The Albany Campaign 1961-2

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The Albany Campaign 1961-2

  • Local white police chief Laurie Pritchett had studied MLK's methods and understood the need to avoid violence
  • He did this by ensuring the police treated civil rights demonstrators peacefully in public while arranging for enough jails to be available to permit mass arrests of marchers
  • He ensured MLK was speedily released after he was arested twice, understanding that making him a martyr would boost the campaign
  • MLK knew he was getting nowhere with the campaign and so had to leavw

This showed:

  • Peaceful protests were not always successful
  • MLK's dominance of the civil rights movement with poor attendance at meetings he was not speaking at and the fact the campaign petered out when he left
  • His dominance was resented by SNCC radicals, who resulted to violence after realising that peaceful protests did not always work
  • MLK realised he needed more specific aims and a stupid police chief who would respond with violence, causing media coverage and therefore more symapthy for the movement
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