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More protesters arrested at General Assembly

Posted May 13, 2015
Updated May 14, 2015

— The "Moral Monday" protest movement returned to the General Assembly on Wednesday, with at least 10 demonstrators winding up in zip-tie handcuffs as they tried to disrupt the legislature.

The crowd of protesters was much smaller than two weeks ago, when Moral Monday organizers launched their third year of demonstrations against the Republican-led agenda in the General Assembly.

On Wednesday, they called on lawmakers to raise the minimum wage in North Carolina to $10 an hour, noting 29 other states have pegged their wages higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. They also pushed for other "economic justice" measures, such as expanding union rights and restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Gene Nichol, a professor at the UNC School of Law and an advocate on poverty issues, said 60 percent of the jobs created in North Carolina since the recession pay poverty-level wages.

Most low-wage workers "aren't after big government programs," Nichol said. "They want wages they can live on in exchange for a difficult and demanding day's work. They want to have a chance to advance and make economic progress."

Kwanzaa Brooks, a single mother of three from Charlotte, said she works three minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet.

"It is very hard out here," Brooks said. "(Lawmakers) need to listen to folks like me, the ones that are working these long hours."

The protesters "inducted" Gov. Pat McCrory, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore into what they called the Hall of Shame for advocating policies that benefit businesses at the expense of their workers.

17 Comments

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  • Kenneth Knoeber May 28, 2015
    user avatar

    Get a job people. It's hard to bolster your case by causing a scene and throwing political tantrums. Also be grateful that the forefathers of those you protest not only built a country where you can act like children screaming 'it's not fair,' but let you continue to let you disrupt proceedings. If lawmakers were as nefarious as you portray, they'd kick you out and deal with everyone off the books. You act like spoiled kids who, in my opinion, need to be sent to their rooms. Since no compromises are ever offered, your ideas would fail. I am grateful you can only protest (while most of us work.).

  • Abrams Tanker May 14, 2015
    user avatar

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    They also fought for the 2nd Amendment and the Freedom of Religion yet the same people that support their 1st amendment try to deny others their Freedom of Religion and the right to bear arms. Ironic isn't it?

  • Abrams Tanker May 14, 2015
    user avatar

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    Or it could be that they have made bad choices in life and now have to pay the price for them. Ironically you call people out for being judgmental yet at the same time being judgmental about them.....Good for you!!

  • Michael Hart May 14, 2015
    user avatar

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    and why not Steve? 1st Amendment say's different, and seems the Founding Fathers fought for this right to question our elected officials, or is that only correct when those with funny hats and tea bags dangling from them yell and scream....P.S. These are US Citizens and carry the same rights as you Sir!

  • Michael Hart May 14, 2015
    user avatar

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    or.....they could stay in a abusive relationship? or the amount to pay for day care while your in school to get that better job would solve these as well? seems your very judgmental of the things you know nothing about....good for you!

  • Steve Sanders May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    And exactly why do they feel they have the right to disrupt the legislature? And as far as the Gene Nichols comment, did he get his high paying job from not having any education or under educated and/or experience? It is all smoke and mirrors for state funded welfare because if they raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour then those 60% percent of jobs that were created for entry level positions will drop to 40%. Less jobs for more people????

  • Greg Dail May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    Oh, so this is what Gene Nichol does to justify his several hundred thousand dollar a year taxpayer funded salary, i.e. quote a statistic one could pick up on Google in about 3 milliseconds (assuming it's accurate, considering the source a very BIG assumption). I also appreciate him sharing with us his special insight into the working class mindset.
    But I don't know, call me crazy but maybe, just maybe if we had a few more restrictions on imported third world labor then perhaps wages might go up? Ok I know, it's a crazy idea this whole supply and demand thing. Best listen to guys like Gene, after all, there's always foodstamps.

  • Abrams Tanker May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    "Kwanzaa Brooks, a single mother of three from Charlotte, said she works three minimum-wage jobs to make ends meet....."It is very hard out here," Brooks said. "(Lawmakers) need to listen to folks like me, the ones that are working these long hours."

    Kwanzaa Brooks is a is an active member in the Fight for $15, which fights for increasing the wage of fast-food employees. My question is why does she and others that share her opinion think they deserve $15 per hour??? This equals $31k per year at full-time. How about if you want a job earning $15 per hour, make yourself WORTH $15 per hour. Being able to flip a burger and say "You want fries wit dat" isn't worth $15/hour.

  • Abrams Tanker May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    The people pushing for $10-$15 minimum wage obviously have no understanding of economics or cost-push inflation. Yes, the increase will help in the short-run but in the long-run they will be no better off when the costs of goods & services increase to cover the cost of higher labor.

  • Charlie Watkins May 14, 2015
    user avatar

    I really thought that the Moral Monday demonstrations would have had a bigger effect on the last election.

    What happened?

    Do people view the Moral Monday demonstrators as hippies and nutcases? Or are they legitimate protesters without ties to the NC Democratic Party.

    Is it a legitimate protest? Or is it Democratic politics at its best.

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