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Integrationists Attacked at St. Augustine Beach

June 22, 1964 - White gangs attacked Negro and white integrationists with fists and clubs twice today at a public beach in the racially torn city of St. Augustine, Fla.

The incidents at the beach occurred several hours apart and were broken up by dozens of law enforcement officers after several Negro and white integrationists had been beaten. Among those injured were a white integrationist who was clubbed on the head by an officer and a Danish television cameraman filming a documentary on the United States. One Negro boy suffered a broken finger, a Negro woman’s arm was slashed, and another suffered cuts of the head. Josea Williams of Savannah, Ga., an integration leader, said about nine persons had been taken to a hospital for treatment.

About 15 white men and youths armed with wooden clubs plunged into the surf after the integrationists when they returned to the beach following the earlier “wade-in.” Several Negroes were struck, but none appeared seriously injured.

Policemen ran into the water shouting, “Break it up! Break it up!” About five of the white assailants were arrested. One Negro and two white integrationists were also taken into custody.

About two hours earlier, 19 integrationists waded into the water and were attacked immediately by about 25 whites.

The whites chased the integrationists out of the water onto the beach.

State police arrested four Negroes and eight white integrationists. Most were charged with disturbing the peace, some with resisting arrest and disobeying a police officer.

After the first wade-in, integrationists remained on the beach for about 45 minutes, singing and chanting. Then they were ordered to leave by state police, who stood between them and the jeering, taunting whites.

As the crowd broke up, the cameraman, Poul Hansen of Copenhagen, was hit in the face by a shirtless white man, who was promptly arrested. Mr. Hansen suffered a cut under his right eye.


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