Interview with Ed Marciniak

How did you feel when you learned that SCLC had chosen Chicago is the first city in it's northern campaign.


Well, we had, we knew for several months that negotiations were going on with the Southern Christian Leadership Cons- ah, Conference about, ah, Martin Luther King and his, ah, friends coming to Chicago. Ah, we were, we knew also n- that they were discussing the issues, and the question of money, the question of support for, ah, and it was not until, and it, and Martin Luther King had come here several times unofficially to Chicago for meetings and so on. And so the question was when would the official arrival take place? Ah, and I think what we were basically doing is trying to prepare for his appearance, ah, and the activities that would be associated with it as well as we could. Ah, It was clear I think to us at the time that what the Chicago freedom movement wanted was a way to get a confrontation with City Hall. Ah, and our purpose was to see if we could avoid a confrontation, to diffuse any issue that might percipitate a confrontation. This, we were not Birmingham, we were not Selma, we were Chicago.** And in Chicago, you don't do it the way they do it in those southern cities in 19- in the 1960s. And consequently, what we tried to do was to figure out some way of giving Martin Luther King a, a, a victory. So our planning was what could he come to Chicago for and come out with? That was our basic strategy, to see if we could figure it out.