Background information on a case


Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I can remember we had a situation where Oscar Lawreck was a black farmer in a time when they were foreclosing a lot of loans. This black farmer, in rural Georgia, attracted all these militia men out of Oklahoma, and even had armored buses to protect his property. Every day at 4 o'clock, they'd get bails of hay like that and go out there and blast them with machine guns and everything. They were going to foreclose, only because his three sons mismanaged all the loans. They were buying new tractors every year which they didn't need. They were just being built by their local distributors and they ran up a debt with the farm administration and local banks, so they were initiating foreclosure procedures. Farmers from all around were there in support of Oscar Lawreck until this one white farmer from about 50 miles away said, "When you come to my farm, you'd better bring your damn caskets and your undertaker because somebody is going to die." What in the world did he have to say that for? Do you know the next thing that they did? They went to his farm. Law Enforcement and Federal Agents called the wife and told her to come back and get everything out of the house that she wanted because they were foreclosing and taking possession of everything else that she couldn't move out. So his mouth got him in trouble. I tried to prevail upon them and they said, "No, we don't take this kind of threat lightly. We need to show that we're serious about this. He said it and now we're going to do it and show him that he's not bigger than the Federal government." So, many times people say things and they act without thinking. I understood what he was saying. He was angry, and I don't know how sympathetic he was with this black man. I know he understood that the man was about to lose everything he worked a lifetime to accrue. He had a family, a wife, and children, and to come home and tell her he can no longer go on that property, and that his wife had taken everything that she thought was of value would have been very traumatic. I was there the day it happened, but I never went back. There's always something else I should have done. I've never been completely satisfied with myself. Could I have done more?



Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I can remember we had a situation where Oscar Lawreck was a black farmer in a time when they were foreclosing a lot of loans. This black farmer, in rural Georgia, attracted all these militia men out of Oklahoma, and even had armored buses to protect his property. Every day at 4 o'clock, they'd get bails of hay like that and go out there and blast them with machine guns and everything. They were going to foreclose, only because his three sons mismanaged all the loans. They were buying new tractors every year which they didn't need. They were just being built by their local distributors and they ran up a debt with the farm administration and local banks, so they were initiating foreclosure procedures. Farmers from all around were there in support of Oscar Lawreck until this one white farmer from about 50 miles away said, "When you come to my farm, you'd better bring your damn caskets and your undertaker because somebody is going to die." What in the world did he have to say that for? Do you know the next thing that they did? They went to his farm. Law Enforcement and Federal Agents called the wife and told her to come back and get everything out of the house that she wanted because they were foreclosing and taking possession of everything else that she couldn't move out. So his mouth got him in trouble. I tried to prevail upon them and they said, "No, we don't take this kind of threat lightly. We need to show that we're serious about this. He said it and now we're going to do it and show him that he's not bigger than the Federal government." So, many times people say things and they act without thinking. I understood what he was saying. He was angry, and I don't know how sympathetic he was with this black man. I know he understood that the man was about to lose everything he worked a lifetime to accrue. He had a family, a wife, and children, and to come home and tell her he can no longer go on that property, and that his wife had taken everything that she thought was of value would have been very traumatic. I was there the day it happened, but I never went back. There's always something else I should have done. I've never been completely satisfied with myself. Could I have done more?



Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
When the Nubians initially came in, did they not want to be part of this community?

Answer:
No, they came in with the idea that they were going to develop this land that they call East of Egypt and that it was going to be like a theme park. There would also be residences for people to live in, as well as a teaching facility and a place for worship services. Many people want to call it a cult or a group but it's not, and it's not a compound. I'd refer to it as a village, and the commune wants to term it and describe it as something that's going to result in another Waco or Ruby Ridge. These people are highly intelligent and I've spent an awful lot of time there and I've learned so much about some of the things they do. Dr. Urich, Moaki Urich has a great deal of vision and they have money from their bookstores. Also, they have what they call they're Zedfest, which runs from June 24th to July 4th and it's a period of eating and festivals and praying and so forth. One rainy Sunday they had 6,000 people come. They had 300 from England. They could charter a plane. They had them from all over the world -- Hong Kong, Japan, all around. They had over 35,000 people there during the days of the Zedfest. So here's what the city did. This shows you how calculating and how hypocritical some of these officials are. They went out to the compound, as they called it, and closed every one of their food centers, where they would sell food. They said they didn't meet sanitary codes and this and that. Everything. You want to know why? They want them all to buy food from the local white establishments in Eatonton, Ingalls Department Store. Ingalls is a food chain here in rural Georgia. That parking lot stayed full. That delicatessen counter would sell out everyday. All of that and it was done simply to increase the sales of the local establishment.




Edward Howden


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
How did you decide when was the right time to bring those two parties together?

Answer:
Now here let me switch to the other case which involved the neighboring small town that had a different kind of a water problem with the tribe. That problem had to do again with the absence of formal historical legal documents. About a two-mile stretch of pipeline that served this neighboring community from a spring many miles to the north went across part of this reservation, and it was an old six-inch cast iron pipe that everybody knew had been leaking. The town had a need to replace that pipe with a non-leaking pipe, so they needed the tribe's permission to do this. They knew there was an easement across the tribe's land, but the records were lost. The tribe had a small community at the west end of the reservation, a tiny community that had only about three households in it, and they didn't have any piped water. So the tribe, knowing the town wanted a new easement, said, "Ok, we want water." The only water they'd been getting for this tiny community was trucked in from about a mile away. There had been an understanding that they had a cattle watering tank that came out of the town's water. It was understood on both sides that the tribe was supposed to get some water, but this was the only water they were getting for many years. The tribe was concerned, so I contacted the head of the town's water council, who was very much interested in mediation. There were lot of tangles and problems due partly to the great distances between the town and its attorney who lived at least a four or five hour drive away. On one occasion the tribe was a little short of funds and we had a delay of some months because the attorney's fee was not forthcoming. There was a standstill for quite a few months on that. I kept sort of nursing it along, keeping folks interested and pushing toward the objectives, and of course there were on-site visits and discussions of the water line. There were gaps of understanding and serious differences over what could be done and what could not be done. Eventually, after having been in and out of the scene for something like three years, eventually we began to shape up the draft of a possible agreement that went through several drafts and discussions. The final result was almost fours years before we got it nailed down.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I want to say at the outset in discussing this case that prisons have changed considerably since I did this mediation. Gangs and drugs were not a major factor in those days. So what we accomplished in the early 1970’s might not be possible today. Minnesota had a very progressive system which focused on community corrections. Whenever they could, they would put people in community settings rather than behind bars. So the people behind bars were the most serious offenders. The youthful ones were at the State Reformatory for Men in St. Cloud, about 75 miles from the Twin Cities. The background is that in an effort to change with the times, the reformatory superintendent did some things to recognize racial differences, and in the process, he inadvertently exacerbated racial tensions within the institution. St. Cloud had about 450 confined youths. white males predominated. There were about 25 American Indians, about the same number of African Americans, and five or six Hispanics. To help compensate for their minority status, the inmates of color were permitted to organize "culture” groups that had certain privileges. They had outside advisors who came in and worked with them. They could maintain a cultural organization with an office, telephone and staff person within the institution; observe ethnic and cultural holidays and conduct a banquet with outside visitors once a year. This would in some ways compensate for the Alcoholics Anonymous and Junior Achievement chapters, or other activities in which only white inmates participated. Everything that moved in that reformatory moved racially. There wasn’t much crossing of lines.

Question:
Why did this cause a problem?

Answer:
At first the culture groups worked fine. Then the white inmates, seeing the esprit, cohesiveness and sense of community enjoyed by racial minorities, decided that they needed some organizations. So all of a sudden there was a German culture group, and then there was an Italian culture group, and they were granted culture group status by the administration. The German American group was actually a block of inmates devoted to racist activity and they provoked fights with the black inmates. Rioting broke out on several occasions and some of that found its way into the Minneapolis newspapers where I learned about it.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The last issue, and we were saving this one, was the Inmate/Staff Advisory Council, ISAC, that would be established to deal with future problems on any matters unresolved from our agenda. ISAC would be there, and the question was who would be represented. Everybody agreed the culture groups should have representation. Nobody felt they shouldn’t have special representation. Every cell block plus culture groups. That’s when the Italian leader said, not the Italians. He understood. He'd grown some in that process and there was a lot of that kind of transformation. An angry Hispanic inmate said to Charlie Davenport, the associate director who was viewed as compassionate and a friend of the inmate, "You don't even know my birthday. You don't care about me. You deserted me, you took a promotion to be associate director. You used to handle programs, now you're associate director. You deserted me. You don't care about me. You don't even know my birthday." That was a stinger. People saw how they were seen. So they set up ISAC, and the big controversy was if there is a reorganization of the institution, will they still permit the inmate groups to come together in culture groups? The answer was yes. The administration yielded on that critical issue. That was a big concession, but it also was the last issue.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

When Gerald Ford, unexpectedly acceded to the presidency of the United States, I checked on Grand Rapids, Michigan - - his home town - - where we’d had little activity. We had one case there over the years regarding a museum that was unearthing an Indian mound, and there was a conflict over the bones, whether they go to the museum or the Indian group. Other than that, we hadn't had a Grand Rapids case in a dozen years. All of a sudden we wanted to know what was happening in Grand Rapids. So I took my senior mediator and we went to Grand Rapids to meet with the head of the Human Relations Commission and the head of the NAACP to establish some relations in the President’s home town. That was a practical, political, but also programmatic response. We never did very much there after that because there wasn’t a call to. When there was a volatile Indian fishing rights dispute in remote northern Wisconsin, we took information on the phone and Efrain Martinez and Werner Petterson made an initial site visit. Martinez stayed with the case. It was one of the best he ever did when he was working out of Chicago. The reservation was in the district of a congressman who was on our Appropriations Committee. So that made it easier for me to commit our sparse funds for travel to a remote area. The congressman was essential to CRS’s funding and survival, so this was a way to be sure he was aware of the important work we were doing. So, getting back to your questions, during the alert stage, we always would talk to people who were involved on all sides of the conflict and then let them know if we were coming in. Only rarely would be go on-site without an initial phone assessment.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
Yes or some other critical reason. For example, we had a call from rural Ferris State College in Michigan, where they had been recruiting black students for the first time. The black students were being intimidated by white students who kept their hunting rifles in their rooms. There was some serious intimidation, and it was apparent to call that this was a serious matter. The alert came from the state NAACP, I believe. The handful of black students on campus were being intimidated, their parents were on campus and the college president had refused to meet with them. C.J. Walker, in our Detroit office, phoned the President and told him he was coming in. We stayed close to C.J. on the phone then, because he was new on the job. He just went in there to get the parties talking, to get something happening. There was no time to fool around there. We had the resources, we had the person, he was nearby, he got in there, and he got on the job. That’s the way we would operate when there was high tension or a crisis. What he did there, incidentally, was to get the parties talking. He got the president to meet with the parents.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I’m thinking of another emergency where we got a call from Flint, Michigan. This was also C.J.’s territory. He worked out of Detroit. In Flint, Michigan, there had been a policeman shot and killed by someone believed to be black. Police then rampaged through the black community, breaking into houses during the night and pulling people out of their homes. I got on the phone from Chicago late in the afternoon. C.J. was unable to get into Flint until the next morning. It turned out that the police chief was on vacation, his assistant chief was in control and clearly couldn’t control what was happening. I called the assistant chief at 4 p.m. and said, "Mr. Walker is coming to Flint and should be there this evening. If he gets there in time, he’ll call you and let you know he’s in town. But he’ll definitely call you in the morning.” I knew C.J. wouldn’t be there until the morning but I wanted police to think the Justice Department was on their back that night. I don’t know whether it worked or not. This was a case where our first concern was getting somebody on the scene or at least to have the police chief think somebody from outside was there observing. Once we confirmed the likelihood of police violating the rights of citizens in the black community again that night, we did not need a further assessment to know we had to be there.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
No. But I started at CRS in June 1968, and the democratic convention was in August. This was not a racial matter, primarily, but there were a lot of civil rights issues and there were marches from downtown Chicago out to the amphitheater where the convention was that went through black neighborhoods. And police would deter marchers by throwing out tear gas which would waft into apartments and there were racial overtones. So we intervened.

Question:
And what did you do?

