Greensboro Justice Fund, Inc.

DATE: November 3, 2005

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Marty Nathan 413-584-1079 or martygjf@comcast.net


Former Nazi repents involvement in Greensboro Massacre on 26th Anniversary of killings.


Last night a video statement by former Winston-Salem neo-Nazi Roland Wayne Wood was aired by the Winston-Salem television Channel WXII. In that statement Mr. Wood, now chronically ill, regrets his participation in the November 3, 1979 attack on an anti-KKK march in Greensboro in which his group and Ku Klux Klan members killed five young textile union and community organizers and wounded ten others.


He states now that he had hesitations at the time and was impelled to go by Nazi leader Harold Covington. In discussion with Greensboro citizens he speaks of his relationship with undercover Bureau of Alcohol and Firearms agent Bernard Butkovich who also encouraged him to participate but then was himself absent from the gathering in Greensboro.


On videotapes of the violence of that November morning, Mr. Wood is seen calmly taking his shotgun from the trunk of Nazi Jack Fowler's blue Fairlane and shooting at unarmed demonstrators. No police were present to protect the unsuspecting demonstrators, despite the fact that the caravan of KKK and Nazis was organized and led by a paid Greensboro Police Department informant who had been given a copy of the map of the march route by the Police. With a police car trailing Wood and his fellows, Greensboro police assigned to protect the march were sent to early lunch and those who wandered into the neighborhood on other calls were told to "clear the area".


The victims of the Massacre are grateful to Mr. Wood for finally, after 26 years, being willing to tell what he knows. We are gratified that he is willing to testify to the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation and hope that he does shed himself of all the secrets that have been his over the years. It is only through truth that we will be able to find some sense of closure with this horrific affair.


Mr. Wood also asks for forgiveness from the victims. Granting that is an individual, private affair for those who lost their loved ones and still carry the physical and emotional scars of that day. Honestly, it is neither easy nor assured, but we suspect the process might help some in healing those affected.


This episode highlights the manifold benefits of the Truth and Reconciliation process that has proceeded undeterred by the repudiation of City fathers both present and past.


Mr. Woods' efforts at truth and reconciliation also place in sharp relief the relentless resistance to full disclosure by police, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, textile mill executives and security, and prosecutors. They have continued to maintain, in the face of almost universal evidence to the contrary, that this was a "shootout" by nefarious hate groups; that officials were not involved and did not cover up.


We hope that this, the 26th Anniversary of the Greensboro Massacre, will be a turning point for all those with dirty secrets about the day, a time when decisions are made, like Mr. Wood's, finally to seek Truth and Reconciliation.