Barber, 16 others released following arrests at General Assembly

Posted April 29, 2013
Updated April 30, 2013

Seventeen people were arrested Monday evening during what the state chapter of the NAACP called a nonviolent "pray in" protest at the General Assembly. 

The protest was directed at Republican action on health care, unemployment benefits, education and voting rights. 

"We are once again, through putting our bodies on the line, asking them to reconsider their assault on the poor, the unemployed, our many citizens without health care and our embattled public schools and public education," said state NAACP President William Barber, who was among those arrested inside the state Legislative Building. "We're asking them to reconsider and get on the right side of history."

Barber called recent actions of state lawmakers "an avalanche of extremist policies that threaten health care, that threaten education, that threaten the poor."

Among the NAACP's concerns is a bill requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls, which passed the House last week. Barber has equated the measure to a poll tax.

Protester Nelson Johnson, of Faith Community Church in Greensboro, said the voter ID bill moves North Carolina in the wrong direction. Arrests Despite arrest, NAACP leader promises more protests

"We need more, not less, public access to the ballot," he said.

Barber said at a church service Sunday that he takes no pleasure in getting arrested but views protest as a justified action mirroring the fights of the 1960s.

Those arrested each face second-degree trespassing, posting or displaying a placard and failure to disperse on command charges.

Barber and others were released from jail about 4 a.m. Tuesday.


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  • harmstrong4 May 2, 2013

    when is Barber due in court? Taking a long time to get some justice for him....

  • sisu Apr 30, 2013

    I appreciate Reverend Barber and all those who stand with him. I stand behind their positions on health care, unemployment benefits, education and voting rights. The disregard being displayed in the NCGA for true fiscal responsibility is disappointing.

  • josephlawrence43 Apr 30, 2013

    I have to wonder why people spend so much of their time and energy debating the pro's and con's of the actions of the NAACP and associated groups and individuals without spending time looking at the "why" of those actions. What is supposed to be the ultimate outcome of the actions of the NAACP? What does the outcome of these actions mean for all the other people in our society??? If the outcomes of these protests are to benefit a specific group of people, what does that say about the impact of these actions on everyone else???

  • westernwake1 Apr 30, 2013

    "Lincoln would be spinning in his grave if he saw what the GOP have become. They are just the Dixiecrats of old in a new suit." - Grand Union

    Your asseertions that whites in the South (Dixiecrats) switched to the the Republican party in the 1960s is simply incorrect.

    Her is an article by Sean Trende, the author of The Lost Majority, that outlines the facts about the Republican switch in the South starting in the 1920s. -


    'The assertion that white Southerners began voting Republican in 1964 is simply incorrect, whether for president, Congress, or statehouses. The development of the Southern GOP was a slow-moving, gradual process that lasted over a century, and is just being completed today'

  • jgilchr Apr 30, 2013

    Occupy shut it down! I hope the civil disobedience continues in an effort to slow the crazy train down.

  • beachboater Apr 30, 2013

    "Now show all the poor use such services....." Grand Union

    Grand Union - you are slipping. All of these programs are designed to help the poor. Why would you think they are not using them?

    Air is on this planet for us to breathe. I can't prove it, but try getting by without it.

  • beachboater Apr 30, 2013

    "how about dogs, water cannon and batons? so how did that work out for you last time.....actually I hope the GOP are dumb enough to jail some of these folks.....nothing like a martyr to stir up folks....." profile Grand Union

    I don't think the U.S. has ever used water cannon. Not in my memory at least. Dogs and batons are possible.

    As far as a martyr...............well Barber's got 16 followers anyways.

  • ICTrue Apr 30, 2013

    "Well I don't exactly celebrating paying my taxes even this atheist knows that its what keeps this a civilized country. This Libertarian insanity is wrecking the country....." Grand Union

    Was it Libratarians who wrecked whatever country you are from? I doubt it. You and I both know it was socialism, just like you preach here every day.

  • beachboater Apr 30, 2013

    "Nothing to do with fraud. Requiring ID has been shown to affect all voters Republican and Democrats, but affects democrats MORE than republicans......to put it in simple terms the Republicans will lose 1-2% of their voters but the democrats will lose 2-3% so the Republicans gain a net 1-2% edge. And as for fraud, show us that it exists...........you can't and you know you can't. Now you might like believing in things you can't show to exist but I don't......."

    Grand Union

    Grand Union - Thank you so much for sharing your bottomless pit of knowledge with us once again. I truly admire someone who has been everywhere and done everything and knows all. You ask the posters to provide some proof of their writings, yet you provide no proof of your "statistics."

  • Grand Union Apr 30, 2013

    "This was a made for media event, and our media jumps at the chance to give them free publicity."

    Of course it was but really what other avenue of protest do they have?