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NAACP spearheads march to state Legislative Building

Posted February 14, 2009
Updated February 27, 2010

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— Activists involved in dozens of advocacy groups traveled to the state Legislature and urged lawmakers to pass a "people's agenda" this year.

The state chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People led the annual "Historic Thousands on Jones Street" march Saturday in Raleigh. Jones Street refers to the Legislative Building's address, where the march ended.

The event promotes a 14-point action plan that includes expanding health care coverage, protecting immigrants' rights and granting collective bargaining rights for public employees.

March, rally to push 14-point progressive agenda March, rally push 14-point progressive agenda

"We’re tired of being gagged, and that's why we're all wearing these yellow gags. We’re here to say that we want a voice,” said Angaza Laughinghouse, the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) Local 150 state president.

Labor, environmental, women's rights and a Gates County group – battling to keep the Navy from building an outlying landing field (OLF) for its jets near their homes – joined together during the march. Many said the gathering brings hope to their message.

"It does, and it's really brought the people of our county together, and that's a good thing. We're trying to see some good from all the turmoil this is causing,” said Laura Dickerson, spokeswoman for Citizens Against OLF.

The Rev. William Barber is the state NAACP chapter president. He said the voters who turned out in record numbers for the November elections want change to occur.

"Why don't we just focus on one thing? Well, freedom isn't spelled with one letter," Barber told the crowd.

Also in the crowd Saturday was a Wilson man who is getting support from the NAACP. James Johnson, 22, is charged with being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder in the slaying of Brittany Willis, a 17-year-old who was kidnapped, robbed, raped and shot to death on June 28, 2004.

Barber says the state needs to restore faith in a justice system that wrongfully jailed Johnson.

Johnson was detained for more than three years on charges of murder, rape and kidnapping before he was released on a reduced bond in September 2007.

In December 2007, a special prosecutor dismissed those charges, but a grand jury indicted Johnson on the lesser accessory charge in January 2008.

Another man, Kenneth Meeks, pleaded guilty to Willis' slaying and is serving a life sentence in prison.

Johnson's trial begins on Monday.

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  • WRALSUCKS Feb 16, 2009

    "The NAACP and the Black Panthers neglect to tell you that they marched in the streets in Durham to get the innocent Duke Lacrosse players locked up for attacking the lying Crystal Mangum."

    I'm sure they went to the players and face to face, asked for an apology.

    Actually, since they're merely publicity seeking rabble rabble rousers I'm sure they didn't . That would take intestinal fortitude and integrity.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Feb 16, 2009

    "Never have I seen or heard or even read that the NAACP caused any harm to anyone for anything other being publicized. "

    The NAACP and the Black Panthers neglect to tell you that they marched in the streets in Durham to get the innocent Duke Lacrosse players locked up for attacking the lying Crystal Mangum. Crystal's was determined to be a liar by the State Attorney General.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama Feb 16, 2009

    "GWALLY, how do you know that no one represented you? - bronzegoddess40"

    This group is a very small vocal minority that represents a very small portion of the state. They represent those that don't want to work and get a free ride from the government.

  • GWALLY Feb 16, 2009

    ..."you are feeling disinfranchised in any way, call them, write them and tell them your concerns."

    In order to be "disinfranchised" one must first be "franchised"...can't say I have ever been franchised so I can't be disinfranchised!!!

  • GWALLY Feb 16, 2009

    GWALLY, how do you know that no one represented you?......

    Well.....that is quite simple....I do not have a "people's agenda" and furthermore I do not "demand" an "agenda" nor am I entitled to one or anything else this group represents!!!! So enough already with this junk and callint it "all the peoples agenda"....it is in fact a misrepresentation of the truth!!!!

  • bronzegoddess40 Feb 16, 2009

    Garnerwolf, I agree with you as well. I have never believed in some people having to take the brunt of everything so that others can have.

  • Garnerwolf1 Feb 16, 2009

    bronze: I agree. As long as just 'some people' don't have to pay for it all.

  • bronzegoddess40 Feb 16, 2009

    Healthcare, good schools, housing,increase of the minimum wage,and a fair and equal justice system among other things should be the concern of everybody not just some people.

  • bronzegoddess40 Feb 16, 2009

    GWALLY, how do you know that no one represented you? There were other groups there as well, about 80 other groups. Go the website http://www.hkonj.com/ and see if there is something that you are interested in or if you are part of it. This is not about a black group rallying just for blacks or minorities. It was many whites there marching as well for other things. I am not trying to be funny but if you are feeling disinfranchised in any way, call them, write them and tell them your concerns. These are some organizations that were there the North Carolina Center for Justice, civic groups, college organizations, churches and unions. So how can you say it was not about the "people"? You should investrigate first before assuming it was not for you.

  • GWALLY Feb 16, 2009

    I CARE..thank you!!! I do not want someone speaking on behalf of "the people"....when "the people'" are not identified!!! I am one of the "people" and "these" people DO NOT REPRESENT ME!!!!!

    So therefore this junk about "the people" is either a misrepresentation or a lie! In either case it is not correct and should not be reported as fact!!!!

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