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Demonstrations Continue in Birmingham

Apr. 11, 1963 - In Birmingham, Alabama today, Negroes defied a County Court injunction and continued demonstrations against segregation. The court injunction prohibits a wide variety of protest activities — boycotts, sit-ins, parades, picketing, and kneel-ins at churches. Dr. Martin Luther King and local leaders of the direct-action campaign announced their intention to defy it at noon. Three hours later, seven pickets appeared before Pizitz Department Store and were arrested. Five more were arrested before the day’s demonstrations came to a halt. All 12 were charged — not with violating the injunction, but with parading without a permit or with loitering. Dr. King told a news conference he and others expected to lead a protest march of Negro ministers tomorrow. “We cannot in all good conscience obey such an injunction,” said Dr. King, “which is unjust, undemocratic, and an unconstitutional misuse of the legal process. I am prepared to go to jail and stay as long as necessary.” Among the demands are desegregation of snack bars in downtown stores, fair hiring policies in the stores and city departments, reopening of parks and other public facilities on a nonsegregated basis, desegregation of schools, and formation of an interracial group to work out common problems.” There was no violence in today’s demonstrations, although the white driver of a passing truck called out to television cameramen: “Why don’t you put buckshot in those things and shoot those black bastards?”


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