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Ku Klux Klan Rally Incident / Koinonia #253427

CBS Evening News for Sunday, Jul 03, 1977
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(Studio) In Plains, Georgia, Saturday night, man runs car into crowd at Ku Klux Klan meeting He's charged with 19 counts of aggravated assault.
REPORTER: Morton Dean

(Americus, Georgia) Report on incident. While Klan member Bill Wilkinson makes speech, car driver Buddy Cochran is on outside of crowd talking to another Klan member and being filmed by free lance cameraman from public TV station. [MAN - says Cochran's been around blacks too long.] [COCHRAN - says blacks equal to whites.] Mins. later Cochran rammed car into crowd and hit speaker's stand. [Police Chief Bill McCLUNG - describes scene at time of collision.] Among injured are CBS reporter Betsy Aaron and camera crew Clarence Gibbons and Ray Bribiesco. Bribiesco recorded film shown before going to hospital. Klan conts. with cross burning and says it's memorial to injured. [WILKINSON - says Klan won't be intimidated.] Sheriff Randy Howard says Cochran told him he'd been drinking and become upset at statements made. [HOWARD - relates Cochran's remarks.] Cochran is arraigned today in Americus, Georgia, before Justice of Peace John Southwell. [SOUTHWELL - notes charges.] Sheriff says Cochran shows little concern with regard to incident, which injured no Klansmen.
REPORTER: Bruce Hall

(Studio) This section of Georgia has had civil rights unrest over years Ku Klux Klan target of 1950's was commune that still exists and thrives.
REPORTER: Morton Dean

(Americus, Georgia) Report on Koinonia Village, whose partners use resources from fain and other business enterprises to fund programs for south Georgia blacks, incl. 1 where blacks can buy house on village land and pay no interest. Resident Ron Faust has Ph.D. in nuclear physics and farm coordinator Ted Swisher has degree in sociology from Princeton University [Mildred BURTON - says Koinonia has answered some of blacks' prayers.] Florence Jordan is widow of commune's founder Clarence Jordan, and aunt of President Carter's chief aide Hamilton Jordan. [Mrs. JORDAN - says trouble started when group began living as they taught.] Clarence Jordan founded group as Christian commune, intended for blacks and whites. Trouble with Klan noted. [Mrs. JORDAN - says they had to make decision to stay or leave and had no feelings to leave at all.] All who live and work here say it's because of religious beliefs. [SWISHER - says they believe large part-of problem they address results from alienation between people and between people and God.] Group has won respect of neighbors. [Americus Chamber of Commerce spokesperson Peter NOVAK - there's good relationship, but can't say if that's view of all.] Group considers setting up another communal project in town, perhaps in Americus.
REPORTER: David Dick

Dean, Morton;
Dick, David;
Hall, Bruce

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