Thursday, February 21, 2019

SCOPE50 Newsletter - January 2019

             SCOPE50 News                     
The Struggle Continues!                                                                                                                                                                                                     January 2019
Let Us Continue His Work
Two Freedom Fighters
Two freedom fighters in the Civil Rights Movement (Richard Smiley and Lanny Kaufer) went on the road together in January and shared their experiences with a new generation, as part of remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Both are SCOPE50 board members.  For Richard, it was a homecoming to his high school alma mater – Midland School in Los Olivos, California.  They spent two days at Midland.  The first day they talked about their work in the Movement, and the second day they led the students through a workshop on activism and nonviolence.
Top of Form
Sex, Race and Religion Flood the Streets of Washington, DC Over MLK Weekend            (excerpts of a posting by Jo Freeman on
Sex, race and religion marched through the streets of Washington, DC over the long holiday weekend dedicated to the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King. There wasn't much brotherly (or sisterly) love, which would have been a more fitting tribute to Dr. King's memory; neither was there any physical violence, though there were some confrontations. 
The Women's March was so successful in 2017 that it has become an annual event. For the third march, protestors were urged to come to Washington DC again, this time on Saturday, January 19, but were told they could march at home if they preferred. By now there are enough local organizations to do just that.
Ironically, it followed by one day the March for Life, which has also become an annual event, held on a weekend near the January 22, 1973 decision by the Supreme Court to limit the state's ability to restrict a woman's access to abortion. (Roe v. Wade) It always meets on the Mall for an hour before marching to the Supreme Court. 
This year it conflicted somewhat with a new event. The Indigenous People's March met at the Dept. of Interior at 8:00 a.m. with prayers and songs. Afterward, participants marched to the Lincoln Memorial where there were some unpleasant encounters with other protestors.  As if this wasn't enough, on Monday, DC held its 40th local march on MLK day, a long ways from the Mall. Mother Nature was not kind to any of the marchers, as all four days were cold and grey, with intermittent rain.
NOW (National Organization for Women) asked sympathizers to join it on the Supreme Court sidewalk to hold up pro-choice signs while pro-lifers walked by. Feminists have been doing this for years, but this was the smallest counter-protest that I have (barely) seen. While walking around that sidewalk looking for them, I shot photos of the other signs.  I went to the end of the block and crossed the street. On the other side, I could see a few pro-choice signs facing the street; their backs to the Court. I also found a couple CodePinkers, who were only observing.  I hadn't intended to spend two hours shooting the March for Life (I've done that before) but I had such a good photo spot, with the Supreme Court in the background, that I just stayed and clicked.  The US Capitol Police lined both sides of the street to keep anyone on the sidewalk from going into the street. They started doing that after Stop Patriarchy blocked the street in 2015 and 2016 just as the lead March for Life banner approached the Supreme Court. I chatted with one of the cops, who let me leave the curb long enough to take photos of some of the signs as they passed. I always came back to my spot.
The Catholic Church, where male celibates hold the power, is the major people provider for the March for Life. Although evangelical Protestants, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses  are more likely to oppose abortion than Catholics, it is Catholic schools and dioceses who fill their busses with parishioners and students for a trip to Washington, DC. It's their signs that dominate the march. 
Those going to the Women's March in DC had to pay their own way. Many local groups organized buses for marchers, but they weren't subsidized. There was a last minute change of location from a march on the Mall with a rally at Lincoln Memorial to Freedom Plaza. That space was too small; people packed the Plaza and flowed into the streets. Many were wearing pink pussy hats that had been popularized by the 2017 March.
The view is overlooking Freedom Plaza, looking down Pennsylvania  Ave. toward the Capitol.   Credit: Jo Freeman
At 11:00 a.m. the march stepped off for a short walk down Pennsylvania Ave., turning on 11th St. at the Trump International Hotel and again on E St.  Barely five blocks, the walk took a long time because the street was packed and people moved very slowly. Banners were often hidden in the crowd. As marchers returned to the Plaza for the rally, most people left. Many had come as family groups; it was cold and there was no place to sit other than at nearby restaurants. On their way out, many went to the White House where they posed for photos and left their signs in the barricades the police had erected to keep protestors from getting too close.
Less than a thousand people actually heard the speakers live, or watched them on jumbotrons. At the other end of Freedom Plaza (only a block away), a group of Native Americans played their drums and chanted. On Pennsylvania Ave. itself, pro-lifers set up their large posters showing dismembered fetuses. Feminists stood in front, using their signs to block the posters. A different opposition group had staked out territory on the sidewalk on the march route. DC Police created a protest pen with yellow crime tape and guarded them to be sure there were no physical confrontations. The message on their signs was a combination of fundamentalist Christianity and anti-feminism.
As was true in 2017, many of the signs carried by marchers had an anti-Trump theme, but the percentage was smaller. Some were professionally printed, but many were homemade with personal sentiments. Anti-Trumpism was not a theme in the few speeches I listened to. While the marchers themselves were significantly white, those on the stage were not.  Many races and religions were represented.  Speakers trumpeted themes particular to their own groups, such as Black Lives Matter.
