Birmingham Campaign, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Global Freedom Struggle, kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_birmingham_campaign/; Birmingham Campaign Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/black-culture/explore/civil-rights-movement-birmingham-campaign/#.V63DUzWOOjI; “Birmingham Campaign” Encyclopedia of Alabama, www.encyclopediaofalabama.org/article/h-1358. Despite this severe treatment, the children continued to participate in the protests in the coming days. Images and photos of Birmingham`s violence have circulated across the nation and around the world, causing an outcry. Businesses in Birmingham`s city centre felt the pressure. On 5 May, demonstrators marched to the city`s prison, where many young people were still being held. They sang protest songs and continued their non-violent protest tactics. Finally, local officials agreed to meet with civil rights activists and develop a plan to end the protests. An agreement was reached on 10 May. City leaders agreed to dislodge the business and release all those who had been imprisoned during the protests.
Kennedy, sitting in his rear rocking chair, had the delicate task of preserving the racial progress of the agreement and ensuring that businessmen and other white residents of the city did not resume violence. He knew he had to be compassionate, flexible and knowledgeable. In the afternoon, President Kennedy landed by Army helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House and shortened his weekend stay at Camp David on Mother`s Day. His attorney general and brother Robert F. Kennedy rode in his Ford Galaxy Convertible with three assistants and his dog Brummus. The men gathered in the Oval Office with four army figures for an emergency meeting. The Oval Office meeting discussed whether there was more violence along the way, whether federal troops were needed to maintain law and order, and whether the agreement between the black community and Birmingham`s economic leaders was likely to break. At 9 p.m.m., Kennedy spoke on live television for barely a minute, his face tussled in a tight camera-shot. He said he was “deeply concerned” about what happened in Birmingham and mentioned the bombings of A.D. King`s house and the Gaston motel, as well as the riots that followed, when he noticed the damage, injuries and brutality of the police against African Americans. He said the government was prepared to do whatever is necessary “to maintain order, protect the lives of its citizens and keep the law of the land.” He hailed the Birmingham agreement as “a fair and just agreement” and promised that the federal government would not let it “be sabotaged by a few extremists on both sides.” The Chair had brought a stack of papers to the meeting, including copies of King`s recent comments. In choosing one of the pages, Kennedy read aloud that King did not want the bombing to jeopardize the agreement, a sentiment shared by the president.
Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent Burke Marshall, his chief civil rights assistant, to negotiate between black citizens and the city of Birmingham leadership. Business leaders have tried to put in place a moratorium on street protests as an act of good faith before an agreement can be announced.