BP Adams: ‘We’re fighting now for not just civil rights but human rights’
Carrying signs saying “Black lives matter!” and “We march with Selma,” more than 500 marchers crossed over the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama.
During the 1965 voting rights march, police violence against peaceful participants shocked the nation. The Selma march was led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights luminaries.
On Saturday, Borough President Eric Adams linked arms with religious leaders and led the way from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn Borough Hall, where participants watched President Barack Obama’s address to the nation from Selma.
The march was meant to remind people that the struggle for civil rights is not over.
“We’re fighting now for not just civil rights but human rights,” BP Adams said. “The right to housing, the right to employment, the right to healthcare, the right to not be prosecuted unfairly. All those who feel America has denied them, this is your Selma moment.”
Marcher Joseph Gifford, Clinton Hill resident and a member of Local 100, said that while much progress has been made, a lot of racial problems still remained to be solved in America.
“The most important thing is, unless we know our history, we are doomed to repeat it,” he told the Brooklyn Eagle.
Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (Red Hook, Sunset Park) told the Eagle, “For me, remembering Selma is about reigniting the fire, so that young people get every opportunity to realize their dreams for a more just world.”
During the march, BP Adams linked arms with civil rights attorney Norman Siegel, Dr. Karen Daughtry, and Sen. Jesse Hamilton (Crown Heights, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens).
Other officials participating included Brooklyn Councilmembers Mark Treyger, Jumaane Williams and Laurie Cumbo.
The Brooklyn United Marching Band led the procession over the bridge, and performed in front of Borough Hall. Band member Rashawn Hawkins, 14, said that “Rev. King improved things,” but more progress needed to be made.
The 1965 Selma march was part of the Selma Voting Rights Movement and led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
Despite friction with police over several recent shootings, at least one marcher noted with approval the assistance of the NYPD as cops shepherded the participants over the bridge and across the busy Tillary Street intersection.