Resolution J743-2013

Commemorating the 48th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday

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  • Mar 7, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Mar 7, 2013: REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • Mar 5, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

LEGISLATIVE  RESOLUTION  commemorating  the  48th  Anniversary of Bloody
Sunday

WHEREAS, On March 7, 1965, 600 civil  rights  demonstrators  marched  54
miles from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, Alabama; and
  WHEREAS,  The demonstrators organized to promote black voter registra-
tion and challenge the killing of  Jimmie  Lee  Jackson,  who  had  been
killed  by  an Alabama state trooper three weeks earlier while trying to
protect his mother at a civil rights demonstration; and
  WHEREAS, For 100 years after Emancipation laws, intimidation  tactics,
and violence prevented African-Americans from going to the polls; and
  WHEREAS,  In  the city of Selma, African-Americans comprised more than
half the population yet were only 2% of the registered voters; and
  WHEREAS, The march was led by luminaries including  John  Lewis,  then
head  of the voter registration effort of the Student Nonviolent Coordi-
nating Committee and activist Hosea Williams; and
  WHEREAS, The demonstrators silently proceeded from the  steps  of  the
Brown Chapel AME Church to the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma; and
  WHEREAS,  The  demonstrators  were  brazenly attacked by heavily armed
police officers; and
  WHEREAS, On March 8, 1965, the NEW YORK  TIMES  described  the  events
that  day,  "The first 10 or 20 Negroes were swept to the ground scream-
ing, arms and legs flying and packs and bags went skittering across  the
grassy  divider  strip and on to the pavement on both sides. Those still
on their feet retreated." The Times  related  the  scene  in  make-shift
hospital  as:    "Negroes lay on the floors and chairs, many weeping and
moaning. A girl in red slacks was carried from the house screaming. From
the hospital came a report that the victims had  suffered  fractures  of
ribs, heads, arms and legs, in addition to cuts and bruises."; and
  WHEREAS,  The violence against the peaceful demonstrators became known
as "Bloody Sunday" and shocked millions of Americans; and
  WHEREAS, Within 48 hours, demonstrations in support  of  the  marchers
were held in 80 cities across the United States of America; and
  WHEREAS,  On March 15, 1965, a mere eight days later, President Lyndon
Baines Johnson announced to the nation before a televised Joint  Session
of  Congress,  "Allow  men  and  women to register and vote whatever the
color of their skin."; he championed the cause of the demonstrators  who
crossed  the Pettus Bridge, "their cause must be our cause, too. Because
it's not just Negroes, but really it's all of us, who must overcome  the
crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome."; and
  WHEREAS,  Less  than  five  months  later on August 6, 1965, President
Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law; and
  WHEREAS, Within four years of enacting  the  Voting  Rights  Act,  the
number  of blacks eligible to vote rose from 23% to 51%; now, therefore,
be it
  RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause  in  its  deliberations  to
commemorate  the 48th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, and to recognize the
heroism, sacrifice, and commitment of those who  lost  their  lives  and
were  injured  during  the events surrounding "Bloody Sunday"; and be it
further
  RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to Ms. Hazel Dukes,  President,  National  Association  for  the
Advancement of Colored People, New York State Conference.

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