Interview with James Forman
QUESTION 11
INTERVIEWER:

LET MET BACK UP, THAT'S VERY INTERESTING AND I'M, AND I'M HAPPY FOR THAT RESPONSE. PRE ‘65 THE LAWSUITS THAT WERE, THAT WERE UM GOING ON FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT? WERE THEY DOING ANYTHING?

James Forman:

Well, they weren't, they hadn't been decided. I mean we were laying a trap, I mean, I mean we were very conscious about what we were doing in Selma, Alabama, we knew when we went on the federal courthouse, with signs saying register to vote and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation wouldn't protect us that this was further ammunition for a suit, to make sure that people got their rights, because the federal law said that anybody who was registering to vote, or somebody who was assisting someone to register to vote, should have or had to have the protection of the federal government so we were trying to get the government to enforce that. And in order to do that we had you know it took about two or three years, and so the fifth circuit court of appeals handed down a lot of injunctions saying that the government had to enforce you know the civil rights laws and that, that began to open up voting all throughout the south. And part of it of course you know you have to give credit to the Selma to Montgomery march which we participated in but a lot of it was this back up these federal suits that were in preparation for some 2 or 3 years.