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Dr. King Threatens More Birmingham Demonstrations

Oct. 14, 1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King, bitterly denouncing Birmingham’s rejection of his desegregation demands, threatened tonight to lead demonstrations of “more numbers than any man can count” in the Alabama city. “We will demonstrate until they integrate,” he told a rally of more than 1,000 Negroes. He did not say when such protests, which brought around 2,500 arrests last spring, would begin. Dr. King spoke several hours after Birmingham Mayor Albert Boutwell said that solution of the city’s racial problems “will never be done in response to threats or deadlines from anyone.” Boutwell referred to a “demand” by Dr. King that the city hire 25 Negro policemen within a two-week period ending next Monday or face new racial demonstrations. In his remarks tonight, Dr. King asserted that he had made a “request,” not a demand. Boutwell’s executive assistant, W.C. Hamilton, said civil service regulations requiring a six-week clearance check for new employees would make it “impossible” to meet Dr. King’s deadline without an act of the legislature. Boutwell said an “intensive and completely impartial survey” was being made to determine the best kind of police force for Birmingham, and he would not permit “other interests to intervene or defeat” that study.


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