@NCCapitol

49 arrested at NC General Assembly 'Moral Monday' protest

Posted May 13, 2013
Updated June 4, 2013

North Carolina General Assembly police officers arrest protesters at the state Legislature building Monday, May 13, 2013.
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— More than four dozen people were arrested Monday evening in a protest by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP – its third consecutive week of protests and arrests – outside the Senate chambers of the North Carolina General Assembly.

In what state NAACP President Rev. William Barber II is calling "Moral Mondays," an estimated 175 people showed up to speak out against what the civil rights group and other activists say is a Republican-backed regressive agenda on social programs, voting rights, education and tax policy – actions that disproportionately hurt the poor and minorities.

This week's protest focused on labor rights and tax reform. Republicans have pitched plans to lower corporate and income taxes by broadening sales taxes, which critics argue disproportionately hurts the poor. They've also pushed for new bills further weakening labor unions in a state that already has so-called right-to-work laws.

Protestors held up signs saying "Worker's rights are union rights" and led booming call-and-response chants of "This is what Democracy looks like!" and "fight, fight, fight!"

A crowd of several hundred people waited outside the Legislature building and cheered as a prison bus carried away the protesters Monday evening.

Jeff Weaver, chief of the North Carolina General Assembly Police, said 49 people were arrested on charges of violating building rules, failure to disperse and trespassing.

Thirty people were arrested last Monday, a week after 17 protesters were taken into custody.

Laurel Ashton, a recent graduate, said after being released from custody that the protests are a way to change politics both in the state and around the world.

"Is it worth the risk of being arrested or losing your job? For me, entirely," Ashton said. "The struggle is not only about the arrest, that is one part of a much larger plan that has a legal side and many other elements. The arrests are really important in drawing the nation's eye to North Carolina and what is going on here."

Republican leaders have dismissed the protests as the voice of a fringe group angry over the Republican takeover of the General Assembly. The Republicans won the state legislature in 2010, the first time in more than a century.

Protests NAACP: Protests at General Assembly will continue

"They're just a disturbance. We know how they feel, and they know how we feel," said Senate Rules Chairman Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson. "It's just a lot of strain on our law enforcement guys and gals. We know how they feel already. It's not like our heads are in the sand."

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and other activists won't say how long protests will continue, but protesters Monday night said they plan to be back next week.

Barber says they're a part of a wider strategy that includes legal action and political organizing.

"The leadership of the North Carolina General Assembly and the governor ran on a platform of jobs and economic growth but are now governing directly against those goals," Barber said in a statement Monday. "Rich right-wing entities and people fund and feed the ultra-conservative social issues agenda on one hand while they use a bait-and-switch maneuver to pass economic and tax policies that will transfer more wealth to them and hurt the same poor and working-class people they need to get elected. This must be exposed as not only morally indefensible but constitutionally inconsistent and economically insane."

327 Comments

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  • wraluser May 15, 5:14 p.m.

    @ crumps

    Yea, heaven forbid laws are passed to benefit people that need it the most, as opposed to laws that only benefit the ones who need it the least... That's crazy talk...

  • wraluser May 15, 4:57 p.m.

    Violating building rules=whatever they say it is...

    Can I express myself in public places without a permit?

    Yes, you can picket or leaflet in public places by yourself or in small groups without a permit so long as you are not blocking streets or sidewalks.

    @Ilovedtr

    You are sooooooooooooo correct... I only get mad at their blatant partisan bias not the opinions of others. It is really bad and sad here...

  • Crumps Br0ther May 15, 2:45 p.m.

    I seem to remember a similar proclamation from plenty of the posters on this board before the 2012 presidential elections.
    issymayake

    im starting to think it may be better to have repubs at state levels since all these red states are showing surpluses

  • Crumps Br0ther May 15, 2:44 p.m.

    What is moral about passing laws to create more wealth for the wealthy off the backs of the middle class and the poor? What is moral about passing laws that raise taxes on the middle class and poor? What is moral about taking food out of the mouths of our most vulnerable citizens (our children) What is moral about blocking the less fortunate from medical care ?
    razor2

    Whats moral about being a victim? In this country you are guaranteed a chance, you are NOT guaranteed success and thats what you libs dont get, you think everyone should be winners and its just not possible. Participation Ribbons are LIES!

  • djofraleigh May 15, 1:40 p.m.

    There's too much order in their disorder. I know people need to "be on the right side" or PC, but this is getting old.

  • ILoveDowntownRaleigh May 15, 1:19 p.m.

    :-) Just kidding, mods!

    Its just that all too often your conservative bias shows through, and your application of the "WRAL posting guidelines" is, to be charitable, inconsistent at times, and that can be frustrating to those of us who would like to inject just a little humor, satire, or liberal thinking into these threads.

  • WASP May 15, 1:06 p.m.

    Still news???? Move one WRAL!!!

  • stonespigot May 15, 10:08 a.m.

    Willie, Willie, He's our man. He can protest like no one can!!!

  • Damien Thorne May 15, 8:07 a.m.

    "If someone is so lazy that they refuse to seek employment and live off the government, do you really believe they have the initiative to go and protest a state government they feel is unjust?"------BullsEye

    That is why these people lobby for them, so basically you could call them lobbyists.

    Not to mention that some will be unemployed shortly, like this girl. ""Is it worth the risk of being arrested or losing your job? For me, entirely," Ashton said.""

    Unfortunately only the gullible are taken in.

  • razor2 May 14, 7:24 p.m.

    What is "moral" about feeding off the government?

    What is moral about passing laws to create more wealth for the
    wealthy off the backs of the middle class and the poor?
    What is moral about passing laws that raise taxes on the middle
    class and poor?
    What is moral about taking food out of the mouths of our most
    vulnerable citizens (our children)
    What is moral about blocking the less fortunate from medical care ?

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