March from Selma to Montomery

The NAACP, alongside National Action Network, AFL-CIO, SEIU and several other civil, human  and labor rights groups from across the nation completed the march from Selma to Montgomery today in protest of the modern day attacks on voting rights and Alabama’s racial profiling  law, HB56.  The march concluded with a rally on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol.

“I marched this week for two reasons,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous.  “I marched to honor the legacy of those who gave their time – and in some cases their lives – to secure for voting rights for all Americans and I marched to protest the attacks on voting rights, immigrant rights, and workers’ rights that threaten to destroy all of the progress this nation has made since the first march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.  I am proud to stand with this coalition of all races, colors and creeds to fight like our predecessors did 47 years ago.”

“Working families have come under attack over the last year or so,” stated AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker.  “Whether it be attacks on our rights at work, losing our homes, attacks on voting rights or threats to new immigrants. But the right to vote is the right that enables all other rights.  This is why this year’s Selma to Montgomery march is more important than ever.  We must band together from all communities to ensure that every vote gets counted this year – and so that we are able to create an economic agenda that serves the 99% rather than just the top 1%.”

Over the course of the weeklong march, thousands of people marched along U.S. Highway 80 from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama in the literal footsteps of those who participated in the march 47 years ago. The flood of protesters called for an end to strict voter ID laws, like the ones passed in Alabama and pending in Pennsylvania, which will suppress the right to vote for millions.  The marchers also demanded a repeal of Alabama HB56, a law that not only legitimizes racial profiling practices, but also instills fear in children, businesses, and community members by bestowing local law enforcement with an overly broad authority to investigate residents’ immigration statuses.

“We are powerful beyond belief because we have the power of truth on our side,” said SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina.  “We have the power of conviction on our side.  I can hear Martin Luther King Jr. telling us we shall overcome and Cesar Chavez telling us sí se puede – it can be done.”

The march and rally were organized by National Action Network and led by the organizations president and MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton.

“The state of Alabama is where the civil rights movement found its heart,” stated Rev. Sharpton.  “Today, when voter ID laws have crept into dozens of states, and one of the toughest and most reprehensible anti-immigration bills passed in Alabama, we must remind the world once again what’s at stake here.”

About Santiago David Távara

Santiago David Távara es graduado de Periodismo en la Universidad del Distrito de Columbia en Washington. Corresponsal de la Agencia Mexicana Notimex y colaborador de La Prensa Gráfica de El Salvador, Távara trabajó para la Agencia de Noticias EFE, los semanarios locales El Pregonero, El Tiempo Latino y Washington Hispanic así como en los ahora desaparecidos El Latino y el Diario de La Nación. Nacido en Callao, Perú, Távara contribuyó con artículos deportivos para una sección en español del diario The Washington Post y colaboró con la publicación Tiempos del Mundo, del diario The Washington Times.

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