Hoyer Statement on the Anniversary of Bloody Sunday

For Immediate Release:

March 7, 2014

Contact:

Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today commemorating the 49th anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights march on March 7, 1965, also known as “Bloody Sunday”:

“Today, we mark the 49th anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday,’ when a march for equality and voting rights in Selma, Alabama, was met with violent suppression.  Led by the courageous young activist John Lewis, whom I have been proud to serve with in Congress and call my friend for many years, 600 men and women braved the arsenal of intolerance and injustice as they asserted their full and equal right to participate in our democracy.  Bloodied and bruised, they were turned back that Sunday at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, but they returned days later, defiant and bearing the scars that testified to their unwavering determination, and completed their march for equality to the State Capitol in Montgomery. 

“This weekend, I will be joining Rep. John Lewis and a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives to trace the footsteps of that march. We will do so both to pay tribute to those who stood up against injustice at great risk to themselves and to serve as a reminder that the march for equality, opportunity, and justice must continue in our own day. 

“In the wake of the disappointing Supreme Court ruling that invalidated a key part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was passed following the Selma March, Congress must take action to right that wrong.  I was proud to cosponsor the bipartisan Voting Rights Amendments Act, which would put critical voting protections back in place, and I will continue to work with Rep. Lewis and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pass this bill into law. 

"As we join together in marking this anniversary of ‘Bloody Sunday,’ let us recommit ourselves to the task of protecting the right to vote for this generation of Americans and all those who will inherit our democracy in years to come.” 

###