The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 425
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The Wiley-Bishop Student Movement
Believing they had violated no law and anticipating future sit-ins and,
therefore, arrests, demonstration leaders contacted Dallas attorney C. B.
BunkleyJr. Bunkley arrived in Marshall the following morning, Tuesday,
March 28, strictly in the capacity of an independent attorney. Each of
the arrested participants, in addition to another one hundred students,
signed an employment contract, a prerequisite for all of Bunkley's
clients.19 Later that night, Joel Rucker, representing the Wiley-Bishop
Student Movement, sent a letter formalizing the request for Bunkley to
serve as legal counsel for the entire movement, as well as seeking sup-
port from the Dallas NAACP.20 With a safety net of sorts in place, blue-
prints for the next day's demonstrations were laid out.
Harry McCormick, staff writer for the Dallas Morning News, added a
new dynamic to the demonstrations when he broke an important story
in Tuesday's edition. Tipped off by Harrison County deputy sheriff M. R.
Rippey, McCormick exposed Prof. Doxie Wilkerson's clandestine life as
a communist prior to his arrival in Marshall in 1959. Wilkerson, a mem-
ber of the Communist Party of America (CPA) from 1943 to 1957, had
taught at the communist-affiliated Jefferson School of Social Sciences in
New York for several years. He also served as chairman of education for
the CPA for several years and had testified in the 1949 trial of accused
communist William Z. Foster and before the House Committee on Un-
Wednesday, March 30, proved the turning point in the Marshall sit-ins,
catapulting the hitherto uneventful demonstrations onto the national
stage. At 12:30 P.M. demonstrators began arriving at the same three
lunch counters, except this time in pairs of male and female students.
Some, including Bishop leader James Sweet, felt anxious about the
prospect of protecting female participants such as his girlfriend, Dorothy
Anderson, but acknowledged their right to demonstrate nonetheless.
Managers of each facility closed their doors, and police arrested twenty
protesters and escorted them to the county courthouse through mostly
gawking but occasionally spitting and cursing white bystanders.22
District Attorney Allen charged the demonstrators with unlawful
assembly, Article 439 of the Texas Penal Code. The state statute defined
unlawful assembly as a meeting of three or more people with intent to
aid each other to deprive a person from pursuing any labor, occupation,
or employment. Although the Texas Legislature passed the statute to
"Affidavit of C. B. Bunkley, Aug. 29, 1961, State of Texas v. NAACP Case Records.
"Joel Rucker to C. B. Bunkley, Mar. 29, 1960, letter, State of Texas v. NAACP Case Records.
Dallas Mornzng News, Apr. 29, 1960.
22 Marshall News Messenger, Mar. 30, 1960; James Sweet to Donald Seals Jr., Aug. 14, 2001, tele-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/493/: accessed November 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.