Video shows a young Bernie Sanders arrested during civil rights protest against segregated housing in 1963

The Democratic presidential candidate’s involvement in the civil rights movement has been debated during his run for the White House.

Ryan Ramgobin
Tuesday 23 February 2016 15:44
Footage shows Bernie Sanders arrested during civil rights protest in 1963

Footage has emerged showing a young Bernie Sanders being arrested during a civil rights protest in Chicago in 1963.

The demonstration was against the University of Chicago having segregated housing, a form of discrimination against African-American students.

The video was released by production company, Kartemquin Films, and Sanders’ identity was confirmed by the Chicago Tribune.

Tad Devine, a senior advisor to the Sanders campaign, told the Tribune that "Bernie identified it himself”.

"He looked at it — he actually has his student ID from the University of Chicago in his wallet — and he said, 'Yes, that indeed is (me).'"

Sanders’ involvement in the civil rights movement has been a point of discussion during his run for the White House.

Lewis Smith, one of the most visible leaders during the civil rights movement and now a Congressman in Georgia, appeared to question the Senator last week.

At a press conference where he spoke of his support for Hillary Clinton, he also commented that he never saw Sanders during the civil rights movement: “I never saw him, I never met him.”

Mr Smith later clarified his statement: “The fact that I did not meet him in the movement does not mean I doubted that Senator Sanders participated in the civil rights movement. Neither was I attempting to disparage his activism.”

Sanders’ participation has been supported by civil rights activist Harry Belafonte; and in December 2015, Sanders discussed his experience of 1963’s March on Washington with rapper Killer Mike.

Focus now turns to South Carolina, the next location for the Democratic primary, which takes place on Saturday.

There is a strong African-American voting base in the state which both Sanders and Clinton have prioritised in the lead-up to the primary.

Two weeks ago, Sanders was endorsed by Erica Garner – daughter of Eric Garner, a black victim of police brutality, whose last words “I can’t breathe” reverberated around the world.

Erica Garner joins Bernie Sanders campaign video

The endorsement came in the form of a powerful four-minute campaign advertisement, which can be viewed above.

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