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Palm Sunday in Birmingham


On Palm Sunday 23 Negroes led by three ministers were arrested during a peaceful protest march to the city hall. The Birmingham police used dogs and clubs to disperse a crowd of Negro onlookers.

In the past week over one hundred Negroes have been arrested in Birmingham, Alabama, as a result of the non violent campaign for integration that began there last Wednesday. The other arrests were precipitated by similar demonstrations and lunch-counter sit-ins. Already 24 Negroes have been sentenced to 180 days in jail and a fine of $100 each.

As usual the non-violence has been one-sided. But so far the U.S. Department of justice has taken no action to prevent police brutality in the city. In a few weeks a Federal circuit court will hear the appeals of the arrested demonstrators still held by the city. Between now and the appeals, more Birmingham Negroes will be beaten and Birmingham jails will fill with integrationists.

In Birmingham live 180,000 Negroes and 260,000 whites. Unless the Federal government can directly ease the city's integration pains, the violence on Palm Sunday will have been only a beginning.

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