Major news coverage before the march focused on whether or not some march leaders were anti-Semitic, largely ignoring the Women's Agenda created for this march. Instead of asking about policy, reporters wrote about "associations." One response was to create a group of Jewish Women of Color to march as a bloc. Several hundred held a Sabbath service at the nearby New York Ave. Presbyterian Church before marching with identifying signs. The other major bloc of non-white marchers were those attending the AFL-CIO's annual MLK conference at the hotel a couple of miles away. The AFL bussed them to its headquarters where they held a labor rally and picked up Union signs before walking to Freedom Plaza to join the women's march. It bussed them back around 2:00 p.m. 
There are no official estimates of crowd size anymore. Sometimes march organizers give out their own figures which are usually grossly exaggerated. Newspaper reporters also make their own estimates. Using all of these, my best guess is that there were a few hundred participants in the Indigenous March, two-hundred thousand in the March for Life and one-hundred thousand in the Women's March.
Numbers have more meaning in context. The Indigenous March didn't have a large base or finances. The MLK march is a local march, rather hard to get to without a vehicle, which was held on the coldest day of the weekend. The 46th March for Life was held on the least cold of those days. It has drawn as many as half a million, but not every year. The Woman's March numbers will always be lower than the roughly one million people who came in 2017; there haven't been enough of these for there to be a "normal."
The Supreme Court may take a chunk out of MLK's legacy (from a Jan. 20 article on
"One is called the "child of the storm."  Another is "the crown jewel."  The third was dubbed "the voice of justice."  They are the three great laws of the civil rights movement:  the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act of 1968.  A new conservative bloc on the Supreme Court though may soon treat them as something else:  outdated "racial entitlements" that need to be put back in their place. 
"That's the dreaded future some experts envision for these landmark laws now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has joined the Supreme Court.  They warn that, for the first time, the high court has five firmly conservative judges who were groomed to dismantle the legal legacy of these laws, which have stood for 50 years.  "They will chip, chip away at these laws until there is nothing left," says Carol Anderson, author of One Person, No Vote; How Voter Suppression is Destroying Our Democracy. 
"Such steady erosion would halt what some call the "Second American Civil Rights Revolution."  It would also destroy a central plank in the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  When the nation celebrates the King holiday on Monday, much of the focus will be on his stirring speeches and dramatic marches.  But these three laws are as central to King's legacy as his "I Have a Dream" speech.  While he wasn't the only person who fought and died for these laws – there were countless others who did the same – King's role in their passage was indispensable.
"Today these laws touch virtually every American.  They have changed everything from how women are treated in the workplace to protecting people with disabilities.  Yet few realize these laws came about only because of a brutal struggle.  And even fewer may be aware how a new high court could unravel them – all while claiming to honor the civil rights leader."  (For more information, read the full article at .)
Shelby Jacobs
Most of us who know Brother Jacobs as one of our own, perhaps do not know of his history with NASA's space program.  NASA has honored him as one of its innovators and unsung heroes ( ).  As Project Manager of the Apollo-Soyuz orbiter, Shelby designed instrumentation that would capture one of the most repeated images in space history:  the separation between the first and second stages of the Apollo 6 spacecraft in 1968. 
From an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune, "After three years of testing and perfecting, the cameras recorded the famous footage just seconds after the launch on April 4, 1968.  Jacobs said the video proved the viability of the Saturn V rocket separation process. It was also the first time video had captured the curvature of Earth from space.  But the mission's success was overshadowed by another event that day: the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.  It was a troubling full-circle moment for Jacobs.  Inspired by King's marches for voting rights in 1965, Jacobs spent two weeks in Georgia that summer canvassing neighborhoods to register black voters."  (Note:  Shelby was one of the SCOPE workers in Fort Valley, Georgia.)
From the Columbia Memorial Space Center website:  "The Columbia Memorial Space Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is hosting an exhibit that honors Shelby Jacobs, the engineer who developed the camera systems that captured amazing images during the Apollo missions. Jacobs's contribution to space exploration and his achievements revolving around work and life as an African American aerospace engineer in the 1960s is showcased in  Achieving the Impossible: The Life and Dreams of Shelby Jacobs.  The exhibit runs through Spring 2019.
An unsung hero, Jacobs gave the world the famous "Blue Marble" image that provided definite proof that the Earth was round."
Additional information can be found at the following websites:
Rise Up: The Movement that Changed America
Another SCOPE member – Jim Keck – appears in a documentary about Dr. King which is available for viewing via the History Channel Vault through March 3.  In the 60s, Jim was an SCLC field organizer in Chicago under the tutorage of James Bevel and Jerry Herman.  Later, in the 70s and 80s, he was a professional community organizer in Chicago.
Hosea Williams
January 5 would have been Hosea Williams' 93rd birthday.  At the last meeting of the SCOPE50 Board, the decision was made to honor Hosea on his birthday.  We would like to reprint here, for those who may not have seen it, the biographical information that appears on our SCOPE50 brochure:
We pay tribute to Hosea L. Williams, the Director of the SCOPE Project.  "Hosea" was a renowned Civil Rights leader who played a crucial role in sustaining demonstrations that led to the Movement's greatest legislative accomplishments – the 1964 Civil Rights Bill and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  A Field General for Martin Luther King Jr., he was inspired by King's teachings to "clothe the naked and feed the hungry" and founded Hosea Feed the Hungry and Homeless in 1970, currently the largest direct-to-client food service organization in the Southeast and a provider of medical and educational aid in Haiti and Philippines.
