An enormous Moral Monday rally in Asheville, N.C., drew about 10,000 people yesterday to protest passage of pro-corporate ALEC legislation in Raleigh even as demonstrators in Oakland and Chicago took up the Moral Monday cause.
In Chicago, clergy, unions and community organizers took over the Palmer House Hilton lobby during the first Moral Monday protest outside of North Carolina. They demanded the hotel rescind its invitation to ALEC, which is gathering for a conference there. Police arrested six protesters.
At the county courthouse in Asheville, North Carolinians expressed
their anger with Gov. Pat McCrory and the Legislature, which rolled back progress
in education, voting rights and social and economic equality. During the
legislative session, which just ended, lawmakers slashed unemployment benefits,
Medicaid and education spending while cutting taxes to big business.
|A tremendous crowd took in event in Asheville, N.C.|
The Carolina Mercury reported:
Oakland protesters held the first of a series of monthly ‘Moral Monday’ peace and justice rallies.
Called “Mountain Moral Monday” by organizers, the Asheville event rivaled the final Raleigh rally held last week. Yesterday’s protest was the first to be held away from the state capital and will be followed by additional events in all of North Carolina’s congressional districts. Teachers again were out in full force at the Asheville event to raise their objections to policies that strike down tenure, end salary increases for those with master’s degrees and caused the firing of thousands of classroom assistants. Angela Patane said it is important to raise attention about what is happening to education in North Carolina and was glad to see others agreed:
I was amazed by the turnout. I wasn’t expecting that many people, so I was really happy to see so many thousands of people.
Retired teacher Sue Bartlett said she too felt the need to stand up for what’s right:
We’re concerned about the children, concerned about health care, concerned about our environment.
The next Moral Monday rally in North Carolina has tentatively been scheduled for Aug. 19 in Charlotte.
There will be another large protest against ALEC in Chicago Thursday. ALEC, or the American Legislative Exchange Council, has been exposed over the past few years as an anti-worker tool of big corporation. ALEC gatherings have been dogged with large protests over the past few years, and tomorrow's may be the largest yet.