Vice President Kamala Harris and numerous civil rights, voting rights, social justice, political and labor leaders were in Selma, Alabama on Sunday commemorating the anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” and the crossing of Edmund Pettus Bridge.
The Vice President was joined by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan and Deputy Secretary of Veteran Affairs Donald Remy.
Sunday marked the 57th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday,” the day in 1965 when white police attacked Black voting rights marchers attempting to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The images of the violence shocked a nation and helped galvanize support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Harris visited as Democrats have unsuccessfully tried to update the landmark voting rights law.
“Today, we stand on this bridge at a different time,” Harris said before a cheering crowd of thousands. “We again, however, find ourselves caught in between. Between injustice and justice. Between disappointment and determination. Still in a fight to form a more perfect union. And nowhere is that more clear than when it comes to the ongoing fight to secure the freedom to vote.”
“In a moment of great uncertainty, those marches pressed forward and they crossed,” Harris said. “We must do the same. We must lock our arms and march forward. We will not let setbacks stop us. We know that honoring the legacy of those who marched then demands that we continue to push Congress to pass federal voting rights legislation.”
President Joe Biden on Sunday renewed his call for the passage of voting legislation.
“My Administration will continue implementing my Executive Order to promote voter participation, increase access to the ballot, and rally the country to protect voting rights and election integrity. Vice President Harris, marching in Selma today, will continue to lead this effort. The U.S. Justice Department has doubled its voting rights enforcement staff to stop discriminatory voting laws as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 empowered it to do. And I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to strengthen our democracy and keep alive the promise of America for all Americans.”
“The battle for the soul of America has many fronts. The right to vote is the most fundamental.”
In her closing remarks, Harris remembered the late John Lewis and his lifelong fight for civil rights and racial equality.
“John Lewis — well, he never gave up the fight. He returned to this bridge again, and again, and again. It is that clarity of purpose, that relentless dedication, that spirit — the spirit of Selma — that we summon today.
We will keep fighting. We will keep organizing. We will keep shouting. We will keep making good trouble. And we will march on until victory is won.”
Read Harris’ full speech here.