It won’t just be about history when crowds cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge this weekend and recreate the famous civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery — it will be about targeting Alabama’s toughest-in-the-nation immigration laws and its new voter ID requirements. Organizers expect thousands to participate in the crossing of the Selma bridge for the 47th anniversary of the 1965 incident when peaceful demonstrators were attacked by police in what became known as “Bloody Sunday.” The violence helped spark passage of the Voting Rights Act. They say hundreds plan to make the 50-mile march between Selma and Montgomery over the next week.
“Instead of having a ceremonial thing, we’re going to have a protest. I can’t do any walking anymore, but I’m going to go to Montgomery if I have to crawl there,” said Annie Pearl Avery, 68, who was arrested during the original crossing of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965. Events will be held daily along the way, culminating with a March 9 rally at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once served.
“We want to bring attention to what’s going on, especially with it being the celebration of the right to vote,” said Catrina Carter, regional coordinator with the 2012 Bridge Crossing Jubilee. “We want to bring attention to the fact that in the Southern states they are legislatively taking away those rights and putting up road blocks.”