Report from the South - James Bevel
Negro demonstrations in Savannah Georgia through the months of June and July resulted in the arrest of Hosea Williams leader of the Kassam County crusade for voters on the grounds of a public order statute dating from Civil War times. Williams arrest led to intensified demonstrations and sporadic acts of violence throughout the city as reinforcements of state troopers began to arrive from all over the state and his negro bitterness swelled. The Reverend James Bevel of Birmingham fame arrived to take charge of a situation on the edge of catastrophe. His first public appearance was at a mass meeting Friday evening and followed a conclave with city and state officials. The details of which are still unknown. Reverend bevel is introduced by Reverend Andrew Young another official of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Following the speech you will hear James Bevel leading over 1000 members of the audience in the song whose side are you won.
How many of you know the gentleman I'm about to introduce to you. You heard him preach before but I want to remind the others and I want to tell you oh no you're listening or you will listen to one of the Pioneer freedom fighters and the whole 7 struggle. This is a man that comes to you with no little bit of experience because back in 1960 when the sit ins first had their beginning he was the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee group in Nashville Tennessee that the segregated the lunch counters and many of the downtown facilities in the city of Nashville. But there were many students that took part in the sit ins. Back in 1960. But after the school lunch counters would be segregated and you could go downtown and get a cup of coffee. They went on back to their flirting and their football and their studies and they forgot all
about freedom. But this young man didn't forget about freedom because he realized that even the lunch counters were open. We still didn't have enough jobs to make enough money to go get a decent sandwich but once in a while. And so the lunch count of the segregation was really just starting. This group stuck together and in 1961 when another group of people started the Freedom Rides. And you remember the Freedom Rides came down from from New York and they came on through they got as far as Aniston Alabama and then the Ku Klux Klan and the White Citizens Council or somebody over there burned down the buses. Well you'd think that would discourage people from wanting the freedom ride. But this young man and other students in Nashville Tennessee got a bus of their own and came right straight on down through Birmingham in the Montgomery and on into Jackson Mississippi.
And it was their faith in the nonviolent movement and their understanding of the fact that when God is with you in your right you don't have to worry. You can go through it if you have it took the Freedom Ride bus on into Jackson Mississippi which you see now why folks made another mistake because they arrested everybody and they made him stay around there for a trial. But while he was around I wait nowness trowe they start up another little movement in Jackson Mississippi and another one spread naan down around and in McComb Mississippi and on up into the delta of Mississippi. He finally ended up marrying another Freedom Rider and Macon Mississippi is home. And so for the last two years at least he has been working on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Mississippi. Now when folks tell you that Mississippi is bad or ain't telling you no lie.
And for a man to live in stay alive in Mississippi when he's been shot at when folks they will harass him intimidate him. You have to know what the movement is all about. Then you have to have a strong faith in God. But you see it wasn't enough to live in Mississippi because I'd say that since 1960 every significant movement across the south since 1960 James Bevel has had something to do with now I think that deserves a hand. Thank you. I was with him last summer and overnight we were just complaining that we hadn't had a vacation by three or four years because every summer when other folks go vacation it seems like we get caught up in somebody's movement. Last summer the whole month of July and all August we were together in Albany Georgia
this spring we were together in Greenwood Mississippi. Then earlier this year the summer it was largely the work of James Bevel did with the students of Birmingham Alabama to turn his whole nation out. Now I don't know whether you remember back in the early days of this movement. But you see we've come in and out. There have been several significant occasions and I think we've been around for most of them. You remember when we broke the 75 students from Birmingham up here it went around in the streets singing freedom songs. Those were some of the kids from Birmingham a thing. Thank God we've had to go back and forth to work with them because things are still going strong there and since they left here they've registered about 4000 voters and we've been working with
them why we haven't been over here with you. So what I'm trying to say is that if there's anybody anybody and this includes Martin Luther King Ralph Abernathy Roy Wilkins white walker anybody you want to name the knows what's happening in the south and that has given his life to freeing you people and me my people in me because I'm not free and I'm is ashamed to admit it in this day and age. But I'm not free. Just last Sunday my wife and two children were put out at a Holiday Inn in Atlanta because we thought it was supposed to be integrated. We are trying to go back this Sunday if we can get back in time I don't know. Thank you but I want to say to you that if anybody knows what's going on in the south and can see this whole thing in perspective all the way from New York City to Greenwood Mississippi is the Reverend James Bevel and I want you to give him arriving
right thank God. I I want to thank Andy for that. And an introduction. It's sort of like a lady who was working for a white lady. I know mate he's about 50 or 60 and she had never been married. So she went to work and was you get work a boss that says Mary said I understand you you bout to get mad. She said now I'm bound to get massive Bangon fun room.
