Tuesday, March 9, 2010

SCLC remembers “Bloody Sunday” of 1965


SCLC member and officials march over MLK bridge Sunday.

On Sunday March 7, 1965 over 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma Alabama on U.S. Route 80 to the Edmund Pettus Bridge. They were met by local law enforcement with billy clubs and tear gas driving them back into Selma.

Ruling in favor of the demonstrators District Court Judge Frank Johnson, Jr. said “the law is clear that the right to petition one’s government for the redress of grievances may be exercised in large groups.” Following the ruling 25,000 marchers arrived at the capitol. Less then five months after President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This past Sunday the local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference walked in silence across Roanoke’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge.

President Emeritus Perneller Chubb-Wilson spoke of the horror of that day and admonished those who fail to exercise their freedom to vote today. She referenced the poor turnout for Tuesday’s Democratic primary and apathy of the electorate. Wilson said, “people died for the right to vote.”

All candidates for Roanoke City Council attended the proceedings. Mayor David Bowers and Vice-Mayor Sherman Lea spoke to the small gathering. Incumbent council member Dave Trinkle along with Democratic candidates Bill Bestpitch, Ray Ferris and Republican candidates Tony Walker, Colonel Robert Craig and Independent Carl Cooper were in attendance.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Local Events



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