WGBH Journal; Cpac Rally
Thank you. Thank you thank you. Black students from high schools all over Boston walked out of classes today amassed at City Hall Plaza to demand security in the aftermath of the shooting of Jamaica Plain High school football player Darryl Williams. Good evening and welcome to GBH Journal I'm Amy sands. And we'll have that story along with comments from the school committees David Finnegan and interview with a federal mediator of Boston's racial disputes. And Louis Lyons right after the local news. Several hundred Boston area high school students and their parents gathered at city hall plaza at noon today for a rally against racial tension and discrimination in Boston. The protest was partly spontaneous and partly coordinated by the citizens Parents Advisory Council and involve students from Dorchester Madison Park English trade and technical high schools. Shortly before the rally the Boston School Committee voted in an emergency meeting to beef up its security measures for school sporting events. We'll have more on today's developments later in the program. At another demonstration about 25 anti-nuclear protesters picketed the State House
today angered at Governor king's decision to send Massachusetts State Police to New Hampshire for this weekend's planned attempt to occupy the Seabrook nuclear power plant. While the protest was going on two members of the Boston clamshell coalition as individuals were filing suit in federal court to bar the state from sending troopers to New Hampshire. Law enforcement agencies of the six New England states belong to a compact which pledges mutual assistance to any member state facing public safety problems. State police from Rhode Island and Connecticut are also expected to assist New Hampshire State Police at the site about two hundred fifty New Hampshire troopers will be used at the site. And Attorney General Thomas rath of New Hampshire says the state's National Guard will also be on standby duty this weekend near the nuclear plant. The king administration asked the legislature today for a free hand to negotiate the sale of the happened the Pontville state cancer hospital Human Services secretary Charles Mahoney asked a legislative committee not to attach conditions to the sale and such
conditions could depress the sale price of the hospital. The administration is seeking to close and sell the hospital because of dwindling patients at the cancer facility. Some legislators want to attach restrictions on the sale to assure that state workers can remain employed at the hospital. And in brief tonight Bruce Kimmel an executive vice president of Massachusetts Auto Dealers Association reportedly has failed to register as a lobbyist even though he has lobbied against consumer oriented auto bills on Beacon Hill. That report was published today in The Boston Herald American. Kimmel denies lobbying legislators or government officials tell officials predict a strong opposition to federal plan banning all development of a 7000 acre patch of Plymouth in order to protect endangered turtles. Scientists say the red bellied turtles live nowhere else on earth except in the 10 or 11 ponds between Route 3 and the mile stander State Forest in Plymouth. A hearing is planned on October 17th to discuss the proposal. And finally the Boston arena reportedly the oldest
covered ice hockey rink in the United States will be purchased by Northeastern University in the near future once the home of the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics. The arena will see about one million dollars go into renovations. The arena once renovated will be shared by sports teams from Northeastern and several other public and private schools. And that's the local news. Thank you.
Thank you thank. YOU THANK YOU THANK THE RALLY for down Williams had been scheduled for noon today but black high school students in Boston were too angry to wait. Walking on Washington Street downtown this morning the first thing I heard was police sirens and then a roaring which suddenly became a crowd of black students running and chanting to City Hall Plaza. They were from English and Madison trade and technical high schools and they had come to protest the fact that the three white Charles Town youths charged with Williams shooting were released on relatively low bail yesterday and to demand a guarantee of safe schools from Mayor White. Thank you. That is what it was. To make you tell me how this started. About Life. That you. Were right. We went by. They said the boy. You know wasn't going to do it but we feel that we should come out here to tell the
people what we warned you know. They let those three guys go. This should have kept them you know. We know that I mean if he was out here killing now what is it you know any better way to get. Any would. Be disappointed that you. Dislike anybody you know. He was going to get. It never ends. So we want to. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Thank. The organizers to know. That English High School just walked out. Yes. Did. You help you walking out you know like principal said we should go away. Thank you. You come down here you know and we shot some of the blacks is getting a little upset about it I was going to start a fight in the school right. So me and a couple of the girls might chime in you know this ahead in the school trying to calm them down to say that if they don't if they don't be. Invested. That we would just. We're much on if I could walk to out second. Class and.