You're so high. I don't know about all of that would end the said but in a way thank God I've got a room and have done those things and I think tonight we stand at a very crucial period in the savannah movement and I'm happy to see so many young men out so many young men because young negro men don't like to fight for freedom. But here in Savannah we have a lot of women a freedom movement and that makes us feel really good. And to see so many people out here giving them sales that time and the energy and money and the freedom to say oh this make me feel real happy to see so many people over here
and the freedom struggle. And when I see folks over here in Savannah fighting for freedom and I know it won't be long before people everywhere have their freedom. Now there are some serious problems that I want to discuss with you tonight and I want every negro in here and I know why folks here can tell cause I don't worry about them I'm talking in the NEWSROOM. I want all y'all to be quiet and think. I want every negro in here particularly to be quiet because I don't like to pussyfoot around in the town. I like to do business in the OH MY WAY. And so I don't want no talk and I don't want to go out. Not understanding what I'm saying I want you to hear everything because I believe in freedom and I think I'm good know now and I
don't plan to get my freedom and I don't suspect I'm a little that much money. So you see we don't have but a little while to do a lot of work is that right. Hi. Now something that disturbed me and that's something that I'm never disturbed by I suppose you heard about the white people in Birmingham turning don't people you heard about that when I did this to me. You had a glance you know of the city putting negroes in jail by the hundreds over in Albany Georgia you heard about that. That didn't disturb me. You heard about Medgar Evers getting shot in the back while he was going home. You heard about that didn't lead in this to me to see anything in the Citizen's Council on a man or the police department do in in his town
contrail County all state this is not the thing that disturbed me because it really doesn't matter whether the thing that this is white Negroes do this is the thing that disturbs me. When I hear white people shooting up negro I know that's that's part of that tradition. They've always shot up the right thing. Thank you and I know that I always shout up people and in fact all of their heroes the somebody who killed off a lot of people I know that. So you see that this pair of me when I heard about the city arrested Jose or William that put him in jail and then the white folks get together and go around and sign out some kind of food a lot of them don't know from 1860 right. Thank
you Eric. And put him in jail and I understand that his bond is now $30000 than by my own supposed to be a millionaire. For better understand me that don't bother me you know when they put Dr. Martin Luther King in jail in Alabama and some of the American family and locked him away from everybody else that didn't disturb me when I was over here every day they had been in jail locked up over there. But that didn't bother me but I knew that I've been was in jail in a hearing go to jail a whole day have gone to jail and I think bond to come in there you know that's all right. But there's not a thing that will make us Lou. But I'm concerned about winning and I am a palooza and I don't like for some negro in a town in a place to set the movement back. Now I understand that there are Negroes over here in Savannah Georgia who are in the process of Abalos destroying the movement. They
want to have me and I want you folks in the back to Hear Me too. Well you see you need to understand how this movement works and how it has been working for three years and you know folks you've heard negro get on at me then talk about how do you this is so good and you've never lost a patient you have heard him pray that happened. We're bringing a suit for three years. We haven't lost a case yet. We do understand that and we don't plan to lose the case because we plan to remain nonviolent. And as long as we remain nonviolent in our movement we will never move the chains. Thank you. Thanks. And there have been some people over here who got into movement our Miss stuff with something else. Some of us go out and demonstrate the show through the way that that there was
uneven going on here in Savannah. We walk the streets and we have new reason and we've done a lot of things to tell the world and to the city officials and to the power structure downtown that there is something definitely wrong here. And yes if you were trying to get out to do work that's the message we're trying to get out and that's the hope of the people marching in the first place to tell the other there's something growing in Savannah. But then when you only other hand get out and resort to the tactics of somebody from I don't know which kind of stuff you would do throwing bottles and could not folk styles and cousin and driven out. When does there when you resort to those tactics. You know know what you are doing then this is the issue and you can never you can never have a movement on non-power move when there are those of us who resort to violence because in the first place it obscure the situation and you don't know
what's going on. When I picked up the paper this morning in a manner John I don't see him now said Negro all the rioting in Savannah Georgia. I didn't say you had a nonviolent movement born in a few folks through bottom. I didn't say that. It said to me grow the right and from reading the paper after him and know we had a stick and not bottle in his hand. Don't you see. Run run to grow fruit barley in Savannah Georgia. The ending of the whole movement. Thank you thank you. Thank you. So we U.K. move like than you see in a number out of movement you can move one half of the people I've tried and the project cries and the other have a project in the belt. You can't do that you can move effectively like that in the first place when you resort to front bottoms and considered fine on the street.
