Rep. John Lewis at March on Washington: “I’m Not Going Stand By and Allow the Supreme Court to Take Away Right to Vote”

Rep. John Lewis at the 1993 March on Washington

Rep. John Lewis at the 1993 March on Washington

The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington drew thousands and many leaders gave rousing speeches, including Rep. John Lewis, the youngest speaker at the 1963 march, and Rev. Joseph P. Lowery. Lewis addressed the issue of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 being gutted vowing, “I am not going to stand by and allow the Supreme Court to take away the right to vote.”

“When I stood here 50 years ago, I said one man, one vote is the African cry. It is ours, too. it must be ours,” he began, before connecting the demands of 1963 to today’s struggles. “Almost 50 years ago, I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the right to vote. I am not going to stand by and let the Supreme Court take the right to vote away from us!”

LEWIS: You cannot stand by. You cannot sit down. You have to stand up, speak up, speak out and get in the way. Make some noise. The vote is precious. It is almost sacred. It’s the most powerful non-violent tool we have in a democratic society and we’ve got to use it. Back in 1963 we didn’t have a cellular telephone, iPad, iPod, but we used what we had to bring about a non-violent revolution. And I said to all of the young people, you must get out there and push and pull and make America what America should be for all of us. We must say to the Congress, ‘Fix the Voting Rights Act.’ Source: Think Progress

Rev. Joseph Lowery said, “we come to Washington to commemorate, we’re going home to agitate.” U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder also gave a rousing speech in which he credited the civil rights movement for his and President Obama’s success.

This was cross-posted from The Hinterland Gazette.

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Author: JANET SHAN

  • http://n/a brownies girl

    Rep. John Lewis says: “I am not going to stand by and allow the Supreme Court to take away the right to vote.”

    When those of us outside the American borders think of your country, it is THIS attitude that keeps us coming back, in our dedication to, and our admiration of, and belief in, the USA. You go, John Lewis — YOU GO! God speed in your quest.

    Why is it that when you reach the three-score-plus-ten limit, you yearn to go to the ramparts and fight for a good cause but the body just ain’t willing? Life is not fair — too soon we get old, too late we get smart. God bless the USA that they have a man of this calibre fighting for a good cause. Good men like Lewis are hard to find. Instead, folks vote for men like Cruz. Holy crap. It’s a puzzle to me.

  • Today

    We, as a nation of “free” people, still have a long way to go. What does it take to stop the insanity?

  • sheknows

    brownies girl I agree with you 100%. If a person in another country can see just how screwed up the Republican Party is, one would think they would have a clue.
    I cannot think of an argument that supports even one Republican belief. Of course, in this country you never actually hear what their beliefs are. Pretty much they are anti-Democratic party and anti-Obama, and anti-minority and anti-Social Security and anti-immigration, and anti-voters rights, and anti….well, you get the picture.
    People like Lewis are much needed.