We went. To. Trade. Some a trace came with us. The crowd got bigger. Then we went to Madison Matt Madison came with us to clog up big blue get can we get a man a semi. Then all the police started coming in every day life. So you know we had to come to me and come to the boys. Wouldn't you say. Then we got on the train and a special train was to come down here right. But all we've done here is good because you know it was a justice wasn't justice at all. The students gathered at city hall plaza and were immediately surrounded by Boston police. A bristling line of seven motorcycles plus at least five cruisers and uniforms everywhere. Why would the police and the gathering crowd of reporters and television cameras. The expectation and fear of violence was everywhere as the chants died away Stacey Valentine of the English High jumped up onto a concrete wall and pleaded with the demonstrators to stay calm. I say let me see. Oh my oh my.
But you know just like you just feel utterly cool and just let them know that we. Were proud to stand up. You know. We. Were educated. Thank you get it and chill. We want to be educate you. Just think this you know this is. A No. Bail out and yet. Can. We know you would like. To have justice we can't. Buy it. You know you wanted this. All of us are going to get me. Upset. You. Know we can't do that. Because a lot of. People.
So we're not like that you know we pay didn't we. Should. You while two or three students had gone into city hall to try and meet with Mayor White who had not come out of the building despite the student's chance. The delegates surely reemerged with Deputy Mayor Jeep Jones who promised to meet tomorrow at 4pm with the Jamaica Plain High School football team and with student representatives from each of the city's high schools one of the delegates then urged the students to go back to school with a little coaching from above. A police detective standing behind her rather than it does from Jamie and I would have to imagine they are going to meet and even JP are going to meet up and we want. To just go. See him play. About 10 o'clock at night. Right. Because it doesn't help anything we just want you guys is great everybody
says out of school every day goes on as we did today for 0 0 reasons but we can be done in every day and this is no good. The fan if. The student stayed out there though and waited for the official rally to begin at noon called by the citywide Parents Advisory Council or C-PAC the rally drew as many as 500 people. A great many of them black students and parents but also some white parents. Before the rally began C-PAC spokesperson Terry Terrelle told me that the dowel Williams shooting was the last straw in a whole series of violent racial incidents which have inflamed the black community in recent history last spring. The citywide trans advisory council on in the Justice Department sponsored a public hearing about racial incidents and that hearing brought out a whole series of incidents that happened last spring. And then just since school has started this fall they have been. But we have documented about 50 incidents that have occurred relating to kids traveling back and forth to school on buses buses being stoned assaults on the buses assaults within the
buses on just a little over a week ago a girl was hit in the head with a great piece thrown at a bus. She had five hours with the surgery that the long suffering go from Moon attack. There have been several other attacks so that I don't think that the response right now is just simply to Darla's an isolated incident but I think the minority community in particular is fed up and that they have seen a lot of incidents that have not the general public is not aware of but that the minority community is very much aware of and that minority community really is fed up. One sign at the rally read if you can protect the pope you can protect black students speakers included three ministers representatives from the Hispanic and Chinese communities and a representative of black Charlestown High School students who demanded that no more sports practices and events be played in Charlestown packs main demand at the rally. Was that a new safety and security action force be formed. We as parents. Demand.
