BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — A candlelight march protesting Alabama’s tough new immigration law drew enough people of different colors and faiths to fill nearly 11 city blocks Saturday evening at Linn Park in downtown Birmingham.
“You look like Alabama to me,” Scott Douglas, head of the interfaith antipoverty group Greater Birmingham Ministries, and one of the rally organizers, told the crowd. “This will be a peaceful, nonviolent candlelight prayer march that there may be justice in Alabama without exclusion.”
The interfaith vigil drew an estimated 2,500 people from across Alabama, and from other states, to protest what is considered the toughest immigration law in the country.
“We had an expectation of 1,000 and were praying for 1,800,” said Philip Bowling, one of the organizers. “Looks like we exceeded both those marks.”
The immigration law is set to take effect Sept. 1, although several groups have vowed to block it in court. Alabama is one of five states to recently pass laws designed to clamp down on illegal immigrants.