Civil Rights Movement
Following his defense of the Mississippi freedom riders, the FBI began to closely monitor William Kunstler's actions and associations. Numerous documents monitor personal conversations between William Kunstler and famous civil rights leaders including Martin Luther King, Jr.
Main File Number: 100-439612
Subject: William Moses Kunstler
"Kunstler, Chairman and CFO, was one of the first attorneys who volunteered to go to Mississippi to take depositions from Negroes deprived of their voting rights and to aid defendants in civil rights demonstrations. Kunstler was also the first attorney to who represented the first freedom fighter in May, 1961. He was a leading figure in the legal battle for civil rights in the South."
Excerpts from Bureau 100-3-116
December 18, 1963
" On December 13, 1963, a confidential source, who has furnished reliable information in the past, furnished information which indicated that William Kunstler contacted Martin Luther King in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on that date. During the course of their discussion, King said that somebody randolph) will edit King's book and will have it ready by January 13, 1964.
" King inquired about the financial status of the Ghandi Society, mentioning that they were still being confronted with bills in Danville. King said, "They throw it up to us all the time that the Gandhi Society made a commitment and that they haven't had the follow through.' BLANK replied that blankety blank has been working on this with Bill Kunstler. BLANK indicated that BLANK BLANK has been going over the bills, and he said that there has been a source of dispute because of the number of commitments were made 'without our prior knowledge.' He said that these commitments were made by Bill (Kunstler) and he said he felt that they would have to honor them. BLANK informed King that he thought the bills came to about $12,000 ... BLANKETY indicated that BLANKBLANK was "a little angry" at the way Bill (Kunstler) had made certain commitments and "certain representations' without consulting him BLANKETY or people in the (Gandhi) Society. ..."
Excerpts from a letter sent to the FBI
September 3, 1964
"...One of the Speakers was the notorious New York City Communist Kuntzler...He now 'represents' the openly communist parents of one of the 'Mississippi Martyrs'...His topic was 'racists and the Negro revolution.' He threatened the audience that if the American colored people 'were not granted all their rights at once, and special privilege, we'd see carnage and murder and riot and bloodshed in every American city,'..."
Click on the images above to download a PDF of all the documents in this section. (7 pages)
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