You're falling directly where the city wants you that's what they want you to do when you get out here and throw bombs. You look to help and nobody but the camp and its citizens council that's exactly what they want to do because they don't want the world to know that they're discriminating against you. They want to tell the world of the reason they got the police on you because you go mad over here. Bless my soul some of us gave them such a great opportunity to take the offensive away from the movement and put the movement on the defense and have now decided on the offenses that we need a lot of policemen the coattail all these riots are negro because a few people threw bottles. Now in the first place I think you have to understand that in a nonviolent movement we never attempt to humiliate or beat in a batted down. But the whole problem the whole problem you see is the problem of hate and fear
and what we are doing in the process is trying to reconcile people. Some negro though here don't quite understand and I know it's hard know it's either the white folks because I live over in Mississippi where white folks are so mean they make these white folks look bad look Bowen's. Thanks. Do you think these white folks over here know how to beat up a nigger. Then my people over I have a letter blackjack That's right and this dignity go get elected like that. So these are not the white folks in the world over here. But I just want those of us who have been resorting to the jungle tactics to forget all about that. And that as long as that of those of us who are going to throw bottles hout in the dark and pull our policeman prolapse in people
windows and cut people to task there cannot be an effective movement here. Now I want to ask the question here do you wont to be free now in the first place and alone as there are many of us who resort to violence in the way you lessen the effect of the movement I guess you know that don't do you know the bad no that you don't know that. Well I'm telling you that that alone is you throw part of the fight are doing if this is the heart of the this is what the police department and you print right in the hands of the police department. I was in Birmingham one Saturday. About three or four o'clock in the afternoon and of about 80 degrees over the negro they've been drinking good wine and beer you know and they were standing around talking and having a good term and the police came up and decided that they were going to put
down of the negro. Well the whole point in putting dollars on a new growth was to get them to start a riot. You see and that's how they wanted to do was get the negro to riot and so they could have an excuse to be nothing to grow and that's precisely what some of the police officials want to do here is a bad thing. It is no accident that when you are marching downtown quietly that it threw tear gas in the midst of you they did that there's crowd confusion. So you can start to break and I wonder what I'm saying here that I am no coward but I am never going to let the Southern white man let me play into his hands and make me defeat my own movement and I don't think you are doing math Thank you.
Though we have the problem of violence now this that everybody here every man woman born and go has to really dedicate himself to the proposition that he's not going to have disrespect the probably our live in about a year. That's what it means and you can't go around talking about the white folks mistreating you and then you have manners treated run afoul of them. Then what are you doing what are you resorting to bad tactics and you can teach in about how to respect you by disrespecting them. That just won't work for me that everybody here must discipline himself and not only that he must let everybody around you know when a demonstration of the process but you can't sit up and think a marathon about and said I hope you get a policeman but you got to get out and tell him when you go above you have damage in this movie.
