About 200 people, including members of the area’s different faith communities, braved the intense heat Saturday to attend A Rally for Love and Justice at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The rally was held in response to a week of violence around the nation that saw two black men — Philando Castille in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — shot by police, and five police officers killed during a peaceful protest march in Dallas, Texas. The Dallas march was in response to the Castille and Sterling shooting deaths.
Saturday’s rally at the Civil Rights Institute featured speeches by a number of dignitaries, among them Andrea Taylor, the institute’s president and CEO; Birmingham Mayor William Bell; U.S. Atty. Joyce Vance, and former U.S. Atty. Doug Jones, who helped successfully prosecute two suspects in the bombing that killed four young girls at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on September 15, 1963. The church is at the corner of 16th Street and Sixth Avenue North, across the street from the Civil Rights Institute and diagonally across from Kelly Ingram Park, the scene of civil rights demonstrations in 1963.
Videos of the remarks by Taylor, Bell, Jones and Vance, not all of them in their entirety, are posted here for your viewing.