Subjective application of the laws effectively closed most blacks out of politics.
Subjective application of the laws effectively closed most blacks out of politics. Selma is a major town and the seat of Dallas Countypart of the Alabama Black Belt with a majority-black population.
Business plan centre medical montgomery Society of Saint Edmundan order of Catholics committed to alleviating poverty and promoting civil rights, were the only whites in Selma who openly supported the voting rights campaign. When 32 black school teachers applied at the county courthouse to register as voters, they were immediately fired by the all-white school board.
After the Birmingham church bombing on September 15,which killed four black girls, black students in Selma began sit-ins at local lunch counters to protest segregation; they were physically attacked and arrested.
Supporting them were national figures: SNCC members who tried to bring water to the blacks waiting on line were arrested, as were those who held signs saying "Register to Vote. United States Justice Department lawyers and FBI agents were present and observing the scene, but took no action against local officials.
Some Jim Crow laws and customs remained in effect in Selma and other places for some time. On July 6,one of the two registration days that month, John Lewis led 50 black citizens to the courthouse, but County Sheriff Jim Clark arrested them all rather than allowing them to apply to vote.
On July 9, Judge James Hare issued an injunction forbidding any gathering of three or more people under the sponsorship of civil rights organizations or leaders. This injunction made it illegal for more than two people at a time to talk about civil rights or voter registration in Selma, suppressing public civil rights activity there for the next six months.
King and the executive board of SCLC had not joined it. Many SNCC members believed they were in an adversarial position with an American establishment which they thought had scorned grassroots democracy.
Baker believed that the most effective method of undermining civil rights protests was to de-escalate them and deny them publicity, as Police Chief Laurie Pritchett had done against the Albany Movement in Georgia.
He earned what was described as a grudging respect from activists.
The hardline of segregation was represented by Dallas County Sheriff Jim Clarkwho used violence and repression to maintain Jim Crow.
Possemen were armed with electric cattle-prods. Some were mounted on horseback and carried long leather whips they used to lash people on foot. Clark and Chief Baker were known to spar over jurisdiction. Outside the city limits, Clark and his volunteer posse were in complete control in the county.
Church in defiance of the anti-meeting injunction. The date had been chosen because Sheriff Clark was out of town, and Chief Baker had stated he would not enforce the injunction. Preparations for mass registration commenced in early January, and with King out of town fundraising, were largely under the leadership of Diane Nash.
On January 15, King called President Johnson and the two agreed to begin a major push for voting rights legislation which would assist in advancing the passage of more anti-poverty legislation.
Clark made no arrests or assaults at this time. However, in an incident that drew national attention, Dr. King was knocked down and kicked by a leader of the National States Rights Party, who was quickly arrested by Chief Baker.
Eventually registrants were arrested as well at the county courthouse. On January 20, President Johnson gave his inaugural address, but did not mention voting rights.
On January 22, Frederick Reesea black schoolteacher who was also DCVL President, finally convinced his colleagues to join the campaign and register en masse. The teachers retreated after three attempts, and marched to a mass meeting where they were celebrated as heroes by the black community.
S District Judge Daniel Thomas issued rules requiring that at least people must be permitted to wait at the courthouse without being arrested.
King led marchers to the courthouse that morning, Jim Clark began to arrest all registrants in excess ofand corral the rest. Annie Lee Coopera fifty-three-year-old practical nurse who had been part of the Selma movement sincestruck Clark after he twisted her arm, and she knocked him to his knees.
Four deputies seized Cooper, and photographers captured images of Clark beating her repeatedly with his club. The crowd was inflamed and some wanted to intervene against Clark, but King ordered them back as Cooper was taken away.
Although Cooper had violated nonviolent discipline, the movement rallied around her. King decided to make a conscious effort to get arrested, for the benefit of publicity.
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