Civil rights movement icon and 17-term Democratic Congressmember John Lewis, who died July 17 at the age of 80, helped found SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and was the youngest of the so-called Big Six who addressed the March on Washington in 1963. Before that, he was among the 13 original Freedom Riders who rode buses across the South to challenge segregation laws. He spoke to Democracy Now! in 2012 about his activism and that historic campaign, during which they were beaten and attacked by white mobs and the Klu Klux Klan, including by Klansman Elwin Wilson, who apologized to Lewis decades later. “It is so important for people to understand, to know that people suffered, struggled. Some people bled, and some died, for the right to participate,” Lewis told Democracy Now!
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Human Rights and Equality
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