Interview with Albert Turner


Albert Turner:

Yeah, first, the first Monday in February uh, 1965 was our, was voter registration day. And of course we called this D-Day. We had intended that we had no longer, no longer that we planned to go through the jive of passing no tests so we was just going down and uh, have direct action until we got the right to vote. And we wouldn't leave the courthouse that day, all of us stayed in the court house, we lined up, and we just wouldn't leave and uh, and we stayed in line there all day long. So finally they arrested us, really. And uh put us in jail. From that point we had a mass jail-in at, that culminated in some like about two thousand people in this county were being arrested. And uh, they finally had to turn us all out because they had us in jail anywhere they could put folk in jail. And it got to be a spontaneous thing where all the counties started going to jail around here, too. And everybody had all of the jails filled being aware people's in a pretty bad shape. Uh, after that point we, you know, kind of got… madder and madder whatever you want to say and then the tempo picked up more and more. And uh, about seventeen days later, uh Jimmy Willow was killed but uh, between that date, the first Monday, which was somewhere around the first of February and the seventeenth or eighteenth when he really was shot, we had really been demonstrating all day long, everyday. And uh, finally this time it even, we had decided to go around the clock. We was going to demonstrate day and night. And uh, the police they missed it, they had no… they had no alternative, they didn't know nothing else they could do, Uh, because once they arrested us, all the children in school went to jail and everything. And uh that didn't stop nothing. Every time they would do something, we'd just get worse and worse, I mean we would do more and more. So they decided that they had to kill somebody to uh, to see if they couldn't uh, couldn't stop us. And um, they came to Marion, on February the eighteenth, uh about to kill somebody. They didn't really care who. Uh, they actually came looking for C. T. Vivian, to be honest with you. They had planned to kill C.T. the story goes. I can't prove this. But uh, C.T. spoke to us that night and uh, he got the word that they were looking for him and it kindof flipped him out. So they looked all in the funeral home and everywhere trying to find C.T. Went in caskets and everywhere. But they couldn't find C.T. but they had to have somebody and uh they didn't care too much about who they killed. Jimmy was not uh, anything special in the sense of the word. It was just a black man was going to be killed for the purpose of frightening us and trying to stop us. And many people… (CAR NOISE)…