Palm Sunday march

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The Palm Sunday march was a Civil Rights demonstration organized by the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as part of their "Birmingham Campaign" to desegregate Birmingham businesses, parks and hiring practices. It was the second planned mass march to Birmingham City Hall, and took place on Palm Sunday, the Sunday preceding Easter Sunday, on April 7, 1963.

The march, with more than 1,000 people participating, followed a mass meeting at St Paul Methodist Church on the corner of 6th Avenue North and 15th Street. Reverends N. H. Smith, A. D. King and John Porter, dressed in robes, led the procession eastward on 6th Avenue toward City Hall. They encountered a police roadblock, just past Kelly Ingram Park and just short of the Henley School at 17th Street.

Birmingham Police Department Captain G. V. Evans, wielding a battery-powered bullhorn, ordered the marchers not to cross the intersection. They continued, however, and knelt for prayer as they encountered the barricade. The leaders of the procession were among the 26 people arrested and charged with, "parading without a permit." Police dogs were used to disperse the remaining demonstrators and the growing crowd of onlookers. One of the marchers, Leroy Allen, was knocked down and bitten by one of the dogs.

References

  • White, Marjorie Longenecker (1998) A Walk to Freedom: The Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, 1956-1964. Birmingham: Birmingham Historical Society. ISBN 0943994241
  • Huntley, Horace & John W. McKerley (2009) Foot Soldiers for Democracy: The Men, Women, and Children of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. University of Illinois Press