What would hold the wheels look out look like I don't know straight through and wonder what the revenue to look like out on the street throwing bottles. What doctor Dr. Martin Luther King Of The minute you go out and prove I was. And that's where the power that you see. That's what some of us need need to understand. So maybe we got some of that cleared up now. Let me go on and discuss somewhat and I want you to hear this that is the Band of Joy. Don't you have a sort of a complex situation here now how to live people who think they can't be taught. There are a lot of white people who think they all say that a lot of white people think they can I don't have the money. Now someone who's stupid enough to believe that by bringing in policeman that's to make me the most I want freedom now I would have these city officials and everybody have to know they can bring in the whole United States around me
they can bring him home hey can bring in an action film. Right. That of making a different pass the human freedom. Thank you. Thanks Brain and done done done done mapping out that map out the back you know you were going to stop demonstrating then anything else in this town that they're going to have to face up to the problem of justice and fair play. We're talking about that now in our business nor in our business and I'd like to let you know that when Hitler killed 6 million Jews in Germany he will be alone I want you to know that when the white people in this country what they are saying they will be in love. No not interested in law and order necessary. I missed it in justice and I will never let the law are supposed to
be justice for me thanks. Thank you. All right thanks a lot of white folks who go around talking about whether we need peace and quiet for a few days and I let them know that fifty eight hundred and sixty never have been where the right thank you have been amended when it didn't grow. They had the sequester. Thank you I'm going in for it when I was let in a growth and in 1950 when I went to Negril and in a few weeks ago when the Berlin had peace and quite right. Don't let anybody tell you that the white folk gotta have peace anywhere. And McCain What cause do you reckon in there for not a foolish right. Thank you
but the negroes must let them know that we are no longer going to be your slave. And there's a lot of me that simply means spending a great market street and nobody can ratchet back in the long and the negroes have to let people know that without reservation. You know I'm a Christian preacher. I seldom get to tell them get a chance to preach in churches go through just always put them out and make me put in place like this but I guess I'm still a Christian preacher. But one of the thing that disturbed me so is these Christian folks who go around telling a story about it it's a practice in the Bible about Mary and Joseph not having a place for Jesus to be born and all that. And he had to go out and get in the stable and then you hear why folks this poor little boy.
There's a finance tourism Well not a man at least had a legitimate he said his place of business was full and he could take in about anything and if you try to drive you to a man of the night a stop on our way. But I'm ok all that said vacancy because you're black and your wife can be President Barack to win and they want to win. Thanks and I say I say I say that and know that Savannah Georgia and not every White House must demonstrate now I'm not against it I think you ought to demonstrate some time on my no thanks. Thank you must have nonviolent demonstrations. I was talking to a white man in town today and he's talking about my relevant point. You see now you know
how just look a here I am being robbed of everything that's good man stealing in Alabama from ignorant people to white people are just going to go wrong going by Ferdinand million dollar need to come back from Roanoke in Mississippi. Now when how if I were going to grow going to credit food and I thought my low enough that there were no noise and I said well you know the Americans got bombs on folks for their freedom they say and he said oh yes that but that was a worse one than I thought we had to walk to the right guy. Thank you thank you and then he goes on to talk about some new bars who go on synesthesia hold up the cafe. So what saga of the Obamas that when I found out who we are I will give
him a pill and tell him to go have it Ghai. I thank what I liked about the report I got oh no no bar no one said they cut in about a time nobody said they'd dentist in about automobiles. It said they got in this neighborhood and if they didn't know just to eat and they'd heard about it. Cough but they were just out in the street making a witness against the system but they themselves were exposing themselves to do you know they want a full going about after danger and that's what we send a non-POD a movement is that I have suffered to save you not I'ma make you suffer to save yourself and this is the psychology that
the the hand that I would go through the cost to soothe you to redeem you. That is what the new growth that's what No that's what the number move in affect America. We will suffer in order to save you so we can never dissolve the mouse. Just now folks who are always talking about this real Martineau are doing down here. Well I don't think there's been a margin in this country yet our leader must a tentative deal the other day the so-called Civil Rights Bill. I got a new fight in a no civil rights bill is nothing but some food is a nothing in that bill that's going to have to grow up and jobs have Alabama Louisiana found Carol. Thank you Mr. Chairman to what he's trying to do is to come Olive Nigro to make Nigro think he looking out for their candidate look enough to know about it.
