‘All Lives Matter’ march in Birmingham estimated to be largest since Civil Rights Movement
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Tens of thousands of activists, including Alveda King, the niece of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., marched through the streets of downtown Birmingham on Saturday, rekindling memories of the central role Alabama played in the Civil Rights Movement.
The crowd, which the Birmingham Police Department estimated was perhaps as large as 30,000 people, was led by conservative talk radio host Glenn Beck and chanted “all lives matter” as they traced the historic civil rights route from Kelly Ingram Park to Birmingham City Hall.
“It’s about taking our church out in the streets,” Beck said.
The march was part of a weekend-long series of events organized by Beck, local pastor Jim Lowe of the Guiding Light Church, and numerous charitable and religious organization.
After the march, 10,000 people packed in the the BJCC Arena for a “Restoring Unity” rally that struck a tone of racial reconciliation.
“Love is the answer,” Bishop Lowe proclaimed during the event. “God is the answer.”
Beck followed by challenging the crowd to join him in coming to the aid of persecuted Christians in the Middle East.
“For the most part, we have looked away. We avert our eyes. We do it because, if we don’t, we come face to face with the reality of the situation,” Beck said. “Facing that would stop us cold and dead in our tracks — and that is how evil works. It makes itself so unbelievably outrageous … so difficult to comprehend… that ordinary people just don’t allow themselves to confront it, because it’s too painful.”
Beck urged pastors, ministers and other faith leaders to “stand against the tide of evil,” rather than caving to the pressures of political correctness.
“The enemy today must start to see us united against evil.” he continued. “We are being tested right now. Evil is watching us to see exactly what we’ll do. But evil isn’t the only one watching — so is our almighty God, and both good and evil are looking at us right now to see whether we stand up. If we can’t get morality from our houses of worship, believe me we’re not going to get it anywhere.”
Beck wrapped up the event by asking the audience to support the Nazarene Fund, which is seeking to raise $10 million to save 400 Christian families in the Middle East from ISIS.
“We don’t need the military to help,” he said. “What we need is $25,000 per family of five, and we’re going to get them [to any country that will take them].”
Beck said they had already raised $2.7 million prior to the event.
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— Cliff Sims (@Cliff_Sims) June 9, 2015