Tuesday, July 9, 2013

NC Moral Monday protests against ALEC grow, intensify

Yesterday's Moral Monday protest at the North Carolina capitol was the largest yet as 64 people were arrested for acts of civil disobedience. During 10 weeks of peaceful demonstrations, more than 700 protesters have been taken into custody.

The national media is starting to cover the revolt against the anti-worker, billionaire-empowerment agenda being rammed through the Legislature. News reports don't quite get it right, as they fail to mention the corporate escort service -- ALEC -- pushing bills to punish the unemployed, eradicate public education, oppress women, raise taxes on the poor and working class and eliminate environmental protections. Reporters can't seem to understand that North Carolina's democratic institutions are being taken over by a few greedy plutocrats. Or maybe they do understand, they're just anticipating a Benedict Arnold Koch brothers takeover of their newspaper.

Reuters, which is owned by a corporation that services Wall Street, reports on the protests as if they're expressions of unrelated grievances:
The protests have gained momentum since a few dozen people first rallied against the political shift to the right in a state that Barack Obama won in the 2008 presidential election but lost in 2012. Some 700 people have been arrested in acts of civil disobedience over issues ranging from natural gas drilling to school vouchers to voting rights.

Pew Charitable Trust profiles the Rev. William Barber, the head of North Carolina's NAACP who is leading the protests. Pew incorrectly characterizes the protesters as "liberal." They are not. Take David Bozeman, a  a conservative activist who sympathizes with the Moral Monday protesters. That's because Gov. Pat McCrory, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Koch brothers Mini-me billionaire Art Pope, signed a bill in February that is unmatched in its cruelty to jobless people. North Carolina now has the nation's fifth highest unemployment -- and the severest cuts to unemployment benefits.

Here is Bozeman's Charlotte News-Observer op-ed:
...my feet remain firmly planted on the right, but I have become surprisingly sympathetic to the passionate protesters who gather every week in Raleigh. 
What changed? Last October I lost my job of 19 years and officially became a deadbeat. Now, Gov. Pat McCrory has never used that word officially to my knowledge, but he did remark, while campaigning in 2012, that filing for unemployment is “too easy.” 
As to the curtailment of unemployment benefits, I understand that money cannot be doled out indefinitely. My problem is the timing – until the recovery really kicks in, there simply are not enough jobs to go around. What are people going to do. no, what am I going to do in the meantime? No one asks. Economic reality has indeed intruded on my tidy little belief system.