Answer:
The guys who responded were on the street, I wasn’t doing that. Primarily this was, with one exception, a black staff; three people from Chicago and one sent in from Washington. What they did, I suspect, was confront police and alert them to the problem. I don’t know whether they asked them or told them or what they actually said. We were also on the street observing the horrendous police behaviors. I can’t say what everybody did, because I wasn’t there, and I know they weren’t telling me, nor were they telling Deputy Attorney General Warren Christopher when we reported to him at his suite atop of the Hilton. What I do know, is when it was all over, five or six of us were sitting in the office when the phone rang and it was Roger Wilkins, the director of CRS. I’d only been out there about four months; they’d just opened the office. I was the regional director. They did not consult Mayor Daley on my appointment, which federal agencies usually did when they appointed regional directors. Often Mayor Daley would make the appointments himself. But we did not control the flow of federal funds and he had no use for us, we were like flies on the wall. Roger said on the phone, "Dick put me on the speaker.” So I pushed the speaker phone button, "I want you guys to know that whatever happens, you acquitted yourself very well.” It turned out that police had complained to the FBI and the FBI complained to the white House that we were running around telling police what to do in Chicago. That's how Roger started the conversation, "Dick, did any of your people tell the police what they should be doing?” And I said, "Guys?” "No.” So who knows what happened in the heat of things? That’s the report that came back to the mayor and they wanted us out of there. It wasn’t important enough for them to pursue and the issue died. But at that moment, it sounded like we were all going to be working somewhere else. So yes, there are times the public officials let it be known they don’t want us around. Very often, if someone would complain to Washington, the letter would go to my boss and it would go to the Attorney General, as it did in Richmond, CA. It would come back down to my boss for the AG’s signature, he’d send it to me, so that I would draft the response to the complaint against me, send it back to him, back to the attorney general, back to the complainer with the AG’s signature.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
Well that’s another tangent we’re going into. I wrote a case study about the Skokie-Nazi conflict for Mediation Journal in about 1983. This was a group of neo-Nazis who were demonstrating regularly in the Marquette Park in Chicago and they were vile and intemperate in their language. It was a white neighborhood in an area where there was black housing. The whites viewed it as encroachment on their neighborhood. These were largely Eastern European families whose homes were their lives, and their savings. They would make their weekly mortgage payments at the local S&L, building their equity in their homes. Now they saw all this being threatened as blacks moved in block by block. So while these homeowners would not accept the values being espoused by the neo-Nazis in Marquette Park, as soon as their homes were threatened, they felt really threatened and they were sort of glad about that storefront neo Nazi office in their neighborhood. Every so often, the neo-Nazi group would step out of their area and go into a Chicago area which was black and there would be some violence. Then every so often, a black leader seeking some recognition, not the main line leaders, but some young mavericks, would want to march into Marquette Park area and then there would be some violence. There was police action, nothing heavy, but enough to cause major publicity and stone throwing type incidents. But after one of those incidents, the city passed an ordinance. The Chicago Park District refused to permit any group to demonstrate in Marquette Park with 75 or more people unless it had a permit. The neo-Nazis never had a membership of 75, but their leafletting drew large crowds so they were told to get a permit. The neo-Nazis refused to apply for permits and ultimately were banned from Marquette Park. They then wrote letters to about 75 suburbs in the region threatening to come to the suburbs. Most of suburban officials discard letters, but Skokie, which has a large Jewish population, including many concentration camps survivors, warned the neo-Nazis to stay out and that started an engagement. Skokie passed some ordinances, which later were stricken down, banning Nazis from demonstrating there. It became a cause for neo-Nazis throughout the nation. The ACLU accepted them as a client and it hurt the ACLU considerably. There were fine legal scholars at Northwestern and elsewhere who supported the ban. Then there was state legislation introduced, banning neo-Nazi marches anywhere. The neo-Nazis were really a rag-a-tag band of Keystone cop-type guys when they came out in their uniforms and wooden shields. Their vile language and hate messages inflamed the Jewish community and many others as well. It appeared there would be a demonstration in Skokie so Werner Petterson went into that case to advise Skokie officials on matters related to policing and handling demonstration crowds. If you had a handful of Nazis saying they were coming to Skokie, you were going to have tens of thousands of people from all over the country planning to come to Skokie to counter-demonstrate. So on the one hand, we worked with city officials and the police. I joined them in some of these meetings on techniques for minimizing the likelihood of violence, as the Skokie police had no experience in this. We got Commander Jim Reardon from the Chicago Police Department to help us. He had worked the Democratic Convention years earlier. He talked to them about crowd control. We visited with the state police and discussed what support they were giving and how. We met with the leadership of the Jewish community to talk about ways to minimize confrontations by planning their counter-demonstration at least a mile away from the neo-Nazi site to discourage people from interacting. Then, maybe a small delegation would walk over there with their candles or something in silent protest. All of this sounded good, but there was going to be thousands of angry people. The momentum was building. Conditions were inflamed by newspaper headlines about the determined neo-Nazis. A newspaper reporter told me that a travel agent in his home town of Los Angeles had booked 2000 charter seats to Skokie. President Carter had a political rally at a Skokie high school prior to his election some years earlier and tied up traffic in the village for hours one evening, so you can imagine what would happen. Then you had the Burlington, Vermont veterans of foreign wars saying they would pitch tents in Skokie. You had people from Europe who said they’d be there and then you had the controversial Jewish Defense League saying, "There will be blood in the streets of Skokie,” and putting ads in the Jewish Forward media saying, "Send us $50, Send a Jew to Skokie.” It was obviously going to be a catastrophe and everybody saw this and nobody wanted it. And there we were, the only ones meeting with all of the parties. So it was just natural to turn it to mediation. We were under constraints from the ACLU attorneys. They understood who we were, but they didn’t have much respect for anyone who did not declare their position. But they needed us. We met Frank Colin, the Neo-Nazi head, just to talk to him, and we worked with Eugene Dubow who headed the Chicago office of American Jewish Committee and was coordinating counter-demonstration work greater Chicago area. He was very supportive of what we were doing. We tried to get Chicago Park District to consider opening up its park to prevent serious problems in Skokie, but they wouldn’t talk to us.




Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
We want to direct our attention to Wounded Knee, which is one of the highest profile cases that CRS was ever involved in. Perhaps you could just tell us a little background on the conflict, what it was about, what was going on, and how CRS got involved?

Answer:
The American Indian Movement (AIM), which was the first national and highly publicized civil rights organization representing the interest of Native Americans, had been conducting a series of demonstrations and protests around the country, trying to call attention to the government's miserable treatment of them and their concerns. They were protesting the horrendous disregard of their culture by the federal government and its to acknowledge and address the violations of treaties that had been signed with American Indians. While I was working on an Indian rights case, I recall the late Judge Noel Fox saying to me, "If I have to go by the law on this, I’d have to give all of western Michigan back to the Indians. That included Detroit, of course. There was no voting constituency for politicians, so there was very little political incentive for the Congress to help. There was a caravan to Washington that started on the West coast to take over the BIA building in Washington. There was a lot of damage to the building, which hurt the image of the AIM and its supporters. They skillfully negotiated their way out of that. So they were in a protest mode, and demonstrating in the Midwest. A caravan was headed to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. That was out of my region, but earlier we had responded to some American Indian protests before CRS opened a Denver office. We had responded to some things in Nebraska, an incident involving the fatal shooting of an American Indian by some white ranchers. I was told to relinquish three of my younger staff members to accompany the American Indians march through the plains states, which was headed to Pine Ridge. John Terronez, Efrain Martinez, and John Sarver. They were reporting directly to Washington and I would only touch base with them peripherally. My initial interest was getting them back to work in my region. The team was accompanying AIM on its marches and helping to prevent problems along the way. As the American Indians would come into a community, CRS would perhaps precede them, talk to the sheriff or other local officials and try to help clear the way, give them an escort through town or let them sleep in a local park. They got to the Pine Ridge Reservation specifically to protest the actions of Dick Wilson, the elected tribal chief, who was accused of nepotism and improper use of federal funds and civil rights violations. They got to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the Feds were absolutely petrified because of the disastrous experience at the BIA building in Washington previously. They thought they were going to take over the two story brick building in the town of Pine Ridge.

Question:
How many people were involved in the march?

Answer:
Oh, there were a few hundred marching. I don’t know how many at this point, maybe 150-200. They weren’t heavily armed. I assume some had some arms, but they weren't intending any takeover at that time. But the BIA had stationed troops, US marshals were there, Wayne Colbert, head of the Marshal service was out there. Troops were on the rooftop of the two-story BIA building with machine guns, ready to prevent any possible takeover. I recall talking to John Terronez after the effort to have Wilson recalled had ended unsuccessfully. John told me, "Looks like we’re done. They are breaking up now and they are headed out and we are going to pack our gear and head home.” What neither John nor anybody else knew was that the caravan was going to the historic village of Wounded Knee on the reservation was going to take over the village. Russell Means talks about how this was kept secret because they thought people would be afraid, and they didn’t want word to get out. When the caravan got to Wounded Knee, the leaders announced, to the surprise of many, including the CRS staff, that they were staying.

Question:
Who was living in Wounded Knee?

Answer:
It was a village. There were American Indian families there and some white ranchers as well. Pine Ridge reservation was a desolate place. There were some jobs there, but at least 70% unemployment. It was February. They stopped there and took over that village. They didn’t hurt anybody; people were free to leave. For the record, -- Russell Means doesn’t tell it this way in his book, he says AIM communicated directly with the FBI Chief Trimbach the stories I heard was that Terronez and Martinez, both Mexican Americans who could be confused for Native Americans, and Sarver came out of Wounded Knee to the FBI officials up the road with AIM’s list of demands. The FBI chief immediately placed them under house arrest, notwithstanding their Justice Department credentials, the same as the FBI carries. It took a day until John could get through to Washington and get released. But they brought up the list of demands and thus started a saga, 73 days at Wounded Knee. CRS sent a team in to try to serve in the mediational and intermediary role. The FBI was there, Bureau of Indian Police, customs officials, they needed all the police types they could get there. There were rifles and firing and a few killings. CRS responded with a cadre of field representatives - - conciliators and mediators -- who were housed in a church in the town of Pine Ridge, five to ten miles out of Wounded Knee. There were blockades along the road. The first road block was maintained by the tribal chief, Wilson’s people. Then the FBI had a road block and the third road block was the American Indians right outside of Wounded Knee. We established our base in a church. There were beds and phones and a few rooms and we had anywhere up to a dozen people there at a time, doing a variety of activities. We would transport people in and out in conjunction with the other Feds. They knew we were there, but they didn’t accept us or like us. You had a situation where you had FBI agents who are really trained to work behind desks or in urban settings, and there they were out there in the plains and the cold. You had BIA police, and customs police, perhaps, and Marshals and none of them were very happy there. Many of them weren’t getting overtime and their families were back home. There were bunkers that the AIM members had built. There were armed people in them with gunshots going off at night sometimes. There were shots fired into the place. That was the setting.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Ok, that one I became aware of through news articles. The Klan was distributing flyers at a state university in Oklahoma, so there were some demonstrations and counter-demonstrations on campus. Our mandate allows us to initiate contact with parties, and I might say that's probably one of the most critical elements of the agency’s mandate. I think it's the only federal agency that can initiate contact with a community or citizen, without first being requested to respond to some event or some violation. So because we had that freedom, I made contact with some of the student leadership that I was aware of; some of the black student organizations, a Hispanic organization, and a Native American organization. I'm going to have to back up, because the real impetus was a fraternity party and it was an event that had occurred every year for a hundred years on that university, called the Plantation Party. The fraternity boys would go to one of the matching sorority girls’ houses, and they went in black face and they went as slaves or with nooses around their necks. It was very egregious, and yet from their perspective it was a common event that had occurred; a tradition that had transpired every year for a hundred years.

Question:
What year are we talking about then?

Answer:
This would probably have been '90, '91 somewhere around there. So, that was what hit the paper, that the Klan was distributing flyers supporting the fraternity. The students obviously demonstrated against what had happened at the fraternity and sorority. The minority groups wanted the fraternity banished immediately. Since this was a traditional event that occurred, that had not caused any reaction for a hundred of years, the university was saying, so, what happened? What's the deal? Why did somebody get upset this year? Why didn't they get upset last year? It was an event where a minority had the courage to say, "I'm upset. This is not right. There's something wrong." So that raised the awareness and the consciousness. So the entry was the media being aware of that. I made contact with student groups and with university officials. The Vice President for Student Affairs and the Vice President for Academic Affairs were both very open to our intervention. They wanted to do whatever they could to make a change. They didn't have any resistance as far as them trying to say it wasn't egregious or that they didn't need to do something about it. It was very positive. Part of our approach was that you go to the highest level for entry and so I needed to talk to the President to find out if he was open to us going in.




Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Go back to what you just said about the woman in the housing authority, where you came into a meeting for 4 months. That sounds interesting. Tell me about what was going on in that case.

Answer:
There were allegations of the housing authority not responding to tenants, and Tulsa became one of the prime targets of the housing authority investigation. The housing authority was siphoning money and spending it on other stuff, so the housing was falling apart. The minority groups living in the communities had complained to us because by then some of the players knew me and asked if I would come in.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In this case, there was competition among a number of vendors serving the same clientele and some had arrived there fairly recently and the others were more old-timers. So these newcomers, as interlopers, were cutting their prices to undermine the other companies' business and they were lowering their standards and providing a poor product. As a result of that, their appearance was detrimental to all of them. So one of the things that they wanted to talk about is how to not undercut each other by having a similar price structure. When I discussed that with the antitrust division, the man at the other end of the phone was absolutely appopletic. The poor man could hardly talk. I would say, "Calm down. We haven't done this yet." He was totally hysterical because he had visions of having to go and drag parties into court who would then produce a mediation agreement signed by the Department of Justice Community Relations Service. So he was not a happy camper. I tried so hard to calm him down, but he was absolutely hysterical. The bottom line is, we could not make that one of the issues to be negotiated. The parties, even though they had agreed to other issues to be discussed as well, like quality of service, appearance, and training, they were not interested in negotiating any of these other points unless they could also talk about the pricing. So we never entered formal mediation or even informal mediation. We had some meetings with the group to explore whether or not to use mediation, but we never actually entered mediation. I think there was a good result though, and this isn't the only time this has happened.



Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

For instance I was in South Boston High School back in '74 , '75, when a white student was stabbed by a black student and all hell broke loose. It got to the point where white students formed bans marching through the school looking for "n*****s," as they called them, to attack. I don't mean to justify the initial stabbing, but you should understand that this happened after a long time during which black students had routinely been attacked. They had been harassed, they (the black students) always felt vulnerable, so this episode had a history. I am not defending the fact that one of the black kids had brought a knife and stabbed one of the white students, who was not killed, by the way, he survived. But all hell broke loose after the stabbing. Teachers were trying to get black students into classes and lock the doors to keep them safe. At one point I knew that there were like 3 or 4 black students behind me, and up came a group of about 15 white kids looking to see who they could beat up. Now I can't stop 15 white kids running down the hall, so I just tried to make myself as big and conspicuous and sort of in the way as I could not to stop them, but to at least give the kids behind me additional time to get out of the way. In fact when Columbine happened, and some of the students were talking about their experience inside the building I had an immediate flashback to the halls of South Boston High School. There were a lot of similarities in terms of the things being completely out of control and the panic and the fear and just being so irrational and feeling totally helpless as to what to do to avoid this. In South Boston, it ended up being an all day event, much like a military maneuver. In no time, word got around the entire community. You had, literally, thousands of white parents and neighbors in front of the building yelling to "get the black students" who were inside, even though that wasn't the terminology that they used . . .

Question:
Were they yelling at you?

