In this WSB newsfilm clip from October 8, 1969, leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society speak against candidates for mayor in the election in Atlanta, Georgia.
The clip begins with three white men sitting at a table under bright lights for the press conference. Reporters sit in the audience and take notes during the press conference. The man in the middle begins speaking. He asserts that the police, courts, and elections serve the needs of the rich, not the needs of the masses. He condemns mayoral candidate Rodney Cook, who he claims is supported by the Bank, for announcing plans to suppress the Students for a Democratic Society. The speaker continues by declaring that people in the country are becoming aware of these divisive political tactics and will no longer allow the rich such control and pwoer. The young man also believes that the country will support the aims of the youth movement and will "stop listening to the likes of men like Rodney Cook." At one point, the camera focuses on a button pinned on the young man's shirt that depicts a raised fist.
After a break in the clip, a female reporter asks the students if they will support the candidacy of Sam Massell, Cook's opponent in the run-off election. The student denies that they will be supporting either candidate. He claims that there is little difference between the two candidates as they both serve only the interests of the business community. Another reporter asks a question that is not completely recorded. The student replies that the Students for a Democratic Society will not be running candidates in upcoming elections. He explains that the organization believes the way to bring change is to build a movement among the working-class people in the country who will fight against businesses.
Students for a Democratic Society was a youth-led movement in the 1960s that worked for participatory democracy and student power through direct action. On the eve of the 1969 mayoral election in Atlanta, Georgia, the group held a press conference to denounce the candidates and the election. Candidate Sam Massell won the election becoming the first Jewish mayor of Atlanta. Maynard Jackson won the election for vice-mayor and four years later became the first African American mayor of Atlanta.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.