Interview with Gordon Carey
QUESTION 4
INTERVIEWER:

COULD YOU TELL US, MAYBE GIVE US A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF WHAT A STANDARD WORKSHOP WOULD BE LIKE?

Gordon Carey:

OK, one of the workshops—we used to use a lot of socio-drama and I guess one of the best examples I could give was in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where strangely enough it wasn't college students in Chapel Hill who were sitting in, it was high school students. And every time these high school kids went out to sit-in one of the lunch counters, a bunch of white kids came around and started taunting them, and starting fights and beating up on them and some of the black kids responded. They didn't know how to cope with this. So they called me in to run a workshop, I talked with some people. And first of all I found out that they were always going to the same lunch counter at the same time. School got out at let's say 3:30, at 4:00 they'd be at the Kresge's lunch counter and at 4:00 the white kids knew to be there to, to get into a fight with them. So I simply suggested, the easiest part of the workshop and the most dramatic part really was look, let's just change our tactics. And instead of being at the Kresge's at 4:00, show up at Woolworth's at 3:30 or Woolworth's at 4:30. You got to take them by surprise. Well this was such a simple idea that it got them to thinking about other ways in which you can sort of use what Gandhi used to call moral ju-jitsu. It's the idea of getting your opponent off guard, and from there we started running workshops. We went through socio-dramas, we had some of the kids pretend that they were white hecklers and others were, you know, black students and they would start taunting and trying to fight, and we would go through the work, through the social drama a little bit. We would stop, ask questions about what had happened, evaluate it. We'd talk a little bit about the tactics, about what Gandhian tactics were about, about what non-violent action was about. The fact that it was purely a tactic. One did not have to believe in nonviolence, one did not have to be a pacifist in order to get involved in this. So it was a combination of very simple strategical planning, socio-dramas, talking with the kids, that's all it was.