Blake, chief executive officer of the United Presbyterian Church.

A commission spokesman said "This struggle for racial justice is the duty of all Christians the laymen no less than the clergyman."

He said the call to participate in the protest march was issued in response to a plea from the Rev. Martin Luther King who asked that ministers join him in the march tomorrow.

About 600 Negroes set out on the 40-mile march from Selma to Montgomery yesterday but were routed by law officers on orders from Gov. George B. Wallace.

The march to Montgomery, the state capital, had been called by racial leaders to focus attention on their demonstrations for the right to vote. They had planned to deliver a pretest to Gov. Wallace.


Integration leader, the Rev. James Bevel, told a rally of 600 Negroes last night, many who turned up in bandages, that "We are going to seek an injunction against the governor and the state of Alabama. We are going to Montgomery whether we get an injunction or not."

Included among the injured in yesterday's clash was integration leader John Lewis who received a possibly fractured skull.

Two hospitals - Good Samaritan and Burwell Infirmary - reported today 17 Negroes were hospitalized with broken arms and legs, head injuries, hysteria and other injuries. None was in critical condition.

About 50 more Negroes were treated and released.

A policeman was struck when Negroes, in the only reported retaliation, hurled bricks and bottles.

An FBI agent, taking pictures as horsemen chased Negroes, was attacked by three white men and his camera was smashed. Federal charges were filed early today against Jimmy G. Robinson, 26; Noel Cooper, 21 and Randall Kendrick, 21, all of Selma, for attacking FBI agent Daniel E. Doyle. Doyle was not injured. All three men were jailed.

The place where officers intercepted the Negroes near Edward Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River resembled a battle scene with abandoned bedrolls, and clothing lying mingled with spent tear gas shells.


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