Answer:
Not at me, specifically, at this point, as I was inside. Most of the white students were outside and eventually even the white staff were outside too. But they ended up getting all of the black students and staff into the auditorium which was inside without any windows because they were throwing things at the windows. Then the police came, including equestrian units, to try and move the crowds away, but they'd just come back. They'd move away, and then come back again from another direction.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I ended up spending about 5 months in Los Angeles after the Rodney King event and as part of that lump of things. I was involved in arranging for, and then actually conducting mediation between a group of Korean businessmen and the federal, state, and private agencies and organizations that were in Los Angeles for disaster response. That included FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Administration), the California version of FEMA, the Red Cross, Administration and others. A lot of that ended up being almost like a cultural training, because a big part of the concern of the Korean business people was that they weren't familiar with American culture. For instance they didn't have a clue as to what to do with the dry beans they were being given for food assistance. If they were going to be getting food assistance, they needed things they were familiar with. So we got the Red Cross to look for more fresh vegetables and rice. In some cases it was just a matter of looking at the physical layout of the disaster relief center it was called the DAC Disaster Application Center. I looked at the layout and considered how that lead to or avoided confrontations between inpatient people who needed help. Sometimes we ended up just playing a role in rearranging the furniture in a way that made it more conducive to having people being served at various sides at the same time, rather than having long lines which made people lose patience. There was a real sense all along on the part of the Korean victim community that they were not being understood, that the severity of their situation wasn't being dually acknowledged and they could not understand why nobody was taking responsibility for the fact that they, through no fault of their own, had suffered all of these losses. They couldn't figure out why nobody had resigned yet -- you know, out of shame, for having allowed this to happen. And the other piece which was major, particularly early on, was that they did not believe that they were receiving protection from the police or national guard for their businesses. So they ended up forming their own protection force a young adult team which was heavily armed and spent nights patrolling streets of Korean businesses to make sure that they weren't vandalized, attacked, or destroyed. As they began to go through the process of applying for assistance at the DAC, and then waiting for a response, and looking for help, there was a lot of impatience. Language was a big problem. They were threatening big demonstrations in front of the DAC at first, and later on they did have demonstrations at City Hall. It took awhile to get mediation going. When we were trying to arrange it, there were one or two Koreans who wanted to speak for everyone. We tried to explain that while it wasn't that we didn't trust them, and we were sure they were honorable people, we couldn't take their word for what the entire Korean community wants. We insisted that we have more participation from the Koreans. There were a couple of business associations we got to participate and we had the leader of this Korean young adult team which was doing the protecting service. There were a couple who were clearly sort of elders within the Korean community, too. The entire process had to be bilingual, so I had to have a translator, because I don't speak any Korean at all. These were all day sessions, and we ended up going on for three days. I could never persuade any translator to come back for a second time because they were so worn out, so totally exhausted after one day. So there was no way I could persuade them to come back again. Part of what happened is that some of the Korean victim party who spoke at least some English, so if the translator didn't get it just right, they would jump in and say "No," so this poor person had a very, very difficult time with it. The other challenging thing was that almost everybody at the table on both sides were men, and here I was, a woman, taking charge of the process. But I did it, and it was fascinating, just because of the dynamics of what was going on, some of the interactions among parties. Never mind the actual negotiations between the parties. I ended up becoming very close to that leader of that adult group. He calls me "Mom." I'm his American mother. So we ended up being a very close link into that particular community. They really they were concerned that they receive protection. They would've much preferred that L.A. police do it, so later on, we managed to arrange for some meetings between some of them and law enforcement on how to coordinate security services in these neighborhoods It didn't become a full time vigilante group working in the community, but it was certainly challenging.

Question:
Did you provide technical assistance to both sides?

Answer:
Yes. I always provide technical assistance to both sides. Now sometimes, the technical assistance required by an establishment side, just for the purpose of kind of grouping them, they require less assistance than the minority community. But I make sure that I offer pre-mediation training and preparation to everybody who's going to be involved. In this case, there was actually relatively little preparation for each. Partly because of the immediacy. I think some people thought they were just coming to a meeting. But I made sure that we kind of put it into a mediation session rather than a free-for-all conversation, because it was the only way to accomplish what we needed to and, well, I'm a mediator, and that's what I do. But I really thought in this particular setting -- we must have had at least thirty people in the room that we needed mediation. We had many response agencies maybe about twenty people, and six, maybe eight Korean representatives. So we had to have some kind of a structured process so this discussion could actually take place. Part of what came out of that is that, after all the broad issues were addressed, was there were then sort of splinter mediations, if you will, or splinter meetings. And the one that comes particularly to mind was with the Small Business Administration. Besides FEMA, SBA ended up being one of the major sources for financial assistance. They had an excellent director there on-site who really bent over backwards to understand and meet the needs and be flexible. He was one of the least bureaucratic bureaucrats. So that made a big difference. They helped out with business loans, because it was mostly businesses that were destroyed during that time. We helped facilitate the Koreans applications, helping them to apply by giving them technical assistance to make the application process easier.

Question:
So the negotiations were basically over what kind of assistance was going to be provided and how and when?

Answer:
Yes. And what the procedures would be for making that happen. A lot of it was even just how you get access to some of the leadership of some of those agencies if you know there's a particular issue in your community that isn't being responded to. And in some cases, the time line was a problem, because when people apply for a loan they'll get an answer within a month. But these folks were looking for an answer next week. So how do you handle some of those emergency situations? In some cases, it was just a matter of really clarifying what the procedures are and what has to be done to have to go through that.




Renaldo Rivera


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Can you think of a CRS case you worked on that typifies your use of some of the techniques that you've used over the years?

Answer:
Why don't I just start with the most current thing, the World Trade Center attacks. As immediately as it occurred I happened to be at a New Jersey summit on racial profiling with the Attorney General and the head of the state police. It was the first one on racial profiling in the country since New Jersey was the epicenter of racial profiling activity and also the corrective responses to it. When the first plane hit the first tower, within one minute of the first hit, because of where I was and whom I was with, Attorney General Farmer and Colonel Dunbar, we knew the attack had happened. I immediately called all my staff to make sure they were on stand by. By the time I reached them they were on their way to a job in Long Island, NY, so they stood by instead of trying to get into the city, which was already difficult. Then the second plane hit the second tower. So our first approach was to immediately work with state officials. We worked with the head of the state police in both states. As soon as we had direct information, that's within the first days, and we were working out of command posts because Lower Manhattan was completely sealed off, was to work with high level state officials, and the police departments and state troopers to issue messages of moderation, restraint, tolerance, and vigorous law enforcement of any hate crime activity. As quickly as it was linked to Middle Eastern terrorists, we wanted to avoid creating a tremendous backlash against other people who were Middle Eastern or appeared to be Middle Eastern, which included South-Asian and Sikh populations. We also encouraged that messaging to go into part of what Governor Pataki and Mayor Giulianni were saying in New York, that is, while the primary emphasis was on the rescue and the recovery, we encouraged messages around maintaining this moderation restraint, tolerance, and vigorous law enforcement of hate crimes.

Question:
Did you run into any resistance to your approach?

Answer:
Not at all. There was no resistance to the request by the state and local officials. They saw the clear need. The question was how much air time they could give that particular message in the context of the immediate recovery effort. What happened is that they provided the messaging and it would be left on the floor of the editing room. It didn't get out as frequently as we would have liked. There was close coordination between what CRS was doing here at Ground Zero and our Washington headquarters, as well as what was going on around the country. The same messaging we had started to encourage was encouraged to the department in our weekly reports. The Attorney General also, partially through some CRS input I am sure, began to issue the same messaging around tolerance, moderation, restraint and vigorous law enforcement of hate crime activity, any hate crimes in the backlash. Also, the President's office began to use their mechanisms to do the same when they began to announce that the war on terrorism was not a war on Islam.I think taking the approach of working with high level officials at the state level, then replicating it at the national level, was very important in maintaining a degree of restraint in the local community settings in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. In Puerto Rico, we were able right away to work with government officials, with the Arab-Muslim communities and also to get a moratorium from the U.S. attorney and the FBI and local protestors, on additional protests on the island of Vieques, because this was a natural time that the navy was clearly going to resume training in the aspects of the war effort. We needed to work with local and government officials and community groups there so that the Viequez situation wouldn't create another source of tension on the island. That was part and parcel of maintaining community stability. We also knew that in St. Croix a large number of the Arab-Muslim population was involved in merchant activity, food distribution, food services, so we needed to alert them as to the possibility of any difficulties taking place there. They then were on alert, both the federal and local officials and law enforcement. On the New York side, the city police department was very cooperative. It had already moved to secure Arab-Muslim neighborhoods along Atlantic Ave. in Brooklyn. We were in support of that so it was a common thought and step. Also, the Islamic Cultural Center and the Islamic schools in Bay Ridge, which are the primary concentrations of the Arab-Muslim populations in New York City. So we had good cooperation from local law enforcement to provide special protective services. Because we were in the primary investigation area in New York and New Jersey we set up a program with the League of Municipalities and the Association of Chiefs of Police in New Jersey. The state Attorney General led the program and then a couple of mayors, a couple of law enforcement people and CRS. We cosponsored a series of three seminars immediately in central, northern, and southern New Jersey that focused on building bridges, best practices for police-community relations. We were able to reach out directly to mayors and chiefs of police. We had more then 200 people participating. We were able to start with the local-national focus and end with the local-national focus in each program. Again we wanted to get out the message of asking for help locally in messaging on moderation, tolerance, restraint, and vigorous law enforcement of hate crime activity. We needed their help to coincide with the messages of the Attorney General and the head of the FBI and the President, so that in turn we would be able to work more directly with the rescue and recovery efforts here. We took that kind of approach right from the beginning while we contacted our federal partners -- US Attorney's office, FBI, etc -- to prepare them for eventual meetings with community groups that would be affected. In addition to our direct solicitation of similar messaging at the local level by chiefs of police and municipal officials, we encouraged each of the state level organizations with which we were coordinating -- with the state Attorneys General offices and their public safety officers and their civil rights divisions -- so we were providing guidance and technical assistance to them. We already had those relationships or we forged them and reinforced them, so that the messages they were putting out to the Arab-Muslim and South-Asian communities would include this kind of messaging. So, the local community groups, mosques and cultural centers knew that their relationship with CRS was in tandem and in coordination with the state outreach programs. What it wound up doing was reassuring the community very quickly and also providing a good marriage and linkage with high level state officials about federal-state coordination around this which was reassuring to the communities. It also multiplied CRS resources. They were calling the meetings. We were aware of them and then our message along with theirs was being placed everywhere so we could continue with our limited resources to focus on other areas. That was a general approach.What's happened in New York and New Jersey, since we are the primary investigation area, is that there has been a degree of tension because there is a larger sweep. Even though it is focused to identify terrorists in the anti-terrorist effort, the sweep is by the FBI and coordinates with the local law enforcement and the experience of the communities here is under greater stress.

Question:
Are you talking about the city or the state?

Answer:
Well, it's mostly the city and New Jersey because the primary investigation was focused right here and in Patterson and Jersey City, NJ, where some of the terrorist activity from 1993 was known to have taken place and to be harbored. So there was a larger premium by the investigative efforts on the Arab-Muslim, and South-Asian communities here than elsewhere in the country initially. It continues to today. The impact on the affected communities is larger here. Our effort is to work with and talk directly to the Arab-Muslim community as well as the South-Asian and the Sikh communities, to assure them that the focus of the investigation -- the new Anti-terrorism Act -- is designed to go after the terrorist effort and not the community at large. There is some concern around balancing civil liberties and the primary investigation, but the focus is really on anti-terrorism. Also, to work with the question of immigration status issues which are raised as the investigation proceeds. As people are detained and interviewed, their immigration status may come into question. We are working with the INS and local leadership around those kinds of questions so that the communities are assured that it is not the INS involved in a wide sweep again and that raids aren't taking place in communities.We've had good success in developing relationships with institutional partners so that we can do two things, reduce the level of community tension, preventing its escalation, and maintain community stability. The other part is that we have the issues of the primary investigation, which creates different impacts here since it is larger and more intensified; adverse impacts on the communities. We have to work with that.




Renaldo Rivera


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
I wonder if we could go back to that particular case and talk a little bit about how you got into it and then what your subsequent actions were.

Answer:
What happened was that it was real straight forward. I saw it in a news cast that they were planning a demonstration for that night and I just showed up. So, we deployed on site.

Question:
What sort of community was it?

Answer:
It was a Puerto Rican and Latino community with changed demographics. It's an exurb, already its own city. We deployed on site and all we did at the outset was work with the local police just so that they were aware, if they hadn't been, and also so that they would have a more tempered response and they'd have the appropriate officers detailed to this assignment. After the demonstration I made contact with one of the people who worked in the human relations commission. They hadn't had a lot of contact with CRS in that community before. So what I asked for was a chance to get to know some of the community leadership and the others who were concerned about this issue -- the superintendent's issue -- because it wasn't going away. What she did, bless her heart, is she arranged a little meeting at her home with the head of the NAACP, a couple of current school committee people who were opposed to this action, some former school committee representatives and the Hispanic community leadership so we could talk about what CRS did and what role we might be able to play. That was a lunch meeting at her home. It enabled us to go through CRS' mission, activities, capabilities, and things of that nature. That made it easier for us to work with them when they were setting up their next set of demonstrations. I tried to get them to get the appropriate permits and if that didn't work to let the police know that this non-sanctioned activity was going to take place. It also helped us to deal with the other resources that they began to bring into the community from outside, like the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, and try to keep everybody on message without taking away from their advocacy effort. But at least so that it wouldn't be exceedingly confrontational at public sessions, or if it was confrontational in public sessions, which it did become, that people would understand the posturing of a public session and still be able to have a private session subsequent to it when they could dialogue around the resolution of the concerns. What happened, through some basic lunch meetings at people's homes with people asking for some help, and then arranging their organization with clergy leadership as well as community organizations that came forward. We built that set of relationships first because the official side is much easier, in general, for us to access. At least they'll give us the courtesy of a response after the second phone call, if not the first, and at least some conversation even if they're not going to entertain our services. The real credibility needs to be established in the community setting and that takes time. You need to reach out and then you need to be there with them. The real influence of CRS is to level the playing field. I think the leveraging of power imbalances as part of the conflict resolution and mediation work is the key and it's key to all mediation in general when you have power imbalances.

Question:
At what point did you decide that this was a case to stay with as you conducted your assessment?

Answer:
The point at which I decided to stay with it came when they permitted me to go to the organizing meeting for the next demonstration. We were going to just do self marshalling techniques and introduce those kinds of skills for them to have. Some of the individuals started talking about violence against people and property. It was clear right then that it was something we had to pay attention to at CRS. If some people are going to advocate property damage and personal violence, then your end is the growing mistrust for public officials and law enforcement in that community and you're moving towards the two-step trigger process for civil disorder or civil unrest. At least you have a contingent that's willing to move in that direction so now you have to try to diffuse that, or at least see if there's enough to do the two-step process.




Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We discussed the issues and problems. On a Saturday, the resident assistant, who was African American, had stopped some of the white kids who were drinking. He told them to stop drinking. One said "No," hit him, knocked him down, and beat him up. He was kicked outside. It wasn't done by a student, but by a guest of one of the students. This took place in September and a week later nothing much had been done. Then there was another confrontation between that resident assistant and a student who came to another one of the programs and there were other confrontations.

Question:
The same visitor?

Answer:
The same visitor came back the following week for another event. The resident assistant recognized him and was trying to get him to be removed from the dormitory or be arrested. The resident assistant apparently didn't get support for what he wanted to do. That set off a lot of feeling that the university wasn't doing anything, so the African-American students started to protest. There were several protests but there was no major newspaper coverage, so we really didn't know what was taking place. As a result of the protests, the chancellor had set up the meeting which I mentioned before that appeared in the Boston Globe that Saturday. The students were upset, not only about that incident but the most important issue was that they referenced a number of racial problems in the past which the University had promised to address -- not this chancellor but others -- and the students said that they were never carried out. There was the whole distrust element that we always talk about as a critical community dynamic that leads to racial disorders. There was a history of the lack of confidence in the redress system that led to the very tense situation on the campus.

Question:
Was this the background to the explosion after the baseball game?

