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Freedom riders were non-violent civil rights activist made up of mostly African Americans & White Americans to fight against bus segregation in the south.
SegregationThe separation of whites from “persons of color” in public transportation and schools. Generally, anyone of ascertainable or strongly suspected black ancestry in any degree was for this purpose a “person of color”; C.O.R.ECongress Of Racial Equality was an interracial American organization established by James Farmer in 1942 to improve race relations and end discriminatory policies through direct-action projects. He founded CORE as a vehicle for the nonviolent approach to combating racial prejudice that was inspired by Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi. Ku Klux KlanEither of two distinct U.S. hate organizations that have employed terror in pursuit of their white supremacist agenda. One group was founded immediately after the Civil War and lasted until the 1870s; the other began in 1915 and has continued to the present. AmbushThe oldest, most primitive field tactics are those that rely on concealment and surprise CourageousThe quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery. AnnistonA City In Alabama DegradationThe act of degrading or the state of being degraded. Interstate Commerce CommissionA former independent federal agency that supervised and set rates for carriers that transported goods and people between states. DiscriminationThe act of discriminating. Journey of ReconciliationWas a form of non-violent direct action to challenge segregation laws on interstate buses in the Southern United States.
December 1st, 1955 Rosa Parks (a middle agetailor assistant from Montgomery, Alabama) refusedto give up her seat 2 a white man. Refusing to doso caused in her arrest. After her arrest Martin Luther King Jr. helpedorganize protest against bus segregation. It wasofficial blacks in Montgomery would refuse to ridethe buses until they were completely integrated . For the next 13 months the 17,000 blackscaught rides from the small car –owning blackpopulation of the city.
Transport segregation continued in some parts of theunited states. So in 1961 a civil rights group C.O.R.E beganto organize freedom rides. After 3 days of training in nonviolent techniques black &whites volunteered to sit next toeach other while they traveled through the deep south. The freedom riders were spit into 2 buses. They traveledin integrated seating & visited “white only” restaurants. When they reached ANNISTON on mothers day May14ne of the 2 buses were attacked by men armed withclubs, bricks, iron pipes and knives. The bus was bombedand the mob held the doors with the intent on buring theriders to death (they all survived).
The bus that Survived traveled to BirminghamAlabama they were also attacked by a huge mob.After being dragged off the bus the mob proceededon with beating them with baseball bats and leadpiping. The Ku Klux Klan hoped that those violenttreatment would stop other young people fromtaking part in Freedom Rides. But over the next 6 months time over a thousandpeople took part in Freedom Rides. Eventually the lostof revenue became too much & a decision by thesupreme court forced the Montgomery bus companyto accept integration.
Zwerg was first arrested for not moving to the back of the buswith his black seating companion. 3 days late the riders regroupedto go to Montgomery. They were waiting at the bus terminal, whensilence suddenly turned to an ambush. The Riders were attacked inall directions, Zwerg suitcase was grabbed and smashed into hisface til he hit the ground. While others continued on beating him.One man stopped and clamped Zwerg’s head between his kneesso others could bet him. The attackers knocked his teeth out and showed no signs ofstopping until a black man stepped in and ultimately saved his life. According to Zwerg “There is nothing heroic in what I did If youwant to talk about heroism, consider the black man who probablysaved my life. This man in coveralls just happened to walk by asmy beating was going on and said “Stop beating that kid! If youwant to beat someone, beat me!”, and they did . He was stillunconscious I dont know if he lived or died”