Related topics

March Stops HalfWay After Bottles, Rocks Thrown; Some Arrested

January 17, 1987 GMT

CUMMING, Ga. (AP) _ A 2 1/2 -mile march through all-white Forsyth County was abandoned near the halfway point today after marchers were hit by rocks, bottles and mud thrown from a crowd of Ku Klux Klan members and their supporters.

No serious injuries were reported during the march, which was organized as an an attempt to assert the principles of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. against ″violent white racists,″ said a leader of the demonstration.

But a crowd of Klan members, supporters and spectators estimated at 300 by authorities gathered for a demonstration against the march into the town of Cumming.


Forsyth County’s black population was terrorized and driven out in 1912 following the rape of a young white woman.

No blacks have moved into the county, which has a population of about 38,000. Only in recent years have any blacks begun to work there during the day.

The marchers, many of whom arrived from Atlanta on a bus, were largely protected by their accompanying bus and a van. But after the rock- and bottle- throwing began, the marchers boarded their bus and left.

Several people in the crowd were apprehended by law enforcement officers, but no further details were immediately available from authorities.

No word was immediately available on whether the marchers would continue their activities in Cumming, their intended destination, or leave.

The so-called ″brotherhood anti-intimidation march″ took place under heavy security.

Hosea Williams, a longtime associate of King’s, said he planned to take part in the march marking the birthday of the slain civil rights leader.

″For those who support the non-violent philosophy of Dr. King, to allow the violent white racists of Forsyth County, Ga., to continue usurping the constitutional rights of black people and all whites who respect the American rights of blacks ... is to contribute to making Dr. King’s dream become a nightmare for all Americans,″ Williams said.

Williams, an Atlanta city councilman, said a bus would be at the King gravesite in Atlanta today to take anyone who wanted to go with him to Cumming.

Agent Scott Curley of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s anti-terrorism unit said the unit would have several agents there. A Georgia State Patrol spokeswoman said 25 to 30 troopers also were assigned to the march.


Olan Kinsey, a spokesman for march organizer Dean Carter of neighboring Hall County, said his group had worked closely with the sheriff and would screen participants to make sure no one intent on violence takes part.

Chuck Blackburn of Cumming originally organized the march but called it off amid claims he was receiving threats.