John Lewis: US presidents join tributes to civil rights icon

John Lewis: US presidents join tributes to civil rights icon

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Reuters

US presidents and overseas leaders have joined the tributes to civil rights icon John Lewis, who has died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80.

Lewis was a person of the “Huge Six” civil legal rights leaders, which included Martin Luther King Jr, and assisted organise the historic 1963 March on Washington.

Barack Obama is amid all those who have praised Lewis’s legacy.

President Donald Trump later on explained in a tweet that he was “saddened” to listen to of the former congressman’s dying.

A petition to rename a bridge in Alabama that performed a pivotal purpose in Lewis’s everyday living has drawn a lot more than 400,000 signatures.

‘Conscience of the nation’

Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, explained Lewis as “actually 1-of-a-variety, a ethical compass”.

Mr Biden explained he had spoken to Lewis in the times just before his demise.

“His voice however commanded respect and his snicker was however entire of joy. As an alternative of answering our considerations for him, he asked about us. He requested us to continue to be concentrated on the perform left undone to heal this nation.”

  • Civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis dies
  • ‘A guy who fought for equality until his previous breath’

Each of the four dwelling former US presidents paid out tribute to Lewis.

“Not several of us get to reside to see our personal legacy perform out in these types of a significant, impressive way. John Lewis did,” Barack Obama said. “And many thanks to him, we now all have our marching orders – to preserve believing in the possibility of remaking this place we like until eventually it life up to its complete assure.”

His predecessor George W Bush said Lewis had “labored to make our country a extra ideal union”, when Monthly bill Clinton described him as “the conscience of the nation”.

Jimmy Carter, meanwhile, pointed out that the former congressman experienced “produced an indelible mark on historical past through his quest to make our nation more just”.

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AFP

Picture caption

The flag flies at 50 percent mast over the White House

The reaction from existing President Donald Trump, even so, was much extra muted and came hrs after messages have been issued by other US politicians.

“Saddened to listen to the news of civil rights hero John Lewis passing. Melania and I send our prayers to he and his loved ones,” mentioned Trump, whom Lewis experienced publicly criticised.

Flags had been flown at half-mast on Saturday early morning and Vice-President Mike Pence referred to as Lewis “a fantastic guy whose braveness and a long time of public services modified The us without end”.

Civil legal rights activists spoke of their sorrow at Lewis’s loss of life.

“John Lewis is what patriotism and courage look like,” civil legal rights activist Rev Jesse Jackson, who initially fulfilled Lewis throughout protests in 1960, stated.

Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of the civil legal rights activist, told CNN: “From a historical standpoint, there are few who are equipped to grow to be giants… John Lewis truly turned a huge via his illustrations that he set for all of us.”

A selection of international leaders, like French President Emmanuel Macron, have also paid out tribute.

The Edmund Pettus Bridge

The bridge crosses the Alabama river in the state’s town of Selma.

In 1965, John Lewis led hundreds of protesters over the bridge on a peace march to Montgomery.

Point out troopers attacked them and Lewis was still left with a damaged cranium on what became known as Bloody Sunday.

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Reuters

Image caption

Barack Obama and John Lewis walked throughout the bridge 50 yrs just after the landmark march

He walked throughout the bridge with then President Obama 50 yrs later.

The bridge was named following a Accomplice normal and later Ku Klux Klan chief in Alabama.

The petition on modify.org cites the latest movement to get rid of statues and monuments to the Accomplice previous in the wake of the death in police custody of African American George Floyd.

“As we wipe away this country’s extended stain of bigotry, we have to also wipe absent the names of gentlemen like Edmund Pettus,” the petition argues.

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