Birmingham vs Pipeline Riots by Joe Bjorklund


The Birmingham riots took place in Birmingham Alabama in 1963. It started as a peaceful protest but ended with buildings being bombed and people harassed and arrested.

The video above shows the protests in Birmingham .

This video shows some of the things that happened at the pipeline protests. Like police dogs and people getting pepper sprayed.

The pipeline and Birmingham protests had very different goals but they both started and ended in very similar ways. Both of protests started as peaceful protests but Birmingham wanted equal rights, while the pipeline protests are trying to stop the construction of it so they can preserve the land.

The Birmingham riots

The Birmingham riots had many important people at them to either support it or to put an end to them. Some people that supported the protests were A.D king who was MLK's brother who helped organize and run the protests, and A.G Gaston a black businessman who helped provide money and resources to the riots. Some people that very much opposed the riots would be the governor of Alabama George Wallace there was also an important group there called the Ku Klux Klan who were causing lots of chaos and trouble at the riots.

The Birmingham protesters faced many issues a couple of them being the police there, the ku klux klan and the bombs that went off. First the police force was completely against these protestors whether it be spraying them with super powerful hoses or releasing police dogs on the people. The Ku Klux Klan hated African Americans and would torment them, torture them, and even kill them. Another thing that happened was a bomb went off in a motel where they were planning all the protests which completely destroyed it.

On the left is the KKK and on the right are police at the Birmingham riots

The Birmingham riots helped African Americans achieve there long term goal of having equal rights for everyone and desegregating public places. These riots also helped to set the stage for future riots whether it be using the same methods the people at Birmingham used or fighting for similar racial rights.

Protests today

A similar protest that happened in modern times was the pipeline protests while they weren't fighting for racial equality they still protested in a similar fashion. The protests started in a peaceful way with people voicing there opinions and fighting for something they believe in then people turned to violence. In the Birmingham riots people were getting blasted with water cannons and having K9s set on them. While at the pipeline protests people were getting pepper sprayed and shot at by rubber bullets. So overall even thought the protests were for different causes how they were run and the outcomes of them were very simmiliar

The Differences

The video above shows the Birmingham riots

The video above shows what happened at the pipeline protests

The Pipeline protests

Pipeline Protesters

The pipeline protests took place in western North Dakota, The protest started in 2016 as a grassroots movement.

The pipeline protest had lots of Native Americans that came to protest because the pipeline construction crew bulldozed through sacred land that the Native Americans had. People were also protesting because they thought that the oil pipeline would end up effecting the ponds, lakes and the underground water sources.


The Birmingham Campaign. (n.d.). Retrieved April 25, 2017, from

Birmingham 1963. (n.d.). Retrieved April 20, 2017, from

Siemaszko, C. (2012, May 03). Birmingham erupted into chaos in 1963 as battle for civil rights exploded in South. Retrieved April 20, 2017, from

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