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US 'Bloody Sunday' remembered in Alabama with emotional march

10:15  05 march  2018
10:15  05 march  2018 Source:   foxnews.com

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Selma remembers ‘ Bloody Sunday ’. Just over half a century ago nearly 600 protestors marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. on Over half a century ago, all eyes were on Selma, Ala., as police brutally beat peaceful protesters who were attempting to march across the Edmund

In March of 1965, CBS News cameras rode along with school children in Alabama at a legendary time in the civil rights movement. This weekend, people

Over half a century ago, all eyes were on Selma, Ala., as police brutally beat peaceful protesters who were attempting to march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on their way to the state capitol in Montgomery.

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Bloody Sunday . Alston Fitts, Selma, Alabama . " Bloody Sunday " refers to the March 7, 1965, civil rights march that was supposed to go from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery to protest the shooting death of activist Jimmie Lee Jackson. (Baker would be remembered in a positive light for his actions.

On March 7, 1965, Alabama state troopers and Sheriff Jim Clark’s posse attacked hundreds of demonstrators as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge while trying to march from Selma to Montgomery. The confrontation turned national attention to the civil rights struggle in the South and

Among the nearly 600 protesters in 1965 was 11-year-old Jo Ann Bland. She was playing outside Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church just before people began lining up for the march. Bland said as the group marched over the bridge, a line of policemen refused to let them pass.   

“I thought the tear gas canisters were gunshots,” Bland told Fox News at her home in Selma. “I thought they were killing the people down front because that’s what we heard.”

More than 50 protesters were injured.

“There was nowhere to go except to try to dodge the billy clubs [and] the horses,” Bland added. “They were running the horses into the crowd, people were being trampled. It was awful, it seemed like it lasted forever.”

Bland says she had never experienced violence until that day on March 7, 1965. She often shares her story with visitors to the region by personally coordinating tours. Every year she joins hundreds of people for the annual re-enactment march across the bridge, a national historic site.  

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Fifty years ago today, Alabama State Troopers attacked voting-rights demonstrators on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. Events moved quickly after that, with President Lyndon Johnson delivering his “We Shall Overcome” address before Congress and calling for a voting-rights bill just over a week later.

Bloody Sunday was one of Selma, Alabama 's fundamental events that helped pave the way to equal rights. As a result, the yearly Bloody Sunday Bridge Crossing

Leading the group in 1965 was John Lewis -- an organizer at the time, before he was a congressman.

“We still have a distance to travel,” Lewis, D-Ga., said as he finished walking along the bridge. “It’s always a great feeling to be back here. For this is where people stood, where they were beaten [and] where they never gave up [or] never gave in. They kept the faith, they kept their eyes on the prize and with their blood they wrote a voting rights act.”

Lewis was one of the injured protesters on that day. Congress would go on to approve the Voting Rights Act months later.

Joining Lewis for the march was a bipartisan group of elected officials including Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and more.

Many of those who lived through the tumultuous 1960s say it’s important for the younger generation to learn from past mistakes in history.

“This particular history is too important to the fabric of this nation to be forgotten,” Bland said. “If our future generations don’t know where we’ve been as a nation, we are destined to repeat the same things. So, you have to take this history and use it as a foundation.”

Adanze Eke, 17, is one of hundreds of people who traveled to Selma to take part in the annual march. She admits her generation may do things differently than those in the past but notes how important it is to see things firsthand.

“I think young people are doing a decent job right now,” Eke said.  “But they’re doing it [from] their phones. I think what we need to do is come out here and see it for ourselves.”

The Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee takes place the first week in March and attracts thousands of visitors to the city each year.  

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