by Jake Bell and Madison Underwood
If you see a funeral procession through Kelly Ingram Park next Friday, don’t worry — nobody actually died. It’s just a mock funeral procession led by students from area colleges in protest of Alabama’s immigration law, HB56.
That’s just one of the daily events students have planned for “A Week of Direct Action Against HB56,” which starts Monday, Jan. 30 and runs through Friday, Feb. 3. Undergrads from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Samford University, Birmingham-Southern College, University of Montevallo, Miles College and Jefferson State announced the week long event Friday, Jan. 20, on the steps of Heritage Hall at UAB.
Event organizers hope the five-day protest will raise awareness and educate students about the tough new Alabama immigration law. Students also hope to gain support for their cause and push for the law to be repealed.
Several of the organizers spoke to the media at the conference, including Hillary Beard, a senior at BSC. Asked why she had become involved with the organization and she responded, “For the first time in my life I feel like our government is intruding on my life.”
Samford student Jenae Steele described the effects of this law as “our generation’s Civil Rights Movement.”
Students are calling the mock funeral procession through Kelly Ingram Park on Friday a “Wells Fargo Death March.” According to a Facebook event page, the march will protest Wells Fargo’s investments in for-profit detention centers that detain immigrants. Protestors “will lead a mock funeral procession carrying the coffins of three immigrants to doorstep of Wells Fargo in downtown Birmingham,” the site says, and attendees are urged to wear black.
“The Week of Direct Action” will include the following events:
Monday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m., Heritage Hall Room 106, UAB
Tuesday, Jan. 31, 11 a.m., Hill University Center, UAB
Wednesday, Feb. 1, Various Locations
Thursday, Feb. 2, 11 a.m., Hill University Center, UAB
Friday, Feb. 3, 11:30 a.m., Kelly Ingram Park
For more information, click here.