Little Bits of History

Greensboro Massacre

Posted in History by patriciahysell on November 3, 2010

Police in Greensboro

November 3, 1979: A Maoist Communist Workers Party [CWP] rally is held in Greensboro, North Carolina. The rally and parade was booked as “Death to the Klan.” Back in July, the Ku Klux Klan had held a rally in a neighboring town. The CWP crashed that rally and clubbed KKK members with canes and 2x4s, waved guns, and set fire to a Confederate flag. The CWP then planned their own rally.

The KKK and some members of the American Nazis joined forced to disrupt the CWP rally. They loaded nine cars with members and filled the trunks with guns. They went to the sight of the parade, having gotten a map of the route two days earlier. A tenth car, a Greensboro police cruiser, joined their caravan. An order came over the radio from Greensboro police dispatch that sent the rest of the police off on breaks.

The KKK/Nazi party parked their cars, got out, went to the trunks to arm themselves, and fired into the crowd. Four people were killed immediately, another person died three days later, and nine more were wounded. Because this was an advertised rally and parade, the news vans were there and the entire massacre was videotaped. Eighty-eight seconds after the firing started, the KKK/Nazi group returned to their cars and drove off.

There was a subsequent trial which ended in acquittal. A civil suit was brought and $300,000 was granted which formed the monetary base for the Greensboro Justice Fund. Dr. Bermanzohns, one of the CWP leaders claimed the purpose of the rally to be twofold – to induce sympathy and to lure the poor African-Americans in the community to join the communist party. They achieved the first goal, but not the second. Bermanzohns also said, while dry-eyed at the funerals of his fallen comrades, that they knew there would be bloodshed and it was unfortunate, but not unexpected.

“Power is not only what you have but what the enemy thinks you have.” – Saul Alinsky

“The enemy is anybody who’s going to get you killed, no matter which side he’s on.” – Joseph Heller

“Between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

“It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.” – James Baldwin

Also on this day, in 1957 the Russians sent the first living creature into space. Laika, a dog, died shortly after liftoff.

2 Responses

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  1. bobf said, on March 16, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    There’s a video of a public domain historical protest folk song from the early 1980s about the Greensboro Massacre, which might interest readers, that was recently posted at the following protestfolk channel link:

  2. Commiekiller said, on February 9, 2019 at 1:07 am

    That was a great day any day a communist dies is a great day.

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