More than 200 marchers—including college students from as far away as Idaho—yesterday carried on the Selma to Montgomery march in Alabama, where activists in the labor, civil rights and faith communities on Sunday began a five-day journey. The weeklong series of events marks the 47th anniversary of the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery and is focusing attention on new attacks on voting rights, immigrants, workers’ rights and education.
Monday's actions, which highlighted education and voting rights, took on special meaning when five miles into their 12-mile walk, marchers were greeted by grade school children from Selma's Craig Elementary School. Lined up along a fence, the students held a giant, hand-painted sign: Thank You. AFL-CIO Executive Vice President
Arlene Holt Baker, who is heading up our delegation there, says:
When you look into the face of these children, whose future can be so bright if we can sufficiently fund and ensure that they have access to quality public education, this is why we march. We applaud the teachers, we applaud the students and the teachers who continue to teach them.
Holt Baker walked the entire 12-mile route, along with NAACP Chairman Ben Jealous, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson and SEIU Executive Vice President Eliseo Medina.
When Sharpton, Jackson and others walked over to shake the hands of the Craig Elementary students, one remarked:
I’m not used to shaking famous people’s hands.
If you can’t be there in person, you can be there online. Click here to sign a pledge of solidarity with the marchers and tell us why you are joining the virtual march. Your comments will be shared with the marchers on the ground so they know there are tens of thousands standing with them.