A group of African American and white activists left Washington, DC, for New Orleans in the first Freedom Ride. Freedom Riders intended to test the enforcement of the ban on segregation in interstate bus travel. The riders faced violent attacks and arrest. Local police forces did nothing to protect them from angry white mobs. Eventually the National Guard was called in for the riders’ protection. On May 29, Robert F. Kennedy petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission to enforce the interstate travel segregation ban.