1964--Ad Hoc Committee hiring protest against the Oakland Tribune newspaper

The demonstration at the Oakland Tribune newspaper building in downtown Oakland was the last effort of the Ad Hoc Committee's campaign to win effective anti-discrimination agreements from major Bay Area employers.  The September 4, 1964 picket and sit-in at the Tribune's gates resulted in several arrests, but no agreement. 

 

By the fall of 1964, The Ad Hoc Committee had largely fallen apart, largely due to the exhaustion of the organizers and protesters after six months of non-stop activity.  William Knowland, the arch-conservative publisher of the Tribune, refused to negotiate with the Committee, standing by his shocking policy of refusing to hire blacks in any significant numbers.  At the time of the Ad Hoc protests, only 13 of the paper's 1500 employees were black.  The Tribune action was one of the first defeats for the Bay Area civil rights movement, which had previously won anti-discrimination hiring agreements from local supermarkets, banks, hotels and restaurants.

The Ad Hoc Committee demonstration at the Oakland Tribune building in downtown Oakland attracted a much smaller and different group of protesters than the Mel's Drive-ins, auto row and Sheraton Palace protests in San Francisco.  More of the Oakland protesters were working class and people of color.  The failure of the protest at the Oakland Tribune to win hiring concessions may have had something to do with the absence of sympathetic local government figures and black community support, factors which figured in the successes of the civil rights movement's actions in San  Francisco.  In addition, the Ad Hoc Committee was unable to organize a sustained campaign at the Tribune, unlike its San Francisco demonstrations.

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William Knowland, noted conservative publisher of the Oakland Tribune watches the demonstration from the sidelines.

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The anti-Ad Hoc Committee demonstrators took command of the sidewalk in front of the Tribune entrance.

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The Ad Hoc sit-down in front of the Oakland Tribune delivery truck gates.  The sit-down led to a number of arrests by Oakland Police.

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The Ad Hoc demonstration brought out the all-white Young Republicans and John Birchers, whose signs  claimed that requiring the Trib to hire more blacks would be an attack on "free enterprise" capitalism.   They got to the Trib early and commanded the entrance to the paper's offices. 

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Mike Myerson, one of the organizers of the Ad Hoc Committee to End Discrimination.

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Many of the protesters were actually people who were on the job market in Oakland.

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When the Oakland cops weren't arresting protesters, they stood around and tried to look serious.

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All right men, advance on my signal.

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The Oakland motorcycle cops looked bad-ass in their black leather jackets, black shirts and black boots.

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The motorcycle cops didn't have anything to do except pose with their Harleys.

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Armed bikers.

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Fashion, fetish or fuction?

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If they wouldn't walk to the paddy wagon, they were carried and dumped inside.  It Looks like they were confiscating the film from the newspaper photographer's Speed Graphic.

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Take a number, please

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A little backup at the meat wagon.