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Miamians Marched For Current Civil Rights Issues To Commemorate 'Bloody Sunday'

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Jessica Meszaros
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WLRN

This past Saturday marked 50 years since “Bloody Sunday.” That was the day voting-rights activists were beaten and gassed by Alabama police as they marched from Selma to Montgomery. Miamians commemorated the anniversary by marching for civil rights issues they currently face. 

Over 100 people met at the Torch of Friendship in Downtown Miami. They marched down Biscayne Boulevard, closing it and other roads down, covering about a mile.

Demonstrators chanted "Selma is Miami" and "Selma is now." The group made its first stop in Overtown at the development site for the proposed Miami Worldcenter project.

"When developers come to town and they're requesting public funds, there should be a commitment to the local community as it relates to what this is gonna benefit them," said Bishop James Adams. He was leading the march at the front line.

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Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN
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WLRN
Bishop James Adams standing at the planned development site for the Miami Worldcenter project.

Adams is a pastor at Saint John’s Baptist church in Overtown. He says the government should give funds to the town’s poor citizens so they can build up the “depleted” area before funding developers.

Roland Michel, an accountant from Miami and fellow marcher, said the situation needs to be looked at "economically."

"There's development, but the community is not developing as a culture," said Michel. "The population that is part of the community-- they're not benefiting from it." 

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Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN
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WLRN

Ivan Parra was also rallying, but on behalf of Hispanic immigrants. He moved to Miami 10 years ago from Colombia. Parra says Latinos don’t want part-time minimum-wage jobs-- they want “good jobs.” 

"We have skills, we have the ability to work, but the wages is not living wages," said Parra.

He says Latinos are an important part of the workforce in Miami, and that the "city doesn't work without workers."

"Why we are not having that value that we deserve?" asked Parra. 

The march ended in front of St. John’s Church where demonstrators knelt down, raising their right fists in the air.

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Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN
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WLRN
The march ended in front of St. John's Baptist Church in Overtown. Marchers knelt down, raising their fists in the air.