The FBI plot to bring down the gay man behind the March on Washington

By Sean Braswell | OZY

Martin Luther King Jr. may have supplied the spirit of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech, but the organizational muscle behind the landmark civil rights demonstration was provided by a 53-year-old Quaker from Pennsylvania named Bayard Rustin.

For nearly two months before the March in August 1963, Rustin, its chief organizer, chain-smoked his way through constant meetings and telephone conversations, presiding over every aspect of the planned march. Between calls, he drilled hundreds of volunteer off-duty police officers, taking away their weapons and instructing them in the techniques of nonviolent crowd control that he had learned from disciples of Gandhi in India. “We used to go out to the courtyard to watch,” Rachelle Horowitz, the March’s transportation coordinator, told The Washington Post in 2011. “It was like, see Bayard tame the police.”

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