Source: (2007) Radical History Review. 97(1): 102-109.

The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission (GTRC), the first of its kind in the United States, published its report on May 25, 2006. Will this project succeed in establishing some basic truth about the 1979 Greensboro Massacre? Can it serve as a model for other such projects in the United States? On November 3, 1979, Ku Klux Klansmen and American Nazis opened fire on union organizers and civil rights activists in Greensboro, North Carolina, killing five close friends of mine. We were black and white radical activists who had deep roots in the civil rights, Black Power, antiwar, and women’s liberation movements. In the 1970s we became union organizers in textile mills and hospitals. Many of us, myself included, were members of the Communist Workers Party. On that fateful day, we wanted to protest the 1979 reemergence of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in areas of North Carolina in which union drives were in progress. We planned a spirited march through Greensboro, followed by a conference. Instead, the KKK and Nazis attacked us as we were gathering to march; they killed Jim Waller, Sandi Smith, Bill Sampson, Michael Nathan, and Cesar Cauce, who were all dynamic and dedicated leaders in their twenties and thirties. Gunshots wounded ten others,including my husband Paul Bermanzohn, who was shot in the head and the arm, permanently paralyzing his left side. Twenty-six years later, a Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission has reinvestigated these murders. Why a Greensboro truth commission? The basic answer is government involvement in the 1979 murders. Officials covered up the role of various state institutions in two criminal trials, leading to unanswered questions that have polarized the Greensboro community for a generation. (Excerpt).