Raleigh, N.C. — Demonstrators hit the pause button Wednesday on protests inside the Legislative Building designed to end in arrests.
Members of the "Moral Monday" movement last month began their third year of protests against the agenda of the Republican-led General Assembly, and about two dozen people were arrested during demonstrations on April 29 and May 13.
A crowd gathered on Bicentennial Mall, across the street from the Legislative Building, on Wednesday afternoon, prepared for a third wave of arrests, when Rev. William Barber, state NAACP president, asked them to stand down.
"Because of the speciousness of the building rules and how they are applied, our lawyers have asked us to suspend civil disobedience for the time being to give them time to strategize on further action regarding a previously filed challenge to building rules," Barber said in a statement. "They will follow up with this in the coming days, and we will resume civil disobedience in mid-June."
After trespassing charges against hundreds of people arrested in 2013-14 protests were dismissed last year, legislative leaders tweaked the public access rules for the Legislative Building to allow General Assembly Police to set up protest zones. Those arrested in recent weeks were blocking the doors to the Senate or the House chamber, however.
Barber said the protests will continue in the coming weeks, even without any arrests.