The Nation’s Most Respected Latino Civil Rights Organizations LCLAA, LULAC, NCLR, and Hispanic Federation, Join the 47th Anniversary of the Reenactment of the Selma to Montgomery March

March 7, 2012

Contact: Paloma Zuleta, pzuleta@lulac.org
(202) 812-4477 (M)
202-833-6130 ext.103 (O)

Washington, D.C. – Today, in front of the AFL-CIO headquarters, a delegation of Latino leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders boarded a bus routed to Selma, Alabama in order to participate in the reenactment of the historic civil rights marches of 1965. The Latino delegation will march alongside civil rights leaders in Selma and demand for the repeal of Alabama’s anti-Latino legislation, HB 56.

The event known as “Bloody Sunday” was a historic event when 600 protesters were forced back by state troopers and local police with tear gas and clubs as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge over the Alabama River into Montgomery. Due to the police force brutality, over 50 people were hospitalized on March 7, 1965. Since that fateful day, thousands convene to retrace the steps of history by marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to remember the day that a group of unarmed men and women bravely stood their ground against blatant discrimination. Unfortunately, 47 years after “Bloody Sunday” we are still experiencing civil rights violations.

“In 1965, the Selma to Montgomery March made history and changed America; it marked the peak of the civil rights movement. Today many states have launched an all-out coordinated assault on democracy by attacking workers’ rights, voting rights, public education and by promoting anti-immigrant legislation. Almost 50 years after the civil rights movement secured major gains immigrants are still fighting for basic rights and dignity. We will not permit any more policies that marginalize Latinos and their children and drive them out of jobs and communities,” stated Hector Sanchez, LCLAA’s Executive Director.

“Today, 47 years after the passing of monumental legislation, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, immigrant men, women and children are degraded in our laws, and in our minds,” said LULAC National President Margaret Moran. “We can blame ourselves for the dehumanization of the undocumented community because we have allowed terms like “illegal alien” to identify their class. We march with our sister organizations and the African American community to make clear that although the Hispanic community is diverse and disagreements over comprehensive immigration reform and the Dream Act exist, we will not turn our backs and ignore the plight of the undocumented.”

“In an extraordinary show of support from the African-American community, immigration is one of the key focal points of this year’s commemoration of the historic Selma to Montgomery march. The African-American community knows as we do that anti-immigrant laws and voter ID laws are really an all-out assault on civil rights. We are deeply proud to be marching with our African-American brothers and sisters and NCLR is very appreciative of the strong commitment from our sister Latino organizations to this important event,” stated Janet Murguia, NCLR President and CEO.

“Today, as we set off to recreate this historic event and march for civil rights, we remember the thousands of individuals who have sacrificed everything to gain the right to vote. It is our solemn responsibility to protect this hard-fought right and ensure that every American citizen - regardless of race, ethnicity and income - is able to vote unimpeded and fully participate in our democracy,” stated Jose Calderon, Interim President of the Hispanic Federation.

The Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) is the leading national organization for Latino(a) workers , that educates, empowers and increases opportunities for this diverse, dynamic and growing community. LCLAA was born in 1972 out of the need to inform Latinos about workers’ rights, raise national awareness regarding the issues that affect their well-being and increase their influence in the political process. LCLAA advocates and mobilizes our 52 chapters across the U.S. and Puerto Rico to strive for justice, economic equality, social dignity and a higher quality of life for Latinos and all working families.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is a volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 900 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.

NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit www.nclr.org or follow along on Facebook and Twitter.

The mission of the Hispanic Federation is to empower and advance the Hispanic community. The Hispanic Federation provides grants and services to a broad network of Latino non-profit agencies serving the most vulnerable members of the Hispanic community and advocates nationally with respect to the vital issues of education, health, immigration, economic empowerment, civic engagement and the environment.

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