Answer:
No, the baseball game took place in 1986. This was 1992, but that was part of the history, though. After the baseball game, CRS helped set up a number of meetings and efforts to deal with what the university was going to do. There were a number of promises and commitments made at that time.

Question:
Student memory was long.

Answer:
Yes, and I think it was fostered by a number of the African-American teachers and professors.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Maybe we ought to go right into a case. We asked you to think of a case that typifies your work. It might be instructive in running it through from entry to exit.

Answer:
Well, every case has its own story, its own series of lessons. One of my favorites, without violating confidentiality, I had a university that was willing to consider returning 550 of its Native American remains and artifacts after a person from the Ohlone Indian tribe in Northern California happened to be visiting the university and walked through one of the anthropology department's storage areas and noticed all of these bones sitting on this rack. She said, "What are these bones? Why are you holding them?" They said, "Well, this is the Anthropology Department. We study and let the students work with them, and we use them to practice anthropological applications." She said, "But these are my ancestors. It's very sacred to us that they be in the ground." So this Ohlone Indian went and notified other members of her tribal group, and they began to talk about their ancestral remains needing to be returned. They discussed the issue and it was unanimous among her family the remains should be returned.She contacted CRS, and said, "We're very upset about what's taking place at this institution. Somehow, these remains need to be returned." I was working with Larry Myers of the Native American Heritage Commission for the state of California. He joined me, and we decided that we would work this particular case jointly. The university indicated that it would not go to the table unless all the Ohlone tribes in the area were in consensus as to how and when the remains would be given to the Ohlone People. There were all these tribelets that make up the same tribe, and they all had some legitimate ownership or ties to the ancestors of those remains.

Question:
Was this all one tribe, primarily?

Answer:
Primarily one tribe in an area.

Question:
You said her "family."

Answer:
Often times you have families that make up tribelets that make up the tribe. And they're often are very dysfunctional and at odds with each other. That proved to be the situation in this particular case. The university felt that if they negotiated with one tribelet, they may be attacked by another tribelet for being excluded or disagreeing with what was done to the remains. The only way they would come to the table was if all of the different tribelets and families unified and had reached consensus on the treatment of the remains before they came to the table. So that really meant that the Native American Heritage Commission and CRS would spent months going into sweat lodges and homes over weekends, meeting with all the different tribelets, to make sure that, first, they would participate in pre-meetings to prepare for the negotiations, and second get them to come to some consensus.

Question:
You were working this alone for CRS?

Answer:
I was working this alone for CRS and the Native American Heritage Commission -- they do mediation particularly in this arena, but asked me to work with them because of my relationship with the Ohlone People. There were at least six different divisions among this particular tribe that we had to bring together. Very strong feelings. Some of them had their own burial grounds and wanted to have the remains given to them so they could have them put into a mission burial ground. Others felt they'd like to have these things hidden away because they didn't want anybody to disturb or desecrate the remains, and they all wanted them to naturally go back into the Earth. That's the spiritual way that most Native Americans believe that remains need to be returned naturally back into the Earth, so that their spirits can rest in peace.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Okay, Vermont McKinney and I had an interesting case where we were asked by a U.S. Attorney to go into a situation where three Native Americans were killed by members of a town police department on the borders of a reservation. Some Native Americans would go into the town and they would get drunk and maybe throw a bottle or something and it would escalate to the point where they would end up being killed. The police had killed three Native Americans within six months. So the tribal police said, "Look, don't touch our people. If you feel they've done something wrong and you're going to arrest them, call us and we'll take care of our own people." And the townspeople said, "No way. They're in our jurisdiction, they're ours." Then the tribal police said, "You do it again, and we'll be there, and then we've got a problem." So that's when the U.S. Attorney says, "Community Relations Service, we think we could use a mediator." So we sent in, Ada Montare, a former CRS Conciliation Specialist. She was doing her assessment, and working with the parties, and she happened to be parked out in front of a store on a major highway. She was getting into her car, and a car hit her. She was hospitalized with a broken pelvis. She was taken by helicopter to San Bernadino, and eventually she was brought up to San Francisco where she recuperated from her injury. It was decided by the Regional Director that we better send two people in there.





Nancy Ferrell


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
Okay. This was a situation where two different people in an Indian tribe claimed to be the chief. But they both claimed to be elected. Being chief of the tribe means having control of a lot of money. So there was interest in being the chief. The person who was in the compound said that he was the chief, and the people around him agreed. Another man in the community said he was the chief, so he took his friend and guns and took over the compound. I called in from Lubbock, Texas. It was routine on a Friday afternoon to say, "I'm coming in, is there anything going on?" "As a matter of fact there is. This chief in Oklahoma said that he won't do anything until you get there. Will you go talk to him?" "Okay." I had to drive to where this is. It was noon on Saturday by the time I got there. When I got there, people were parked all along the highway. I parked and walked up to where the gate of the compound, and all law enforcement at both the state and federal levels were there. Bureau of prisons, state police, local police, sheriff's department, highway patrol, everybody. So here I come, walking up, going in to talk to these people. Law enforcement thinks, "Yeah right." About that time, one of the Native Americans comes out, gets me, and takes me in with him. I was pretty new in this; I'd probably been with the agency for a year and a half or so. The building was like an elementary school, it had the same kind of layout. I walked in the front door with this fellow, and this was one of those potentially violent situations. I had called ahead to the compound and talked to the chief. He had agreed not to do anything until I got there. Also the police and law enforcement had agreed to stay outside until I got there. The very fact that we were coming gave law enforcement an out for not going in. It gave the people inside an out for not escalating this thing. The fact that this person is coming who doesn't have an interest and who doesn't have a gun gave everybody an out to back off. Otherwise their tendencies move toward violence. I get there, the guy walks me in, there's nobody else around except him, walking me in.

Question:
Which side is he on?

Answer:
He's inside the compound with the guy with the guns. I don't see anybody inside the building. He takes me down the hallway. It's very dark, and I'm beginning to think, "Alright, what's he going to do?" I could sense people on both sides of the hallway, I could sense there were people there. It was dark and I was following this guy. I turned to the left, down the hall, and went to a room where the chief and another person were. I started doing the interview and asking questions about what their issues were. What occurred to cause them to take these extreme measures? What was it going to take to resolve the situation? I'm taking notes, I'm getting everything down. They're telling me, "We should've talked to you a week ago. This wouldn't have happened. We're so glad you're here." Retrospectively, I realized that every now and then one of the two people would leave. But somebody else would come in. So I would start a whole new discussion with them. What do you think is causing this? What got us to this point? How do we now move ahead without the violence?" I was taking lots of notes because they would leave and somebody else would come in. This happened for probably an hour, back and forth. Within two hours, I'm still interviewing people as they jockey in and out of the room. They're just so pleased I'm there and they think it's going to make all of the difference in the world. "We're just so glad you could come." So all of a sudden, after a couple of hours, I realized nobody had come back. One person had left, I'm talking to one, and then this person leaves. I sat there for about five minutes and nobody came back.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Give us an idea of how you became involved in a certain case. What did you do, why did you do it, and those types of things. Also, give us the background for it.

Answer:
Ok, this was a case of a national company that had a history of not being trusted by segments of some minority communities. In fact, there had been boycotts specifically organized against this company. There was an occasion where an official from that company made some statements at a public event which were seen as particularly outrageous by the community. That sort of renewed the need for something to happen in terms of the relationship between that company and the minority community. There were some discussions taking place locally and on a national basis, and our agency was able to coordinate, or facilitate, a collaboration among a number of minority organizations that were interested. They all had an interest in trying to approach this particular company, and the company was willing to at least explore the possibility of meeting with this national level coalition to address some of the issues and concerns that had been raised. Some of our national staff helped to make some of the national contacts, but we in this region were the ones that actually worked it. I co-mediated that with Leo Cardenas who was a regional director. We were the ones who went on with the logistics of actually pulling together this coalition of minority organizations, arranging the first meeting with the company, and doing pre-mediation work.




Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We're in Pine Ridge and AIM and Pine Ridge Leadership wanted to march into White Plains to protest. There had been a couple of recent murders which had been unsolved. There were allegations of mistreatment of Indians in the town and that the town was using the sale of alcohol to the detriment of the Native American community. There had been a march the week before which had gone peacefully, but as the marchers got ready to return to the Pine Ridge reservation, others stayed behind. There was some burning and looting and destruction, so when plans were made for another march, there was a real concern that this might become violent. It was at that point that CRS got involved.



Martin Walsh


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

A police officer in Herndon, Virginia shot and killed an African American. The newspaper headlines had "Community protests shooting by officer at the 7-11 Store," or something like that. Our first thing was to look at the newspaper article. We didn't know any of the players at all. There were a couple of names in there, so the phone calls started as to who was dealing with this issue. There were some ministers and there was a community group that had taken the leadership role. We talked to them about what was happening and what they knew about the matter. I said, "We want to see if we can be of assistance. I would like to sit down with your group to explore this thing."



Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How did you know the issue?

Answer:
I had worked with her on some other cases, and she had alerted me that she was in touch with the institution, and that she was going to see what she could do to get those remains returned. So I knew of the issue, but I had not initially opened a case. At the same time, the institution had contacted the Native American Heritage Commission and requested its assistance. And in our discussions, we had learned that the two parties had contacted different people.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How did you get into that case?

Answer:
Well, as soon as civil unrest took place CRS was flying down. We were all based in San Francisco at the time.

Question:
So you were working out of San Francisco and this happened in Los Angeles, how did you hear about it?

Answer:
We knew there were tensions here because we had been involved in a lot of pre-riot conflicts between the Korean and African Americans and issues of police excessive use of force that was taking place. We were down in LA all the time just putting out swap meet and African-American community conflicts. Stores and demonstrations. The precursor to all the civil unrest was at least a year of spotted conflicts between Koreans and African Americans throughout. We knew there was this backdrop of police and community tensions all along because there had been shootings of the Muslims and other altercations that we had to respond to, all in the prior years. We've had gang leaders come to us and say, "we're going to declare war on the Los Angeles Police, this is it. We're tired of this because we feel like we are being hunted." So there is just a great deal of tension prior to the civil unrest.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

How long did the demonstrations continue?

Answer:
Well, we didn't make the whole 30 days, I know that. I remember getting to the 15th day and saying, "These people are obstinate, this is amazing." I just didn't think that it would be sustained. Around the 17th day I think they decided, "We can march all these days, but they don't get it." That's when they decided to go into the building. It was interesting because they kind of played with the doors, to see what the reaction was going to be. They'd stay around the doors until bottles were thrown on them. They would hang on these doors, then start marching again. The police would always meet you right at the door and say, you can't go through here. The police were adamant, they were not going in. I think one day they found a back door, or some way to get in, and they went right into the city hall. Now we had 300 people right in the middle of city hall, blocking the whole main floor, demanding to see the mayor. I told the sergeant, they're coming in. And he says, "Wait, wait, hold them off." I go, "I can't. They've asked for this meeting." So now they are panicking, and willing to do more all of a sudden. The message came out from the mayor's office that he would meet with a delegation. "Figure out who they want, how many people. He will meet with you this afternoon, but you have to clear out." So we convey the message and we negotiate all this. I don't think they trusted the mayor. I think we stayed there. The mayor said, "Okay, let's move the meeting up, get your people." So now we're helping them. "So, who are you going to get? You only get so many people." " No, no, we want more people." And it was all right there on the floor of City Hall, all this chaos.

Question:
The mayor set the limit?

Answer:
The mayor set a limit. They tried to raise the limit. They cleared the floor. I think this was a little bit of a compromise. We got a few more people in, and they made their selection and they went in. Then it was a matter of, "Let's go over the agenda. What are you going to talk about? We've got to get some framework to this. It was amazing to me.




Stephen Thom


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I got a call about a riot in a school in Long Beach. The principal says, "Steve, I need you now." I said, "I can't come now. I'm tied up." And she said, "But we've just had a riot, this racial group and that racial group fought on campus during lunch and I don't know what to do. We've suspended so many, but the students are coming back soon. We've still got a lot of tension."





Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
What kinds of cases were you mostly involved in?

Answer:
Law enforcement and corrections. But we would get involved in other kinds of situations, too, if we thought we'd be able to provide assistance. And of course, if they were willing to have us come in. But about 1972 or 1973, the axe fell and we lost a great number of staff people. Nationwide, I think we initially had roughly four hundred staff people, and we were cut down a lot. When we got chopped up, of course they went by the amount of time each person had with that agency, so I lost my position and stepped down to Conciliator. They brought my group in with the rest of the region, which, more than likely, should have been done long before. From then on, I began to get involved mostly in correctional and law enforcement kinds of problems, not only within my region but also within other regions. I sometimes would get a call from Seattle to come in and provide some kind of technical assistance to them with some of the things that they were doing. From then on, until about 1986, I feel that we did a good job in staying true to the purpose for which we were originally created. From 1986 on, as the agency became even smaller yet, my own feeling is that at that point, we got interested solely with numbers. If you, number one, just put out the numbers, and number two, your little face is out in the media, then you'll survive.




Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

When I got involved with the California Department of Corrections, he was the first fellow I went to. This happened roughly about 1973, right after I got demoted into another position at CRS because mine was done away with. There were all sorts of problems occurring in the Department of Corrections. Mind you that at the time, I think there were only about twelve or thirteen correctional institutions in California. Today I think there are about forty. They were having all sorts of problems. The state was trying to cope with the killing of a judge out in San Quinton. A great deal of turmoil was happening. I started talking to one of the wardens about what was being done to prevent this kind of violence and what he thought we might be able to do.



Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

One of the interesting things that I did was in Texas, in a really small border community. The reason I mention this is because these people had nothing. The people who were the power had nothing and the people who were concerned had even less. But at the same time, it's ironic. The president of the school board was a real redneck. All he owned was a little tiny store, and he thought he had the world wrapped around his finger, and he was married to a Mexican American, and he had her whipped around as if she was a slave. The Mexican American who convened this Mexican American group owned...well, it was really a warehouse. And in the very small border towns, warehouses tend to be huge -- they hold everything from food, frozen items, to refrigerators and TV sets, all being held there while the brokers get the stuff across to Mexico. That's not to say that you can't do a little job on the side. Well, he was the guy with the Mexican Americans, and their concerns were the usual ones. No Mexican American teachers, no coach for their basketball team, they didn't have football. Classrooms were in extremely poor condition. It was one hundred percent Mexican Americans, so you're just concerned with the Mexican American school group. In fact, the school district, the city, was maybe 96% Mexican American, the rest were all white.



Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

. We developed a report on the shootings of minorities by the LAPD. This came out of one really egregious shooting in which a black woman was shot something like 72 times because she was wielding a knife about twelve feet from the police. So they killed her. Even the Latino Police Commissioner was angry that the cops had done that, and he was an extremely conservative guy. Of course, the African American member of the commission was really mad. Out of that came the development of a Hispanic Advisory Council. We suggested that we'd get the community together, and that was fine with them.



Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

And this involved Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians from Vietnam and some of the other areas in which the United States had been involved during the war. This situation arose from a complaint on the part of the Native Americans of police abuse by some of the members of the eastern office of the Shasta County Sheriff's Department. The eastern office is located up in the mountains, about fifty miles east of Reading, and the complaints were not normal complaints or usual complaints. These were complaints where the Native Americans said that they were stopped on the road, and the excuse was that maybe a tail light was missing, and when they were stopped, the Native Americans assumed that they were going to be made fun of or abused. So, the immediate stance on the part of the Native Americans was to be very defensive. According to the Native Americans, the sheriff continued to provoke them, attempting to elicit violence on the part of the Native Americans. And of course if it worked -- if violence occurred -- then that then gave the officers the excuse to do whatever they wanted to do. That's what started it all. When I was told this by one of the members of that group, what I first did was to not only talk to him, but to call some of the folks in the surrounding communities. Prior to this thing having happened, we had talked about the possibility of developing some cooperative group with the sheriff's department, involving the minority community as well as members of the majority community.



Angel Alderete


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I've seen situations where it came to the point where Latinos and African Americans split, and this is over the goodies, as in Fresno county. It started out with a mutual concern over Fresno State University developing a community radio station. The problem was that the minority community wasn't given voice in terms of how it was going to be developed. Everybody else was given that voice. So they got together and they started raising that issue and we were called down there to help them get together with the administration. So initially the Latinos and the African Americans confronted the station with our on-site help. As things went by and the discussions went on, that administration soon saw that the African Americans had a better grasp on the politics of that situation. We also saw that the Latinos were concerned. The group was very small and so the university began to cater to the African American community. The Latinos saw this and tried to get back with the African American community, but the African American community saw what the school was doing, so they went for that. So that caused the split. In the end, nobody got anything because they were supposed to have a coalition of people being able to provide things. But since that part of the situation didn't occur, people just ran away. Eventually, when they developed that radio station, the school just went ahead and on their own, developed an advisory group and developed and hired people, but not through us and not through the original coalition. They said, "Hey, we can't work with these folks. The Latinos pulled out and so we're just left with African Americans. We're going to be accused of all sorts of things." So that's how everybody lost out.



Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Pick one case that you were involved in and sort of walk us through the stages -- how you became involved, who you talked to, what was the conflict and how was it resolved... You can choose anything.

Answer:
Why don't we concentrate on that particular area [media] now and then move forward. I still find it very interesting. At the time that I was initially contacted, CRS was going throughout the country and conducting media workshops with editors and assistant editors in both the print and the electronic media. I happened to be invited to one workshop that was conducted at the University of St. Mary's. The idea was that individuals -- minority community leaders and editors -- would sit down for a day, or a day and a half, to explore why minorities were not in the media. Also, CRS had a goal to improve the coverage of the minority community. That happened a year and a half before I was recruited. I was recruited to work out of the Dallas office and one of the areas that I covered was Denver, Colorado. Prior to my coming on board, Denver had had a similar meeting between minority organizations and the media. As a result of that meeting, the minority community organizations were able to come together and focus on the media. One of the areas the Denver community leaders focused on, or one of the targets, shall I say, was McGraw Hill. McGraw Hill, at the time, owned several television stations. I began working with the conciliators who were assigned to the Denver office, Wilbur Reed, and Manny Salinas, and with the community group and also with McGraw Hill. As a result of a series of meetings with the community group and with McGraw Hill, eventually they sat down at the table, and CRS mediated an agreement. At the time, we thought it was heaven on earth, because the total amount of money that was committed by McGraw Hill was one million dollars. Now this was 1971, and one million dollars then is a billion dollars today. McGraw Hill and the community group agreed on that amount to be spent over a five year period.




Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

But there was interest on the part of the media, particularly the electronic media. And let me back this up a little bit by saying that at the time, the FCC had changed some of its rules about license renewal. If my memory serves me correctly, it used to be that the licenses were renewed almost automatically every five years, and then it was changed to every three years; then it was changed, eventually, to every year. So part of the "bait", if you will, on the part of CRS, was that by meeting with the minority community, the electronic media would be more likely to get their license renewed. So there was that interest on the part of electronic media that did not exist on the part of the printed media. The printed media had no licensing at all.



Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Can you think of an instance, or an example that we could talk about a little bit?

Answer:
A lot of it was in Indian country, where the disputes were occurring and we would, in some cases, get requests from law enforcement or from the US Attorney's office.

Question:
Okay, well, we'll bring up other questions. I don't know whether this will jog your memory or not, but think in terms of if you were regional director now, and you heard that there was some violence happening on an Indian reservation. What role can CRS play to try to stop the violence? What do you do to try to calm things down?

Answer:
Initially we did a telephone assessment as to the nature of the violence, the nature of the dispute, certainly the parties, who are the parties, in a lot of the cases we have already established relationships with them. And in a lot of cases, we get to the scene, because we do have relationships with them and can talk to them.

Question:
With both sides?

Answer:
With both sides. Yes.




Leo Cardenas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

right before I retired, there was a NCAA dispute that initially focused on the claim that not enough minorities at that time were on full scholarships playing basketball. Well, the Black Coaches' Association found the almighty dollar, the so-called Final Four Basketball Tournament, which brings in the majority of the revenue for all college basketball programs. Because the revenue, it's TV revenue, that's what it is. Well, it so happened that one of the finalists was the University of Arkansas. In 1995, they threatened to boycott the Final Four tournament and the University of Arkansas was sure that they would be in the Final Four and eventually were. It was clear that there would be no Final Four if U of A did not participate. So when CRS finally got them to the negotiations table, you are looking at the top black coaches who are articulate and know what they're talking about, and you're looking at college presidents on the other side. This is what we've come about, that level of community. The Black Coaches' Association was saying that they were not hiring enough black coaches. By the time they got to the table, the real issue was how many Freshman individuals can you get on a team and how long can you keep them, how many can you "red shirt", and all of those complicated things that were more complicated than the general public knows about. But eventually it was the dollars: If you don't hold a Final Four tournament, you're talking about the financial life-blood of the college basketball program. You're talking about the very survival of the program. The Green Dollar-Sign Monster talks.



Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

in the JoAnn Little case there was one group that was always concerned about the amount of money -- who was spending the money, who had control of it. I had to say that the money wasn't the important thing. The thing is that we needed to see that justice prevailed in this case. If this young lady's innocent, then she need not be sent to prison. If she's guilty then perhaps you need to have money set aside for a good appellate lawyer. Because many times, our people are in jail because they don't have any money to hire a competent appellate attorney. Then there are others, who are concerned about what effect that's going to have on the community after JoAnn Little leaves. Then there are some who say, "Well, she was a prostitute, so she'd better go to jail," and we're not going to get involved in that. She was a 4th St. prostitute, she'd been in jail for this and been in jail for that. And you say, "Well, it goes beyond that." This is a young black woman, and I said, "You know it could happen to any of them." I said, "Whether she's innocent or guilty, she needs to be afforded due process in court." Then you have to tell some people, "Say now, so-and-so, that was wrong -- what you said at that meeting. It was not the time or place to say it." You get them, one by one, to do this. You don't embarrass a person before a group, because they are going to come out fighting and try to do anything they can to damage or attack your credibility.



Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Cornelia Communal living. These people were all professional people who had gone and bought this land down in Sumter County and had started teaching black people how to farm properly; how to rotate crops, the fertilizers used, the various herbicides, and how to grow hybrid corn and all of that. They also started helping them build decent homes. The reason the townspeople were objecting to it was because it was draining off all of the cheap labor. These people had still been working on those plantations down there for three dollars a day and some of them were doing share-cropping. But then came the communal people buying up all of these large tracts of land, irrigating farms and building homes. It was a self-help project; they were very progressive. These black people had never lived so well. Years before this, these white people voted that no more taxes would go into public schools. The public schools started deteriorating, so Governor Carter took it upon himself as a private citizen to sue the Sumter County School System. The leaders of the public schools were sending all their kids to these private schools and doing everything they possibly could to break the back of these black people. They didn't understand it. So now they feel threatened by this small group of white people, some of whom have advanced degrees in horticulture and agriculture.



Edward Howden


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Now we'd like you to "walk us through" one case that typified your work with CRS. Please tell us about the case, how you gained entry, and you did from that point on.

Answer:
Okay. We received a phone call one day from a woman who was the tribal chairperson of a small tribe in a southwestern state. She had found the name of the Community Relations Service in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, a document at that time that listed all kinds of services available through federal agencies. She indicated that they had some problems with two neighboring non-Indian communities, mainly with respect to water. There were some other problems with neighborly relations too, but the main issue was water supply. I indicated that we'd probably be able to come down and talk with them and explore the possibility of getting some discussions going with each of these two neighboring communities. So they invited us to come do that. We did and they expressed great interest. I explained the mediation process at some length and exactly what was involved as we saw it if they chose to have us assist in a mediation effort. They liked this idea. Part of the explanation was that I would need to get in touch with the other parties and see how they felt about it, explain the process to them and see whether they were interested -- because, of course, it's a totally voluntary process. So I got the names of key people in each of the other communities and went looking for them.




Edward Howden


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

One of the counter-grievances that the enclave community had was that there was another big spring up the canyon that the tribe was trying to develop. The enclave worried that that was going to interfere with the flow of the existing spring. Eventually, an agreement was reached that was put in writing, and that seemed to lay a foundation for a better relationship.



Edward Howden


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Did you ever bring in outside resources who might act as informal mediators or people who helped groups work better together, such as church people, for example?.

Answer:
There was a big case in Atlanta involving the Atlanta police department, the FOP (Fraternal Order of Police) which included the white officers, and the African-American Patrolmen's Association (AAPA). This was a three-way court referred case. The case was long-standing, it had been a long stalemate and hassle that the Atlanta downtown community wanted to see resolved.

Question:
What was the issue?

Answer:
There were complaints brought by the black officers about the whole hiring process and the lack of adequate representation at various levels. It had been stalemated for a long time, without any progress being made. An earlier court decision had actually frozen hiring, so the city was hurting, it needed cops! Of whatever color. Our regional director down there in Atlanta, had tried several times to get the city to vote for a try at mediation. The mayor apparently did not want to bring it to mediation and let CRS try to help resolve it.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Right, I want you to pick a case that you were personally involved in, that you can sort of walk us through your involvement. We don't have anything in mind that we want you to specifically talk about. An interesting case and something that you can give detail about. After we do this, then we're going to go back and ask more general questions. We'll end up talking about a lot of different cases, but it often helps people get to a level of detail that we're interested in.

Answer:
Among the cases that came to my mind, that I thought were significant and showed the dynamics and so on, was the Indian treaty fishing case, the first one of these that I had handled. It deals with some of the difficulties we are confronted with in being able to develop mediation. This is distinctive. It's unlike labor management. This is a characteristic of what we are sometimes involved with. Another case is one in which questionable police actions generated community response and a coalition was formed to provide the community input in the mediation, and that in turn, evolving into an ongoing entity for dispute resolution in this area. That's a criminal justice issue. The other case I referred to was a mixture of criminal justice and treaty rights. Another one would be an education case, where a school board was faced with a paralysis, a standoff, and had to act, but for legal reasons could not act because of actions taken by the community and how we were able to work through that case to resolution. One is Indian treaty rights, another is school related, the third is criminal justice issues and all three are kind of complex and they led to a long succession of developments.

Question:
Is there a fourth?

Answer:
Well, there's a half dozen here, but I think those might provide dynamics that would be of a little more interest.

Question:
I think I'd be inclined to suggest the Indian fishing rights. We've heard a little bit about that kind of thing from Ed Howden, but nobody else has talked about that. A lot of people have talked about excessive use of force. We've heard a lot of stories on that already. We haven't heard that much about education either, so you might want to touch on that. But I'm intrigued with the Indian one.

Answer:
This was about 1977 in Seattle. I received a call from a tribal attorney, for the Squackson Island Indian Tribe, saying that members of this tribe were being harassed and assaulted, and even shot at. There is a particular island, where they have treaty fishing rights. It was an usual and accustomed fishing place even though it's completely off of the reservation. But, this was a traditional area, and treaties specify that they had a right to harvest fish in such locations. As I went down and met with the attorney and tribal chairperson and the fishery's chair, I eventually came out with a long list of issues that had developed in this case. One issue was the vandalism of boats and motors, gasoline supplies, fishing equipment, and cutting of nets by local residents, especially when they were not there. The Indian tribe had to leave the equipment on the island shore while they were away. The island was all owned as private property, and most of the owners had retired. It's connected by a land bridge, to the mainland. But the Indians traveled by boat to their tribal center. Anyway, their equipment was vandalized and they were being harassed while they were there. The result was that they were reaching the point where there was arming of the waters, as they put it. Indians were bringing firearms onto their boats, weapons to protect themselves. One recent example had been that someone on land had shot at a boat and hit a mast, just above the head of one of the tribal fisherman. Another example of what had happened is that they had accessed the waterfront area of private homes and had been shouted at, ordered off of the land, stating that, "This is private property. You don't own this. This is my land. I bought this." Words to this effect. Dogs were being released to attack the Indian fishermen. These were the main issues that had been raised in that first visit and in my talking with the Indian leadership. Then I got the names of persons, as far as I could, who were the alleged perpetrators of these kinds of acts. I wanted their identification, and what they had done about these on their own.

Question:
'They had done,' meaning what the Indians had done?

Answer:
Yeah, every aspect of their involvement that I could find, plus the extent of communication with the land owners and so on. And then I went to the island and began to make contacts with people there, starting with some of the people that they had mentioned. I asked, "What is your understanding of what's going on? Why is this happening?" Why and when. They referred to the Indians trespassing on private property, refusing to leave when ordered to do so by the owners of the land. Not only had they individually suffered from this, but neighbors, they say, in this particular bay, had complained of the same thing. And there had been some shouting matches back and forth. Abusive language, dangerous precedents being established. Among the charges were, Indian fishermen set up their nets indiscriminately, wherever they wanted to. These would be float nets out in the bay. According to Coast Guard regulations, they're to be lit at all times. At night, you can't see the nets. "And last week, a man came into the bay after dark," and according to some reports, he may have been under the influence of alcohol, "and his boat hit one of the nets and the boat capsized and he drowned. And we've had enough of this." That kind of attitude.

Question:
Did you have any trouble reading credibility with the land owners when you went over there? Was there anybody who was suspicious of you, or didn't want to talk to you?

