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‘Desecration’ of Bishop Calvin Woods Landmark Condemned by City Council, Civil Rights Leaders

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Dr. Charles Steele, International President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during a press conference in Kelly Ingram Park. (Ryan Michaels, The Birmingham Times)

By Ryan Michaels

The Birmingham Times

In a resolution presented to the Birmingham City Council on Tuesday, Councilor Steven Hoyt said the city should “reinforce” its aims to protect civil rights monuments, such as the recently vandalized plaque honoring Bishop Calvin Woods.

Civil rights leaders across the state of Alabama were in Birmingham on Tuesday to also denounce the vandalism.

A landmark in Kelly Ingram Park honoring Woods, a legendary Civil Rights activist was destroyed sometime last month.

“The city council of the city of Birmingham encourages the administration and the Birmingham Parks and Recreation Board to reinforce efforts to secure plans that ensure adequate surveillance to reasonably protect and preserve the civil rights artifacts within the city of Birmingham and within its parks and recreational facilities,” Hoyt said, reading from the resolution, which passed unanimously.

Meanwhile, International President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) Charles Steele spoke during a rally in Kelly Ingram Park on Tuesday to bring attention to the vandalism.

Steele said he was appalled when he learned of the desecration of the marker.

“This is an all-out assault on the very history that makes us great,” Steele said. “The person or people who did this should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Hoyt pointed out that Birmingham has over 100 Civil Rights monuments and the person or persons who vandalized Woods’ monument should be brought to justice.

“The city of Birmingham should make all reasonable efforts to both protect the civil rights artifacts and to hold individuals civilly and criminally accountable who intentionally desecrate any public marker, artistic expression, monument, plaque, statue,” the resolution states, “Therefore, be it resolved that the city council of the city of Birmingham strongly condemns the intentional desecration of any civil rights marker, artistic expression, plaques, monuments and other artifacts.”

Updated at 7:44 p.m. on 8/19/21 for editing.