Six arrested at legislature
Posted July 1, 2015
Raleigh, N.C. — Six protesters associated with the "Moral Monday" movement were arrested Wednesday evening when they refused to leave the Legislative Building after a demonstration that called for Medicaid expansion and greater rights for immigrants and members of the gay and lesbian community.
Dozens gathered in the courtyard between the House and the Senate chambers around 4:30 p.m. Members of the House had already finished for the day, while senators were just concluding their business. Senate leaders complained that singing and chanting from the protests were making it hard to hear and put off a last bit of business rather than stay and work during the disturbance.
Shortly after 5 p.m., officers with the General Assembly Police announced that the building was closed and those who remained would be arrested. While most of the crowd left, six people stayed behind chanting and were arrested on trespassing-related charges. Their names and exact charges were not immediately available from police.
Organizers of the event said they were calling for equal protection under the law. Earlier in the day, state NAACP President Rev. William Barber said that the state's refusal to extend Medicaid to roughly 500,000 people under federal Affordable Care Act guidelines was leading to unnecessary hardship and death.
Republicans who control the House and the Senate say Medicaid expansion would be too costly, while advocates for expansion say the state would lose money in the long run by not covering more people.