In the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on Saturday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, one face was notably missing. That was Diane Nash, founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and one of the architects of the protest.
Nash was in Selma for the event but did not join the march across the bridge with President Obama, several members of Congress and former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura.
“I refused to march because George Bush marched,” Nash told Roland Martin of TV One.
Explaining in more detail she told Martin:
“The Selma movement was about non-violence and peace and democracy and George Bush stands for just the opposite. For violence and war and stolen elections… and George Bush’s administration had people tortured.”
Nash, who is now 76 years old, played a major part in the civil rights movement of the 60s being involved in many of the most iconic moments of the struggle for equal rights for people of color. In addition to founding the SNCC, she went to jail in solidarity with the Friendship Nine, a group of black college students who went to jail rather than pay a fine for trespassing after sitting at the whites only lunch counter of a Rock Hill, South Carolina five and dime in 1961.
Nash told Martin that she was concerned for the legacy of the Selma marches, saying that she could not march with a man who she sees as one who stands for the violent resolution of differences when she and others had fought so hard to avoid violence to reach their goals.
“Back in the 60s, we did not know if non-violence would work,” she told Martin. “Now we know that it does, and I think today should have been a celebration of non-violence.”
Watch her comments in the video below.