Interview with Jan Robertson
QUESTION 17
INTERVIEWER:

DO YOU THINK THE FEELING WAS, WELL IF WE CAN JUST SHOW THAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT. MAYBE THE LAWYERS CAN'T STOP THIS, MAYBE THE COURTS CAN'T STOP IT, BUT WE CAN STOP IT.

Jan Robertson:

I don't think there was any reason, that implies a reasoning, uh you know, starting at, you know one premise and reaching a conclusion. People were reacting with emotion. They came, they saw things had been building up. You know we'd expect something to happen and then nothing happened and as I said I think they had been pumped up at the football game. Uh, they came, they saw the lyceum surrounded by in, in a form of uniform. Um, but still things still didn't get extremely ugly until they brought in some reinforcements. Some men in military uniforms and one of the trucks was driven by a black man. And people started saying hey, it's Meredith. They're sneaking him in, they're disguising him and uh then things really got ugly. There were Molotov coctails thrown. There were uh, the mood of the crowd really changed. Uh, it was shortly after that that the first barrage of tear gas was fired. Uh, had I been in the position of the marshals I probably would have fired much sooner, I mean things were really, it was very frightening. There had been students, some student leaders who had tried to talk to people and had, and a lot of students had gone back to their dormitories, but uh, the highway patrol left. Before they left I went up to a highway patrolman, I saw a man on a building adjacent to the lyceum on the roof and I said, there's a man up there with a gun, don't you think you should do something about it and he said oh, don't you trouble yourself little lady. And that was what you know, that was the attitude of the law enforcement officers. I think we had three or four campus policemen on the whole uh, staff and they did what they could, but they were completely outnumbered. I'm sorry, [overlap] I went too much

FILM PRODUCTION TEAM:

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