“Conspiracy to Boycott” Arrests in Camden, AL

June 28, 1965 – Camden

Eighteen (18) SCOPE-SCLC and local civil rights workers are arrested at Antioch Baptist Church and booked into the Camden jail without due process. Local student activist Don Green is beaten in front of us and thrown into the bull pen (solitary confinement) when a knife is discovered in his sock. White summer volunteer 18 yr old Mike Farley is put in a cell with a violent white prisoner who beats him mercilessly throughout the night while we girls scream and bang on the bars. Over the next few days  we are released one at a time. All are released within five days but we never know when they will be either released or attacked. Leaders Albert Gordon and Major Johns were arrested along with six white civil rights workers and the following Black youth: Don Green, Lester Core, John Davis, Roosevelt Washington, Johnny Jackson, Calister Wright, George Shamburger, Elmo Jones, Harris Knight, Ashley Stallworth. White kids included: myself (Maria Gitin/Joyce Brians), Connie Turner, Judy Harmon,  Shari Thurber, Mike Farley and one other white student civil rights worker. 

Old Camden Jail where we were booked in ’65

Source: Author was eyewitness-participant, saved a letter from that date, and field report from John Worcester to SCLC. More detail: www.thisbrightlightofours.com