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Barack Obama joins Selma march 50 years after Bloody Sunday

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President Barack Obama has attended the events celebrating the 50th anniversary of a landmark civil rights march in Selma, Alabama.

Barack Obama will deliver a speech to mark “Bloody Sunday” in March 1965, when security forces attacked demonstrators.

First Lady Michelle Obama and about 100 members of Congress are also due to attend.

Afterwards Barack and Michelle Obama will join marchers in a recreation of a walk on a bridge that was severely repressed.Selma march 1965

Police beat and used tear gas on demonstrators at the foot of Edmund Pettus Bridge on March 7, 1965.

That event, and a march from Selma to Montgomery two weeks later, helped build momentum for approval of the Voting Rights Act by Congress later that year.

The legislation, pushed by President Lyndon Johnson, removed all barriers preventing African Americans from registering as voters.

President George W. Bush – who was in office between 2001 and 2009 – is also expected to take part in the commemorations.

Georgia congressman John Lewis, a Democrat who was among those injured in the violence 50 years ago, is also attending.

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