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Just about time we'd nod off and sleep, they would come in
there with that form of harassment. They would come in and move us again.
And they would take shifts. And they'd shift the police just to harass
us. And to torture us. And they would keep us up all night, and then we'd
be trying to sleep in the day or take a little nap, they would move us
and then they'd spray water. They would say we were filthy and all that
kind of stuff and they, you know, bring in that disinfectant, I guess that's
the reason I can't stand it now. It would get all in your eyes, you know.
They would put it in there, and just empty it all down and then they would
just spray with water and have it running, and it would get all on us and
everything; we tried to get out of the way. Then if you get too far out
of the way, then they are standing there with a stick and jooging you.
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Total time: 1 minute, 52 seconds
One of the things that happened also was they was moving us around,
and this woman just refused to move, she said she just ain't going to move
no more. The thing that happened that day was that they grabbed this woman,
this is a big woman. And they was going to drag her, and she reached up
and grabbed this man between the legs and caught hold of his testicles,
and they call him Red. This was the name of the policeman. I will never
forget that incident, and Red throwed up both hands and lost his stick;
she took his gun, everything, Red give it up, cause she got hold of his
testicles, and then we all went to hollering and laughing, cause we couldn't
do anything else, and he was trying to scream; the man couldn't say nothing;
he was just in a mess, but Red had harassed this woman till she couldn't
take no more; he was sort of no choice. So we went to calling him Red.
Everywhere Red is today, he had truly been squeezed very tightly, you know.
And so Red was laid out; he buckled down and went to his knees. And by
that time another policeman had checked. You know, they was all out, they
went to find, like I say we had made a circle and Red was in the middle,
so they missed Red, you see. And it was hurting Red so bad, he couldn't
even walk. Red went down and the police had moved in. And they moved in
and cocked their guns and I says, you know, I couldn't talk.
-- Unita Blackwell is a Lula, Mississippi, native who became
a SNCC field worker in 1964. LIke many other activists, she suffered intimidation,
harassment, and incarceration. She served as a delegate for the MFDP at
the 1964 Democratic National Convention. In 1977, Ms. Blackwell became
the mayor of the Issaquena County community of Mayersville.