Fifty years ago, what happened in Selma changed the world.
Five decades later, the IAM again joined thousands in the labor, civil and human rights movements to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches.
“Labor’s roots are about doing the right thing,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “We were there, and labor was an integral part of the civil rights movement.”
The original march in 1965 was a key part of the American civil rights movement, targeting voting laws, especially in the South, that discriminated against African Americans. The events marking its 50th anniversary took place in the shadows of Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge – the infamous “Bloody Sunday” site where 600 peaceful protestors were clubbed and tear gassed at the hands of Alabama state troopers and local police as they attempted to cross.
“If you don’t know your history, you’re destined to repeat it,” said Marvin Wise, president of IAM Local 2003 in Daleville, AL. “This is one way to bring the kids here and show them what happened 50 years ago.”