From the Archives: Protests in Los Angeles after beating of Selma marchers
By Scott Harrison
Mar 05, 2019 | 7:00 AM
In 1965, non-violent Civil Rights activists organized a series of voting-rights marches from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, the state capital. African-Americans citizens were disenfranchised across much of the southern United States.
A march by about 600 protesters on Sunday, March 7, 1965, was violently broken up by state troopers. Seventeen marchers were hospitalized and another 50 injured. Televised and still images of the authorities beating marchers circulated world-wide.
The day, which became known as "Bloody Sunday," is widely credited for galvanizing the nation's leaders and leading to passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In the above Associated Press image, foreground right, John Lewis, then-chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and present-day congressman, is beaten by a state trooper.
After the March 7, 1965, beating of civil rights marchers, protests broke out across the United States. In Los Angeles, demonstrators gathered to demand federal intervention to protect the marchers in Alabama. Over the next few days, more than 100 protesters were arrested.
The March 11, 1965, Los Angeles Times reported that “U.S. marshals arrested 98 defiant civil rights demonstrators Wednesday after two human barricades vitally sealed off the Federal Building most of the afternoon.”
“Three sympathizers threw themselves under buses carrying singing and chanting prisoners to jail. One was injured.”
Protests and sit-ins continued for a week. On March 13, 1965, more than 6,000 demonstrators marched from Pershing Square to Los Angeles City Hall and the Federal Building.
An earlier version of this post was published on March 8, 2015.