AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

SELMA, Ala. (AP) — The Bloody Sunday 50th anniversary commemoration continued Sunday with gatherings and other events in Selma before a group retraces the steps that helped secure equal voting rights 50 years ago.

As dawn broke Sunday, a crowd gathered for the Martin Luther and Coretta Scott King Unity Breakfast at Wallace Community College. Other expected events Sunday include film screenings and a pre-march rally at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Police beat and tear-gassed marchers at the foot of the bridge in Selma on March 7, 1965, in an ugly spasm of violence that shocked the nation. The attack on demonstrators preceded the Selma-to-Montgomery march, which occurred two weeks later. Both helped build momentum for congressional approval of the Voting Rights Act later that year.

A march from Selma to Montgomery in remembrance of the journey the demonstrators took is set to begin Monday morning and culminate with a rally at the Alabama state Capitol on Friday afternoon.

Thousands gathered Saturday in the town of roughly 20,000 to hear speeches from leaders including President Barack Obama and Georgia Rep. John Lewis – an Alabama native who was among the demonstrators that was attacked by law enforcement on a march for equal voting rights.

Both gave rousing speeches on the work left to be done to achieve equality and Obama also touched on improvements in American race relations. The president mentioned recent high profile clashes between citizens and law enforcement on the circumstances leading to fatal police shootings and law enforcement tactics toward minorities.

Written by BREITBART NEWS
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