Interview with Albert Turner
QUESTION 6
INTERVIEWER:

YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THIS ORGANIZATION—VOTER REGISTRATION? SAID THAT YOU WERE REGISTERED… WE WERE JUST ABOUT TO GET TO WHEN YOU STARTED THE DEMONSTRATIONS HERE, THE BIG DEMONSTRATIONS HERE…

Albert Turner:

Okay. Yeah, alright. I remember now. I think we were talking about how did the movement start. Okay. Um… as I was sayin' what had really happened here, uh, we had had some, some uh people from SNCC to come in. A young man, I can't remember his name, had been here roughly a month or two in the fall of the year. who had worked with us and some of the students. And finally he had gotten a bunch of students with enough nerve to go and uh, test the lunch counter downtown uh, uh to try to get a coke. And it was about thirteen of them went in that afternoon and uh, they was arrested. And uh, all of us then became kind of furious at that point uh, because they was arrested and the way that was handled, for nothing. And it was uh, at the same time we was beaten almost nightly at that time trying to organize ourselves to get registered. But after they was arrested that was the beginning of what we call our direct action program here. Uh, and after we began it, uh, SCLC, at that time was already in Selma, working. And they were spreading sort of the small counties. They decided this part was a good one to come to and they sent some staff here to really do what we call a massive organization for us because we had really some very serious roots into voter registration. We had sued the government and had several lawsuits and had won. And it was working very officiously at that point. So the first Monday in February was registration day and we took about three hundred people there on that day and we decided that we were going and stay in the courthouse until we got registered. And uh, of course we was arrested. And I was put in jail that day and roughly everybody who was there went to jail with us. From that point uh, the next day we insisted that, that everybody go to jail and uh, they arrested about five hundred the next day and then they got up to about uh…