Tens of thousands of people from all different backgrounds took to the streets of Birmingham together Saturday in an effort to share the message that “all lives matter.”
Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck organized the event, and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Alveda King, was also in attendance. King led at the front of the march, which followed the same route as the civil rights march of 1963, where Dr. King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech.
The “All Lives Matter” march, which was part of Beck’s “Never Again is Now” campaign to help raise awareness for Christians persecuted in the Middle East, drew a crowd that the Birmingham Police Department estimated was as large as 30,000 people from as far away as China, Dubai and the Netherlands, local media reported.
Co-organizing the event was Bishop Jim Lowe, pastor of a local church. On Sept. 15, 1963, when Lowe was just a child, he and his sisters were attending the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, which is where the march started, when members of the Ku Klux Klan threw a bomb into the church. The explosion killed four young girls inside.
Participants in the weekend march, including Lowe, discussed ways to ease racial tensions and divisions the country is currently experiencing.
“Love is the answer,” Lowe said. “God is the answer.”
Steve Titus, 63, and his wife, Terri, 62, who traveled from Chicago to attend the rally, wore red, white and blue in support of the United States.
“As chaotic as our country is right now, the history of this city will help us to unify, racially and spiritually,” Steve Titus said. “It’s really in the spirit and words of Martin Luther King, Jr.”
Terri reiterated her husband’s thoughts and said the county has really become divided.
“We want life for everybody,” she said, adding that she hopes another movement will start in the city where the civil rights movement was launched over 50 years ago.