[53], Twenty-four hours after his arrest, King was allowed to see local attorneys from the SCLC. In Albany, they concentrated on the desegregation of the city as a whole. [16] A few years later, Birmingham's black population began to organize to effect change. When police went to inspect the motel, they were met with rocks and bottles from neighborhood black citizens. They were accepted in Roman Catholic, Episcopal, and Presbyterian churches but turned away at others, where they knelt and prayed until they were arrested. "[126] Walker called the Birmingham campaign and the Selma marches "Siamese twins" joining to "kill segregation ... and bury the body". The day's arrests brought the total number of jailed protesters to 1,200 in the 900-capacity Birmingham jail. University of North Carolina Press. Isserman, Maurice, Kazin, Michael. "[35] After several business owners in Birmingham took down "white only" and "colored only" signs, Commissioner Connor told business owners that if they did not obey the segregation ordinances, they would lose their business licenses. [98] One group of children approached a police officer and announced, "We want to go to jail!" Wilkins gave credit to other movements, such as the Freedom Rides, the integration of the University of Mississippi, and campaigns to end public school segregation. [117], Birmingham's public schools were integrated in September 1963. When no squad cars were left to block the city streets, Connor, whose authority extended to the fire department, used fire trucks. Campaign participant Joe Dickson recalled, "We had to go under strict surveillance. "[50], The movement organizers found themselves out of money after the amount of required bail was raised. "[70] Malcolm X criticized the decision, saying, "Real men don't put their children on the firing line. He had, however, previously promised to lead the marchers to jail in solidarity, but hesitated as the planned date arrived. My people are out there fighting for their lives and my freedom. The decision to ignore the injunction had been made during the planning stage of the campaign. They caused downtown business to decline by as much as 40 percent, which attracted attention from Chamber of Commerce president Sidney Smyer, who commented that the "racial incidents have given us a black eye that we'll be a long time trying to forget". [90] White business leaders met with protest organizers to try and arrange an economic solution but said they had no control over politics. When Martin Luther King Jr. called his wife, their conversation was brief and guarded; he correctly assumed that his phones were tapped. King became Time's Man of the Year for 1963 and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. On the night of May 11, a bomb heavily damaged the Gaston Motel where King had been staying—and had left only hours before—and another damaged the house of A. D. King, Martin Luther King Jr.'s brother. Public outrage over the events in Birmingham produced political pressure that helped to ensure passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. King hesitated to approve the use of children,[60] but Bevel believed that children were appropriate for the demonstrations because jail time for them would not hurt families economically as much as the loss of a working parent. The unemployment rate for black people was two and a half times higher than for white people. "[73] As the demonstrators left the church, police warned them to stop and turn back, "or you'll get wet". Leaders from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) along with Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights (ACMHR) took up residence at the A.G. Gaston Motel in April through May of 1963 to direct Project C. From the motel, which served as their headquarters and also as an area to stage events and hold press conferences, the movement’s leaders strategized and made critical decision that shaped national events and significantly advanced the cause of the civil rights movement. In Birmingham, their campaign tactics focused on more narrowly defined goals for the downtown shopping and government district. The Civil Rights Movement in the United States was a decades-long struggle by African Americans and their like-minded allies to end institutionalized racial discrimination, disenfranchisement and racial segregation in the United States. Shuttlesworth and King had announced that desegregation would take place 90 days from May 15. "[84] Commissioner Connor was overheard saying, "If you'd ask half of them what freedom means, they couldn't tell you. [30] Connor was so antagonistic towards the Civil Rights Movement that his actions galvanized support for black Americans. [14] Black churches in which civil rights were discussed became specific targets for attack. [36][37], Martin Luther King Jr.'s presence in Birmingham was not welcomed by all in the black community. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin ordered the removal of a monument in Linn Park, stating the fine was less costly than continued civil unrest. [33], Modeled on the Montgomery bus boycott, protest actions in Birmingham began in 1962, when students from local colleges arranged for a year of staggered boycotts. 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