State News

Civil rights rally draws thousands in downtown Raleigh

Posted February 9, 2013
Updated March 8, 2013

— Economic sustainability, educational equality and universal healthcare were on the agenda Saturday when demonstrators from several of North Carolina's civil rights and left-leaning groups held an annual march and rally in downtown Raleigh. 

The seventh annual HKonJ – or Historic Thousands of Jones Street – rally began at 10:30 a.m. at Shaw University, where participants began a march to the Legislative Building on Jones Street. Spearheaded by the state chapter of the NAACP, HKonJ includes more than 140 coalition groups. 

Demonstrators heard from several speakers, including Chairman of the NAACP National Board of Directors Roslyn M. Brock and state NAACP President Rev. William Barber, discuss a five-point agenda that emphasized education, the economy and criminal justice system.

Coalition members are concerned about attempts by the Republican legislature to pass a voter identification bill. A measure that cuts jobless benefits could reach Gov. Pat McCrory's desk next week.

"In the face of our progressive agenda, we've seen a new ultra-conservative, Republican-led leadership unleash a cruel and unusual attack on labor rights, unemployment rights, Medicaid and voting rights," Barber said. "It will have a devastating impact on the poor and working people."

The state chapter of the NAACP in January urged state lawmakers to focus on issues surrounding poverty and economic justice.

Civil rights group rally at Legislative Building NAACP president rallies thousands in downtown Raleigh

The state's poverty rate is 12th highest in the U.S., with one of every four children living in poverty. The rate is much higher for black and Latino children.

The NAACP says 1.7 million North Carolinians live in poverty – about the same number as in 1968.

"The gap between the rich and poor is wider than it was during the Great Depression," Barber said. "There are 700,000 in deep poverty, 600,000 children. There are 10 counties where the poverty rate has been over 20 percent for more than 30 years."

9 Comments

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  • kennedy63 Feb 12, 5:55 p.m.

    You know I dont want to hear things like not everyone is motavated or educate etc Well then get off your backside and get after it! I for one had to so what makes you any better or more special than me.I had to leave one state for another. And btw North Carolina is one of the best places in the country to live.As far as being poor you have to be willing to help your self first. And not claim well im not motavated enough I want someone to give me something .Get real I had to make my breaks and make it on my own like lots of people have done. Why do you think there is so many people from so many different states living here they had to come here to work etc they got off their backsides and moved and found work ...really people need to have a clue!

  • kennedy63 Feb 12, 5:47 p.m.

    Wait till they find out that when they do their taxes they will be asked if you have health insurance? I was just asked this I said why do you want to know that? Because you will be fined according to what you make if you do not have health insurance My fine would have been almost 500 .then the following year almost 1000 .... guess the people who actually work and pay taxes are once again going to be screwed. I guess that is racest too!

  • saturn5 Feb 12, 8:33 a.m.

    "The NAACP says 1.7 million North Carolinians live in poverty – about the same number as in 1968"

    If true, then that speaks to how much things have improved. NC population is much larger today than it was in 1968, so that represents a smaller percentage of the population today.

  • JustAName Feb 11, 12:05 p.m.

    "Economic sustainability, educational equality and universal healthcare were on the agenda Saturday"

    Ahhh, stooges for Agenda 21. They'll be trampled under when the time comes.

  • Crumps Br0ther Feb 11, 11:23 a.m.

    The war on poverty is about educating others so that people don't remain in the state they are in. Some of the poor has been able to work their way out of poverty. But unfortunately, not everyone has the stamina, knowledge, motivation, and persistence to do that.
    free2bme

    And so you continue to coddle them. They have all these programs, free or cheapened tutition etc... and they still cant get with the program? If they dont have the motivation to betetr their situations I do not want to take care of them! Why do you? Remember, give a man a fish or teach him to fish.

    45 years and the number of poor hasnt changed. There is a serious problem that needs to be fixed. 45 years! Who was running the state during most of that time? The party that the supposedly poor people vote for!

  • free2bme Feb 11, 10:50 a.m.

    crumps brother -you sound like the GOP broken record. Thinking that all poor people are looking for hand outs, ready to blame someone else for poverty. The war on poverty is about educating others so that people don't remain in the state they are in. Some of the poor has been able to work their way out of poverty. But unfortunately, not everyone has the stamina, knowledge, motivation, and persistence to do that.

  • Crumps Br0ther Feb 11, 9:56 a.m.

    The NAACP says 1.7 million North Carolinians live in poverty – about the same number as in 1968

    And who has been in charge the most since that time and nothing has changed in 45 years? If an idea hasnt worked in 45 years dont ya think we should try something else?

  • Crumps Br0ther Feb 11, 9:55 a.m.

    The state chapter of the NAACP in January urged state lawmakers to focus on issues surrounding poverty and economic justice.

    The war on poverty has been going on for how long? Some of these folks subsit solely on entitlements. Why are they still poor?

  • Crumps Br0ther Feb 11, 9:54 a.m.

    Economic sustainability, educational equality and universal healthcare were on the agenda Saturday

    barry is "working" albei poorly on the first one. Educational ewuality? We leave huge carbon footprints in the name of diversity by busing kinds all over the county when they could walk to the school closest to them. You got your healthcare. Be careful what you wish for

    Barber sounds like a broken record