Associated Press Article
Democratic presidential contender John Edwards on Sunday called a janitors' campaign for better wages at the University of California, Berkeley, a continuation of the civil rights struggle that began in the 1960s.

Edwards sounded the civil rights theme to commemorate the 42nd anniversary of the "Bloody Sunday" clash between black voting rights marchers and police in Selma, Ala.

"This march for economic and social justice for the men and women who work at this university is a part of a bigger march in America for fairness and equality," Edwards said during a stop on his current tour of college campuses.

Responding late to a question from a reporter, Edwards said a remark about him by conservative author Ann Coulter reminded him of hateful speech against blacks he heard while growing up in the segregated South.

"It's important for all of us to speak out against language of this kind, because it is a place where hatred gets its foothold," Edwards said.

At the annual Conservative Political Action Conference on Friday in Washington, Coulter said: "I was going to have a few comments on the other Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, but it turns out you have to go into rehab if you use the word 'faggot,' so I _ so kind of an impasse, can't really talk about Edwards."

The Edwards campaign moved quickly to capitalize on the remark by asking supporters to help raise $100,000 in "Coulter Cash" to show that Edwards would not be intimidated by "bigoted attacks."

Edwards spoke to a packed ballroom just across the street from UC Berkeley, in keeping with a long-standing boycott of the Berkeley campus by prominent Democrats as a show of solidarity with the janitors' union.

Earlier Sunday, Edwards rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke from church pulpits three blocks apart in Selma.

Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, used a campaign stop at Vanderbilt University last month to back a wage increase for campus workers at the Nashville, Tenn., school.

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