MONTGOMERY, Ala., March 18--As this city moves swiftly toward a racial explosion, conflicts have arisen in every conceivable faction.
Among the civil rights advocates, sharp disagreement separates the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, and the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee, whose spokesman here is James Forman.
King is attempting to focus national attention on Selma and on the planned march for Sunday from that city to Montgomery. For this reason, SCLC has opposed all recent demonstrations in Montgomery, except for the march held yesterday.
The Rev. Andrew King Young, SCLC's executive director, told a mass meeting here last night, "I want you to take it easy on Wallace for a while, at least until Wednesday. When the marchers come to town from Selma, it's important for them to have a stable environment to come to."
But SNCC Demonstrates
SNCC, on the other hand, has led demonstrations in Montgomery every day this week. In an anguished speech after Tuesday's beatings, Forman said, "If we can't sit at the table, let's knock the f-----legs off." The SNCC demonstrations are aimed at disrupting Montgomery enough to force President Johnson to intervene.
Forman has repeatedly referred to "those crooks in the White House" and has said that Johnson is "a liar" if he does not protect Negroes from police brutality. SNCC has been sending its Northern supporters to Washington, D.C., for protests demanding federal intervention.
Law enforcement officials are also divided on tactics. On Tuesday T.H. Lackey, assistant chief of police, attempted to stop the horsemen of Sheriff Mac Sim Butler from beating and whipping civil rights workers. Since then, Lackey has told the sheriff that he doesn't want horses ever used again, stating, "personally, I don't feel like it [the violence] was necessary."
The state troopers share the sheriff's attitude toward the "beats" and "niggers." Today, when 83 pickets were loaded into police vans, Stanley ordered. "Easy now, don't hurt 'em." From the line of 130 troopers, just 15 feet away, came shouts of "Don't be gentle" and "Drop 'em."
Local Negroes are divided as well. Most have not participated in the local movement, due to fear and apathy. Those who do participate, however, seem to be disenchanted with non-violence. Twice in the past three days. Negroes have nearly assaulted police lines, but they were restrained by SNCC and SCLC leaders.
As one Negro man put it, "The people down here love King, but in a way they don't. I mean I can turn the cheek the first time, but not the second. I'm not with him all the way."