Notes from the Campaign Trail (7) What if this were the Edmund Pettus Bridge in 1965?

As Heather and I were walking in the March for our Lives rally yesterday in Philly, we passed two police officers on horseback and then a line of about 20 officers on foot marking the barricade to stop traffic on Market Street. The thought occurred to me, what if this were the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma in 1965 and these police were not there to protect us, but to stop us from protesting? Would we still have had the courage to march? We certainly would not have had our children with us! To proceed knowingly and peacefully into the hostile hands, feet and billy clubs of the Alabama State Police, as John Lewis and his Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) did on March 7, 1965, was an act of absolute courage and self-sacrifice that I do not think many of yesterday would have dared attempt. Our civil liberties are precious to us. To some, they were worth sacrificing life and limb. To us yesterday, hopefully taking a short walk with 10,000 of our neighbors, protected by the police, sent a strong enough message to our leaders. Thank you John Lewis and SNCC that we did not have to do the incomprehensible as you did 53 short years ago.

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