American History – Birmingham Alabama 1963 Demonstrations Strategies and Outcomes

The demonstrations took a joint turn as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and Martin Luther King Jr joined with the Birmingham, Alabama’s already existing movement, the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR), to forge a vibrant direct action campaign to protest the city’s segregation system by exerting pressure on the merchants of Birmingham during the second largest shopping season of the year, Easter season.

The rescheduling of the campaign which was originally scheduled to be held in early march 1963 to 2ndApril was very strategic as this was the time when Albert Boutwell had defeated Birmingham’s segregationist commissioner of public safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor in the run-off mayoral election. That was a time when the desegregation followers seemed to be the majority if the election was anything to go by (Smith, 2003).

The non-violence philosophy was a wise strategy the King emphasized on appealed to a number of followers with volunteers increasing day-by-day, actions soon expanded to sit-ins at the library, kneel-ins churches, and a march on the country building to register voters.

The outcomes of the demonstrations was the arrest of the protesters and even King himself. There was also commands from the Commissioner Connor that the fire departments and local police could use force to halt the demonstrations which resulted to deaths and injuries among the demonstrators. There was a series of violent attacks from the Birmingham segregationists as explosives went off, King’s brother Alfred Daniel King’s home was bombe (Rieder, 2013). As President Kennedy responded by ordering federal troops to be in position near Birmingham and making arrangements to federalize the Alabama National Guard.

Martin Luther King, Jr’s rationale for conducting the demonstrations was basically to keep on halt a number of government operations by expressing his concerns and response over the statement published in the newspaper by eight Birmingham clergy who were condemning the protests.

Yes, the demonstrations were a success. The demonstrations built up to great movements like the civil rights movement which become the forefront of championing the struggle for a free and fair America. America without alluding to white or black affiliations, a society with no discrimination but equal treatment to everyone.

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