Most arrested in 'Moral Monday' protests from NC

Posted June 11, 2013

— Police records indicate that 98 percent of those arrested during the "Moral Monday" protests at the General Assembly are from North Carolina, despite claims by leading Republicans that the rallies are packed with people from out of state.

The NAACP-led protests marked their sixth week at the General Assembly Monday. Organizers have used the rallies to decry what they say are harmful policies put forward by the Republican-controlled legislature. They have raised objections to tax reform packages making their way through the legislature, as well as bills aimed at restarting the death penalty, curtailing unemployment benefits and allowing for private school vouchers. 

"It's my understanding that a lot of these people are from out of state," Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, said Monday night. "That's the reports that we're getting."

Brown's comments reflect those of a number of Republican leaders, including Gov. Pat McCrory.

"Outsiders are coming in, and they're going to try to do to us what they did to Scott Walker in Wisconsin," McCrory told The Associated Press over the weekend, referring to that state's governor.

Walker and Republican legislators in Wisconsin passed a contentious law in 2011 that stripped most state workers' collective bargaining rights.

"They are going to come in and try to change the subject, and I'm not going to let them," McCrory said. "I'm going to concentrate on the economy, education and government efficiency."

Kim Genardo, a spokeswoman for McCrory, said, "The governor respects the right of people to protest. This is a democracy." 

But she also added that her office had "noticed the influence of various outside groups."

Moral Monday protest GOP maintains outside influences behind weekly protests

A number of Republicans have pointed out, for example, that George Gresham, a union leader from New York, was one of the speakers and arrested at a recent protest.

However, the claim that "outsiders" are responsible for the rallies appears to be inaccurate based on the sample of those who have been arrested. 

Each week, the protests begin with a rally outside the legislative building. Then, the protesters move inside to an area just outside the House and Senate chambers. There, they sing, hold up signs and testify about their differences with the legislature.

When they fail to leave, the General Assembly Police, with help from the Raleigh police, arrest protesters who fail to clear the area. 

Of the 388 people who have been arrested over those six weeks, arrest records indicate only eight – or 2 percent – are from out of state. While not all who come to the rallies get arrested, the records provide the best verifiable snapshot into the makeup of the protesters. 

Asked if it makes a difference to him that so few protesters were coming from outside North Carolina, Brown said, "Not to me, it doesn't." He said Republican lawmakers would still push forward with policies they believed to be right for the state.

"We are agitated, but not from the outside," Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina Conference of the NAACP, said Tuesday. "We are agitated because of what's happening inside our state, inside the Governor’s Office and inside the North Carolina General Assembly that will harm so many so deeply so unnecessarily inside our state."

One of the prompts for the "outsider" remarks by Republicans may be the involvement of The Advancement Project, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that has helped organize the protests and solicit media coverage. As well, Barber's own claims to a widespread coalition have prompted criticism from GOP leaders. He was traveling out of state during this week's protests to rally more support for the movement. 

“The planned arrests being fueled by outside influence is not 'moral' at all," state Republican Party Chairman Claude Pope said in a recent news release. "Rev. Barber has proudly stated that protesters are coming from as far away as New York, California and Florida, but we are confident that they don’t know North Carolina like we know North Carolina."

Another criticism of the protests has been that they have required extra law enforcement, which has been costly, during the past few weeks. 

A spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department said the city has spent  at least $31,500 in overtime and other personnel costs. Two weeks ago, the General Assembly Police had pegged the extra costs of the protests at $11,000, a number that has risen since then. Officials with the Wake County Detention Center have also reported having to provide extra staffers and magistrates in order to process the influx of protesters on Mondays.


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  • soyousay Jun 13, 2013

    On the larger stage of national politics, and state, maybe even local- your choices are chosen for you - way before primaries. The really deep pockets (Koch et al) do it for us. The one thing left is the individual vote, and ask yourself who or what is working hardest to prevent and disenfrancise voters

  • soyousay Jun 13, 2013

    vote, don't vote its up to you and it your right -if you are a itizen over 18 etc etc. unfortunatly, "the Campaign" nailed NC politics on so many levels

  • soyousay Jun 13, 2013

    "Outside Agitators" great choice of loaded words, Birmingham, Syria and on and on

  • junkmail5 Jun 12, 2013

    You simply helped make my point today- outdoor592000

    if your point was you don't understand the voting system and you've made up a bunch of imaginary stuff you think is real, then yes... yes I have.

    Assuming you know all the information, go to the correct voting precinct, fit the general description, hope no one recognizes you or the voter you're trying to impersonate, sign for them, -all for one potential fraudulent vote!
    Plenty Coups

    and a fraud vote that WON'T EVEN BE COUNTED if the real person shows up later!

    (or even worse- if he got there first and now you're caught)

  • Plenty Coups Jun 12, 2013

    Statefan-"There's NO WAY they know who voted for you!So a felony would never take place."

    Actually, chances are fairly high someone would recognize that the voter wasn't who they said they were. Sooner or later one would show up and be recognized. When Project Veritas tried this stunt, they were recognized as not being who they saud they were several times. That's why it doesn't happen and why the Board of Elections tell us it almost never happens.

    " I can come in, vote AS you if you haven't voted yet, leave.. and there is NO WAY of ever figuring out it was me who did it because I never showed the poll workers ANYTHING... NADA.."

    Assuming you know all the information, go to the correct voting precinct, fit the general description, hope no one recognizes you or the voter you're trying to impersonate, sign for them, -all for one potential fraudulent vote!

  • outdoor592000 Jun 12, 2013

    Junkmail, please..........hold your breath. You simply helped make my point today. Thank you so much...........keep holding now.

  • junkmail5 Jun 12, 2013

    Now Junkmail, if there is NO voter fraud, why would you have just said that and laid out that scenario? - outdoor2952000

    I didn't say it HAPPENS.

    I said that's what you would do if it DID happen.

    You're the one who asked the hypothetical question... now you're asking how I can say a made up scenario doesn't happen since I gave you an answer to a made-up scenario?


    Especially since the first time I answered you I specifically said this use of provisional ballots isn't how they're generally used.

    But by ALL means if you can show us some evidence that there's a lot of provisional ballots cast due to duplicate voting... do so.

    Since you've so far been wrong about how voting works in the first place, I'm not holding my breath.

  • outdoor592000 Jun 12, 2013

    Junkmail "Once I prove who I am, that vote counts" The first smart thing you have said today. Now Junkmail, if there is NO voter fraud, why would you have just said that and laid out that scenario? Hmmmmm?

  • StateFan99 Jun 12, 2013

    We've been voting 200+ years without ID. Do you trust those elections? If so, why do we "need" ID NOW when we didn't have it then?

    I've only been registered for the past two presidential elections.. so I can't speak for the past 190 years or so. I also never proclaimed there was much voter fraud out there, so why would I provide proof? We also haven't had gay marriage for the past 200 years, so why do we "need" it now? Times change, and it's time to legitimize this process and PROVE we are who we say we are.

  • outdoor592000 Jun 12, 2013

    Junkmail refuses to answer our questions. It is a fraud hard to prove, because no ID is shown. How can you prove who stole your vote. Reality is people every election go to vote, and are told they have already voted.........HUH? Now how could that happen. With no ID's required, anyone can walk in and claim to be anyone. And Junkmail, if you think someone gets a 2nd vote, show me where they allow that in your 200 yrs of voting history? You live in denial. Waste of time to even present a rational debate with you.