US civil rights icon John Lewis dead at 80

WASHINGTON: United States civil rights icon and long time representative John Lewis has died at the age of 80.
Lewis was the pioneer of the civil rights movement anda Congressman from Atlanta. In December 2019, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
“John Lewis was a titan of the civil rights movement whose goodness, faith and bravery transformed our nation – from the determination with which he met discrimination at lunch counters and on Freedom Rides, to the courage he showed as a young man facing down violence and death on Edmund Pettus Bridge, to the moral leadership he brought to the Congress for more than 30 years,” House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.
“In the Congress, John Lewis was revered and beloved on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol. All of us were humbled to call Congressman Lewis a colleague, and are heartbroken by his passing.”
Lewis kept up the fight for civil rights until the end of his life. He made his last public appearance in June, as protests for racial justice swept the United States and the world.
Lewis was a committed participant in some of the key moments of the movement an original Freedom Rider in 1961, a principal speaker at the March on Washington in 1963, one of those brutally attacked during a 1965 march in Selma alongside Martin Luther King Junior and faced taunts, beatings and dozens of arrests.
Tributes quickly began pouring in from other politicians. “John Lewis was an icon who fought with every ounce of his being to advance the cause of civil rights for all Americans,” said Senator Kamala Harris, the first African American to represent California in the Senate, on Twitter. “I’m devastated for his family, friends, staff – and all those whose lives he touched.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote on Twitter, “John Lewis was a true American hero and the moral compass of our nation. May his courage and conviction live on in all of us as we continue to make good trouble for justice and opportunity.”
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