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Kamala Harris leads commemoration of Bloody Sunday as advocates rally for voting rights

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Vice President Kamala Harris took center stage at the 59th anniversary commemoration of the Bloody Sunday attacks in Selma, Alabama, where she addressed a large gathering, emphasizing that the fundamental freedoms, particularly the right to vote, are currently under siege in the United States.

Joined by thousands at the base of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of the violent clashes in 1965, Harris lauded the courage of the civil rights activists who stood firm in the face of brutality, marking a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for civil rights.

“Today, we recognize that our battle for freedom persists, as we witness a concerted assault on the hard-earned rights, notably the freedom to cast a vote,” Harris articulated, highlighting the attempts to curtail voting rights through various restrictive measures.

In her impassioned address, Harris urged the nation to reflect on the values it upholds, questioning whether it aspires to be a beacon of freedom, justice, and equality or succumb to the shadows of injustice and fear.

Drawing parallels between historical and contemporary challenges, Harris condemned the attempts to impede voting rights, education, and reproductive rights, echoing the sentiments of activists advocating for a more equitable society.

The commemoration also featured Attorney General Merrick Garland, who addressed worshippers at Selma’s Tabernacle Baptist Church, underscoring the recent legal setbacks and legislative maneuvers that imperil the foundation of voting rights across the nation.

The event culminated in a symbolic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge led by Vice President Harris, with thousands in tow, echoing the chants and anthems of the Civil Rights Movement, reaffirming their commitment to the ongoing struggle for justice.

As the commemoration unfolded, attendees reflected on the significance of the upcoming elections and the broader implications for democracy, underscoring the need for continued vigilance in safeguarding voting rights.

Khadidah Stone, a participant in the event, emphasized the enduring relevance of the struggle for voting rights, urging continued activism in the face of persistent threats.

Nita Hill, sporting a hat emblazoned with the words “Good Trouble,” a tribute to the late Rep. John Lewis, stressed the importance of civic engagement in countering regressive policies.

Decades since the harrowing events of Bloody Sunday, the legacy of the civil rights movement endures, serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration for those striving for a more inclusive and just society.

Reflecting on the significance of Selma, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn underscored the pivotal role the city played in shaping the trajectory of the voting rights movement, emphasizing the continued relevance of its principles in contemporary struggles for equality and justice.

In a moment of reckoning for the nation, the commemoration of Bloody Sunday serves as a poignant reminder of the enduring quest for equality and the imperative of safeguarding the right to vote.

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