That media can be in a safety and security action force. Which would consist of parents students manage the police and the school department officials to develop a long range goal for. Safety in this city of Boston. We want a meeting with the mayor and Ken de Mayo by. The way. See PAC 0 chairperson Hattie Dudley the C-PAC rally officially ended soon after W's speech. But the students continued to angrily mill around calling for further action. Their numbers were swelled too by students from Boston Technical High School arrive just as the rally was ending. Parents were clearly worried about controlling the crowd and police were again evident everywhere some in full riot gear. State Senator Joe Timothy was also seen in heated conversation with a large group of students. But eventually it started to rain and the crowd dispersed. Still clearly dissatisfied. Meanwhile the school committee had its emergency meeting on school safety and security this morning. Greg
Fitzgerald reports police. Department escort service is for. Boss it's one request. For. Radio State students and parents who are gathering at City Hall Plaza today one block away at the Boston School Committee headquarters. The atmosphere was a bit more serene as three school committee members and superintendent Robert Wood discussed adoption of new security measures for Boston public school sporting events. The emergency committee meeting was requested by Jamaica Plain High School students who did not feel they could participate in future sporting events unless security was increased. Superintendent wood defended the existing security at Charlestown High School where Friday's shooting incident took place and placed much of the blame for the shooting on external events outside the responsibility of the Boston Public School System. The committee did however approve additional security measures for the remaining sporting events in the school year. They include changing the location of future Charlestown High School football games and
practice games to a location outside of Charles Town making stand by school buses available for students throughout the sporting events providing escort service by Boston police 14 vans and buses providing radio equipped safety service personnel at certain events and continuing emergency medical assistance at all events. There was little debate on the additional security measures by committee members. Most of the discussion of the 30 minute session focused on the rally which was to begin outside of City Hall shortly after the meeting ended. School Committee president David Finnegan criticized the citywide Parents Advisory Council for encouraging students to leave school for the rally after the meeting I asked him why he was opposed to the rally and what role the committee would play in the aftermath of the shooting of Darryl Williams. Well I've lived in the past with the people calling students out of school for demonstrations and my experience is that they have no way of controlling what happens after the students show up. I remember a day with seven or eight thousand students on City Hall Plaza where we had a very unhappy incident for the history the city of Boston when Ted Lance Mike was injured. I remember the days when students came
to the school committee by the thousands and hundreds. And when held in check properly by the adults and one encourage them to come out. My suggestion to them has been if we're serious about calling in demonstrations do it on a Sunday afternoon I want to clock the point you were brought up here in the committee room today we're trying to provide security for athletic events. It seemed to be just really one portion of the problems that are happening the racial problems in Boston. How do you see the committee's role in trying to quell some of the disturbances that are going through a lot of the students and parents minds today. I the committee's role is similar to that of any other agency of a city government and that is the has to be one central driving force. To attack the problems of racial disharmony throughout the city. I said yesterday that you know there's a lot that needs to be done here. And what's happened through the peaceful times we've had over the past two years is we've been logged into a false sense of security to think that we really had rooted out the causes of this kind
of problem. And obviously we haven't and I think that I suggested yesterday. That there needs to be a driving force but has to be a serious one. No more committees No more blue ribbon panels to determine what the nature of it is I think the nature of it simply is we cannot allow people to be demeaned. We cannot allow people who are in public schools to be treated as second class citizens. And that's a common event in this city. Through statements of public officials. We cannot allow. Racial prejudice too to exist in our own lives on the lives of others without at least making a comment on it. And those are the kinds of things that have to be done. It's an individual and yet a collective sense. That we as a community have to come to grips with the fact that we have difficult problems of a racial nature in the city of Boston in only very serious kinds of kind. You say a cam cannot allow it to continue without committees and that kind of thing. How do you stop it. First I guess how do you stop it. You begin to stop it by indicating that those who would engage in inflammatory
kinds of conduct should be punished immediately. Any question about that. Secondly. I think that one of the crucial items will be to begin a as a as a city to to utilize you know the resources that we do have to try to promote the kind of racial harmony we ought to have across the city and that means we're going to need the academic community the culture community the business community in the in the community politic. To demonstrate that we're serious about this kind amount of Boston School Committee president David Finnegan the school committee is not the only organization concerned about security for the city's 60000 students has a vision of the U.S. Justice Department has its own recommendations as we hear in this report from Marshall hurt the community relations service is actually a federal organization a branch of the Justice Department which acts as a mediator in local race related issues. In Boston the group is most widely known for its work during the early years of school desegregation. Since then the CRF has played an active role in dealing with such issues as housing and
police community interaction. Last Friday's shooting incident however has focused the group's attention. It is now occupied primarily in trying to ease the tension which has grown in both the city and in the city's public schools. That according to Martin Walsh director of the community relations service. The local level we have been working with the police department and the school official and prepared for the opening of class. And so far yes. But safety and security how should they be undertaken. What could be done in order to make sure. That that's the motto placed in security protection for black and white students. Second they've been working with a parent council a citywide turned advisory council of local council on addressing some of their concerns and locations making sure that the police department and the school officials understand that the black and white parents are concerned about what the students reactions are what can be done.
