U.S. Rep. John Lewis recalls the march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge.
This week, several thousand people reenacted the historic march across the Edmund Pettis Bridge.
[T]his year’s event had a more modern purpose—to protest tough new voting laws in Alabama and other states around the nation—that sadly was too similar to the original march’s goal, fighting for the right to vote for people of color. Some, like Amelia Boynton Robinson, 100, who was there in 1965 when demonstrators were attacked by the police with tear gas and billy clubs, were pushed across the bridge in wheelchairs.
“That we find ourselves leading a new march for voting rights in Alabama and across this country as opposed to re-enacting the old march is sad and makes you angry,” said NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous. “This march taking place all week from Selma to Montgomery is extremely relevant to both our present and our history. We thought fights like this were a thing of the past, a milestone of the mid-20th century, but will now be remembered as the most defining battle of the early 21st century.”
The weeklong remembrance recalling the Selma-to-Montgomery march for voting rights of 1965 ended Friday in a rally on the capitol steps in Montgomery. The Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, Jr. spoke to the crowds about the new voting rights and racial equality fights being waged right now in Alabama.
”The only voter fraud that we can find is the statement that there is widespread voter fraud,” the Rev. Al Sharpton said. ”The fraud is to use non-existent widespread voter fraud to try to suppress and stop people from voting.” [...]
”The laws in Alabama are not immigration laws. They’re Jim Crow laws,” Sharpton added. [...]
”Democracy is a path to citizenship, not deportation,” Jackson said. ”Democracy is the path of the DREAM Act, not the nightmare act of race-profiling, violence and family separation.”
For more of the week’s news, make the jump below the fold.