The 47th reenactment of the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama gets stronger every day. Over the past four days, I’ve had the privilege of marching with community organizers and activists from around the nation as we fight for voting, civil, and immigrant rights in Alabama and across the country.
The theme for yesterday’s event was workers’ rights. Several bus and van loads of labor leaders and rank and file members joined us as we made our way just inside the Montgomery County line. Civil rights songs charged up the crowd as we marched well past the halfway mark of the trek to the Alabama State Capitol.
In the evening, we gathered at the Jackson-Steele Community Center in Lowndes County where Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, herself a child of an immigrant family, reminded hundreds of grassroots leaders that Alabama’s economic future is at stake because of the state’s racial injustice. Alabama’s vehemently anti-immigration law, HB56, has cost the state up to $10.8 billion in economic output, caused by immigrants fleeing the state and leaving thousands of jobs unfilled.
Immigrant rights is the focus of today’s march. Hundreds of immigrants have been marching since Sunday and more are expected to join the march today from all over the country. Among the marchers are many members of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM). We’re marching to let Alabama lawmakers that we won’t tolerate racially discriminatory laws, and we are prepared to carry this message to other states.
Be sure to follow the march on Twitter (#Selma2012, #crisisAL) and track our coverage at twitter.com/communitychange. And text MARCH to 69866 to join the virtual march and get updates.