The Detroit black community is moving again. They are mobilizing in support of Robert F. Williams and against the racist judicial machinery that is attempting to extradite him to North Carolina.
Williams, the revolutionary spokesman and former president of the Republic of New Africa (RNA), is accused by the State of North Carolina of kidnapping a “white couple” back in 1961. He returned to Detroit recently to denounce these charges and to renew his political and legal struggles.
After a great deal of typical vacillation, Michigan Gov. Milliken has yielded to racist Southern pressures and approved the extradition claim. In response to this move the black community has organized the Committee to Aid the Defense of Robert F. Williams.
The Committee has assessed the Southern judicial system as objectively racist and any system that supports, condones or sanctions that kind of authority is also corrupt and racist.
Robert F. Williams recently addressed an audience at Wayne University and after reflecting on his visits to Cuba, China, and North Vietnam, he stated that “America is the only place that I am considered a criminal.”
He then discussed the total inequity and lies of the North Carolina indictment by pointing out that when he was indicted, four other people were also indicted. One was a housewife with two children and another was a white freedom rider. No further court action has been brought against the other people. The “freedom rider” is now a banker in New York and therefore seems to be beyond the reach of the “law”.
He continually emphasized the point that his was a political case, not a judicial one. He said that his latest development was just one more in a long line of repressive actions that “started years ago in the South when we came together and resisted tyranny, when we organized armed self-defense.”
From the experiences he had in the South, Williams emerged angry but wiser. He stated that “from this day forward we will meet violence with violence and will lynch if that’s what it takes to stop lynching.”
In attempting to expose his own trial for the complete farce that it is, Williams systematically listed the following contradictions. He pointed out that the so-called “kidnapped white couple” have no intentions of pressing any charges because, in fact, a kidnapping never occurred. This couple has expressed this fact on several occasions, including on an interview on Canadian TV.
Michigan has traditionally been a state that has resisted Southern attempts at railroad justice. The complete judicial corruptness has been firmly established in North Carolina’s history. This second point alone should be enough to call for immediate dismissal of any extradition claims.
A third point used by Williams was to re-emphasize the political, repressive nature of the charges. This trial is a clear attempt to jail another of the black community’s prominent leaders. Milliken, in a totally racist move, is trying to ignore the political aspects of this incident and treat it as if it were like any other legal procedure.
Milliken has ignored the fact that no charges or extradition claims are being leveled against the other four persons originally implicated. By following this tactic he has himself become a tool and an accomplice to southern racism. Williams then said that if he were really a criminal, why did the FBI and the CIA try to cover the entire thing up by attempting to stop his re-entry?
Milliken stated that he agreed to the extradition because North Carolina had promised not to violate any of William’s Constitutional rights. The evasive lie of this statement is easily seen because it is common knowledge that the Constitution has been dead in the South for over 100 years.
When questioned further about his trips to North Vietnam, Cuba and China, Williams said, “I make no apologies for having been to China. I am grateful for having seen the other side.”
He then spoke briefly about the Vietnam war, which he also viewed from the other side. He visited villages and towns and also saw some of the effects the war has had on the Vietnamese People. Williams remarked that “only a heathen could support that kind of inhumanity.”
Then, in returning to his own case, Williams stated that this case “was not a matter of justice, but one of malice, repression and vengeance.”
He went on to say, “I fought for enforcement of the Fourteenth Amendment and was hunted around the world and four attempts were made on my life. I will not submit to this evil tyranny. I am asking for your help, but whether you help or not, I am not going back. I will stand alone in the streets against the power structure if necessary, but I will never return.”
Williams also discussed the total irony that exists when a black man is accused of kidnapping whites in America, when it was White America that kidnapped his people 300 years ago.
He said he understood America “to be moving toward fascism” and felt this was happening because the power structure was beginning to feel the “power of the people—people in resistance.” He scorned those disbelievers who cling to faith in the system by remarking that “many Jews in Germany did not believe that they would really be exterminated either.”
Williams then expanded his address in response to audience questions. He stated that international communist revolution was not the complete answer to racism. Racism was not only a product of class repression. He stated that it may have begun with economic conditions, but now racism has become “an indigenous disease that transcends class, religion, and national heritage.”
Robert F. Williams also felt that “we must all resist the evil tyranny existing in America” because “revolutions are not talked about, they are developed.” He saw that such a condition must arise in response to the specific conditions in America. World revolution is happening now. America is no exception. In fact Williams pointed out that “America is the center of the struggle, because America is the greatest aggressor and enemy of the people and what happens here influences the struggle throughout the world.”
Williams is often accused of being a separatist. The establishment media has distorted this position to serve their own interests. When asked if he saw this Defense Committee Coalition as a “separatist action” and if they only sought black support he stated that he “sought people support” and only “separation from injustice.”
This made it clear that separation is not an overall strategy, but a tactic. He went on to say that “we need all the support we can get” because if fascism continues to develop in America “there are going to be some whites hanging from limbs too.” He further identified the police as the “enemy oppressors of the Community.”
Contact: Committee to Aid the Defense of Robert F. Williams, Linwood Station, Box 666, Detroit, Michigan 48206.