p. 14




Status: Complete

January 4, 1968

Mr. M. Anderson
3130 North 5th Street
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53212

Dear Mr. Anderson:

Thank you so much for your sincere expression of
concern with our tactics in the struggle for meaningful fair housing
legislation. I am sure that you will agree that our objectives
are fair and just, but I do want to examine, with you, the basis
for the strategies we have chosen to employ to achieve an effective

The Constitution of the United States guarantees to
everyone certain rights, among them freedom of speech and the
allied right to "peaceful assembly and protest." Throughout
history, these rights have been exercised in various ways by many
groups of people. Exercised by ethnic groups it is called
nationalism; in government it is lobbying or filibuster; among power
groups it goes by the name of civil disobedience , protest rallies,
marches, demonstrations, and boycotts; labor unions call it picketing;
and when Negroes or other minority groups use it, it is the "civil
rights movement," which is evidenced in Milwaukee by the fair housing

When the right of peaceful assembly and protest is
utilized, it expresses disagreement with the status quo, visibly
affirms the feelings of the people involved, and serves as a means
by which a minority can make itself felt by the majority. It is
a very effective and legitimate means of agitating for change.
Consequently, whenever it is utilized, and especially when effective,
it is likely to lead to dissension, and a certain amount of social
unrest. This is, I feel, a very healthy thing; it is a fact of life
that meaningful changes are not easily made ... without agitation
they might not be made at all.

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