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New Petition Calls On Alabama To Rename Historic Selma Bridge

03/03/2015 03:16 pm ET | Updated Mar 03, 2015

Saturday marks 50 years since "Bloody Sunday" -- the day peaceful demonstrators campaigning for civil rights were attacked by Alabama state troopers -- and the historic bridge at the center of the march from Selma to Montgomery is due for a name change, according to a new petition.

Students UNITE created a Change.org petition asking Alabama's leaders and the National Park Service to give a new moniker to the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named after an Alabama senator and Grand Dragon of Alabama's Ku Klux Klan.

Brandi Hatter, outreach coordinator for Students UNITE, told HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski on Tuesday that the bridge has bared a name with associations of racism for far too long.

"It's time because it’s been 50 years and I would hate to wait another 50 years and it’d be the exact same," Hatter said. "If not now, then when?"

With Selma's 80 percent African-American population and a black mayor, the "name Edmund Pettus is far from what the city of Selma should honor," according to the petition.

Hatter listed some alternative names for the bridge, including Glory Bridge, Selma Bridge, Civil Rights Bridge and Freedom Bridge.

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  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Marchers on the way to Montgomery as families watch from their porches, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Young civil rights marchers with American flags march in Montgomery, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Two mothers with children watching marchers, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Man with American flag and marchers walking past federal troops guarding crossroads, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking to 25,000 civil rights marchers in Montgomery, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Nuns, priests and civil rights leaders at the head of the march, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Three generations of women with children watching civil rights marchers, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Looks out at crowd in Montgomery, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    "Things Go Better With Coke" sign and multi-generational family watching marchers, 1965.
  • Stephen Somerstein/New York Historical Society
    A family watching the march, 1965.
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