Organizers Plan to Move Forward With Bridge Crossing Jubilee

Feb 26, 2017

Bridge Crossing Jubilee, Selma, Ala.

Organizers of the Bridge Crossing Jubilee in Selma say they plan to move forward with the event, despite the city of Selma asking for $23,000 to provide police, fire, and other city services for the gathering.

Organizer and civil rights activist Faya Rose Touré says "everything is a go" for the march and celebration, which coincides with the anniversary of the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" march. Demonstrators were beaten on Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma during that famous march.

Touré says they will not pay the $23,000 requested by Selma's city hall.

Selma Mayor Darrio Melton says the city has been subsidizing the event for years.

He says streets will be blocked off March 5 for a Sunday march across the bridge. However, he says the city can't provide free services for other events on city property which include a parade, street vendors and a music festival.

Melton says the history of the fight for voting rights belongs to America, and not the event organizers.

The city of Selma also imposed a bill of more than $20,000 to cover city services for the annual recreation of the 1865 Battle of Selma. That event was canceled this year, as organizers couldn't afford the additional expense.