Updated Mar 6, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Harris says "we will march on" as she commemorates "Bloody Sunday" in Selma

Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during commemorations for the 57th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday" on March 6 in Selma, Alabama. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Selma, Alabama, on Sunday to commemorate the 57th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," a critical day in the history of the civil rights movement.

Driving the news: Harris— the nation’s first Black female vice president— returned to where demonstrators in 1965 marched to demand an end to discrimination in the voting process to extol the current need to safeguard voting rights.

  • “Today, we stand on this bridge at a different time,” Harris told those gathered at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma. “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.”

What she's saying: "Thank you for your work, your sacrifice and your dedication," Harris said. "If we all continue to work together, to march together, to fight together we will secure the freedom to vote."

  • "Selma, the future of our democracy is being decided now," the vice president said. "We will march on until victory is won."
Harris in Selma
Vice President Kamala Harris, center, marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to commemorate the 57th anniversary of 'Bloody Sunday' in Selma, Alabama on March 6. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/AFP via Getty Images

The big picture: Though the Biden administration has called for an expansion of voting rights, federal legislation has stalled in Congress.

  • "Today, we’re seeing states across the country propose or enact laws that make it harder to vote and have that vote counted — an onslaught of deeply dangerous efforts to suppress the vote and subvert entire elections," President Biden said in a statement released on Sunday.
  • "The battle for the soul of America has many fronts. The right to vote is the most fundamental," he added, vowing to continue fighting for voting rights legislation.
  • While Republican state legislatures have introduced bills to restrict voting rights access, some Democrats have focused on bringing the fight to expand access to state races ahead of the midterms, Axios' Sophia Cai writes.

Details: The vice president met with civil rights leaders, including Betty Boynton, the daughter-in-law of voting rights activist Amelia Boynton, and with the family of John Lewis before the program began, according to pool reports. 

  • Harris 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.
  • The Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton also spoke.
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