MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A state senator who founded Selma’s annual Bridge Crossing Jubilee says the city is demanding more than $23,000 for police and city services for the event.
Sen. Hank Sanders on Wednesday criticized the request as an attempt to end an event that commemorates the fight for voting rights, or to put it under city control.
The mayor’s office sent a Feb. 21 letter saying payment should be submitted in advance. Sanders says organizers can’t pay that amount and shouldn’t have to. He says Selma is a symbol for the right to march, and released the following statement in part:“Yesterday, February 21, 2017, the City of Selma delivered a letter stating that the Bridge Crossing Jubilee must pay $23,882.02 in advance in order to march and engage in other activities on the 52nd Anniversary of Bloody Sunday. We will not pay to march in Selma. Selma paid for the right to march with blood in 1965. We will not pay to march in 2017.”
This is the second Selma tourism event hit with a similar city demand.
Organizer of the Battle of Selma Civil War re-enactment canceled this year’s event after the city sought $22,000 for city services.