- Associated Press - Friday, February 24, 2017

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The Latest on the dispute over fees imposed by the city of Selma, Alabama, on a civil rights celebration and a Civil War re-enactment (all times local):

4 p.m.

Organizers of a Selma voting rights festival say they are going forward with events but will not pay a city hall bill for police and clean-up services.

Faya Rose Toure said Friday that “everything is a go” for the Jubilee Bridge Crossing, which coincides with the anniversary of the 1965 “Bloody Sunday” march. Demonstrators were beaten on the city’s Edmund Pettus Bridge during that famous march.

Toure said they will not pay the $23,000 requested by city hall.

Selma Mayor Darrio Melton says the city has been subsidizing the event for years.

He says streets will be blocked off March 5 for a Sunday march across the bridge. However, he says the city can’t provide free services for other events on city property which include a parade, street vendors and a music festival.

Melton says the history of the fight for voting rights belongs to America and not the event organizers.


3 a.m.

Black people who celebrate the civil rights movement and white people who commemorate the Civil War are suddenly finding themselves on the same side in historic Selma, Alabama: against City Hall.

Both groups say the city is squeezing them with demands for thousands of dollars in up-front payments to stage annual events that bring tens of thousands of visitors to an otherwise sleepy community.

Plans for next month’s Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee commemorating the Selma-to-Montgomery voting rights march of 1965 are up in the air over the city’s demand.

And the re-enactment of the 1865 Battle of Selma has been canceled because organizers couldn’t afford the tab.

First-term Mayor Darrio Melton says the city has streets that are caving and can’t afford to provide services for private events.

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