He says that you have to you know they've got one place in a B-list stance in Nevada who will go register have a sixth grade education in a credits and Jane's marriage is going to go in Mississippi in an accredited school. However when they go to correct this. So yeah the wife mostly can and he know nothing nothing about what I tell you what we can do. I tell you what we can do we can write up our own civil rights be anything we can do that and we don't take our own civil rights bill to Congress and we don't resent our own civil rights be they have seen a nickel much in em. We don't close down everything back in good industry we don't close up Washington Philadelphia and New York. There have been a march and you're walking around here grown folks over 21 got families and
Akkad stuff when I when you do the call. Thanks. Thanks man I wouldn't be so bad if that was all with Africa but that's you know a member of the credit Christian nation educated pope and told to be civil and don't stop when you tell me we don't have to get some basic things stayed in this country but we don't get in-state nonviolently. Now in a few minutes and they're going to come up and talk and can are going to come up and talk about what they got some Mr. Williams and all of that and I just want the Negroes to know here that you cannot conduct a campaign for you know advantage if you gone be bad. I want to leave that with
never a place of BNSF feel when we had folks who resorted to foul of it when the white folks who called it off we called it off because we said we can't demonstrate in balance. I wish you could read the papers all around the world today and now know why folks in Baghdad lead yet we gunna throw us down we got on now and I was in Albany Georgia when folks threw some bombs we stopped and had today the press. In Birmingham when we've resorted to violence we had to call off demonstrations but you can have a non bowel movement by people throwing money because you get these two mixed up. So don't worry about the men. Don't worry about the state troopers downtown and don't worry about the police and the jailhouse and don't worry about the people who didn't put them in our bone. Don't worry about that. But when you see minerals resorting to violence and hate you start getting hurt.
That's an important thing and that's more important than having a demonstration itself for you see let me tell you something. But no maize is worth a man if the man is right. But you see when you cross start throwing bottles and bricks and bricks and out women could bath them don't have that to do with that. And if these white folks are in Georgia you can't beat them unless God help you. That's right. Thank you. Thank God not if they knock you up in jail and and made you think of ah the nasty mean chick that you can do it on the field. You could think up a nasty mean trick that does my thoughts on the pretty departed can do with them you can think up on that nasty stuff to do so you can beat them at being a master but as one then you can beat them nerving and learn that they don't understand
that so we can't change a city here in Savannah Barbin in the first place. Dr. Martin Luther King somewhere around right now wouldn't come to Savannah but he didn't come when you have one bar. No no he can't come down here in Savannah Georgia Negro that only speech by many the way we win the World. No no can do that and I've got to tell you when I see some coward Negro out tonight he's so mean and bad he gave up a well he's coward that's why. How many thought I don't like to see some negro. In the south and throw at White those new higher than women that has never been better. How that a good thing like that and we don't need power we need men who can stand up to anything into them. That's what I like about a whole they way I'm all
the way up to the brave men see the crazy guy. Thanks where I have been CLARK Many thanks. We cannot let the cowards who went out in the dark the stronghold there we have and been caught by from one part of the people. I think we are to have a time for prayer. We need to call off and have a crab meat not pray for those who are weak and far away say I don't believe in condemning folks. I believe in praying for peace. When a man gets so weak that he have to throw bottles and stones that people need. Grandpa I want you to notice is God's movement in Albany Georgia this is GOD MOVE. You know some are I look at a lot of negroes in
Mississippi and they said you know I'm steady get enough movement and you know we don't get many folks stealing his Moon money is no good to your fight no Senate might do in a nonviolent movement. Thank Yemen now in the end somebody get killed. But I'm not because the fact that we do nonviolent because we do not people nobody get hurt too much in this movie and I will be around here for several days was. Thank you and I came in to do business. I thank God thank You know I'm a doctor and I'm not a medical doctor in some town the white folks see me pulling out my knife.
