On March 7, 1965, 25-year-old John Lewis, already a veteran of the Freedom Rides, Mississippi’s Freedom Summer and MLK's March on Washington, walked ahead of 600 civil rights activists as they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. A posse of 150 state troopers and deputy sheriffs attacked them, wielding clubs, bullwhips and tear gas. Lewis was beaten to within an inch of his life. But he survived to lead another march a week later. This time they kept going — all the way to the state capitol in Montgomery, 50 miles away. 51 years later, on the floor of the House, John Lewis, now 76 and a member of Congress for nearly three decades, took another courageous and principled stand. Many of his Democratic colleagues joined him for a sit-in on the floor of the House chamber itself, the same kind of protest he and his fellow activists used so effectively during the 1960s.
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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)