Over 125 arrests and numerous beatings during civil disobedience and direct action protests throughout the South, Washington, DC, Chicago, and New York City.  In 1987, he organized the largest march since the sixties in segregated Forsyth County, GA.  Hosea was inducted in the inaugural ceremony of the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.
Hosea was born, just prior to the Great Depression, on January 5, 1926 to a blind, single, teen-aged mother, the daughter of sharecroppers, and a student at the "Macon School for the Colored Blind," whose death left him orphaned at ten years old.  He died November 5, 2000.
He was awarded the Purple Heart after being wounded in World War II by a Nazi bombing, which caused a year-long hospitalization in Europe.  During his discharge trip, a near-fatal attack for violating "Jim Crow" laws at a "White Only" water fountain in his home state resulted in a second hospitalization.
He earned a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry under the GI Bill and became a Research Chemist with the US Department of Agriculture, one of the first Blacks hired in this capacity.  Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws and Distinguished Alumni Award by Morris Brown College.
He represented the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) on a "Worldwide Brotherhood Tour" to seventeen nations in 1971, including traveling to the People's Republic of China, before President Nixon, as the ninth American admitted in half a century.
Hosea served in all levels of state elected office – Georgia General Assembly, Atlanta City Council, and County Commissioner – as well as a businessman, newspaper publisher, television host, and sole contributor of the Hosea L. Williams Papers, 1958-2000.
Civil Forfeiture in South Carolina
In a joint investigation, The Greenville News and Anderson Independent Mail looked at every South Carolina civil asset forfeiture case (4,000+) from 2014 to 2016.  Their examination was "aimed at understanding this little-discussed, potentially life-changing power that state law holds over citizens – the ability of officers to seize property from people, even if they aren't charged with a crime."  The investigation yielded a clear picture of what is happening.  Police are systematically seizing cash and property – many times from people who aren't guilty of a crime – netting millions of dollars each year.  Over the three years, law enforcement agencies seized $17 million from people in South Carolina they thought had gotten the money through illegal means.  South Carolina law enforcement profits from this policing tactic:  the bulk of the money ends up in its possession.  Several examples of the police seizure of property/cash were given. 
An Atlanta businessman was stopped on I-85 for speeding.  He was not criminally charged in the 2016 incident.  However, deputies discovered $29,000 in his car and decided to keep it.  In another case, when a woman dropped a friend off at a Myrtle Beach sports bar, drug enforcement agents swarmed her car and found $4,670 in the car.  Her friend was wanted in a drug distribu-tion case, but the woman was not involved.  She had no drugs and was never charged in the 2014 bust.  She worked as a waitress and carried cash because she didn't have a checking account.  She spent more than a year trying to get her money back.
These seizures leave thousands of citizens without their cash and belongings or reliable means to get them back.  They target black men most, the investigation found – with crushing consequences when life savings or a small business payroll is taken.  About 65 percent of the people targeted for civil asset forfeiture in SC from 2014 to 2016 were black males in a state where African-American men make up just 13 percent of the population.  Nearly 20 percent of the more than 4,000 people who had money or items seized over three years were never charged with a crime and another one in five were found not guilty or had charges dismissed.
Many people never get their money back.  Or they have to fight to have their property returned and incur high attorney fees.  The average time between when property is seized and when a prosecutor files for forfeiture is 304 days, with the items in custody the whole time.  Often, it's far longer, well beyond the two-year period state law allows for a civil case to be filed.  The entire burden of recovering property is on the citizens, who must prove the goods belong to them and were obtained legally.  Since it's not a criminal case, an attorney isn't provided.  Citizens are left to figure out a complex court process on their own.  Once cases are filed, they have 30 days to respond.  Most of the time, they give up.
Many other states are reforming their forfeiture process.  Fifteen states now require a criminal conviction before property can be forfeited.  Although South Carolina lawmakers have crafted reform bills, none have made it out of committee.
Atlanta Oral History Gathering
It was announced in the last SCOPE50 Newsletter that the Atlanta gathering would take place Jan. 31-Feb. 1.  Unfortunately, that had to be cancelled due to the unavailability of hotel rooms because of the Super Bowl that weekend.

SCOPE50 Newsletter - October 2018

             SCOPE50 News                     
The Struggle Continues!                                                                                                                                                                                                       October 2018
Get Out the Vote
John Reynolds in southwest Georgia and southeast Alabama, promoting Get Out the Vote.
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                                   John in Reynolds, GA                   John with the Chair of the Voter
                                                                                             Registration Board, Pike County, AL
We have also been promoting Get Out the Vote in South Carolina, and Board member Richard Smiley is working in Florida.  These last two weeks are crucial in our effort to Get Out the Vote.
Vote for Our Lives Tour
From the March for our Lives group:
There's no slowing down on the Road to Change! We spent the summer traveling the country registering voters and connecting with communities affected by gun violence. And now, we're embarking on the Vote For Our Lives Tour to rally our generation ahead of Election Day!

