Biden stresses Black rights on anniversary of 1965 ‘Bloody Sunday’


US President Joe Biden called Sunday for strengthening the voting rights of Black Americans as he attended an event in Selma, Alabama to mark the 58th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” when peaceful marchers were attacked by state troopers.


“The right to vote and to have your vote counted is the threshold of democracy and liberty,” Biden told the crowd, speaking at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.


“With it, anything is possible. Without it — without that right, nothing is possible. And this fundamental right remains under assault,” he added.


Biden noted that in the US, “hate and extremism will not prevail, although they are rearing their ugly head with significance now.”


“We must get the votes in Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act,” he said, referring to an amendment to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 named after late civil rights icon US Representative John Lewis.


“I’ve made it clear I will not let a filibuster obstruct the sacred right to vote,” he added.


On March 7, 1965, hundreds of voting rights activists were attacked by Alabama state troopers while trying to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge during a march on the Alabama state capital, Montgomery.


Deputies chased men, women and children while swinging clubs, whips and rubber tubing wrapped in barbed wire.


Rather than deter the activists, the brutal crackdown attracted many others from across the country who joined in the cause and shortly thereafter culminated in the passage of the milestone Voting Rights Act, which prohibits racial discrimination at polling stations.


It took activists three attempts to finally reach Montgomery.


Source: Anadolu Agency