North Carolina Group Among Thousands Who Protest Immigration Law

Groups came from near and far to stand against Alabama’s new immigration law. The silent protest and prayers in Linn Park was one of the largest gatherings yet since the legislation was signed into law.

This group from Knollwood, NC was one of the most visible in the crowd of thousands at Linn Park to pray and walk in silent protest of Alabama's new immigration law.

BIRMINGHAM– They literally came from near and far to Birmingham’s primary civic space to pray and protest what’s been called the nation’s toughest Immigration law– HB 56.

The “Beason-Hammon Alabama Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act” requires public schools to determine students’ immigration status and makes it a crime to knowingly give an illegal immigrant a ride.

I was among those who gathered today and I am glad I did.

It’s not enough to talk about the issues facing immigrant populations in our community and our state.

Sometimes we have to physically get together and make a statement.

While most of those who attended donned white shirts, a large group of those participating wore green shirts.

This group was my group from Tuscaloosa. It was great to share in this experience with them.

They was actually a church group from Knollwood, North Carolina, a community not far from Fayetteville.  They told me they heard about the silent march and wanted to come and support the effort.

Churches, in fact, were the engine for much of what happened today.

In fact, the group from the Tuscaloosa area that I joined used the parking lot at Holy Spirit Catholic Church as a staging area.

But, this truly ecumenical gathering had representatives from a range of religions and faith

Even though HB 56 has been signed into law,  a petition to repeal the legislation was available for those who wanted to sign it.

A petition was available for those who wanted to sign it

There were no political speeches tonight at Linn Park.

That’s for another day.

The focus today was just on prayer and silent protest.

Those members of the clergy who rose to pray also included scriptural references that were appropriate for understanding the faith-based community’s response to HB 56 here in Alabama.

As for the new law,  tonight’s event comes just days before Alabama’s law enforcement leaders are slated to meet with representatives from the Justice Department to discuss the implementation of the law that goes into effect September 1,

Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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