@NCCapitol

@NCCapitol

NAACP: Legislative protests will continue if needed

Posted January 28, 2015

— Whether protests will be staged at the Legislative Building for a third straight year is up to lawmakers, state NAACP President Rev. William Barber said Wednesday.

Barber led a couple dozen clergy members in a "preach-in" at the legislature as lawmakers began their 2015 session, saying he hoped a little prayer and discussion could sway some legislators to their side.

"We don't come here as partisan operatives," he said. "We come in the prophetic tradition of those who are commanded to stand up for the least of these and proclaim justice."

The weekly "Moral Monday" protests against the agenda of the Republican-controlled General Assembly led to more than 1,000 arrests during the 2013-14 sessions. Wake County prosecutors dismissed most of those charges after judges ruled in acquitting several protesters that Legislative Building rules were too restrictive on their free-speech rights. Building officials recently implemented new rules allowing General Assembly Police to set up free-speech zones.

Police blocked the ministers' path Wednesday as they tried to file past the Senate chambers, which Barber said was a violation of court orders regarding their protests and would be challenged. The group then headed off in another direction singing the civil rights song "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around."

Although Barber wouldn't commit to continued Moral Monday demonstrations, he said the groups that have protested legislative actions would continue to press lawmakers for change.

"We're going to stay. We're not going anywhere. We have a responsibility to stand up," he said. "If it's necessary for us to start our Moral Monday the same way we did in '13 and '14, we will come again and again and again."

The ball is in lawmakers' court, he said, expressing disappointment that legislative leaders wouldn't meet with him or supporters of the protest movement in recent weeks.

"Politicians do not get the right to do whatever they wish simply because they are elected," he said. "An election carries no mandate, no matter how big your margin is, to run roughshod over the state and federal constitutions or to trample on our deepest moral and religious values."

The groups laid out the following agenda for lawmakers:

  • Reverse changes to voting in North Carolina, such as restoring same-day registration, expanding early voting and dropping the new requirement to show photo identification at the polls.
  • Expand Medicaid as allowed under the Affordable Care Act to more than 500,000 working poor in the state.
  • Raise the minimum wage and put an amendment on the 2016 ballot to index it so it keeps pace with inflation in the future.
  • Repeal regressive taxes.
  • Reinstate the Earned Income Tax Credit and long-term unemployment benefits.
  • Allow public employees to collectively bargain.
  • Restore funding to public education.
  • Provide raises to all teachers "without gimmicks." Last year, raises were skewed toward younger teachers, while longevity bonuses for veteran teachers were rolled into their pay.
  • Repeal the Opportunity Scholarships school voucher program, which has been challenged in court.
  • Reject attacks on women's health and environmental protections.
  • Repeal the death penalty and restore the Racial Justice Act, which allowed death row inmates to use statistical evidence to show racial bias in challenging their sentences.
  • Reform the criminal justice system.
  • Advocate for fair and just immigration reform.
  • Respect the constitutional rights of all North Carolinians, regardless of race, creed, age, gender or sexual orientation.
165 Comments

Please with your WRAL.com account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • Tom Boswell Apr 30, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    You are spot on! So why did they not protest when Democrats were taxing the lowest level income bracket under $21,250 for a married couple 6% which was the highest in the country at that level? Only 18 states tax their wealthiest 6% or more? If they are so concern with taxes going up will they protest when their real estate taxes increase 50% over the next two years. A year and a half ago we the voters gave Wake County schools 80% of a billion dollars increasing our real estate taxes 14%. They now want more with this budget and are already getting another billion dollar bond ready for 2016. Add this with the Democratic County Commissioners proposing a billion dollar wasted mass rail transit bond and our taxes will be increasing by 50%. Of course they will not because this 50% increase is brought to us by the Democratic party. The same party who was responsible for creating the countries 5th largest budget deficit for the fiscal year 2012.

  • Proudly Unaffiliated Feb 12, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Barber is the perfect specimen of a fat, slothful, gluttonous rabble-rouser.

  • Proudly Unaffiliated Feb 12, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    This is the true essence of the Money Monday crowd.

  • Proudly Unaffiliated Feb 12, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread


    Nailed it!

  • Larry Lynch Jan 30, 2015
    user avatar

    I can easily prove on numerous issues where willie barber's stance is contrary to the acceptable standard interpretation of the Bible. so, where does that leave you willie & company? Dare I suggest it does not leave you in the camp of the Lord's?

    remember, not my words but the Bibles- I can EASILY show where the positions of willie & company are totally contrary to biblical precepts....

  • NcNativeRaleigh Jan 29, 2015

    View quoted thread


    I answered your question a while back, you just don't like the answer so you have been programmed by Faux News to practice denial. I quote you, " and intend to go beyond that to prevent the democratically elected officials from carry out their duties." What size crystal ball do you use for such nonsense or is this straight from the corrupt and reckless Teaparty Republican playbook of the last 6 yrs?

  • sytwsytb Jan 29, 2015

    To see how knowledgeable the "Rev." Barber is, someone needs to ask him some really deep theological questions, such as: How many books are in the Bible?

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 29, 2015

    View quoted thread


    More partisan gibberish and yet no answer to the question:

    Are you denying that they interrupted democratically elected North Carolina general assembly?

  • NcNativeRaleigh Jan 29, 2015

    View quoted thread


    Leave it to Republican minions to believe and characterize time tested truth-isms as gibberish. If the answer you continually get is consistent, maybe the problem is not the answer, but the question your asking. Pick the mirror back up.

  • 68_dodge_polara Jan 29, 2015

    View quoted thread


    You didn't answer the question with that gibberish.

More...