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SOS holds Juneteenth march across the bridge in Selma

Some of the speakers at the rally in Voting Rights Memorial Park after march across the bridge
Marchers on Juneteenth, cross the Pettus Bridge, asking that its name be changed

The Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy, the NAACP, ANSC, and other organizations sponsored a Juneteenth celebration in Selma, Alabama which culminated in a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and rally in the Voting Rights Memorial Park at the foot of the bridge on the Eastern side.
The June 19 – Juneteenth celebration honors the end of slavery in the United States when the Union Army reached Galveston, Texas in 1865, four months after the Confederate surrender in Virginia. Union forces brought the news that enslaved Black people were free under the Emancipation Proclamation.
The SOS march across the bridge had several purposes including calling for a change in the name of the Pettus Bridge because it is named for a Confederate general and grand dragon of the Klu Klux Klan.
Other purposes of the march were to support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, for criminal justice reform to end police brutality; Expansion of Medicaid in Alabama and an end to healthcare disparities in the treatment of Black and other people of color, especially during the coronavirus pandemic; and support for the ‘Vote or Die Campaign’ to increase voter participation and end voter suppression.
The SOS march supported the demand to change the name of the bridge from Edmund Pettus to the ‘Freedom Bridge’. “We are aware that there is a national petition drive to rename the bridge for Congressman John Lewis, who was beaten on the bridge on March 7, 1965 – Bloody Sunday. We feel that it should not be re-named for one person, since there were so many leaders and grassroots foot-soldiers involved over many decades, in a movement for voting rights. It would be better to have a generic name,” said Hank Sanders, SOS Steering Committee member and local leader.
Earlier in the week on Monday night, June 15, 2020, SOS supported a march and rally in Tuskegee to call for the removal of the Confederate statue in the center of town. Former Mayor Johnny Ford of Tuskegee said, “We have been trying for more than thirty years to remove this statue and vestige of white supremacy from the town.”
At the end of the rally, the Selma chapter of SOS distributed Afrocentric and Black History books to children. This was to kickoff of a special reading program that ultimately will lead to the presentation of scholarships to youth participating in the reading program.

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