SCLC Leader Hosea L Williams Files Alabama Suit to Protect Voting Rights Protesters

Following the attacks on nonviolent protesters on “Bloody Sunday” and subsequent protests throughout the state of Alabama prior to the March from Selma to Montgomery at the end of this month, Rev Hosea L. Williams filed suit demanding that the federal government to step in to protect the marchers against state troopers and city police, which, under great pressure, they eventually did. The protections seem to have been limited to the famous march to the capitol and not extended to Wilcox or any other county where demonstrators continued to be arrested, beaten and tear gassed.

March 17,1965- US District Court Middle District of Alabama

Hosea Williams v George Wallace The federal district court issues its order permitting the peaceful assembly without interference, and orders Governor Wallace and others to provide adequate police protection to “Negro” citizens in the exercise of their constitutional rights. The court noted that as of October 1963 zero (0)% of Black citizens in Wilcox County were registered to vote.

Source: Williams v Wallace, 240 F.Supp 100, 1965

Hosea L Williams with his top SCOPE staff outside the Freedom House in Atlanta in the Summer of 1965. As stated by his daughter, Dr. Barbara Williams Emerson in February 2012, "It is a good photo from the period, but it says nothing, or everything, about female participation": L to R- Benjamin Van Clarke, Stoney Cook, Carl Farris, Andrew Marquette , and Richard Boone. – Courtesy Barbara Emerson Williams. Copyright, all rights reserved.

Hosea L Williams with his top SCOPE staff outside the Freedom House in Atlanta in the Summer of 1965. As stated by his daughter, Dr. Barbara Williams Emerson in February 2012, “It is a good photo from the period, but it says nothing, or everything, about female participation”: L to R- Benjamin Van Clarke, Stoney Cook, Carl Farris, Andrew Marquette , and Richard Boone. – Courtesy Barbara Emerson Williams. Copyright, all rights reserved.

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