There's even a sign our people to local high schools to meet with the principals and headmaster to express our concern and to see what help we could be in the individual schools on upgrading some of their plane in preparation to deal with some of these problems. Walsh is optimistic that time in the efforts of community groups will serve to ease the tension in the city. For the moment however there is little doubt about the mood which currently prevails. Community is very tense. Parents are concerned some parents have kept their children who are late from school on account of their. But to make sure that by that they were going to be problems. Again each day goes on in so far as the expression of concern and the type of security that's in the schools the parents be more willing to send their children back to school. I see also the concern about safety and security. There is a
real expression of frustration and anger at the racial climate in Boston but the distance in the south is strictly racial or not it is. It comes in the midst of a growing amount of number of racial problems in Boston. In event like this a crisis like this can serve in as an opportunity to try to address a problem which was there and not recognize such. And that's what I hope again that the fact will be it will be addressed as an opportunity to address the pervasive racial problems in Boston. Martin Walsh director of the community relations service GBH general. This is Marcia. Louis Lyons is next with a look at the varied history of newspaper reporting.
President Carter wrote Senator Kennedy that the press committed a gross distortion in suggesting that he referred to Chappaquiddick when he said that he had panicked in a crisis. Politicians have better lay blame the press for their statements or actions that prove embarrassing but distortions conscious or not are frequent enough to make the press a safe target. When I have to newspaper job to work in Harvard president Conan would sometimes ask me to look over a planned speech. The thing is to say there are no headlines in it he said he meant of course to see there was nothing that could be pulled out of context to distort the meaning of the hall. This was a caution and skepticism of the scientist about the imprecise craft of the press. A conscientious editor wants told me that the great part of all complained to his paper arose from headlines. Not all reporters are headline hunters but the mere act of picking out the most arresting detail to lead the article then focusing a headline on that dramatizes the report. Its purpose
is to excite interest. The front page headline is the paper's sales pitch. Front page headlines were a late development in the evolution of the newspaper. In only a time the outside pages were occupied wholly by advertising putting the news inside considerably moderated the chance of sensational appeal much later when the news had emerged on the front page headlines but only labels the election the war the president's address and conservatively managed newspapers this form lasted well into the 1900s. Sensationalism did not wait for William Randolph Hearst but the Hearst papers began at the turn of the century gave it a glaring new dimension. Headlines screamed in his wall with the Pierrots for circulation in New York. Yet there was nothing much to scream about. More was created. President Carter's charges that press treatment of his panic speech bordered on fabrication were to describe much that then was sold as news fabrications of the Hearst papers.
Well widely believed to have brought on the Spanish-American War. Sensationalism found a new low in the flamboyant concoctions of the tabloids in the 1920s. That was the low point in journalism since then there's been a long slow rise in responsible reporting and objective treatment of news. The character of journalism was responding to a changing social environment. Readers grew more sophisticated reporters or better educated first radio then the news magazines. Opening new outlets for news made it harder for newspapers to censor or suppress reports expanding global communications increase the volume and complexity of news beyond the capacity of local editors to shape it to any policy. Moreover the new problem was to present the news in depth to make it mean something interpretive news became a new term. It was first approach to middle age. The New York Times put labels news analysis on political articles by James Reston
and the informing Labor reports of Abe Raskin as readers found such news background informing and interesting the labels would drop specialisation and news reporting on science labor medicine education etc. require that reporters be accorded more elbow room in their writing. Interestingly the coming of the syndicated column was a key factor in opening up reporting the special immunity that Walter Lippmann eminence conferred on his column. The first to be nationally syndicated establish the climate for other columns and gradually affected on newspaper writing the columns develop constituencies of their own their various viewpoints replaced the lost diversity of one newspaper towns the newspaper had no obligation to print every day's column but to admit one occasion readers comment and curiosity when the Republican Herald Tribune or 1940 dropped out a column of Dorothy Thompson's for switching her support to FDR from
Wilkie that became a political news item itself when stuffy waters boasted to his Minneapolis Tribune staff that he could cut even a Lippmann column. His paranoia for brevity led to his most valued political reporter quoting the paper with the posse and shot. You can't do it with asterisks. Kind of a comics absolutism on a Chicago Tribune was sustained by using no outside column the very definition of news has become more flexible and open society to some editors It embraces anything that's interesting including any point of view that makes the reader the final judge of what's a fair report. Increasingly his judgement is invited on the op ed by a commentator Louis Lyons. That's to be a channel for this evening tonight show's producer the collective labors of just about everyone
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