ACLU of Georgia

Congressman John Lewis and Protest Rights

When Congressman John Lewis was a student, he was changing the world.

“SNCC leader John Lewis is arrested in Nashville, Tennessee, in April 1964. The next year, Lewis was arrested again during the march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Many marchers were beaten and arrested during the event, which came to be known as ‘Bloody Sunday.'” (Photo right). – New Georgia Encyclopedia

“What I try to tell young people is that if you come together with a mission, and its grounded with love and a sense of community, you can make the impossible possible.”                                                                  – Congressman John Lewis

John Lewis getting arrested in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo from New Georgia Encyclopedia.
John Lewis getting arrested in Nashville, Tennessee. Photo from New Georgia Encyclopedia.

As a student, John Lewis marched with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Throughout his tenure as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman John Lewis became known as the Conscience of Congress.

Ralph Abernathy (second from left) marches with Coretta Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr. (center) in 1966 on the Georgia state capitol. All were influential leaders during the early years of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. On the far right is John Lewis, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC (pronounced “snick”), one of the key organizations in the American civil rights movement of the 1960s.

Photo from New Georgia Encyclopedia.