We're going to college campuses across the country to get people fired up and ready to vote. If we're traveling near you, sign up to get the details on where we'll be and come join us!
If we're not coming to your area, join our #TurnoutTuesday team and help get people in your community ready to vote on November 6th!  Change starts at the local level, and you, yes you, can make a difference and save lives in your community. We're in the home stretch of making history this election – we need you to stand with us, get out there, and make sure EVERYONE you know is voting for our lives.

Can't wait to see you out there!
–Jaclyn Corin
Oral History Project
We are continuing with our Oral History Project, and it is not too late to decide which of the three options we listed in the last newsletter works best for you:
(1) Contact one of the following Board Members to set up a time for a 15-20 minute phone or personal interview:                                   John Reynolds (Email:
                                   Lanny Kaufer (Email:
                                   Sherie Labedis (Email:
(2) Be interviewed at a future group gathering to be held in Atlanta and other locations with a large number of SCOPE veterans, and
(3) Provide written answers to a short questionnaire via email.
The first group gathering will be held in Atlanta on January 31-February 1, 2019 (Thursday-Friday), and perhaps into Saturday morning (February 2).  In addition to the individual oral history interviews, we are planning a social gathering for those attending.  Board member Barbara Williams Emerson is coordinating the Atlanta gathering.  If you would like to attend, please let Barbara know.  Her e-mail address is
The next gathering will be in Boston in April or May; we will keep you updated.  We are also trying to plan a West Coast gathering, maybe between the Atlanta and Boston gatherings. 
You can check out the oral interviews that have been completed so far on the website.  We have set up a YouTube channel for this purpose. We submitted our copyright application on October 3 and are expecting to receive our official copyright status any time now.  We have submitted the oral histories that we have collected so far to The Library of Congress.
The Kavanaugh Protests
Her photos of September's protests can be seen at  (See a sample below)
"When the Committee broke for lunch, protesters from all over Hart and Dirksen went outside to march in the rain. Well over a thousand people rallied on the west side of the Capitol."
DC Protest.jpg
                         Carnations were spread on the lawn reading WE BELIEVE CHRISTINE © Jo Freeman
Prompted by her coverage of the protests, Jo Freeman wrote the following essay:
Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.
                                                                                                             Victor Hugo
One of the most striking aspects of the protests against putting Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court was how quickly the issue of sexual assault went viral. There are many reasons to not want Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court but that's the one that caught fire.
Another striking aspect was that 90% of the people who turned out to protest, at least in DC where I participated in those protests, were women. They were mostly older women, not the younger ones who usually populate protests.
As I finally realized after listening to a lot of women (and a few men) tell their stories, pretty much all women have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives. Older women have lived longer so the probability is greater. They were raised during an era in which no one talked about it, because it was so normative. Now it's coming out. Women, especially older women, are resurrecting buried memories.
Those assaults were not necessarily as bad as the ones that have made recent headlines, but women lived with the fact that they could be groped and grabbed at any time. When I was young I heard jokes about the casting couch. Women who got ahead in their jobs were assumed to be sleeping with the boss. A common cartoon showed a male boss chasing a female secretary around the office desk. No one said "isn't this horrible." It was normative.
Why is that changing now?
Having studied social movements for decades (as well as participating in a few), I know that they come in surges of rapid change preceded by long periods of slow development. One cannot predict when a surge will happen, but when it does, you know it.
Complaints about sexual harassment have been poking their way into public consciousness for many years. Initially public complaints by women were not taken seriously, or were dismissed as idiosyncratic. After "#MeToo" emerged in 2006 more women spoke out. More men in high places were accused not only of acting like "boys" but of abusing their power in order to do so. When sexual abuse by priests of boys became public, it highlighted how pervasive it was in places where it was least expected.
Social movement surges are usually sparked by a precipitating event, sometimes more than one, which encapsulate people's experiences in a particularly egregious fashion. The precipitating event for the civil rights movement was the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, a 14 year-old boy in Mississippi, and the acquittal of his killers. The early women's liberation movement was started by a series of small crises in different places. There were too many to list here, but some are mentioned in my 1975 book.
The current surge against sexual abuse was precipitated by electing as President a man who bragged about grabbing pussy. The idea snowballed into several million people, mostly women, marching and protesting all over this country, indeed all over the world. While many issues were raised, the signs carried by marchers highlighted the importance of putting a man into the highest office who thought groping women was perfectly OK.
Where this will lead is hard to say. The movement will spread to other issues and other groups – that always happens. But changing practices specifically about sexual abuse requires changing attitudes. That's harder. We don't need more laws. There are plenty of laws in the penal codes prohibiting different types of sexual contact. We need to change the culture.
Not all men grope and grab women (or other men). But all exist in a culture in which such actions are accepted as normal behavior ("boys will be boys"). By way of analogy, a hundred years ago, when lynching was common, only a small portion of the population actually participated in a lynching. But they existed in a culture which looked the other way when it happened, and came up with rationalizations to justify it when it did. It was cultural change that reduced lynching to a rarity. And it's cultural change that will persuade males not to paw females.
There's no easy way to change a culture. It's a little like moving a refrigerator – by hand, without wheels or a dolly. You tug a little on this corner, then push a little on that one. And slowly, you move it across the floor. Of course moving it up or down stairs, without a dolly, and without its falling over – maybe on you, is a lot harder. For that you need help.
