Monday, May 16, 2005

First Hearing: What brought us to November 3, 1979?

In order for the GTRC to be able to hear from more people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, the GTRC's first public hearing has been postponed until mid-July (specific date will be posted soon). The topic for this first hearing is "What brought us to November 3, 1979?" and hearing speakers will be chosen from the many different statements we have been and will continue collecting on this topic. Because we know that there are limitless answers to this question, we want to hear as many of these perspectives as possible.

Please help us to hear these different answers by:
-sharing your own answer here
-sharing ideas here for how we can hear from people with different perspectives (or even who these people should be) or
-calling us directly (336-275-6462) to talk about your ideas.

Thanks to everyone who has already contributed to this conversation. I hope that you will continue to do so and will invite others to participate as well. As our research develops, we will be posting more specific questions on this site.

--Jill Williams (GTRC Executive Director)


Anonymous John Young said...

I hope that Sally Bermanzohn, one of the survivors of Nov. 3rd, is part of the public hearing in July. I think that Sally Bermanzohn's "Through Survivors' Eyes", 2003 paperback edition, presents some significant points on page 189, 190 and 191. Sally is forced to ignore her insights and intuition when she and Nelson Johnson visited WVO headquarters in New York. The strict CWP hierarchy was enforced and Sally's important questions and deep concerns were never addressed. Sally in these pages has been very courageous and honest. These are not self-serving words of justification but the words of deep regret. These are words that provide a bridge to truth, healing and reconciliation.

Sally said "On the drive up to NY, Nelson and I agreed that we should not repeat this (dangerous China Grove) type of demonstration. ... But when we got to the WVO headquarters in NYC, it was a different story. I said my piece, and Jerry Tung immediately launched into heavy criticism of me. There was no discussion of tactics, of dangers -- just my inadequacies. ... Rather than address the issues of danger, Jerry said that the China Grove confrontation was a "shining example" of struggles that WVO should be taking up. ...Jerry was stressing that party building should be the focus of all our work, that we should be taking up militant struggles like the anti-Klan campaign. ... In my gut I did not agree with the leaders. But the rules of democratic centralism were that I should "seek to unite." I should put out the party's line even if I disagree with it. ... After the massacre, I felt terrible that I had not argued against the anti-Klan campaign. I wished I had "intrigued and conspired." ... Only after the massacre did I learn that other people also had similar fears about what we were doing." Both Mike Nathan and Sally Bermanzohn were aware of the potential for significant violence on Nov. 3rd.

4:39 PM  

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