with reference to such fundamental matters as the upholding of the laws and preservation of the peace.
I want it distinctly understood inside and outside North Carolina that under our system of government the law is supreme. Under it every citizen is guaranteed the protection, not only of life, but of civil and property rights, including the right to work unmolested, the security of property, freedom of thought and of speech, and the right to peaceful assembly.
It is my duty as the chief executive of the State to enforce the law. Under the Constitution and my oath of office, it is my duty to do this and to do it without regard to person, classes, or the issues out of which any particular act of lawlessness proceeds.
This I shall do without qualification or reservation. It is my purpose to exert the full power of the State to compel, if necessary, a proper respect for law and orderly processes of government in North Carolina. It is deeply regretted that some of our citizens have allowed themselves to become provoked to the point where they have attempted to administer punishment without due process of law. No matter how acute the provocation, it must be remembered that the test of our civilization and the supremacy of constitutional government rests upon law and order. Acts of violence will not be tolerated and it is my purpose to employ every means within my power to detect and punish to the limit of the law all persons who have engaged or who may hereafter engage in this form of lawlessness. It is the right of any person or lawful organization to enjoy here the fullest freedom of thought, speech, and peaceful assembly.
It is emphatically not the right of any person or organization, however, to terrorize any individual or community or to attempt to overthrow our system of government by force and violence. Such activities