Update August 25th: NSM spokesman interviewed by the Greensboro News-Record. Updated post HERE.
Update August 24th: An organized anti-racist response is now expected. Updated post HERE.
In one of the more professional reports about the National Socialist Movement (NSM) I've seen from the mainstream media, WFMY Channel 2 reports that the NSM will be holding a Southeast/Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference on August 29th, 2009. The Greensboro News-Record has also published a story. Also read the official release on the NSM national website.
The NSM, correctly described by WFMY as a white civil rights organization, is inviting NSM members from the states of PA, DE, MD, VA, WV, NC, SC, FL, AL & GA to the one-day event. The conference will include a training session from 10 A.M. til 4 P.M., a meet-and-greet from 4 P.M. til 6 P.M., and entertainment later in the evening. NSM Commander Jeff Schoep is also scheduled to attend. The precise location will not be disclosed until the last minute in order to make it more difficult for anti-racists to disrupt the event.
The Greensboro Police Department also plans to monitor the conference. "We've only known for a very short time that it was going to be here at all," said Janice Rogers with GPD. "We will remain unbiased and protect all parties that come to this city and protest or have some type of meeting." This is prudent; although trouble is not expected, racial trouble is part of Greensboro's past.
On November 3rd, 1979, a now-infamous shootout between White patriots and Communists took place in Greensboro. According to Time magazine, about 100 blacks and whites associated with the Maoist-oriented Workers Viewpoint Organization gathered for a "Death To The Klan" march among the grimy brick duplexes in Greensboro's Morningside Manor housing project. Most of the demonstrators were dressed in jeans and blue work shirts; some wore hard hats. Suddenly a mustard-colored van and several cars pulled up. They were filled with Klansmen and supporters who shouted racial slurs. The marchers responded by beating on the cars with sticks. Then a dozen whites leaped out of the van and began firing pistols, shotguns and at least one automatic rifle at the demonstrators. When the smoke cleared, four people, all Communists, lay dead and nine were wounded.
However, former White Patriot Party leader Frazier Glenn Miller was there, and tells a slightly different tale. According to his account published in Chapter 3 of his book, "A White Man Speaks Out", it was the Communists who fired first, but since they were using small-calibre weapons, this got lost in the information shuffle. Here's the pertinent part of Miller's account:
After what seemed hours, but was actually only a few minutes, we arrived in Morningside Project. Dawson stopped his truck two blocks from the communist's rally site, and spoke over the CB. "OK folks," he said, "there are the communists just ahead of us, let's go." I could plainly see a large group of people in the street and on the sidewalks, and I started shaking a little in nervous anticipation. There were only forty or fifty of us, and there were hundreds of them.
As we closed in on the Communists, I yelled out, "My God, I don't have a damn thing but my hands to fight with." Melano Caudle, sitting in the back seat grinned at me, and handing me a wooden night stick, said "here, use this Glenn." I felt better.
As we drove slowly through the crowd of Communists and local Blacks, they didn't immediately recognize who we were, and moved out of the street to allow us to pass. But then all Hell broke loose. One Communist recognized us and screamed, "It's the Klan, Death to the Klan." His screams were followed by dozens and then hundreds. "Death to the Klan, Death to the Klan, Death to the Klan," they yelled.
My fear quickly turned to burning hatred, and I stuck my head out the window and screamed back at them, "Niggers, Jew-Kikes, Communist bastards... you ugly Jew Yankee bastards... Death to the Communists."
Jerry continued to drive slowly through the screaming Blacks and Communists for about 150 feet past the main crowd, down the narrow street. This street was not only very narrow, but was also one way. It was impossible to pass another vehicle or to turn around.
Just as I was beginning to believe we'd all get through the Communists without a fight, the unbelievable happened. Eddy Dawson stopped his truck, preventing any escape, since there was no room to pass. I couldn't believe my eyes, and I screamed at him to drive on. He just sat there.
I looked through the station wagon's back window and saw dozens of Blacks and Communists swarming over the trapped Klan vehicles. Some were on car roofs jumping up and down. Others, with long white clubs were beating on the sides of our vehicles. The cries of "Death to the Klan" were louder than ever. And we were trapped, unable to go forwards or backwards.