Good men operate and I'm going to like a certain I'm I don't kill anybody just trying to get a cancerous sailed out of the system in Savannah. So Savannah can only allow people my good to starve when I see us come to town. What I had done in time. We didn't come to kill Savannah we did right. We operated over there. Thank you. Thank you. We didn't come here to fight America said it we didn't come into destroying them out of business. We came in to teach me how to live in love black folks. I'm proud to be a black man you know I look around at the white folks now not hate to be white now. Thank you know Samantha now I'm still for 300 some you get caught in.
Thanks guys right. But I think what happened to us and that is if we start land stealing and finding my thing that's the worst thing can happen to us as a wife you know the band when called our heads at the pretty white folks didn't enjoy didn't stone enough and robbed and beat up enough Negroes to have to pay for Munoz and I don't want to have to pay that debt. So I don't want to have beat up white folks and throwing at them. You become worse than they are and we don't do business here in this town. That's right and a man I am in the business me and I think they don't get away. They got a few too. So then it's supposed to be mean white folks. I'm Hispanic Why don't the peanut farm and get the meat is why thinner figure they can get thought. Thank
you in a few moments. Yes you know Jar Jar Jar you haven't even given folks a test they get about 2000 or ask him Do you hate needles and they want to say yes the guy how do you know you want get the job. Thanks Stan I got new ones common in town. OK then that's not disturbing me and how they can get in go on and then go and get a book on and bring him over here making a difference. But I tell you if we remain nonviolent in Savannah we can be free and safe and nobody we can stand I can promise I don't know when and when I don't let nobody turn us around. Thank you. Thank you I'm happy to be here. We go I have to start setting up some nonviolent workshops teaching folks
about nonviolence. That's the best weapon that we can have and has the biggest master weapon out of change the whole movie structure the south in a changin and I was so happy you know when I went back to Birmingham the other day and the student brought out a report where you had registered both thousand people that's an anti the people who get dedicated to something you know a lot of Negro they get in a demonstration they want one have not been registered and you know the only way we can get folks like the minute Shantha counted out. I understand he's up for election next year right. Understanding the purdah mean of me. Yes well I understand that he ought to be somewhere around town next year. I have thanks. Thank you. I mean that a lot of folks who have not who don't want to get him out of there because we got to get
everybody registered and there are a lot of work to do here in Savannah and I just want to tell you I don't want to see no more hell Nancy. When Negroes threw in a thing the only thing I want to see and hear now is that the negro through the sound of a town counting house because they voted for some of them. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. I live in New.
Yes I did and I thank you no. I i i i i i. I i i i
i i i i i i i i i i i i i.
- Producing Organization
- KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
- Contributing Organization
- Pacifica Radio Archives (North Hollywood, California)
- AAPB ID
- In the summer of 1963, KPFA, KPFK, and WBAI scheduled regular hours for news updates "from the South" from their correspondent Dale Minor. This particular update follows an arrest in Savannah, Georgia, of civil rights activist Hosea Williams, the leader of the Chatham County Crusade for Voters, and ensuing demonstrations and violence. At a mass meeting, Rev. James Bevel of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), visiting from Mississippi, a veteran of the sit-in movement, the freedom rides, and the Birmingham campaign, speaks about the need to keep the movement non-violent and angrily castigates those who resort to violence because it endangers the movement. Bevel criticizes whites for desiring "law and order" and "peace and quiet" rather than justice and expresses disapproval of the civil rights bill that President Kennedy recently sent to Congress. Bevel is introduced by Rev. Andrew Young, another official of SCLC. Following his speech, Bevel leads the audience in the song, "Which Side Are You On?"
- Event Coverage
- Southern Christian Leadership Conference; African Americans--Civil rights--History
- Media type
Commentator: Minor, Dale
Producing Organization: KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.)
Speaker: Young, Andrew
Speaker: Bevel, James
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: 9984_D01 (Pacifica Radio Archives)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Pacifica Radio Archives
Identifier: PRA_AAPP_BB0358_James_Bevel_speech (Filename)
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- Chicago: “Report from the South - James Bevel,” 1963-08-14, Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 1, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-j09w08ws94.
- MLA: “Report from the South - James Bevel.” 1963-08-14. Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 1, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-j09w08ws94>.
- APA: Report from the South - James Bevel. Boston, MA: Pacifica Radio Archives, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-28-j09w08ws94