Tuesday, August 20, 2013

NC Moral Monday protests go statewide

The Manteo rally was smallest of three rallies held Aug. 19.
N.C. NAACP President William Barber addresses crowd in Manteo.
Three Moral Monday rallies held across North Carolina yesterday drew upwards of 3,800 people to protest the anti-worker agenda approved by Gov. Pat McCrory and the Legislature this year. Protesters took aim at the new voter suppression law as well as severe cuts to unemployment benefits,  Medicaid and education.

Police estimated the event in Charlotte drew as many as 3,000 people, while smaller demonstrations in the mountain community of Burnsville and coastal community of Manteo drew about 500 and 300 people, respectively. At the center of all the rallies were regular people sounding off against pro-corporate policies pushed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and state budget director Art Pope, a top money-man for Gov. McCrory and his legislative cronies.
Jeanne Milliken Bonds (Twitter handle @JeanneBonds4NC) was among many who shared their disgust with the state’s political leadership on social media:
#moralmonday grows; state #brand declines. 7 months #gop #ncga #ncgov Moderate, modern state #brand replaced w right-wing economic failure
Curtis King (Twitter handle @piecesofceekay) hailed the Charlotte protest, saying it showed the resolve of the state’s residents:
Rain didn’t stop the enthusiasm of Moral Monday. Thank U #NCNAACP & other advocates for speaking out. “Forward & Not One Step Back.”
Yesterday’s events were a continuation of weekly protests that began in Raleigh in late April and resulted in about 925 arrests. Since the events ended in the state capital late last month, the state NAACP has begun taking the event on the road, and two weeks ago a demonstration in Asheville drew nearly 10,000 people. Organizers say they intend to hold rallies in all of the state’s congressional districts in the coming months.

ALEC and Pope have stoked the anger of many in the state this year by helping to jam through the Legislature a big business agenda that raises taxes on average workers to help companies, while at the same time axing essential programs that benefit the middle class.