Hillary Clinton marks anniversary of Rosa Parks bus boycott

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015, in Montgomery, Ala.

AP

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday marked the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on a bus, and the subsequent Montgomery Bus Boycott, by noting ongoing civil rights challenges.

"Our work isn't finished," Clinton said at an event hosted by the National Bar Association at the Dexter Avenue Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Martin Luther King, Jr. served as pastor at the church between 1954 and 1960, and in 1955 activists organized the bus boycott at the church.

"We do have to pay it forward," she continued. "There are still injustices perpetrated every day across our country, sometimes in spite of the law, sometimes unfortunately in keeping with it."

Clinton said it's time to "end the era of mass incarceration in America," noting that more than 2 million Americans are currently incarcerated, many for nonviolent crimes. She also spoke about the importance of preserving voting rights, as well as the "national emergency" of gun violence. Specifically, Clinton called for "common sense" steps to reduce gun violence such as a ban on those on the no-fly list having guns.

Clinton recalled sitting with Rosa Parks at the 1999 State of the Union address and watching members of Congress stand and applaud for her.

"To see all of our nation's leaders, Democrats and Republicans alike, united in their esteem for her, when she was once the focal point of perhaps the most divisive issue of our time, well that was a powerful indicator of how far we had come," she said. "Rosa hadn't changed much... but America had."

The Democratic front runner also invoked Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Love, he said, is one of the pinnacle parts of the Christian faith," Clinton said. "Justice is really love in calculation. Justice is love correcting that which would work against love. Standing beside love is always justice."