Notes from meeting of Anti-Conspiracy Committee

R-1-A-20 – 20c

Meeting of the Anti-Conspiracy Committee 12/24/77

Directly after the march downtown the group met to discuss what had taken place.

The following are some of the comments which we overheard made by people on the street:

  1. Black female, bad tone: ‘Is this is Jim Jones’ group?’
  2. White vendor: ‘These people are hired.’
  3. ‘These people are fools. JJ takes all the money’
  4. ‘Why are you out here when JJ is not here?’
  5. ‘This is all you have to do is just walk?’
  6. White man at anti-smoking sign up place: ‘Does JJ smoke in public?’ Later announced to the public, ‘We are not affiliated with PT.’
  7. ‘Don’t believe it. That’s a lie. There is no conspiracy.[‘]
  8. White female: Asked twice, ‘Was the Church burned down?’ Wanted to send money. Was sympathetic.
  9. ‘JJ had to send the children some place. I think this is a shame.’
  10. ‘Where are all the kidnapped kids?’
  11. Gay man: ‘It’s not just you – it’s all minorities.’
  12. Looking like we’re crazy: ‘Is this JJ’s group?’
  13. ‘Real organized.’
  14. From a car: ‘Weirdos.’
  15. Black male wanted to send donation.
  16. Old white lady, ‘It’s true. It’s happening everywhere.’
  17. ‘This is goddamn shit.’
  18. ‘Why don’t you smile. You’re too serious.’
  19. Negative: ‘Guyana? Yeah, that’s JJ.’
  20. Hostile senior lady: ‘I don’t go with JJ.’
  21. Black man very enthused – glad to get flyer.
  22. Black man grabbed Melvin Lowery’s shoulder, wanting an explanation. Said the writing was too long to read.
  23. Conversation: ‘Who are all these people?’ ‘I don’t know but they must be right – they’re all mixed up.’
  24. ‘I read all your signs. Keep givin’ ‘em hell. You’re right.’
  25. Lady: ‘Anyone that cares that much for seniors and kids – (crying) I’m touched.’
  26. ‘I wouldn’t sign my property over to nobody.’
  27. ‘That’s PT – right on!’
  28. Some foreigners taking pictures talked to Eugene [Chaikin] who was not a spokesperson. Eugene not present to explain.
  29. Complaints heard that we were moving too fast for the people to read the signs.
  30. Overall there were a number of positive comments and smiles.

Mother gave compliments on the brochures.

Some will go back tonight and pick up the discarded literature.

Various critiques and suggestions for future marches were given.

  1. We need to spread out, stop and face the people more often.
  2. The signs should be facing both ways to identify the committee to more people at one time.
  3. Some could stand in Union Square while others circle it.
  4. Cold vibes up by Union Square caused us to leave it out for most of the march.
  5. Pace the marchers better so people can read better.
  6. Turn and face the streets.
  7. There seemed to be poorer people on Market Street.
  8. We were handicapped because of no pamphlets for ½ hour. We lost a lot of interested people.
  9. People were being approached twice with leaflets and getting hostile.
  10. Several monitors should pass the brochures to people at the head of the march, and some on the sides to those who are reading the signs with no literature in their hands.
  11. It was suggested that we concentrate on Powell and Market where there are many people congregated for the cable cars (tourists from all over the world). However, while many of these people read the signs, most of them refused the literature or discarded it. Perhaps at a crowded part of the day we could stay there for a while. Since so many religious fanatics hang out on that corner, it would be in order to make a statement to the people that the literature relates to PT and the marchers so that they do not think it is just some type of religious garbage.
  12. Monitors forgot to greet people as they were passing out the literature.
  13. Monitors with brochures should be in front because people weren’t making the connection between the literature and the marchers.
  14. No gum smacking.
  15. It was suggested that we say flat out that we are socialists. It was explained that it would be better to let them read the literature first so that they are not turned off by a term. It would be better to say that we are humanitarians and then they can read what we’re about.
  16. It was suggested that we have different groups of 7 each in different areas but it was decided that this would look like our ranks were weakened.
  17. Some marchers answered people’s questions, saying ‘This is a church.’
  18. There were no complaints heard about our having bad attitudes.
  19. We can be more friendly without looking like this is not a serious matter.
  20. Monitors should move ahead to pass leaflets to people crossing the streets at the corners.
  21. The signs are read at random and they are confusing if they are not read in sequence.
  22. Hardly anyone needed to be relieved. We have had training.
  23. We need to device [devise] a better street crossing procedure.
  24. We may need to get a permit if trafficking a crowd is a problem.
  25. It was suggested that since so much time was lost bunching up both before and after the lights in order to all cross at one time, that we take advantage of the lights. When the first group crosses, they will turn so the public can read their signs while they remain stationary waiting for the next group to cross. Meanwhile, the group waiting for the light to change would turn likewise for the public to read their signs. More people would be able to read the signs at the lights than are able to read them as we are walking.
  26. Don’t obstruct doorways of stores.
  27. The public may get mad if they have to wait for us to cross.
  28. It was suggested that we have section captions [captains], perhaps one to each group of ten people.
  29. Traffic and crowd control ideas should be turned into the coordinators or brought to the meeting on Monday night.
  30. We will march in force on Tuesday. Coordinators will meet at 6 PM on Monday. The general meeting will be at 7:30 PM Monday.