Civil rights hero John Lewis crosses Selma bridge for final time


The late US congressman John Lewis has crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the final time as remembrances continue for the civil rights hero.

A crowd began gathering near the Edmund Pettus Bridge that became a landmark in the fight for racial justice when Mr Lewis and other civil rights marchers were beaten there 55 years ago on “Bloody Sunday”, a key event in the fight for voting rights for African Americans.

Mr Lewis’s body will be brought to the Alabama capital in the afternoon to lie in repose.

The coffin was carried by horse-drawn carriage

A series of events began on Saturday in Mr Lewis’s hometown of Troy, Alabama, to pay tribute the late congressman and his legacy. He will lie in state at the US capital next week before his private funeral on Thursday at Atlanta’s historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, which the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr once led.

A native of Pike County, Alabama, Mr Lewis became involved in the civil rights movement as a young man.

In 1965, he and other marchers were beaten in Selma. The news coverage of the event helped to galvanise support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Lewis, 80, died on July 17 several months after he was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

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