When Donald Trump mocked Dr. Christine Blasey Ford for what she told the Judiciary Committee about her experience with Brett Kavanaugh, it was like Trump was sitting on the refrigerator. Support in high places for bad behavior, and demeaning those who talk about it, makes cultural change harder. But it doesn't make it impossible.
We can do it. And we will.
Lynn Goldberg Honored by the NAACP
At its fundraiser on September 21, the Calhoun County (SC) NAACP honored Lynn Goldberg for the work that her SCOPE group did in 1965.   Lynn said that the honor belongs to all the folks who worked on the project that summer.
Lynn said she is proud of the work that the Calhoun County NAACP is doing to bring awareness to the value of educating the public and registering to vote.  "The struggle continues to improve the lives of our communities."
Facebook Ad
John Reynolds (Board President), Mary Whyte (Assistant Treasurer), and David Childs (SCOPE50 Communications Director) met in early October to come up with a Get Out the Vote campaign.  We identified several demographics that we wished to target, and we planned to run two video ads in all of the Southern states – targeting two demographics:  the minority community and young people (age 18-34) who might be motivated because of the March for Our Lives movement.  We felt that these demographic groups were the ones that we should try to motivate – either to vote or to join in the effort to get out the vote. 
At this meeting we submitted the first ad to Facebook that was to run the month of October up until Election Day.  We were prepared to submit a second ad.  But Facebook rejected our ad without giving us any reason for the rejection other than telling us to read their policy guidelines.  After reading the article that appeared on the front page of USAToday on October 22, it appears that Facebook has been over-reacting to criticism that they received over its failure to stop foreign interference during  the 2016 presidential campaign.  According to USAToday, "Dozens of advertisements removed from Facebook for being political ahead of the November mid-term elections did not appear to express any political view…but they did seem to have something in common:  They mentioned "African-American," "Latino," "Hispanic," "Mexican," "women" or "LGBT" or were written in Spanish."  So it appears that even though SCOPE50 is non-partisan, this is the reason that our ad was rejected.
Quarterly Board Meeting
The Board will hold its quarterly board meeting via teleconferencing on Wednesday,
November 28, at 3 p.m.  We invite all Board members to participate.  Any SCOPE50 members with issues that they would like the Board to discuss should submit them to John Reynolds (
We are in that period when most non-profits are instituting their fundraising efforts.  Therefore SCOPE50 is launching a fundraising campaign that will include submitting grant applications to organizations.  We will also be making an appeal to SCOPE50 members and SCOPE50 friends; letters should be going out within the next two weeks.  Donations can be made to SCOPE50; all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.   Donations can be sent to SCOPE50 at 773 Spinnaker Beachhouse, Seabook Island, SC  29455.

SCOPE50 Newsletter - August 2018

             SCOPE50 News                     
The Struggle Continues!                                                                                                                                                                                                       August 2018
Voter Registration
The Voter Registration Deadline is fast approaching.  In most places there is less than a month to get people registered to vote and to assist them with absentee ballots.  And the time is even less for those states that allow early voting.  Below is the flyer we have been using in our efforts.
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In an effort to get clergy members to promote voter registration, the following letter is being sent to churches.
My brothers and sisters of the clergy,
Faith and action go together.  Hebrew 11:29-30 talks about  faith and how faith can change the lives of people and their circumstances.  It talks about faith and action.  It gives as an example the Israelites who are escaping slavery in search of freedom and that the Red Sea opened up so they were able to cross it as if on dry land.  Another example given is the walls of Jericho tumbling down when the people marched around the city.  
 I'm sure I don't have to remind you that the faith community – the church – is supposed to stand in the gap and speak for those who have no voice.  To speak for those who are suffering.  That is the call of the church.  And Jesus demonstrated that to us when he overturned tables in the temple because the voice of the church was silent.
So I'm calling upon you in our time to speak.  I'm calling upon you to promote voter registration and to get out the vote here in 2018.  We can't just simply say that we have nothing to vote for; sometimes you have to vote against.  Sometimes you have to take a stand against evil and corruption.  And I dare say this is what we are facing today.  We are in a moral dilemma.  Our families are falling apart.  Violence is taking too many lives.  The world seems to be changing rapidly.
As leaders of the church, we must speak truth.  We must speak the truth of Jesus.  We can't just say that the church doesn't get involved in social action and that we don't get involved in politics.  Jesus was involved in social action.  Jesus healed the lame man on the day of rest because he saw a need.  The church cannot afford to be silent.
I would encourage you to make sure that every member of your congregation is registered to vote, and that each member votes in November.  We must preach it from the pulpit – this is a part of the work of God.  Jesus did not sit by when he saw pain.  He tried to ease it.  When he heard crying, he tried to wipe away the tears.
Brother and sisters, now is our time to go into the wilderness.  I ask you over the next three weeks to get as many people registered as possible.  If people need rides, use your vans.  In the first two weeks of October, preach to your congregation about the importance of voting, about their responsibility to one another, to our society.  Because that is what our faith calls us to do.  Our faith calls for us to love one another, to stand up for one another, to fight against sin and evil no matter where it takes place. 
