KPIX Eyewitness news report from April 5th 1976 in which Bayard Rustin (1912-87), civil rights activist and close assistant for A. Philip Randolph, speaks out to oppose Eldridge Cleaver's incarceration for a 1968 shoot-out with Oakland P. D. Bayard is credited as being the chief organizer of the 1963 march on Washington for jobs and freedom and also in counseling Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in techniques of nonviolent resistance. In later life he went on to advocate for gay and lesbian human rights and famously stated: "The new 'niggers' are gays ... It is in this sense that gay people are the new barometer for social change ... The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people." In this news report he discusses his contact with Cleaver and what he is doing to raise money and awareness of prison conditions: "I am now convinced that so-called shoot-out was actually instigated by the government as many of the dirty things about Watergate were ... and do not intend to stand by and see what I consider to be a fairly innocent man prosecuted for something I don't believe he's done." The TV Archive would like to thank guest-intern Siân Williams who repaired, remastered, catalogued and edited this newsfilm for the web.
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