Reverend King was fined $500 and costs, but the fine was suspended pending an
17 week bus boycott began on 1st December 1955, after 42 year-old African-American
Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. Segregation laws
in Montgomery ordered separate seating areas on bus's for blacks and whites, with
the blacks having to give up their seat to a white if required to do so.
Parks had not been the first person to be arrested in these cases, but she was
one of the most prominent in the black community.
actions led, four days later, to a virtually universal boycott of the town's bus's
by black passengers which hit bus company revenues.
Reverend King was convicted under a 1921 law intended to combat trade union disputes;
the judge said he had been lenient on him because he advocated nonviolence.