CORE - Congress of Racial Equality
38 Park Row, New York 38, New York
TO: Local Contacts and members of the Advisory Committee
FROM: Gordon R. Carey, Field Director
SUBJECT: Peaceful Sit-Ins in New Orleans and Criminal Anarchy
Friday September 9: Five Negro and two white CORE members began the first sit-in at a New Orleans lunch counter. The group arrived at 10:30 A.M. and took seats at the downtown Canal Street Woolworth store. They remained seated until they were arrested by order of District Attorney Richard Dowling at 3:15 P.M. The seven were booked on charges of "criminal mischief." They can be fined up to $500 and receive one year in jail on that charge.
Police Superintendent Giaruso said that the CORE members "do not reflect the sentiments of the great majority of responsible citizens, both white and Negro, who make up our population.....With the exercise of continued, responsible, law-abiding conduct by all persons, we see no reason for any change whatever in the normal, goo race-relations that have traditionally existed in New Orleans." The next day the NAACP Youth Council picketed in support of CORE.
Monday September 12: Mayor de Lesseps S. Morrison banned all picketing and sit-ins stating: "It is my determination that the community interest, the public safety, and the economic welfare of this city require that such demonstrations cease and that henceforth they be prohibited by the police department."
Friday September 16: James T. McCain, CORE field secretary, and five [others] were arrested for picketing a shopping center in support of the Consumers League. McCain and two others remained in jail until Sunday evening. They were released on parole and have not been charged as yet.
Saturday September 17: Rudolph Lombard, CORE chairman and three other CORE members were arrested while sitting-in at the McCrory lunch counter. Lombard remained in jail until the following Friday. The four were charged with "criminal mischief" and released on $250 bail. However, L. Sydney Goldfinch was also charged with "criminal anarchy" for which the bond is $2500 and the maximum sentence is 10 yrs in prison.
Goldfinch stated: "The real charge is that I, a white American, sat side-by-side with colored Americans, who were asking for equal service at a McCrory lunch counter. My crime has been that I have joined CORE to fight for the American dream for all Americans."
Friday September 23: Assistant district attorney A.I. Kleinfeldt charged Goldfinch with "being ... a member of an organization or society which was known to him to advocate teachings and practices in opposition to the State of Lousiana." Kleinfeldt added that CORE "to the best of my knowledge, is on the United States attorney general's list of subversive organizations."
Saturday September 24: CORE community relations director Marvin Rich wired Kleinfeldt that "CORE is not nor has it ever been on the attorney general's list. I urge that you read the list, which is readily available to every citizen ... request that you correct the erroneous statement attributed to you."