Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Moral Mondays resume in Raleigh with an emphasis on workers' rights

Moral Monday protests returned to Raleigh, N.C., last night as union members (including Teamsters) teachers, faith leaders and young people drew attention to workers' rights.

Yesterday's protesters demanded North Carolina's Legislature repeal anti-worker laws. Reports the Charlotte News & Observer,
This week, the demonstrators continued their push for repeal of laws and policies passed in 2013 that scaled back unemployment benefits, rejected federal Medicaid expansion, directed more public school money to private school vouchers and phased out teacher tenure and shifted pay toward performance-based policies.
The Legislature had tried to stifle protest after 900 activists were arrested last year. This year, they passed a law letting police arrest anyone who poses a threat to create a disturbance. So just the possibility of an 'imminent disturbance' could get you arrested in North Carolina.

On Friday, a state superior court judge temporarily suspended the law as overly broad. He schoolchildren were often the loudest visitors to the Statehouse.

So on Monday more than 800 activists led by the Rev. William Barber came to the Capitol to raise their voices against the Republican agenda to turn North Carolina into a feudal serfdom. Twenty were arrested, including AFGE President David Cox. According to AFGE,
American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. was arrested here Monday while protesting extremist policies passed by the North Carolina state legislature that have targeted the state’s poorest and most vulnerable citizens. 
More than 800 activists converged at the N.C. State Capitol Monday afternoon as part of the ongoing series of demonstrations known as Moral Monday. President Cox was among roughly 20 labor organizers, teachers and other protesters who were arrested after refusing to leave the building shortly after the State Senate went into session. 
A native of North Carolina, Cox participated in the Monday protest to show solidarity for the plight of working men and women in the state who have been harmed by laws recently enacted by the legislature.