Answer:
Oh, I think everybody that I contacted initially was suspicious of me. You had a lot of conflicts on the water itself. In Puget Sound, the State Department of Fisheries had confrontations in their small boats with sport fishermen in their large, fast boats. There had been one death there. The State Department of Fisheries enforcement officer had shot and killed the owner and operator of a large cabin cruiser that was bearing down on him at a high speed, allegedly. All of this is in reaction to the boat decision. Federal Court Judge Bolt issued a landmark decision stating that Indians had a right to fishing common. Which means, they were entitled to 50/50 catch of salmon in the Puget Sound area. If the Indians are not necessarily equipped to catch as many fish or salmon as the fisherman were equipped to fish, that's too bad. They have to hold back.

Question:
The commercial fisherman had to hold back?

Answer:
Yes.

Question:
When you say 50/50, that means the commercial fisherman get 50% of the catch?

Answer:
Shall not take more than 50% of the catch.

Question:
And the Native Americans?

Answer:
If the fishermen take a certain amount, then they have to stop fishing. The Indian tribal fisherman, they did not have the equipment, the gill netters, the persaniers, or some of these very expensive ships and larger fishing boats. They couldn't acquire fish as quickly as their rights said that they could. So all that created tension. That's the background of feelings in this. But what we're talking about here is rights of access, through private property, in order for the treaty rights to be exercised. As the Decision of 1911 put it, if Indians cannot access the water to exercise their fishing rights, then their right is being denied them. Therefore, they have a common law easement through private property to get to the waterfront, and in this case, the Indians were taking that to include if there's a dock there, then they have the right to go out on that dock and set their net on the end of that dock. I think all of the landlords were white, that I know of, but some of them complained about the Indians sleeping in the boats of the landowners, which are tied up at their dock, and leaving them a mess. Littering, defecating in public, in front of school children on their way to school, catching the school bus going up the street. They complained of loud music being played on radios when they camped out.

Question:
Did you ever witness any of this?

Answer:
No. It's all he said, they said and so on.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

What's the approximate population of the island?

Answer:
I knew at the time, but maybe a thousand people. But not all were waterfront, necessarily, as you would assume.

Question:
How big of an island is this?

Answer:
About six to eight miles long and maybe one to two miles wide. One end of which is joined to the land. You know, there was a small State Park with a boat launch at one end of it. That turned out later to be a crucial role.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Yes, and then the Nesquallas had that problem over in Olympia, where there was another place on the Nesqualli River that flows on the reservation, but through privately owned property of the Mormon church. They had a number of acres right on the river that were for sportsman's events. Their people came to fish there, legally and so on, from maybe Seattle. There was also a supply center. They stockpiled supplies in a building on this property. They keep food for a year in advance. Anyway, this is where clothing was stockpiled, and poor Mormons, I gather, could come and get needed supplies. But there was a gate, which took a magnetic card for it to slide back and let you in, otherwise it was all barred off. This was a prime fishing area on the Nesqualli River. "Every time we come there, that gate's locked. And we can't get in." You can imagine. I don't remember specifics besides that. But we worked out a very simplistic approach as compared with these others. But again, we secured the recognition of the right of access through that gate, through the private property, over to the waterfront during fishing season. And of course, one magnetic card was given to the Fisheries Chairperson, and of course that card got lost and we can't get through. That's not an objective statement to make, but there were problems with keeping up with that card, and then there were some problems involving the other tribe, that we were able to help. They had treaty rights issues on another island. The teamsters union had a recreation property, a very tough outfit. We met in the National Marine Fisheries office in the Olympia area, a neutral location, non-tribal and not a teamsters union office. And again, using the basic model that we had developed on Squackson Island for this as well, that is access to this property owner and this caretaker down there who was a pretty tough person. He was retired from truck driving, I guess, to take care of this recreation property. He had been accused of not allowing tribal members to fish along their waterfront. Then there was another tribe with the same issues. One was in the town of Stillicum. They had a private park which is on the tribal land. It was on an inlet, and they had wanted it used as a custom fishing area, and this park was on a little point that had often been used for fishing, and they objected to access through their land. There was no parking here, and they built campfires where they were camping out and so on. That kind of usage that was illegal for citizens, but the Indians did use it in this way.



Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Describe a typical kind of case. You said, "The kind of thing I was getting involved in." What was that thing?

Answer:
Let me answer you with this. In 1981, it was virtually all mediation, fishing rights issues and other Indian relation issues. But one day in November of 1981, I received a phone call from the NAACP president in Spokane, and she said, "There's a picture in today's newspaper of a big cross being burned with a bunch of men in uniforms and hoods all around the cross. It says it's the Old Hinge Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It says, Aryan Nations. What's that?" I said, "Aryan what?" And I didn't know. So I go over and meet with her, and then I realize that I'm going to Coeur d'Alene to meet the undersheriff for the first time. He's looking for somebody like me, and I was looking for somebody like him. We worked very closely together.




Bob Hughes


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

So I gather you did a lot more of this sort of thing afterwards.

Answer:
Yeah, out of that model came the Interstate Task Force on Human rights that we eventually formed. Hate group activity began to manifest itself, cross-burning incidents, harassment, and organized activity, and this was before skinheads surfaced. We had Klan activity and Aryan activity and your Christian patriots and various assorted organizations that had not been present before, or known to be present. We became aware of the territorial imperative of these groups, they were organizing to form a state within a state. The Northwest Aryan Empire.

Question:
So what did these groups do to try to counter that?

Answer:
Well, every year, the World Aryan Congress met at Coeur d'Alene, out at Aryan Headquarters, seven miles North of Coeur d'Alene. You had up to three or four hundred people coming there. The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Rights, broke off from the Interstate Task Force, so you had two different groups, after a couple of years. They formed Human Rights Observances in the City Park downtown, with several thousand people in attendance, and greetings from the governors of Oregon and Washington. That was my job, to generate these. It was to say, the media was coming to cover the Aryans, that was news. So this was to say, in effect, that there are other people besides them, and we stand for human rights, fairness, and say yes to equity, and so on. But they took on a lot of different projects and programs. Then there were incidents in Coeur d'Alene, Pocatello, Boise, Portland, Seattle, and it was just cropping up all over the place. I pulled together about fourteen people from over in Spokane to sit down and consult together, these would be the NAACP regional president, Human Rights Commission Representative, and LULAC, and so on. But after we had this initial meeting, we then decided there was a need for more input. So we held a series of consultations over a year. First in Spokane, and then in Seattle, then in Portland, then in Coeur d'Alene, and then at the end of a year, formed the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment. And that has now expanded to include Colorado. Surely you know this, or do you?

Question:
I don't.

Answer:
Oh. Well it's ten years old now, the Northwest Coalition. But it has representatives from the Governors' offices from each of the five original states that we had involved, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. It's a mix of officials and community leadership. The NAACP regional offices, and somebody from an Urban League, Latino organizations, one representative from a police organization in each state, a representative of the Governor's office in each state, a Human Rights Commission representative from each state, general local coalition organizational representatives from each state. This is on the Board of Directors. And we've held a full-time staff of five people. A foundation support of 265 organizations of different kinds, ranging from the police department to state departments of education, and Diocese. The local Methodist Church on Mercer Island, was the first church. That's where I lived. The annual Methodist conference, and even the Northwest Kite-Flyers organization. You don't have to be a civil rights organization to be concerned about these things. It is 265 organizations. But it's educational programs, conferences, and there's a big annual conference held in each of the three states annually. And then smaller conferences are supported. When an incident occurs, a team will be formed to go there and respond to the problem. I was the chair of the monitoring committee, which is the main role we had, and that was to document incidents. If we could document incidents, and show by compilation of credible data, that this number of incidents had occurred in this community. Or then over to the Northwest, so many homicides, kidnapping, all of the different forms of violence. We could persuade officials and public opinion that we have a problem. And that's what we did. We were doing bias-crime data collection on a five-state basis, way before the FBI started.

Question:
We, being CRS?

Answer:
No. No. The Northwest Coalition was involved in urging National Data Collection for some time before it became mandated by Congress. In fact, I'd done that kind of work in Alabama in the 1950's, state-wide.




Ernest Jones


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Now I want you to get a little bit more specific. I want you to talk me through a case and when I ask this question I always have to laugh because we are asking for typical case but I understand with CRS there is no such thing as typical, but I want you to sort of walk me through a particular case and tell me how you became involved, who you talked to, and take me through the whole process.

Answer:
Well you want a long case, a major case, or a small case?

Question:
I want you to tell me something that you found particularly interesting or that you were particularly involved in, something that has particular meaning to you.

Answer:
Well, there are probably several dozen of those. Just within the last few years, the Summer Olympics were held in Atlanta. We knew that we were going to have to be responsive to that based partly on what happened in Los Angeles during the Olympics that were out there and the number of situations that arose that relate directly to what our mandate is to community tensions along the racial line. We knew that we were going to have to become involved and I became the leading person on that.

Question:
What were some of those problems just for the record?

Answer:
I don't even recall specifically, but there were tensions because of the impact of the Olympics on the minority communities that surrounded the area where the Olympics were taking place. People were treated, or at least there was the perception that people were treated, almost as second-class citizens because the Olympics were there. They were taking place in their neighborhood but yet they weren't allowed to do what they did normally. They weren't allowed to go into certain places and they felt that they were being treated disrespectfully because the Olympics were going on. Particularly because of the heightened security that comes along with it, there were confrontations that took place between police and minority citizens, in groups of citizens. This was a result of this massive undertaking with the high level of security and people telling people what to do. The tension was outside of what the norm was and so that's how we became aware of it. The assessment that I did took place over probably 5 or 6 months. We made sure that we had all the points of contact that were necessary. What separates this from a regular case is that instead of going into Birmingham, AL and dealing with the mayor of Birmingham or the police in Birmingham, here you've got the Olympics coming to the city of Atlanta and you've got literally every level of law enforcement involved, every level of governmental entity. So there was a massive group of people we needed to touch base with to be able to move around to be able to get things done. Part of the assessment required an extensive amount of identifying who the key leaders were in different areas and then making contact with them. That way they would know who I was and vice versa. In the Olympics you've got all these people coming from all over the world. You've got an extremely diverse cultural atmosphere and because of that you've got the potential for all kinds of conflict particularly between law enforcement and people. The police aren't running the show, but they are making sure that it flowed smoothly. The tension for conflict between police, the majority of who would be white, and people from all kinds of parts of the world was exceptionally high and so we were trying to identify how that would work and where we would plug into this. The assessment and that leads me up to, the key factor in the assessment process was to make sure that we knew where we fit and where we could best provide the kind of service that we were supposed to.




Ernest Jones


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Now think back in a case that you were actually able to bring to the table and actually mediate and I want you to walk me through that particular case because I am very interested in some of the techniques that you were able to use to get people to the table and ultimately negotiate this conflict and negotiation situation. Again it's your choice.

Answer:
Well this goes back a few years, but I will use the Louisville Police Department. The Louisville, Kentucky Police Department was sued by the NAACP alleging discrimination in its Ironed Silent Commotion Train. This was a case where the district court judge, and federal judge, asked CRS to step in. It was interesting that there were two of us co-mediating and you'll never guess the skin pigmentation of a person. Which made sense because it was a black-white issue, and so we needed a biracial team. All together there were probably, 26 or 27 individually specific issues with the officers that we were going to deal with. There were a number of parties involved. The City of Louisville, and the Louisville Police Department, and of course, the chief. As a friend of that side, we had the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) on the other side of the table we had the NAACP and they invited a legal defense party. We had the black police officers, in the Louisville Police Department that were participating also. Well anyway, that's a lot of people. It varied I'd say, but on average we probably had a dozen people working.




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
That's hard because you see we were really the center of the storm for several years. We worked with the farm workers. We had the Navajo nation. We didn't have Wounded Knee, but we had half the Indians in the country in Arizona. We were involved with the Navajos and the Hopi, although we didn't mediate that dispute directly. Nobody did. People claim credit for it, but it never got mediated. To this day it isn't mediated. It was legally settled and the old people are dying out, but it never got settled.

Question:
Did CRS consider getting in that one?

Answer:
We didn't. We were never asked to go.




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I got us involved in dealing with multiracial problems in schools. We became involved in problem solving with the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA). We worked in over 50 school districts. We put on workshops and we developed a new problem solving approach.

Question:
If we could get you to sort of expound on the school system, how did you became aware of that crisis, how did it even come to you?

Answer:
The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) had put some things together. First, Howden had gone to training with the FMCS and they were using a technique where there were chronic work stoppages. There might be labor agreements, but still there were wildcat strikes. FMCS developed this problem solving approach in which people were grouped by occupation. They would put the foremen and the managers in different groups. Initially, they set up homogeneous groups based on occupational status and they would get them to talk about problems and then they would compare results. They would see where there was consensus about what the problems in the plant were, although there was disagreement about how the problems occurred and what you did about it. For example, absenteeism. Oh yeah, this is a real problem, everyone agreed, but the workers would ascribe it to one thing, the foremen might ascribe it to something else, top management something else, middle management something else. They would get a consensus on the problem, maybe on three quarters of the problems, and then they would get mixed teams to talk about solutions. Recognizing the solution, they would then develop a work plan. That is the significant thing. It wasn't trying to change attitudes of people. We were dealing with multiracial fights at a high school in Stockton. There were at least five distinct groups at this high school. There is a substantial black population in Stockton, so there were African Americans. There were the whites, including the kids from the outlying areas, the "rednecks" if you will, who were actually different from the white kids in town. There were two Asian populations, a third-generation Chinese population (the second oldest Chinese community compared to San Francisco) and new Vietnamese. Then there were Hispanics, mostly Mexican immigrant workers, who were one step away from the fields. There were a lot of fights. Of course these kids don't see each other as human beings, they see each other as "them," the other people. I used the FMCS approach. Why don't we try to do this in the schools and we'll split them apart by race. Also, I was hearing that the Asian kids won't talk, particularly the new Asian kids. I said we'll put them in separate areas and we'll get an Asian facilitator and see if they'll talk. Same with the Hispanic kids. They won't talk. Bill Briggs was my education specialist and Ed Howden was my mediator. (There was only one mediator at that time.) I pushed this for a year. There was a black principal who finally said yes. He ultimately got fired, but he was desperate enough to do something. We went in there and we did it. I had the whites, I had the redneck kids, and by that time I was working with Vermont McKinney. Vermont had the black kids and he really made a tremendous difference.

Question:
Is he retired or still working?

Answer:
No still working. I forget who got the Hispanics, I don't remember, I don't think Angel Alderete was there. Anyway, we did it, and it was incredible. We were worried that the kids wouldn't talk. We had them in homogeneous groups the first day and the second day we put them into mixed groups.




