ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) – CW69’s Valencia Jones joined several Metro Atlanta labor and voter advocate groups for a bus ride to Selma for the 57th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, following the March 6 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where police brutally attached civil rights marchers in 1965. Organizers shared why the march for civil rights continues nearly 60 years later.
The buses left early Sunday morning from the IBEW Local 613 parking lot on Pulliam Street. “This is the purpose of this trip is so we can see certain things and know certain things about our history,” said Bishop Greg Fann, the chairman of the Voter Empowerment Collaborative.
In March 1965, demonstrators on the Edmund Pettus Bridge were attacked by members of several law enforcement agencies as they marched for voting rights. Voting rights advocates say the fight continues. “If we don’t do what we’re doing, it’s going to turn around,” said Wendell Carlisle, one of the advocates.
“If you go up to that Capitol like I do, you will see that we are under attack,” said Georgia AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Yvonne Brooks.
“We’re going to remember our future, because we know what our present and past has looked like,” said Sandra Williams, the executive director of the Atlanta-North Georgia Labor Council.
The buses stopped in Montgomery at the homes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Reverend Ralph D. Abernathy, which are located near Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the historic church where Dr. King preached.
The groups also toured the museums and memorials, before making it to Selma, where Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at the ceremony. “We will march on until victory is won,” she said during her speech.
After a lengthy wait, the crowd followed the steps marchers have taken for decades, walking across the iconic bridge. Organizers reflected on the journey ahead. “I want to thank God for allowing us to come down here to be able to be a witness to what happened in 1965 and understand the struggle that those people had and the struggles we still have today,” said Fann.
They’re encouraging the next generations to continue the good fight.
“We can effect change. We can change the way that this country is going. We can make progress,” said Chandler Steele.
The annual pilgrimage to Selma is hosted by the Voter Empowerment Collaborative. The organization was created by Love In Action Ministries and founded by Reverend Albert Eugene Love, who dedicated his life to educating voters and died of pancreatic cancer in 2019.