Kale Williams: Response to Randy Kryn

scott @ Sat, 2005-11-19 19:18

Kryn, based on conversations with Bevel reports a secret meeting between Daley, himself and two or three others during the Summit Meeting in which Daley pledged agreement with and support of the goals of CFM. I, and others of that period, have no memory and doubt that it could have taken place.

Here are my recollections which lead me to believe that no such meeting could have taken place:

• During the morning session of the Summit, after the CFM delegates had caucused and Raby reported our position that Daley’s promises that he had heard the Movement’s message and marches could now cease, but with no specifics, was not acceptable as a resolution. He reported that the Movement would continue the discussion, but would not end the marches until there were specific actions by the city to open housing to African Americans. Daley was visibly angry, and his colleague in the City Council, Tom Keane muttered “F--- ‘em, Dick, F---‘em. (I was sitting within one seat of Daley and Keane.)
• On the second day of negotiations by the appointed negotiating committee, Daley sought and obtained from the court an injunction limiting the number of marches, the number of marchers, requiring advance notice and specific routes and times. This was seen by the CFM as a breach of good faith in the negotiations and the very opposite of conciliation.
• Daley did not attend any of the sessions of the negotiating subcommittee and his representative, Lewis Manilow, did not offer significant support or specific actions by the City; instead, he continued to argue in the session and informally during breaks, to trust Daley to do the right thing.
• In my memory, Bevel, who was a member of the five-person CFM delegation in the negotiating committee, (the others were Raby, Bill Berry, John McDermott, and Kale Williams) was opposed to the Summit Agreement that was reached, finding it too weak. (Future events proved him right.)
• After the Leadership Council was created in November, 1966, representatives of the city were not forthcoming with city support; Freedom Movement delegates were disappointed with early activities, and sometime early on, spoke to the Board of the Leadership Council and threatened a resumption of the marches. This is not consistent with Bevel’s current view that the City was fully co-operative.

--November 2005. Kale Williams was a member of the Agenda Committee of the Chicago Freedom Movement. He served as the director of the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities for twenty years. He is currently a Senior Scholar in Residence at Loyola University’s Center for Urban Research and Learning.