Interview with Willie Felder
QUESTION 14
SAM POLLARD:

Facilitators, and this is the last effort. His last-ditch effort. And then he's rebuffed. And you're standing there watching part of your delegation walk out. I mean, tell me what happened, you're watching this. Your reaction to it.

WILLIE FELDER:

I, I, I, I could not believe that the, the re- the rebuffing would come so abruptly. At least, I thought we were sophisticated enough to give it consideration and buy us some time for harmony and unity's sake. But that was not in the cards and I was kind of startled at the fact that it was treated in such an abrupt manner and way. And, ah, so that, you know, it, it, although I was startled at that fact, some of us had to make some real tough decisions as to whether or not we in fact walked totally, which was 65% or better of the delegation, or for the good of the overall objective of that assembly, we stay and see it through, painfully, and some of us did that. And of course when the bulk of the Michigan delegation walked out, then the leadership of the remaining delegation changed hands into another force that were more in kind to going along with the facilitators wishes, and that's by the agenda.

SAM POLLARD:

I want to do it again. I thought this was really good, but I really need to, if you can--





SAM POLLARD:

The last day now. This is, this is it for the Michigan delegation, people who were pro-labor. What happened? What was your reaction when Coleman was rebuffed by the facilitators up on the dais?

WILLIE FELDER:

My reaction--

SAM POLLARD:

If you could give me when Coleman was--

WILLIE FELDER:

When Coleman delivered his, his speech, or his appeal, ah, it was a very, very eloquent appeal, as he is capable of doing, and it made all the sense in the world as to why we thought we ought to be included and heard, but as he gave it, and instantly after his conclusion, ah, the facilitators were, were looking and Baraka just abruptly rebuffed any appeal that had come from Coleman. And, of course, the Michigan delegation was highly incensed at that attitude and treatment toward one of the more outstanding leaders in the Michigan delegation, and so, for those who felt very strongly about that, had no recourse except to walk. And, frankly, I think that Coleman was, ah, was sort of shocked at the reaction, too, because I, I really think that he gave it his best shot and the least it warranted was some qualitative consideration, and that didn't come about. So, and I just couldn't believe my eyes, I just couldn't believe what I was witnessing there, but, and I don't know why, I should not have expected it, we'd been trying to crack it for two days and were unable to do so.

SAM POLLARD:

OK, cut.