March 3 (UPI) -- Several Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election gathered in Selma to commemorate the 1965 "Bloody Sunday" civil rights march on Sunday.
The Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee is held in Alabama every year in honor of the people who were beaten and tear gassed by police five decades ago as they attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in protest of black voter discrimination.
In recent years, the jubilee has drawn attendance from prominent Democratic politicians, as it includes events such as it includes a march across the bridge and the Coretta King Unity Breakfast where 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton was honored with the 2019 International Unity Award.
During her acceptance speech, Clinton highlighted that voter rights remain an issue in the United States, stating that Georgia Democrat "Stacy Abrams should be [the] governor leading that state right now" and that North Carolina is facing one of the most "brazen schemes of voter fraud."
"We know candidates both black and white have lost their races because they have been deprived of the votes they otherwise would have gotten," said Clinton. "Something is wrong when one party is systematically and deliberately trying to stop trying to stop millions of Americans from voting."
Clinton called on attendees to "redouble our efforts for the 21st-century civil rights movement."
She also took aim at the current administration, while not explicitly naming her 2016 opponent President Donald Trump.
"We are living through a full-fledged crisis in our democracy," Clinton said.
Clinton added that there remains work to do "when racist and white supremacist views are lifted up in the media and in the White House. When hard-fought-for civil rights are being stripped back."
The result of Clinton's 2016 presidential bid loomed over the event, as state Sen. Hank Sanders said she "was elected president of the United States, and it was stolen from her."
"It was stolen from her by the FBI ... it was stolen from her by the Russians," he said.
Sanders joined in Clinton's sentiment for a continued push for voter rights.
"How sad it is that 54 years later, we are still fighting for the right to vote," he said. "It's our turn to demand that we end all voter suppression in this country."
Brown discussed his prospects running in a field of Democratic candidates that increasingly includes women and people of color.
"If I run, I'll be the only Democrat on that stage who voted against the Iraq War. I'll be the only Democrat on that stage who supported marriage equality 20 years ago. I'll be the only person on that stage who has a longtime F from the NRA," he said. "I can change a lot of things, but I can't change this part of me, right?"
Booker also took the stage to recount his experience with racism as his parents attempted to buy a home in a white neighborhood in New Jersey in the 1960s, while also commenting on the current climate.
"People feel the forces tearing us apart are greater than those bringing us together. It's time for us to defend the dream. It's time that we dare to dream again in America," he said.