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Marlon Brando joins 1963 protest in Torrance

Marlon Brando joins 1963 protest in Torrance

July 27, 1963: Actor Marlon Brando, left, marches with Congress of Racial Equality pickets. Protest held at 650-home Southwood Riviera Royale tract.

In the spring of 1963, the Congress of Racial Equality, a civil rights group, attempted to integrate all-white Southern California communities, and protests began against Torrance developer Don Wilson. On July 27, 1963, actors Marlon Brando and Pernell Roberts joined the protests.

Staff writer Paul Weeks reported in the July 28, 1963 Los Angeles Times:

Actor Marlon Brando marched with 150 demonstrators for 2 1/2 hours in an all-white Torrance residential tract Saturday and immediately ran into threats of arrest.

Forty-seven of the Congress of Racial Equality pickets who attempted a sit-in in driveways of the tract’s sales office were arrested on a trespassing complaint by owner Don Wilson.

(The protesters) adopted passive resistance techniques, making their bodies limp and forcing a squad of 10 police officers to lift them bodily into a paddy wagon.

Brando, clad in a black-and-white checked sports coat, white shirt, black slacks and red tie, was stopped repeatedly by newsmen asking questions.

A white-helmeted police officer moved in and told the 39-year-old Academy-Award-winning actor, “You’ll have to keep moving or you will be arrested. You are blocking the sidewalk.” …

 The two photos below accompanied Weeks’ article in the July 28, 1963, Los Angeles Times.

July 27, 1963: The Rev. Herbert Yates, pastor of Southwestern Presbyterian Church, is carried by Torrance police to waiting police vehicle while Mrs. Phyllis Scapple, 31, waits her turn to be arrested. Credit: Harry Chase/Los Angeles Times.

July 27, 1963: Actor Marlon Brando, second from left, marches with CORE pickets at the Southwood Riviera Royale track in Torrance. Credit: Ben Olender/Los Angeles Times

For more check out this Daily Breeze article: Marlon Brando comes to Southwood.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

Follow Scott Harrison on Twitter and Google+

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