Vice President Harris calls for cease-fire in Gaza during speech at Bloody Sunday anniversary

Vice President Harris calls for cease-fire in Gaza during speech at Bloody Sunday anniversary

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, front center, other participants walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during an event marking the 57th anniversary of the 1965 Bloody Sunday civil rights march in Selma, Alabama, U.S., on Sunday, March 6, 2022.

Andi Reis | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris called for a ceasefire in Gaza on Sunday while commemorating the anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when police officers attacked civil rights activists crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

Harris gave an 18-minute speech at a gathering on the bridge to mark the 59th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. On March 7, 1965, officers beat 600 demonstrators with batons and sprayed them with tear gas during a march across the bridge in support of voting rights.

Before honoring activists like Amelia Boynton and John Lewis, Harris acknowledged the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza as a result of the Israel-Hamas war.

Harris condemned Hamas while calling on the Israeli government to increase aid in Gaza. On Saturday, the U.S. military completed its first airdrop of humanitarian aid into Gaza following approval from President Joe Biden last week.

Harris also acknowledged negotiations for a ceasefire in the region and said she and Biden were “unwavering in our commitment to Israel’s security.”

“Given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is currently on the table,” Harris said.

Echoing Biden’s comments last week, Harris said the U.S. would continue to provide aid to Gaza through airdrops and a possible sea route.

“The people of Gaza are starving, the conditions are inhumane and our shared humanity compels us to act,” Harris said.

She also acknowledged the work of civil rights activists and drew comparisons between their fight for freedom and modern threats to freedom, such as gun violence and voting rights.

“The challenges we face now are not unlike the challenges these 600 brave souls faced 59 years ago,” Harris said.

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2024-03-03 22:11:47