The streets of Montgomery, Alabama, were filled with National Guardsmen, Highway Patrol cars, and armed police May 24 as young Negro "Freedom Riders" - and white passengers - prepared to continue their journey through the deep south to test the Southern bus station segregation barriers - final destination: New Orleans.
GV Railways bus station Montgomery with troops across street
CU Armed troops (2 shots)
CU National Guardsmen enter bus
SV Freedom Riders enter bus
GV Police escort to bus and armed guards in street
GV Bus escorted along street
GV Onlookers and guards
GV Bus through street
TRAVEL SHOTS taken from bus
SV Police cars and flashing light
GV Armed Guard across street
GV Bus arrives at Jackson, Mississippi
SCU Negro Minister speaks SOF starts...."We prefer not having the protection of police SOF ends..."Full citizens rights in the country"
GV Bus along highway
GV Bus escorted by armed Guards
"We would prefer not having the protection, and why? Because the protection does not help to reveal the character of the problem of segregation in the South. The problem of segregation in the South is not a question of our bus making its way to Jackson, Mississippi, with troops in line, but the average negro person, having the right and the opportunity of all citizen rights in the country."
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Background: The streets of Montgomery, Alabama, were filled with National Guardsmen, Highway Patrol cars, and armed police May 24 as young Negro "Freedom Riders" - and white passengers - prepared to continue their journey through the deep south to test the Southern bus station segregation barriers - final destination: New Orleans.
An impressive escort of 80 men of the Alabama National Guard, eight Highway Patrol cars and a swarm of police cyclists surrounded the two bus-loads of Negroes as they left for Jackson, Mississippi - the next stage of their travels.
On arrival at Jackson, a Negro Minister explained why the "Freedom Riders" would prefer to travel without their armed escort (SOF):
Later, local police arrested and imprisoned the 27 Negro members of the group after they had entered the lunch room in the white section at the bust depot. They were charged with: refusing to obey the legal orders of an officer, breach of the peace, and attempting to incite a riot.
The "Freedom Riders" were the cause of a violent racial clash in Alabama May 14 when White segregationists burned their bus and badly mauled many of the passengers.