The year 1963 was a pivotal one in the Civil Rights and Birmingham, Alabama was at the epicenter of the movement. The Freedom Riders made a stop in the spring and were met with fierce resistance and violence. The Birmingham Campaign was a very coordinated and organized effort to defeat racism and discrimination in the state of Alabama. In addition to the protests that involved mostly young people, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under the leadership of Martin Luther King organized a number of peaceful demonstrations to protest segregation. Lunch counter sit-ins were organized as were marches on city hall. Boycotts of local segregated businesses and institutions were also organized. These efforts were met with violence, sometimes by the police officers themselves.