Thank you for your efforts and for doing the work of our God here and now.
                                                                        Rev. John Reynolds
                                                                        President, SCOPE50
SCOPE50/March for Our Lives Partnership
We have been working with the national March for our Lives organization in their Road to Change tour of 75 cities, which started in Chicago on June 16 and ended in Newtown, Connecticut, on August 12.  We have been getting information from them as they moved across the country.  One of their stops was Charleston, South Carolina, on July 31.  More than 500 people attended the rally in Charleston, which was held at a downtown theater.  A number of the students from Parkland spoke at a rally at the rally.  They spoke primarily about gun violence and promoting voter registration.  They also met with the survivors and the families of victims of the Emanuel AME Church shooting.  They registered students and other unregistered voters as they entered the Sottile Theater.
We have been working with local leaders, such as Jacob Gamble, even before the tour reached Charleston and have continued to work with the South Carolina leaders of March for Our Lives.  Jacob did a video/audio PSA (public service announcement) on behalf of SCOPE50, promoting voter registration.  He also did a video interview with John Reynolds, SCOPE50 President.  These videos and audios will be posted on social media sites as well as urban radio, hopefully within the next week or so.  They will be made available to SCOPE50 members as well as members of March for Our Lives and can be used in various communities across the country.
Oral History Project
We sent letters out to SCOPE50 members in mid-July asking them to participate in the Oral History Project.   For those of you who may not have received the letter, a copy is attached to this Newsletter.  
As we said in the letter, we are moving ahead with our Oral History Project, but we need your help.  Our goal is to record 50 oral histories that will be made available to the Library of Congress and to students and scholars in the future.  We ask that you participate in one of three ways:  (1) Contact one of our Board Members to set up a time for a 15-20 minute phone or personal interview:  John Reynolds (Email:
                                   Lanny Kaufer (Email:
                                   Sherie Labedis (Email:
(2) Be interviewed at a future group gathering to be held in Atlanta and other locations with a large number of SCOPE veterans, and (3) Provide written answers to a short questionnaire via email.
Of the three options we gave, the response has been split between people who want to do personal interviews and those who want to do phone interviews, although some have chosen the third choice – to fill out a questionnaire and return it.  We had set a deadline of August 31, but since we have not yet reached our goal of 50, we will extend the deadline to September 11, for those who never received the letter or who were unable to respond because they were on vacation. 
We are also working on planning for future group gatherings in different locations where SCOPE50 members could be interviewed.  The first one will be in Atlanta, hopefully this fall, and is being organized by Barbara Williams Emerson.  We hope to announce the dates within the next couple of weeks.  Working with Barbara on the interviews will be Board member Mary Whyte, David Childs, and John Reynolds.
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Photo of SCOPE volunteers at the 50th anniversary Reunion
The Queen
We recently lost the Queen of Soul – Aretha Franklin.  We were all affected by that amazing voice of hers, and I think we are all better for the music that she shared with us and the music that she leaves behind.  Aretha was also an amazing piano player; she could make the piano sing.  Aretha Franklin was a supporter of the Civil Rights Movement and the Women's Movement.  She was an especially strong supporter of SCLC.  Aretha did not just make donations, but she was also out in the field where people lived their lives.  She was with Dr. King on numerous occasions.  She attended SCLC's conventions.  She was there when Dr. King was taken from us.  She was there at West Hunter Street Baptist Church when Ralph assumed the leadership of SCLC.  She was there in Resurrection City walking through the mud in 1968.  So all of us lost a great singer.  But for those of us who were a part of the Movement, we lost a friend and a supporter.
Report on Two Events in Northern California by Rugsy Ruggiero
In October 1-4 of 2015 there was a 50th Anniversary Re-Union of the SCLC/SCOPE Project in Atlanta, Georgia.  We sang, we had workshops, and at the end we were asked to be Civil Rights Workers once again.
For 2 1/2 years Jennifer Westerman and I, Rugsy Ruggiero, had small meetings and we worked with other groups and registered people to vote.  Along the way 50 people joined SCLC and 10 people joined SCOPE.  This February it was decided that we would have SCLC Celebrations.
One was held in San Francisco at the end of June. Another was held in Antioch, California at the end of July.  (SCOPE member Bruce Hartford was the main speaker at the Antioch event.)
Both events drew about 60 people, which was the number of Ministers who formed SCLC after the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott.  We were able to add 70 new SCLC members and another 10 SCOPE volunteers.  The only groups that participated in both events were Reverend Ishmael Burch's Church in San Francisco, SCOPE 50, SCLC and the NAACP.
Both events had speakers from the 60's, speakers from the Churches, and speakers active in their local communities. In the 60's the civil rights groups did not work together, each had its own agenda. There is strength when we band together and support activists.  The NAACP and ACLU do the legal work.  SCOPE 50 and SCLC do the in your face demonstrating the problem, and by the use of Non-Violence which is the key to win our struggles on the way to FREEDOM and EQUALITY.
Clayton Valley Presbyterian Church attended the Antioch Event and will host a SCLC Celebration in March of 2019.  Next year San Francisco and Antioch will hold a 2nd annual SCLC Celebration.  Anyone living in Northern California can contact me for SCOPE50 or SCLC meetings.  Email:  Phone:  925-470-3764    ALL ARE WELCOME!