Julian Klugman


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

When the agency decided to do mediation, nobody knew how to do it, including Ed Howden, and Howden was our mediator. I went up to Seattle, as part of our training. I had to do mediation. Bob Lamb, our regional director up in Seattle, had developed a case in Klammath Falls, Oregon, involving a tribe of Indians. I mediated this case, my first time for mediation. I went up to Klammath Falls and Bob introduced me around; they'd been waiting four months for me to come. You have to visualize Klammath Falls, it's right near Crater Lake. Originally it was all Indian land. It was a mediation case involving law enforcement, and I'd never done a mediation case.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I remember once I was responding to a beating of a Mexican guy in Texas, back in the early 80's. We set up meetings with the mayor and the police chief before there was going to be a big march through downtown to the cemetery. The mayor asked one of the local leaders, "Why do you have to have this rally? You're going to give the city a bad name, with all the media out here." The guy answered, "We didn't give the city a bad name. It's your police officers who gave the city a bad name." The mayor asked, "Why don't you work through the system?" The guy said, "Well, let us in." If he wanted them to work through the system, then he had to let them into the system. That's where I guess a lot of minorities see themselves as not being part of the system. For whatever reason. But they need to be in where decisions are being made. In essence, a lot of our work is pretty much like that leveling the playing field. Bringing them to the table where they can discuss matters on a level plain. Through us, they can get to do that. Once they're there, they take up matters themselves.

Question:
That strikes me as a real interesting way to move into the case that we were going to talk about which is the relationship between Vietnamese and the KKK. The KKK is certainly a small organization, but obviously the dominant group, and not one that necessarily needs help getting to the table.

Answer:
The issue with the Vietnamese was after the war in 1975. They came to this country, not knowing the culture, not knowing the language, and with very little resources. They were settled in Texas and other states, but they eventually migrated on their own, especially to the Texas coast. When they got there, they saw that the best way of making a living at that time was to go into the crabbing or shrimping business. The investment was very low, all you needed was a boat. So they bought these boats and after a few years, once they saw how they were made, they started making the boats themselves. They were beginning to put a lot of pressure on the local fishermen because they were disturbing their way of life. Tensions began to build. It's mostly small communities out there on the coast. In Seadrift, Texas, two Vietnamese brothers that were into crabbing were being harassed a lot by this one Anglo crabber. From what I understand, this went on for several months. Finally, they were accosted by the docks one day and severely beaten. So then they both went to their home, got some weapons, and killed the guy.

Question:
So it was the Vietnamese that killed the white guy?

Answer:
Right. In retaliation. So that started a series of events that got me involved. It was August of 1979 when the killing occurred.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The town is a small community of about a thousand people. It had about a hundred, to a hundred and fifty Vietnamese. A seafood processor had brought them from Louisiana. His buddy had told him that if he was to bring Vietnamese, they were good workers and the women were excellent at picking the meat off the crabs. They came as a group and were living in some trailers away from the main part of town. After a while, they did rent some homes. The Vietnamese are known to be very frugal, very industrious, and they saved their money that the women were making at the plant and got some boats and they themselves went into crabbing. They came from Vietnam where there are no rules or regulations about fishing. You can fish as much as you want and keep whatever you catch. Well in Texas, to preserve the industry, you can't fish at night and you have to return some stuff. Also, there are open waters and closed waters, and some bays are closed entirely. You also have state regulations and federal regulations, as well as a two hundred-mile limit into the Gulf of Mexico. The Vietnamese didn't pay too much attention to all those laws and customs and what have you. So they began getting in trouble with both the authorities and with the local fishermen. A lot of it was culture, the fact they couldn't speak the language. But they could shrimp and fish without knowing the language, so they were out there from sunup to sundown. Only hurricanes would keep them in. The long time fishermen had customs and they had been there forever. The local, long time fishermen would be there until two or three in the afternoon, then sell their catch and drink some beer and get ready for the next day. The Vietnamese wouldn't come out until sunset and they would keep almost everything, and they would eat the stuff they couldn't sell. So that caused problems. We have to understand the environment we work in, the lay of the land in a sense. The Vietnamese were very group orientated, so if one would find a good shrimp spot they would call in all the other Vietnamese, or as many as could come over, and share in the bounty as a group. The local longtime fishermen took a different philosophy. It was: you're independent, so if you found a good fishing or shrimping spot, you'd be left alone so you could benefit and be rewarded for your skill. So it would be one person benefiting whereas the Vietnamese were a group benefiting. The problem with that is that the Vietnamese were accused of disrupting the water so much that the shrimp would leave and wouldn't come back for days. So that was another source of friction.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In another community where there was a racial killing, I went to the business leaders, the chamber of commerce people, and asked, "What is this costing you?" "It's costing a lot of hotel reservations. People that were going to have conventions here have canceled. Fishing is quite popular around there, so some of the fishing tournaments have been canceled. The downtown shops are losing money because that's where some of the Klan rallies have been." It was to their self-interest to get involved, to do something about it. So going back to the self-interest, that conflict is bad business. Racism that causes conflict is bad business. And it's bad for the community business, so what I do is get to the self interest of these different elements. It would be to their self interest to get involved to fix the conflict. It's like say a hand or a body, you smash a finger, well the whole body hurts, not just the finger, the whole body needs to get involved in fixing the finger. In making it better for that one element it makes it better for everybody. Communities work in the same way.

Question:
Can you briefly tell us what the other interests were for the groups besides the businesses?

Answer:
Political leaders want to be elected and they care for the overall community. As for educators, their classes were being canceled, causing disruption in the schools, it's not good business for them, either.

Question:
Was there picketing outside of schools and businesses?

Answer:
No, but the Klan and others would have rallies in town, and it would intimidate everyone. Kids didn't want to go to school. The community organizations and clubs want peace and tranquility and they don't like violence. So everybody has a self-interest, it's just a matter of discussing it with them. I never tell anybody what to do because it could be the worst thing they could do. But I do help them analyze their situation and then they decide what to do. Then we discuss option A, B, or C. Which one has the most positives, which has the most negatives. Then they decide which option they take. There's consequences for A, B, and C. Good or bad, but there's consequences for doing nothing too.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Let me go back to the Vietnamese story. In this little fishing town, the Vietnamese were found not guilty.

Question:
Not guilty?

Answer:
Not guilty of killing this one guy. They had good lawyers. They made the case that you can defend yourself if you feel that your life is in danger. You can take life preserving measures to defend yourself, including using a weapon. The jury had to weigh the fact that, in this situation, the Vietnamese felt in imminent danger even though it was fifteen minutes later when they killed the man. They had good lawyers, and they made the case for coming back and shooting the guy. At the time, I used to have a government car. It was a brown Plymouth Horizon, little bitty car. In this little town, there's only one way in and one way out. I always used to take different streets when I was in town at night. I was cautious, in case somebody was following me. The first night I stayed at that hotel in town I had to fight the roaches and rats and what have you all night. I stayed in the next town, but I would always leave from a different direction. I used to park my car in the parking lot at City Hall, they had one big light. So after roaming around with whoever, I would come back and pick up my car, let's say 11:30 at night. The whole town was dead by then. I would open the door, lower the window, and then put the key inside and then turn it while I was still outside, if it blows up you go with it.

Question:
So you were afraid?

Answer:
Well, we all had to take precautions. We worked by ourselves most of the time. One time the committee people told me, "Hey the boys know when you're coming," meaning the Klan. I said, "Oh yeah? How do they know?" "Well, they know. And you know what they say?" "No, what do they say?" "Here comes Martinez in his Tijuana Taxi!" A lot of times, the police say, "I'm not gonna meet those people. They came to my office last week and the leaders were screaming and hollering, calling me racist and a pig and I'm not gonna stand for that." I would say, "Why don't I go back to that community group, propose to them they come meet you with a list of what they want. They want answers, but I'll have them prepare their questions beforehand. So before the meeting, you'll have all their questions and maybe something that they want you to do. You can analyze that and see how you feel, but I'm going to run the meeting. Before the meeting starts, everybody is going to agree to some ground rules. No screaming, no hollering, no insults, no nothing, I'm going to introduce the topic, I'm going to run the meeting, I'm going to manage the process. With those assurances, they're more willing to meet.




Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I was doing a court mediation case against a federal agency. I'm part of that agency, Department of Justice. It was over an action INS took in a community in apprehending day laborers, and that town's police force helped INS in conducting this action. The plaintiffs felt there were a lot of civil rights violations, such as the fourteenth amendment, first amendment, seizures laws, and all that stuff. They filed a suit in court against the Attorney General, against the Department of Justice, against that city, and against the city's police department. So the plaintiffs asked me if I would mediate it after it had gone to federal court. They all got together, and even though I work with the Department of Justice, they were asking me to mediate. I had worked with a lot of the plaintiffs before. They felt I would be fair and impartial. It's the same idea with being Hispanic, dealing with issues involving Hispanics. I'll never stop being who I am, but I will try to be as fair and as impartial as I can. To be able to help them. When I'm in town they say, "Well are you going to talk to the sheriff?" I say, "Of course." "Are you going to help him?" I say, "Of course. I've got to help the sheriff deal with you, and then help you deal with the sheriff. If I can't do that, then I don't have any business here." In this court case, once we got the judge's okay for mediation, we had a second meeting where some new lawyers came from Washington. The plaintiffs were asking for class designation and for thousands of dollars to pay for their attorneys. The government said, "No, there's not going to be a class designation and we're not going to give you money." They were asking right off the bat for about $600,000. Then said I asked the government, "If you give them $100,000, is that reasonable?" "No." "$50,000?" "No." "$25,000?" "No." "$5?" "No." "Five pennies?" "No." Nothing, zero, no pennies, nothing." So the plaintiff's attorney was there, and he said, "Okay, you're not going to give us class, you're not going to give us a penny, then we're out of here." So they just walked out. I called for a recess and a caucus. I talked to both sides about how important this was. The government wasn't going to give up any money, but what would be reasonable? What would their supervisor and the taxpayers feel was comfortable? But it became a personal matter to them about giving up anything. So now they're playing hardball. Then I talked to the plaintiffs and their party privately about their ultimate goal. Is their ultimate goal getting class and getting money, or is their ultimate goal reaching settlement on correcting the problem they say happened? What are you here for? Are you here to make money, are you here to declare that this is a class action, or are you here to get what you can get for the people you represent? I also said, "Okay, if it's critical to you, think about how much money you want. Also, why don't we put that at the back end of the discussions?" So it becomes issue number twenty instead of issue number one. That way, you all feel you've accomplished a lot if you've accomplished eighteen of the things on your list. Of all the things you really wanted, corrective action on the police department was very important, corrective action by the government. If you get that, then maybe money won't mean as much. Now you've gotten pretty much all that you wanted. And that's how we did it. It involves helping them realize what their true self-interest is. I just helped them through the process of analyzing their interests. The plaintiffs didn't get half a million dollars. That's what they felt they had spent in legal fees. As for the class, they were just defined as one. But everybody got a whole lot of what they came there for. They went to the judge and the judge gave the okay a few months later.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

in another town in Texas near Houston. There was a lot of activity over the freeing of an African American that had a death sentence for committing a crime. The black protestors and organizers out of Houston had been doing a lot of activity in support of freeing him. I'd been in this other town and I was coming back and the leader of the black organizers asked me to go with them Saturday, because they were going to have a rally and a demonstration. They were concerned about what they had heard about the Klan retaliating, and what the police might do to them. I picked up the message on my answering machine as I was coming into the office. Later, the police chief called saying, "These people are coming from Houston, there's going to be a big rally, can you help us out?" I never told them that they had each called me. I went out there. I needed to see where the march was going to be and how long they were going to stay. The blacks were meeting in an old college that used to be there during segregation days, but it wasn't a college anymore. The chief wouldn't go over there, and the leader of the black protestors would not go to the police station. They were not going to demean themselves by going over to the other's territory.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

There was a situation in Houston with the gangs. There had been a gang fight with Hispanics and the black gang leader got killed. The gang came back to this apartment complex to drive all Hispanics out of the complex. The ministers went out there and checked the whole complex. The ministers had worked the whole area and they said, "I think we just need to let the Hispanics go because they're living in too much danger. You can see the gang members patrolling the area and they all have weapons." The police had called me in on that and I went to the apartment manager. I had to convince her that maybe I could help her, but we first needed to do something. I said, "Give me five residents who care about the whole conflict. We're not going to ask them to do anything, just come to one meeting. One step at a time." Although the minister said we have to get all the Mexicans out, that won't allow us to get rid of the gangs here and the violence. This is how I finally describe it to them - the ministers, the police, everybody. "Let's say that together we decide to take one step, so now we're over here.



Efrain Martinez


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

There was a Hispanic lawyer who has since passed away, he was very active in civil rights in Texas. He was very anti- Department of Justice because he felt it wasn't doing enough. We happened to meet in a town where the issue was over a Hispanics family, a pregnant mother, a father, and two kids. They'd been run over by a truck that was being operated by a person in the army who had attended an Oktoberfest festival. This person was drunk and killed them all. The guy was found not guilty. So the Hispanic community wanted the district attorney to prosecute all of the deaths-- even the child that was unborn. The prosecutor wouldn't do it. So they asked us to help because they were going to have some demonstrations and picketing. The Hispanic lawyer showed up and he didn't want to work with us, he didn't want us involved. I sat down with him, said, "Look, you don't like the present administration, and there's some things I don't like about the administration myself. The political winds in Washington change every four years. It goes in one direction, then another, and yet the people are still here. You're still here and I'm still here, so why don't you and I work together to help these people here the best that we can help them in this current situation? Let the administration do whatever, I know you have strong feelings about that, but let's think about these people here. Let's see how you can help them and I can help them and maybe we can help them even more if we both work together." So we did that and they and the D.A. finally worked a deal where they got a new prosecutor. What can we do together, that's our position with law enforcement. With the F.B.I., local police, and others, we try to form teams or work together and not be worried about turf or who gets the credit. We're all being paid by the same people. They pay the taxes that go to the federal and local governments.



Werner Petterson


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
We know there's no such thing as a typical case, but can you think of one that typifies your work and might be particularly instructive in helping new mediators understand how you did what you did?

Answer:
I'm thinking about this and, I have a case in mind. I'll just say it was a school desegregation case and I was appointed by a federal court judge to work as a mediator in the case to help resolve the case which had been brought by plaintiffs in the city. The other side was the school district.

Question:
Would you start by telling us how you became involved, what types of things you did, how they came?

Answer:
I had read about the case for some time in the local newspaper and there was something in the articles that gave me the indication that the judge handling the case was trying to find a way to mediate it. The words were not in the article, but there was a clear indication that he wanted to find a way short of going to trial to resolve it. So I called the judge's clerk, we don't call the judge directly, but it's really a way of testing to see whether the judge was open. That way also you didn't jeopardize the judge by talking to somebody about the case without the parties being present. I called up the judge's clerk and told the clerk about CRS and asked him to share with the judge on the case the service of CRS. It seemed like less than a day when I received a call from the judge and we spoke more about it. He invited me down to the city to meet with him and with the parties' attorneys. He had made up his mind by the time I got there that he was going to appoint me to the case. So, even though there was some reluctance upon the part of the attorney for the school board about my being involved as a mediator in the case, the judge had made up his mind and he just announced that he wanted the parties to meet with me to try to mediate the case. So after we introduced ourselves, I explained to the attorneys of the parties about CRS and how we operate and about our ground rules. Then I set up a time to meet up with the parties separately at a different time.

