Selma, Alabama – Democratic presidential candidates came to Selma, the birthplace of the civil rights movement in the United States on Sunday, to ask for the support of black voters in a city where protesters were once beaten for the right to vote.
Two days before the crucial Super Tuesday vote, the issues of fighting voter suppression, helping the poor and defeating President Donald Trump took center stage at events that marked the 55th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when white police repressed black protesters in this town in Alabama, one of the 14 states that will vote on Tuesday.
Former Vice President Joe Biden and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave separate messages at the historic Brown Chapel AME Church.RELATED
Also scheduled were meetings of Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, as well as former Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer, despite having suspended his campaign following poor results in Saturday’s elections in South Carolina.
State police beat and threw tear gas at hundreds of protesters trying to march from Selma to Montgomery, the capital, on March 7, 1965, in demand of the vote. With 25 years, the now Congressman John Lewis led the protesters and was among the wounded.
The confrontation set the stage for the massive march of Selma’s voting rights to Montgomery led by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. weeks later and helped inspire the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year.