Interview with John Conyers
QUESTION 36
INTERVIEWER:

OK, so what's happening in the mood of the country, with repression in 1972?

JOHN CONYERS:

In 1972, President Nixon had hit his stride. Ah, with ah, J. Edgar Hoover, ah, and the repression mode they were going full steam. Domestic programs had been cut back. Ah, Vietnam war protesters were being characterized as ah, unpatriotic at best, subversive at worst. The Civil Rights Movement was, ah, almost flat on its rear end. And, ah, the, the, there was a felt need among Black political leadership and those in the labor movement, intellectuals, ah, mainstream and radicals, that we come together. And for a lot of reasons, Gary was seen as the center point, the midpoint where we could all come together.

INTERVIEWER:

Hallelujah.