I want to thank Reverend John Reynolds for the support SCOPE 50 has given to our group.
Rugsy Ruggiero
Field Director for SCOPE 50
Treasurer of SCLC of Contra Costa County
Exhibit and "Post and Courier" article remembers the Charleston Hospital Strike
On the eve of its 50th anniversary, a photo exhibit remembers the Charleston Hospital Strike.  The exhibition called "Unforgettable: Celebrating a Time of Life, Hope and Bravery," at the Charleston Public Library, features the photographs of Cecil Williams.  Williams, an accomplished photographer of the freedom movement, said the hospital strikers deserve recognition as the 50th anniversary of the event approaches.  "I wanted to pay tribute to their brave leadership, thank them for their great courage," he said.  Following are excerpts from an article written by Adam Parker which appeared in the July 29 issue of The Post and Courier. 
"The direct-action phase of the civil rights movement — from the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 and '56 to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1968 — left no part of the South untouched. 
In the Charleston area, Esau Jenkins and Septima Clark ran citizenship schools during the 1950s where black residents were taught to read and registered to vote.  Blacks in Clarendon County mounted a legal challenge to school segregation, resulting in the 1952 Briggs v. Elliott case.  Burke High School students, including Harvey Gantt (who would go on to integrate Clemson University and, later, become the first black mayor of Charlotte), organized lunch counter sit-ins at the Kress store on Lower King Street in 1960.  Students, including Millicent Brown, integrated Charleston County's public schools in 1963. That same year, young demonstrators confronted The News and Courier over the newspaper's stance on integration.
 Then, as the civil rights movement increasingly focused on economic justice issues, nurses at the Medical College Hospital, now the Medical University of South Carolina, and Charleston County Hospital, now defunct, went on strike.  It was March 1969, and the events of the 113-day hospital strike would prompt labor leader Walter Reuther and civil rights leaders Ralph Abernathy, Andrew Young and Coretta Scott King to join the protest.  It would result in several high-profile arrests and culminate in the last big protest march of the era.
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Photograph by Cecil Williams shows Andrew Young and Ralph Abernathy
It would also shake the local economy so forcefully that merchants and business people quietly pushed civic leaders to reach a compromise.  Among the strikers were Mary Grimes, Vera Smalls, Priscilla Gladding, Rosalie Fields and Louise Brown.   Brown was among 12 workers fired on March 20, 1969, after collectively attempting to lodge complaints against their employer about low pay and racial discrimination. That moment signaled the start of the strike, though nurses, including Mary Moultrie, and local civic leaders had begun organizing workers for several months by then.
"We were having meetings," Louise Brown, 83, recalled in a telephone interview. "This particular day, Mary Moultrie had a meeting with Dr. McCord."  William McCord was president of the Medical College Hospital and fiercely opposed unions. A group of black workers gathered during their lunch hour to meet McCord, but he failed to show up before the nurses had to return to their posts, Brown said.  Soon, the director of nursing told 12 of the workers she wanted to see them, one by one, after their shifts.  "Oh no, you'll have to speak to us together," they replied, according to Brown. All 12 were fired. That decision effectively transformed a labor confrontation into a larger civil rights protest, one that quickly escalated into a full-fledged strike involving more than 400 employees.
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Cecil Williams shot this image in the spring of 1969 during the major march
of the Charleston Hospital Strike, led by Coretta Scott King
Cecil Williams was working for Jet magazine at the time. The black press was acutely interested in the strike, eager to portray the unfolding events from the perspective of the exploited workers and curious about the role of Martin Luther King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference, he said.  "They were interested in whether or not Coretta Scott King would assume the role of her slain husband, whether she would continue his work in a prominent way," said Williams.
The strike ultimately led to a settlement that restored jobs, provided workers a modest raise and resulted in a new grievance procedure. No formal contract was negotiated and signed, and the hospital refused to recognize the union or permit collective bargaining. Such was the compromise. Before long, the local union 1199B fell apart.  Nevertheless, most people on both sides of the dispute considered the settlement a victory that helped workers and improved race relations generally. 
Louise Brown says "I have not seen many changes for the underprivileged and poor people.   The cost of living has climbed even as wages have remained stagnant.  And affordable housing in Charleston is lacking."  Brown now is active in the Poor People's Campaign and has traveled to Columbia to join protests calling for economic justice. Recently she was among those arrested near the Statehouse.  She said she is distressed by the current political climate. "Stop talking about color, stop talking about black and white," she said, offering a prescription for social woes. "We're all people, we're all hurting. Until we realize we're all individuals, we're not going to make it. People need to be united as one."
Anniversary of Charlottesville
Jo Freeman passed along an interesting description of the recent rally in Washington held on the anniversary of the rally in Charlottesville last year: 
"On August 12 I tried to see the rightists hold a rally in DC on the anniversary of the one they held in Charlottesville in 2017.  They were enveloped in such a security cocoon that I never saw one even from a distance. However I wrote a story, and a photo essay, on what I did see."  See the photos at:
"When Unite the Right announced it would hold another rally on the anniversary of the one it held in Charlottesville in 2017, it caused a great amount of consternation. They received a permit to hold it in Washington, D.C., at Lafayette Square across from the White House, raising specters of carnage in the nation's capital.  Violence had permeated the 2017 event, resulting in the death of a counter-protestor. 
