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CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER SAYS MINORITIES SHOULD BE COURTED AS ALLIES BY NRA

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The mostly black churchgoers President Clinton asked to pray for him and his anti-crime bill Sunday "really need to be with us," an atypical NRA member told several thousand cheering gun control foes Sunday.

"We need to reach out to people in the black and Hispanic communities . . . they are our allies, not our enemies," said Roy Innis, head of the Congress of Racial Equality, which organized Freedom Riders at the peak of the civil rights struggle in the South.Boasting he's a life member of the National Rifle Association, Innis was cheered and applauded for a fiery speech against the administration crime bill and people he described as "neo-Bolsheviks" who favor gun control and coddle criminals.

The nearly all-white rally at the Lincoln Memorial was organized by members of NRA, American Gun Owners Association, the Committee of 1776 and similar activist groups.

Minorities are the main victims of crime and they need to be armed to deter criminals from preying on them, said Innis. Just one armed passenger could have saved most of the dead and wounded victims of a berserk gunman aboard a Long Island commuter train last year, he said.

"We want a real crime bill, not a criminal support bill," said Innis.