The history of ‘Bloody Suday’…..
On March 7, 1965, in Selma, Alabama, a 600-person civil rights demonstration ends in violence when marchers are attacked and beaten by white state troopers and sheriff’s deputies. The day’s events became known as “Bloody Sunday.”
The demonstrators—led by civil rights activists John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and Hosea Williams of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference—were commemorating the recent fatal shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson, a 26-year-old church deacon, by state trooper James Bonard Fowler. The group planned to march the 54 miles from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital. Just as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge outside Selma, they were ordered to disperse. Moments later, police assaulted them with tear gas, bullwhips and billy clubs. Lewis, then 25, was one of 17 marchers hospitalized; dozens more were treated for injuries.
The violence was broadcast on TV and recounted in newspapers, spurring demonstrations in 80 cities across the nation within days. On March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr. led more than 2,000 marchers to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. On March 15, President Lyndon B. Johnson spoke on the need for voting reform, something activists in Selma had long been fighting for: “There is no issue of states’ rights or national rights. There is only the struggle for human rights. We have already waited 100 years and more, and the time for waiting is gone.”…
President Biden in Selma, Albama….
President Joe Biden arrived in Alabama to pay tribute to the heroes of “Bloody Sunday,” joining thousands for the annual commemoration of the seminal moment in the civil rights movement that led to passage of landmark voting rights legislationnearly 60 years ago.
The visit to Selma also is an opportunity for Biden to speak directly to the current generation of civil rights activists. Many feel dejected because Biden has been unable to make good on a campaign pledge to bolster voting rights and are eager to see his administration keep the issue in the spotlight.
Biden intends to use his remarks to emphasize the importance of commemorating “Bloody Sunday” so that history cannot be erased, while trying to make the case that the fight for voting rights remains integral to economic justice and civil rights for Black Americans, White House officials said.
This year’s commemoration comes as the historic city of roughly 18,000 is still digging out from the aftermath of a January EF-2 tornado that destroyed or damaged thousands of properties in and around Selma. The scars of that storm are still evident. Blocks from the stage where Biden was to speak were houses that sat crumbled or without roofs. Orange spray paint marked buildings beyond salvage with instructions to “tear down.”…
“I want them to know what happened here,” she said.
Two years ago on the anniversary, Biden issued an executive orderdirecting federal agencies to expand access to voter registration, called on the heads of agencies to come up with plans to give federal employees time off to vote or volunteer as nonpartisan poll workers, and more.
But many federal agencies are lagging in meeting the voting registration provision of Biden’s order, according to a report published Thursday by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. The group says fully implementing registration efforts laid out in the order would mean an additional 3.5 million voter registration applications annually.
image…Biden marching in 2013 with Rep. Pelosi, Rep. John Lewis (dec) and Rev. Sharpton…
Joe Biden helps lead the annual crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, commemorating Bloody Sunday, the violent 1965 clash between law enforcement and protestors on the historic bridge during a march for voting rights, Sunday, March 03, 2013, in Selma, Ala. Vasha Huntemail@example.com AP
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