Freedom Riders travel to Washington D.C. to keep Section Five - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Freedom Riders travel to Washington D.C. to keep Section Five

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Some of the 150 people from Alabama headed to the nation's capitol on a bus to protest against changing Section Five. (abc3340.com) Some of the 150 people from Alabama headed to the nation's capitol on a bus to protest against changing Section Five. (abc3340.com)
© abc3340.com © abc3340.com
© Monroe Powers talks about marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. nearly 50 years ago. (abc3340.com) © Monroe Powers talks about marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. nearly 50 years ago. (abc3340.com)
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

They're packing up and headed to Washington D.C.

"Hey, we're here and we have a voice," 19-year-old Jolisia Bennett said.

Bennett says Section Five of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 isn't just some piece of legislation. She calls it her generation's future.

"This nation needs more younger people to step up to the forefront and be the voices and the face," she said.

She's one of about 150 faces from Alabama headed to the nation's capitol to protest against changing Section Five. 23-year-old Amanda Vaughn doesn't want to see the hard work from those in the 1960's, all they fought for and died for...disappear.

"Any progress that has been made, I don't want any of that to be impeded and I don't want any of that to stop here," Vaughn said. "So, if there's any other steps to take, why not take them? Just do it."

"If we don't keep the hard work going, the generation behind us won't keep it going," Tiffany Wells said. "We have to continue, so that their children can continue. There's still work to be done. Work is always needed...improvement is always needed."

If anyone on Tuesday's bus knows about hard work...it's Monroe Powers. He marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. almost 50 years ago.

"It made a lot of difference," he said.

He knows the power of the voice. He's hopeful his voice will once again be heard.

"I'm not saying we're going to be 100 percent able to get it done, but they will know we're there," he said.

Section Five applies to nine states, including Alabama, and says they must receive federal approval before making any changes to their voting laws. Some people say it is outdated and not necessary anymore.

The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments, Wednesday, on a case that was brought forth by Shelby County.

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