Melano Caudle yelled, "We've got to go back and help those in the rear, my son's back there!" Melano's 16-year-old son was riding with another Klansman in the rear of our convoy.
Frankly, I just wanted to get away from the Communists as quickly as possible. But, I was not willing to act cowardly, so I said, "let's go," and jumped out of the station wagon swinging my night stick and ran 60 or 70 feet toward the rear, thinking the three others were right behind me, but they weren't. They just stepped out of the station wagon and stood there viewing the scene. As I ran down the sidewalk, a White male communist wearing a plaid jacket and hard hat appeared 40 or 50 feet directly in my front, pointing a pistol at me. And he fired at least two shots. I saw the smoke coming from the pistol barrel and heard the cracks of gun fire. I then performed a mid-flight turn around and headed rapidly back toward the station wagon. There was gun fire now from both sides, and Melano yelled, "they're trying to kill us... every man for himself... let's get the hell out of here!"
Dawson's lead pick-up truck was gone by then so we all four jumped into the station wagon and sped away. Jerry drove down one block and hung a right, trying to find a way out of this Black neighborhood. None of us were from Greensboro, nor did any of us know our way around. No more than three blocks from where all hell had just broken loose, a car driven by a young Black male and meeting us head on, tried to run into us, but Jerry swerved and avoided the collision. How could that Black man have known so quickly what had just taken place, or that we were involved in it? I'll never know the answer to that, but I do know that he was willing to plow his car into ours head-on doing about 40 mph.
We were then safely away from the battle zone, but many others were fighting a battle to the death behind us. Based on later conversations with many Nazis and Klansmen, from newspapers and TV reports and from court testimony, I'll describe what transpired following my departure from the battle scene.
Because Dawson trapped our convoy in the midst of those enraged Blacks and Communists by stopping his truck, more than a dozen terrified, highly armed White men did what they thought they had to do in order to survive. Many others, unarmed, fought the Blacks and Communists with clubs and fists.
Those White men were justifiably scared half to death. They were trapped and surrounded by hundreds of screaming Blacks and Communists in the heart of a Black neighborhood. And the Communists not only attacked them with clubs, many were firing pistols at them.
Of the thirty-nine gun shots fired that day, nineteen were fired by the Communists themselves. Police ballistics tests and TV film footage proved that at the trials. The Communists not only started the fight by screaming "Death to the Klan!" at us and by beating on cars with clubs, they actually fired the first gunshots, when one of them fired at me.
Unfortunately for the Communists, they only had small caliber hand guns. The Klansmen and Nazis had high-powered rifles and shotguns. Also, many of the Klansmen and Nazis were military veterans, while the Communists were for the most part, intellectual city types, with little or no training in firearms. The Blacks simply ran, hundreds of them. This is why all the deaths and serious injuries were suffered by the Communists.
One windowless van in the convoy contained about a half-dozen Klansmen. They had sat quietly, unable to see outside the van, but could hear the "Death to the Klan!" shouting by the Communists, and their van being beaten upon by clubs, and what must have sounded like a hot Vietnam firefight. Being unarmed themselves, they were content to sit the whole thing out peacefully, until one of the Communists yanked the van's back door open and screamed "Death to the Klan!" at them. Then, with the instinct of cornered tigers, they poured out of the van and began fighting the Communist mob hand-to-hand. Several took clubs away from the Communists and began beating on them. Film footage of this club and fistfight was televised later over the whole country. Also televised, was Nazi Wayne Wood and others getting their rifles and shotguns out of a car trunk and firing at the Communists. Wood was shown with a grin on his face and a cigarette dangling out of the corner of his mouth. One unarmed Klansman actually took a firearm away from one of the Communists following a violent struggle.
Since this took place only 30 years ago, the memory of this event is still fresh. So the Greensboro Police Department wants to be prepared. But they obviously don't expect a recurrence of 1979; only a nominal force is expected to show up and monitor the NSM event.