Question:
How did you overcome the school board attorney's resistance?

Answer:
Got rid of him.

Question:
How so?

Answer:
There are times that attorneys can be very helpful in a case. At other times they can be more interested in protecting their own turf rather than working for the interest of their parties and it became clear after a while that was the case here. There were indications from the school board that they wanted to work this thing out. The attorney was being very obstinate about it and pretty hard-nosed and he'd say, "No, you should not do this." I asked the school board to select some representatives for the school district and they selected a school board member who was an attorney so that it didn't become necessary for the school board's original attorney to be involved in the mediation. This got the school board involved with a lawyer who could represent the interest of the school district and who was also a prominent lawyer in the city.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
I think the one case that comes to mind is close to home here, even though we'll talk about many others, is a shooting in 1979, where two young men died at the hands of the police department. This is the background on it: Two young men gave the finger to the officers, and they probably made a few comments as well, and the officers didn't take it lightly ,so they went after them. They stopped them, then a scuffle ensued, and during the scuffle, one of them died at around where the police cars were, and their car was stopped. The other one became frightened, obviously, and he took off and he ran across the street and the officer chose to shoot at him. They weren't under arrest, but the officer shot and killed him.




Manuel Salinas


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Question:
Moving to Salt Lake where you were involved in a mediation, who did you mediate between?

Answer:
Over there, a theater had a special run on some kind of movie. And there were a lot of Hispanics at that movie. As they came out, I guess there were some problems, maybe fighting between one another for some reason, and then the police came in with dogs. The community felt the police used excessive force. That was their thought, right off-- excessive force to put down the situation, and they called it a riot. It wasn't really a riot, because there weren't that many people, but the press picked it up as a riot, so they made it more than what it was. So when we went in, we talked to the police chief, and we tried to find out as much as we could. Then we met with some of the community leaders to find out how they viewed that situation. We were able to bring in the chief of police, the city manager, the leadership of the Hispanic community, and we met in the chief of police's office. They sat across the table, with only a few people, and they began to talk about why this was excessive force. The police said, "well this is what we did," and he explained why they did it. Ultimately, they finally agreed that the department needed to better understand how to handle a riotous conditions. They felt that there was excessive force, and the police tried to justify why they did it. Those were the problems that were surfacing, and the friction was going on. So, ultimately we decided that we did do a partial assessment. We did it, it was just a matter of talking to the chief, some of the command officers, the community, and within that we made an assessment of what the problem was, in a little more accurate, rather than emotional way. The outcome was, finally, that they felt that the university could carry on a training program for the police department. So the community contacted a Hispanic professor at the university, and he put a program together on human relations and they then presented that to the police department. And the police department, after review, accepted that. In the meantime we brought in also some consultants to assist in the training. So the university, and I think there were two people from our department that assisted too. We provided ongoing training for the police department over a period of six month's time. That's all we were able to do. The community was happy with that because they were involved in the development of the training. They thought that was something very worthwhile.




Ozell Sutton


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Answer:
There are so many kinds of cases. In some of them, you have dramatic confrontation, like we had in Memphis, for example. I was the field rep in charge of Memphis when Martin was killed. That whole crisis had evolved from January to April. I think Martin was killed on April 4th.

Question:
April 4th, yes. 1968. Let's take that case and would you walk us through that? How did you get in, what did you do? Everything.

Answer:
Right. When the sanitation workers started that protest, I was called by George Pembleton and he said, "Ozell, we want you to get to Memphis." I had read something about the conflict, and teasingly I said, "And do what?" He said, "You're the one person I'm sparing who will know what to do once you're there. So just get there." So I went to Memphis. Now this is the way you do it-- CRS first does an alert of a case. An alert simply calls attention to the fact that the problem exists. We don't even know whether it's our jurisdiction or not, but it sounds like it. And then there's some preliminary information I gather so I can alert those involved, find out where and all of this. And then there's what we call an on-site assessment. Where you go on-site and you determine surely, who the parties are in the conflict, what are the demands, what parties are blocking or refusing to yield to the demands, and as a result of that, what the problem is.

Question:
Okay, that's what I want you to walk us through. How do you know who the conflict is with? Who are the parties? What are the demands? Exactly what you said.

Answer:
Well, I knew that it was the sanitation workers. It was just a matter of finding out particularly who was leading the sanitation workers and where their leadership was coming from, who was making the decisions. I knew it was against the city, so it was just a matter of finding out what powers in the city were pulling the strings. The mayor, the city council, what part everybody was playing. You do that by just simply conferring with people. I went to the sanitation workers' leadership to find out exactly what their demands were. By this time they'd been circulated everywhere, anyway, in the newspaper and in leaflets. And I sat down with the parties to see where it is that they were. And you get some idea, in the back of your mind, what it would take to resolve the problem. Of course, they will tell you in no uncertain words. And then you go to the other side and say, "Mr. Mayor, these are demands being made by the sanitation workers. Now what is it that keeps you from agreeing to their demands? Why is it that you refuse to do this?" All of these questions are focused towards why and what your position is. The sanitation workers position was not only that they were very low paid, but they contended that they were not treated as human beings ought to be treated, and that they wanted their dues write-off. Now do you understand what I mean by dues write-off?

Question:
No, I don't.

Answer:
Well there's a union. They don't collect the money from the union members. Rather the city, or whatever they're working for, pays the union, and the city collects the money and gives it to the union, right? Or the company they're working for does this--that's what you call dues write-off. That's a withdrawal from your paycheck of the dues which is turned over to the union. The city refused to give a dues write-off because they refused to recognize the union.

Question:
Because?

Answer:
Well, that was just their attitude, to not recognize a union. They didn't want any unions there in city government.

Question:
You think it didn't have anything to do with the fact that the sanitation workers were almost exclusively black?

Answer:
Of course it did. But see, when you've got a union, one that's recognized, that caused a problem. When the company has a recognized the union, that within itself gives the members power. That gives the union bargaining rights with you, that you freely granted, right? And the relationship between you and the union becomes a bargaining thing. Well the city wasn't about to give that up, most especially to a group of black men. So the unions stepped up their protest and they moved to more than just rioting and picketing, they moved to mass demonstrations, as you remember. And the city, being opposed, and back in those days, chose to interfere with the demonstrations to just simply give the marchers pure hell. That was that kind of climate that was going on by the time we got into late February and March. And Martin, the union and the black leadership in Memphis, by this time, had joined the union in protest. The black ministers, the NAACP, and the organizations like that, had come in on the union side, so that's going on. And in order to step it up another notch, they invited Dr. King in. Just about everywhere Dr. King ever went, he was invited in. He didn't particularly start the movement. So when he came to Memphis, naturally, this further highlighted the movement. Every night they'd have this big mass meeting with eight or ten thousand people and they'd have marches every Saturday. So Dr. King would come in for that and that lifted the protest to another level. You have nine or ten thousand people in mass meetings at night, and you're having big marches on the weekend.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Although I want you to think about one particular case that typifies your work while you were at CRS, we understand there's no real "typical case".

Answer:
I think one of the most difficult situations I had the opportunity to work in was a hanging in a small western town. It was a situation where an Indian young man was hanged, and it was alleged to be suicide. The Indian community, of course, didn't believe that the death was suicide. They thought it was murder and this was typical. None of them took the position that he committed suicide, and anyone who suggested it was accused of being a liar. That's the position they took. So in the meantime, the American Indian Movement (AIM) wanted to get involved. Tensions had risen to the point where everybody brought out their guns. Arms were being flashed around in sporadic confrontations here and there, resulting in deaths. It was very tense. I arrived there in January, two weeks after the initial incident had occurred.




Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I remember one time up in Wyoming when they were having a dispute involving development money. One side was saying that they were entitled to a piece of the action as far as programs were concerned.....not cash per se, but the program. And they hadn't been involved in the past. Well, the people who had been involved all along, who ran the operation, felt that the first group wasn't entitled because it had no sort of equity in the situation. And then of course they didn't feel like discussing guidelines with people as to involvement. That took about three days of phone calls -- getting individuals from Washington involved, from the Community Action Program (CAP), getting some people from the regional CAP involved, and so forth. At that time, they didn't have a CAP representative up in Wyoming. They just had somebody come in and, like a stork, drop off a certain number of bucks in the area, and keep flying. That's how money was thrown around at the time. And whoever happened to be standing there got the money. What it boiled down to was having some regional coordinator out of Denver and Washington explain the guidelines to people by phone and let them know that others could become involved. They told them that newcomers had to come under a certain umbrella and you had to explain to each unit or segment what they could do, or how the process worked. Those are procedures-- these outsiders had to understand that they just couldn't Bogart their way in to the standing operation at the time. They had to petition their way into a situation by following prescribed procedures to become involved. And so after some doing of discussion, they kind of agreed to comply. As a matter of fact, they did comply because I knew the cousin of the lady that was involved with that. So she kind of went along with it, based on what this friend was saying to her about me, not about the program, but about me as an individual. So she began to get involved and has stayed involved for a long time.



Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

In one prison I went into, the guys wanted to bring in various contraband and stuff like that. You just say, "no," and go onto the next level and they leave you alone about that. And not only that, they respect you. They respect you as a person, and when they respect you as a person, you find that they're more willing to cooperate with you. It's just like the American Indian Movement. I think I worked with AIM more than anybody in this region. We would go in and the people knew us up-front. "This is what we can do and this is what we can't do," and most of them knew it. After you got to working with them for so long, they'd say, "Here comes Reed. Heck. We know he isn't going to do that. We're going to have to find somebody else."



Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Like in Wounded Knee, there were certain things that happened that we were blamed for. We were blamed for babysitting the Indians. We were blamed by the law enforcement and stuff like that for being babysitters and things like that. Meaning that you wanted to try to keep people from coming in and kicking their butts. It was a situation where you were here, AIM was here, and the police were there.



Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Another case involved a very big riot with black athletes at a university. Well, it was just a big fight. There were a number of fights between some students and athletes. And the issues were around a situation where some of the athletes felt that they were being pushed around by the students. The President, at least I felt the President didn't want people sitting down at the table at that time.



Will Reed


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

I was over in Oklahoma one time and the sheriff's department was beating up on every Indian they could find. But this was during some kind of Indian festival in a little town right outside of Oklahoma City. I went over there by myself and got a car and drove down to this little town. I made contacts with the person who was heading up this Indian festival deal. She began to tell me about the problems they were having. So I looked at the situation and said, "My role here would be to see if I can keep the police from beating up on the Indian people. I would go meet then with the sheriff and everybody else. And the sheriff was a black man. And he was half Indian and half black. But he was strictly for law and order. And there were a few times when Indians did get clubbed up pretty bad. A couple of them were in the hospital. I went to the hospital to visit them.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

We worked in Cairo, Illinois, which is closer to Birmingham, Alabama than Chicago. Nobody in the establishment wanted us, as there was blatant discrimination going on. The city lost every case in the courts over the years, but they dragged it out. The political establishment did everything it could to resist change. It was a black/white issue, straight up. At times there was violence, at times it was more subtle. The public officials often refused to talk to us. I remember the Chicago office of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, wanted to hold a meeting down there, so we worked with them. It was a request they made in conjunction with local black leaders and I couldn’t say no. So we scheduled a meeting, and the governor’s office sent some people in. City officials, the county officials, the sheriff’s office all refused to show up. They knew we were sitting around a table. And there I am, and there’s the Civil Rights Commission, which also has no enforcement power. The governor’s people flew in on a private plane. But the other chairs were empty because they just wouldn’t come. So no, they didn’t want us.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

It was a special project that the CRS Director put together when police were having problems with Black Panthers in the ‘70s. When police would try to serve a warrant at a Black Panthers headquarters they risked being turned away by gunfire. So we had a plan that tried to find intermediaries in these communities where perhaps someone who was trusted in that community, could help serve a warrant, so that a routine legal matter could be taken care of without police being blasted away. And in discussing this with the police chief of Richmond, California it seemed to work fine. The chief listened to us and he thanked us. He then wrote a scathing letter to Attorney General John Mitchell expressing surprise that "You would have people like this working for the Justice Department who would not have police do their required work in a required manner.”



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

There was another case, for example, involving Reggie Turner who was the police chief of Cleveland, Ohio, a black who had been a high ranking officer in Detroit. There were some community problems with the police firearms policy in Cleveland following some shooting incidents. Our only role there was to provide technical assistance, they didn’t need mediation. There was good communication between the police chief and the black leadership. What they needed were some good firearms policy models and our organization pulled together half a dozen of these, got them to all the parties so they could work together, and that empowered the community, but it also empowered police because locally they just didn’t have what was needed and we could provide them with what they needed to work together.





Silke Hansen


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

The biracial parent council we formed in South Boston did do that. That was one of the most remarkable groups of people that I have ever met. I remember the day we formed that group. The basic strategy of South Boston was, "Don't do anything that the court orders you to do." A lot of parents weren't even sending their kids to school because they were ordered to go. When the court ordered the formation of biracial parent councils, it was up to me to try to make this happen. We had a meeting, and the auditorium was packed with parents who wanted to make sure that no one would cooperate with this. So here I was, with my little briefcase, in front of an audience of a thousand, talking about the value of forming biracial parent councils. We did not have an election that night. Somehow I guess I had done enough talking and the right talking that it eventually worked. We asked people to please let me know if they would be willing to participate in something like that. And we got about half a dozen or so parents who contacted me afterwards. One of the them told me afterwards that he came because he knew that "the Justice Department" would be there, so he figured there wouldn't be any problems. When he realized that "the Justice Department" was this one lady walking in with a little briefcase, he was really upset. "What do they mean the Justice Department was going to be here what the hell is she gonna do?" he asked himself.

Question:
Are you being accurate with these numbers that there were a thousand parents there and out of them only 6 volunteered?

Answer:
Yeah, yeah.






Bob Ensley


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

Judge Pratt was a Federal District judge at that time and he ordered schools in various areas to desegregate. It was our mission to try to help in that transition.



Dick Salem


 [Full Interview] [Topic Top]

One case that I developed was a mediation at St. Cloud Reformatory for men in Minnesota. The agency started a mediation program in 1972. When civil rights protests began moving from the streets to negotiations tables, there was a need for mediators and CRS was in the vanguard of the community mediation movement.






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by Conflict Management Initiatives and the Conflict Information Consortium at the University of Colorado