In their effort to avoid a crisis, DC police spent weeks in planning. The officers turned out in such great numbers that the scene almost resembled a uniform convention.  Additional officers were scattered around the various counter protest sites.  Streets were closed for several blocks.  Police posted signs saying no firearms within 1000 feet of the Square. Unite the Right's permit application said they expected one to four hundred participants.  They planned to meet in Virginia, take the Metro to DC, then march to Lafayette Square.  Their numbers dropped drastically by August 12; roughly two dozen rightists were protected by about 200 police.
An opportunity to protest white supremacy attracted considerable attention from various left-wing groups.  At least two groups had permits for rallies from the National Park Service.  The Shut It Down DC Coalition set up its stage at Freedom Plaza. After three hours of speakers, it marched to Lafayette Square in mid-afternoon.  The ANSWER coalition set up in Lafayette Park, but it wasn't in the usual place for such rallies.  The National Park Service put them in the far northeast corner, where they could only put up a small stage and had to supply their own generator.  Most of Lafayette Square was blocked off by barricades, monitored by Park Police. Hours before the rightists were scheduled to appear, one couldn't get within 100 feet of where they were supposed to be, in the far southwest corner.
Black Lives Matter and cognate groups rallied on 16th St., above Lafayette Square before marching to the Square.  Jews United for Justice held discussions several days before; they joined the short march from Freedom Plaza to Lafayette Square.  It's fortunate there wasn't much actual marching because the day was hot and humid.  Freedom Plaza has no shade.  Lafayette Park is well endowed with trees, but the NPS put the rally in a spot where trees were few.
Nazis are unAmerican
Photo by Jo Freeman, "Nazis Are Un-American", "Good-Night, Alt-Right"
  The "hottest" group (literally) was Antifa, a term applicable to a loose collection of groups and individuals that organizes locally to oppose anything they deem fascistic.  Politically, they combine anarchism with socialism, but what distinguishes them from other left-wing groups is their embrace of physical confrontation.  Opposition to white racism is a core belief, but they are not descendants of the 1960s civil rights movement because they reject non-violence.
 By mid-afternoon about 50 Antifa had gathered in Farragut Square a couple blocks NW of Lafayette Square.  With a couple exceptions, they were dressed in black from head to toe, including face masks and helmets.  It's amazing they didn't drop from heat stroke.  As soon as they pulled out their banners and prepared to march, a couple dozen cops materialized to line the edge of the square.  As Antifa marched down 17th St. toward the Pennsylvania Ave. entrance to Lafayette Square, the cops kept pace.  Trucks and police cars blocked any attempt to march down side streets.
Carrying a large banner that proclaimed NO HATE, NO FEAR, they chanted "Any time, any place, punch a Nazi in the face."
 The rightists had announced that they would march on Lafayette Square from a Metro stop seven blocks away.  Efforts by counter-protestors to meet them there were thwarted by the police.  Not only were all streets blocked, but the right-wingers had left the Metro station two hours before they were supposed to arrive there from Virginia.  Deception, as well as overwhelming numbers, was part of the police strategy to protect them.
Metro had planned to run separate cars for the rightists from a stop in Virginia but backed off when its union — Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 — publicized the plan, declaring it outrageous.  However, the police thought that separate was safer, so that's what was done.  Since there were fewer rightists than would normally fit into one Metro car, this might have staved off some confrontations. 
When they emerged from the Metro station two hours early, only a few counter-protestors were there to greet them.  Surrounded by police, they marched to Lafayette Square, where they spoke for over an hour.  In the meantime, Antifa clustered at Pennsylvania Ave. and 17th St. in order to keep the rightists out.  Since their intended target was not there they hassled the cops with chants, eggs, flares and firecrackers. By the time Antifa dissipated, the rightists had completed their rally and been hauled back to the Metro in three police vans.
Estimates of total numbers of protestors ranged from one to fifteen thousand.  My best guess is about five thousand, made uncertain by the fact that people came and went from two rally locations.  In the end, everyone was sent home by Mother Nature, who turned on the spigots soon after the rightists left Lafayette Square. There was only one arrest in DC.  Four were arrested in Charlottesville, which held a commemorative counter-protest without a protest. The DC Mayor's office stated that the taxpayers spent $2.6 million to protect two dozen rightists – roughly $100,000 each.
Sherie Labedis
We are sad to report that Board member Sherie Labedis recently lost her husband Joe.  We need to be in prayer for our sister as she goes through this difficult time in her life.  Not only should we keep her in prayer, but we should reach out to her and embrace her.  Sherie will be working with those of you who indicated that you wish to do a phone interview for the Oral History Project.  She will be reaching out to you.  We appreciate her dedication to SCOPE50 and serving on its Board of Directors.
At the SCOPE50 Board meeting in May 2018, the Board decided it would reach out to the members of SCOPE50, asking if they would make themselves available to high school and college students who would like to do personal interviews with Civil Rights veterans.  We get requests from time to time from students asking about this.  It would be an opportunity for members to share their stories and the history of the Movement. 
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