NAACP leader, others remain banned from Legislative Building

Posted July 13

Rev. William Barber

— State NAACP President Rev. William Barber and four other people cannot go to the state legislature until their trespassing cases from a recent protest there are resolved, a Wake County judge ordered Thursday.

Four other protesters can visit the Legislative Building only if invited by a lawmaker and must be accompanied by the lawmaker while there, District Judge Michael Denning ruled.

The nine are among 32 people arrested during a May 30 protest over Republican lawmakers' refusal to expand the Medicaid program as allowed under the Affordable Care Act to provide health coverage for more low-income people.

They appealed the legality of their pre-trial release conditions, contending every North Carolina resident has a constitutional right to visit the Legislative Building to "instruct" their lawmakers.

Prosecutors argued during a Wednesday court hearing that it's common for people charged with trespassing to be banned from the specific property involved until the case is resolved.

Denning agreed that a blanket ban was too broad, and he tailored the prohibitions based on how many times each person has been charged with trespassing at the Legislative Building.

There was no word on any changes to the pre-trial release conditions for the other 23 protesters.

Barber said he is appealing the revised release conditions as unconstitutional.

He was arrested Thursday in Washington, D.C., where he was taking part in a protest against the U.S. Senate's health care proposal, and noted that he simply paid a fine and was released. He said protesters aren't banned from Capitol Hill, nor do other states ban them from legislative complexes.

"We can’t allow the legislature or this judge to engage in this kind of mischaracterization and start limiting people’s constitutional rights," Barber said. "If you have been arrested before, we’re going to say you can’t go back until your case is adjudicated? That’s not going to stand up in court if we’ve got to take it all the way to the Supreme Court."


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  • Haley Sessoms Jul 14, 2:46 p.m.
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    Soul blow the buffet slayer!!! Wral took this comment down one time already

  • Clarence Drumgoole Jul 14, 8:06 a.m.
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    It's not about Barber, just like it wasn't about Dr. King, remember him. Folk said the same thing about him. Racist Nation and NC in the lead as being the most racist. Just look at the comment on WRAL Website.

  • Robert Malton Jul 14, 6:48 a.m.
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    First he have to get a real job, right now he just a leech.

  • Dave Vogel Jul 13, 8:06 p.m.
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    Act like a criminal, get treated as such. Act like an adult and you will get treated like one. Barber and the others deserve what they got. Isn't there more important things in NC to put on the news??

  • Michael Bawden Jul 13, 3:01 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Dont tell Barber this is not about Barber!

  • Jeff Freuler Jul 13, 1:44 p.m.
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    There is a difference between protesting for a cause or reason and being disruptive.

    They should be banned as disrupting the legislative building is not cool

  • James Marley Jul 13, 12:08 p.m.
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    Barber should get a lifetime ban. As a black man I am getting tired of his identity and victimization based politics. He and the NAACP certainly do not represent all of us or our views

  • Teddy Fowler Jul 13, 12:04 p.m.
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    I can't wait till he actually retires... I know that is coming... soon I hope....

  • Clarence Drumgoole Jul 13, 11:57 a.m.
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    This not about Barber, you forgetting the reason people protest. Get involved with your community and see the good and the bad, then come up with solution to the reason people protest. All lives matter, so don't complain when I feel like I'm being mistreated.

  • William Sherman Jul 13, 11:48 a.m.
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    As many times as Barber et.al. have been arrested for the same offenses, should they not face actual jail time? Instead, they pay a small fine and walk away--in reality, no consequences for their conduct..Sound familiar???