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LIVE: Watch Obama’s Selma Anniversary Speech

​Thousands of people are gathered in Selma, Alabama today to watch President Obama speak at the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights march that sparked the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

by VICE Staff
Mar 7 2015, 6:15pm

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Thousands of people are gathered in Selma, Alabama today to watch President Obama speak at the 50th anniversary of the landmark civil rights march that sparked the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The president is set to deliver his remarks at 1:35 pm on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site of the historic "Bloody Sunday" confrontation between law enforcement and peaceful marchers led by Martin Luther King.

The anniversary comes at a moment of heightened focus on racial tensions in the US, including systemic discrimination against black citizens by police officers and the courts. It also comes as states grapple with the consequences of a 2013 Supreme Court decision to overturn the Voting Rights Act, a ruling that has prompted a raft of new voting laws that disproportionately affect poor and minority voters.

At a town hall in South Carolina Friday, Obama said his speech would look toward to future of civil rights in the United States. "Selma is not just about commemorating the past," he told a student audience at Benedict College. "It's about honoring the legends who helped change this country through your actions today, in the here and now.

'Selma is now," he continued. "Selma is about the courage of ordinary people doing extraordinary things because they believe they can change the country, that they can shape our nation's destiny. Selma is about each of us asking ourselves what we can do to make America better."

Watch the speech live below: