Does Nonviolent Protest Work? Exploring Marches

March (verb) - Walk along public roads in an organized procession to protest about something.

March on Washington

On August 28, 1963 nearly 300 thousand protestors came from across the nation to Washington, D.C. to hopefully achieve equal rights for all Americans. The protestors were mainly black citizens and successfully pressured John F. Kennedy to initiate a strong federal civil rights bill in congress. The passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 reflected the demands of the march.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist and a leader during The Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolence. He was a heavy influence in motivating persistence in peace among protests. King was known for giving his, "I Have a Dream" speech during the march, summing up the black beliefs and wishes.

Linda Deutsch recalled the march in her blog as, "[N]o one who was there could remain immune from the powerful emotions. I remember standing near the reflecting pool at the Washington Monument linking arms with strangers, black and white, joining in the songs, sitting on the grass and hearing hearing speeches by entertainers and civil rights leaders.

Bloody Sunday

On March 7, 1965, protestors marched from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, to emphasize the wanted right to vote for all citizens as the first of three marches. Upon crossing the border bridge, the Alabama state trooper force threatened protestors to disperse and return to their churches or else. After beginning to pray, troopers attacked the crowd with night sticks and bull whips. Nearly 17 - 50 people were injured and hospitalized.

Historical Inset: In Selma, Alabama, in 1965, only 2.1 percent of blacks of voting age had the right to vote. The only place you could attempt to register to vote was at the courthouse. Blacks would be asked to pass a "literacy test." On one occasion, a man was asked to count the number of bubbles on a bar of soap. On another occasion, a man was asked to count the number of jelly beans in a jar. Many lawyers, doctors, and teachers failed these bizarre tests.

Gandhi and the Salt March

On March 12, 1930, Gandhi and his followers travelled 240 miles to the coastal town of Dandi to defy Britains laws. One of them, Britain's Salt Acts, prohibited Indians from collecting or selling salt. Despite the poor effect of taxes among the Indian communities, Indians required salt. Gandhi reasoned that defying the salt acts would be a simple way to break the British rule among the countries. Nearly 60,000 people were arrested including Gandhi himself.

Gandhi thought of nonviolence as a way of life and a tool of resistance.

Sources

History.com Staff. "Salt March." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. <http://www.history.com/topics/salt-march>., "‘Bloody Sunday’ March Took Place 48 Years Ago On This Day In 1965." News One. N.p., 07 Mar. 2013. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. <https://newsone.com/2268019/bloody-sunday-1965/>., ""I Thought I Saw Death": John Lewis Remembers Police Attack on Bloody Sunday in Selma 50 Years Ago." Democracy Now! N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. <https://www.democracynow.org/2015/3/6/i_thought_i_saw_death_john>., "The March on Washington, August 28, 1963." Social Welfare History Project. N.p., 30 Oct. 2016. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. <http://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu//eras/march-on-washington-august-28-1963/>., "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. <http://kingencyclopedia.stanford.edu/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_march_on_washington_for_jobs_and_freedom/>., Http://www.jaws.org/author/lauren-m-whaley/. "Linda Deutsch: March on Washington." JAWS. N.p., 15 Dec. 2013. Web. 16 Jan. 2017. <http://www.jaws.org/work-we-do/guest-blog-post/linda-deutsch-march-washington/>.

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