Tuesday, July 16, 2013

NC turns against GOP as Moral Monday protests continue

Police arrested 101 demonstrators last night during the 11th Moral Monday protest in Raleigh, N.C., one of the biggest yet. More than 800 people have been arrested during the rallies at the Statehouse since they began in late April to bring attention to the anti-worker policies of the Republican-led state government.

Last night's protest focused on women's issues, and more than two-thirds of those arrested were women. Organizers said the protest drew 5,000 people. They're traveling from all around North Carolina to raise awareness about the Legislature's cut to unemployment and health benefits, its push to disenfranchise women and minorities and its attempt to raise taxes on the working class while lowering them for corporations.

Crowd gathers in N.C. Statehouse yesterday.
Grace Stitt, 65, traveled more than eight hours on a bus to attend and said regular people need to be heard:

I felt like I needed to do something more than write an e-mail to a senator or representative because I'm not sure those are ever read. I guess I felt like I haven't spoken up enough and it's time to make my statement.

Others took to social media to declare the movement's continued success. Twitter user @TheMountain_Goats tweeted:
Moral Monday is powerful. THIS is North Carolina.
There are signs that the continued rallies are taking a toll on Gov. Pat McCrory's popularity. The governor has largely dismissed the demonstrators as out-of-state rabble-rousers, even though arrest records show more than 98 percent of those taken into custody are from North Carolina. But a new  Public Policy Polling survey shows he is the one with a negative approval rating:
For the first time since taking office we find that McCrory has a negative approval rating this month. Only 40% of voters are happy with the job he's doing to 49% who disapprove. That's down a net 15 points from June when he was at a 45/39 spread. While McCrory's numbers are pretty steady with Republicans, he continues to lose ground with Democrats (down a net 17 points from -36 at 24/60 last month to now -53 at 17/70) and independents (down a net 20 points from +12 at 46/34 last month to -8 at 41/49 now). Only 68% of people who voted for McCrory last fall continue to approve of his job performance.
McCrory is paying the price for following the ALEC-inspired agenda of his puppetmaster, greedy billionaire and state budget director Art Pope. Pope, a friend of the Benedict Arnold Koch brothers, is directing the government takeover by corporations and billionaires.

North Carolinians also have an increasingly negative view of their state Republican lawmakers overall, with only 35 percent approving of the job they are doing. The survey also finds that 55 percent of voters are unhappy with legislation that resulted in 700,000 residents losing their unemployment benefits earlier this month.

Voters by a 47 percent to 41 percent margin also state they have a higher opinion of the protesters than the Legislature, and by a 46 percent to 36 percent count believe the Legislature is a "national embarrassment."

We agree.