Protest against Huntsville mayor planned for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Breakfast

People in north Huntsville plan to protest when Mayor Tommy Battle is presented with a unity award.

Posted: Jan 20, 2019 10:47 PM
Updated: Jan 21, 2019 9:37 AM

The North Huntsville Community United for Action (NHCUA) and the Greater Huntsville Interdenominational Ministerial Fellowship (GHIMF), are asking people in north Huntsville to protest the planned recognition of Mayor Tommy Battle with the Martin Luther King, Jr. award at Monday's unity breakfast.

"It makes me feel terrible. There's no comparison," Eddgra Fallin said.

Fallin can hardly stand to think about Mayor Tommy Battle being honored with the same award her late father received years ago at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. unity breakfast.

"I just don't think that Mayor Battle should get this award," Fallin said.

That's why groups across Huntsville plan to protest Mayor Battle getting the award Monday morning. For protest organizer Oscar Montgomery, it's about his experiences under Battle's leadership.

"It's not personal with Mayor Battle. His performance is what we are looking at," Montgomery said.

Montgomery said he's not happy with what he's seeing.

"Our road development has been delayed. When we look at our schools, he's not been very supportive in improving the quality of our schools in this area," Montgomery said.

T.C. Johnson points to the lack of economic development in north Huntsville.

"The reason north Huntsville is the way it is is because he's spending tax dollars in other neighborhoods and not incentivising anything in north Huntsville," Johnson said.

Politics aside, Johnson said it just wouldn't be right to attach Battle's name to King's legacy.

"I think we would be doing a disservice to Dr. Martin Luther King to sit there and eat breakfast and sing 'Kumbaya' with a man who again is the anti-thesis as I see it. He's anti-Martin Luther King," Johnson said.

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity is hosting the breakfast and honoring Battle for the award. WAAY 31 asked how Battle was chosen and was told it was a private chapter matter. The Mayor's office told WAAY 31 in a statement "The City of Huntsville has been extremely blessed in its strides to create an inclusive community, but while we have made significant progress it is an ongoing challenge to achieve the unity Dr. King has called for."

Fallin won't be at the breakfast because for her Mayor Battle doesn't represent unity.

"He's done nothing to make it one city. As a matter of fact, it's worse than it was when he got here and it's getting worse every day," Fallin said.

Mayor Battle will make remarks at tomorrow's breakfast.

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