Thousands pack downtown Raleigh for annual HKonJ march, rally

Posted February 14, 2015
Updated February 16, 2015

— Economic sustainability, education and criminal justice were on the agenda Saturday when several of North Carolina's civil rights groups held an annual march and rally in downtown Raleigh. 

The ninth annual HKonJ – Historic Thousands on Jones Street – began early Saturday morning when participants met in downtown Raleigh and marched to the Legislative Building on Jones Street. 

Spearheaded by the state chapter of the NAACP, HKonJ includes more than 140 coalition groups. Many speakers were present for Saturday's event, including state NAACP head Rev. William Barber. National union and abortion-rights leaders also are expected to attend.

Barber has taken a prominent role challenging Republican policies of the legislature and Gov. Pat McCrory through "Moral Monday" demonstrations since 2013.

"I've come to announce today that we can't be quiet, not now, not ever," Barber said.

The NAACP's national president, Cornell Brooks, vowed to fight what he calls the state's voter suppression laws.

"We in fact say to them we will not give up, we will not give in, we will not give over," he said. "We will stand for our voting rights."

Maureen Galvin, a teacher from Durham, said she teaches her students to stand up for what they believe in.

"I feel like I should model that behavior," she said. "There seems to be a concerted effort to take away support for public schools. I think public schools are absolutely necessary."

The march organizers want election law changes repealed, Medicaid expanded and a constitutional amendment to raise the minimum wage.


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  • Arlington Stringham Feb 17, 2015
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    It may not be mathematically possible to gerrymander EVERY seat, but it is certainly possible to gerrymander enough to win a majority.
    Your facts are wrong.

    The GOP doesnt just have a majority, they have a super-majority. They control the NC House 77-43.

    This "gerrymandering" storyline is just cocooning.

    The NC Democrats need to break the stranglehold (hat tip: Etheridge) that the far left national party has on them.
    What plays among among Hollywood and San Franciso drawing rooms when Pelosi and Obama trawl for cash does not play in NC.

  • Matt Wood Feb 16, 2015
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    View quoted thread

    It may not be mathematically possible to gerrymander EVERY seat, but it is certainly possible to gerrymander enough to win a majority. Else, why have we had so many elections where more votes were cast for democrats, but republicans still have a majority in the GA?

  • Larry Lynch Feb 16, 2015
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    I whole heartedly disagree on so many levels for so many reasons..... but probably the thing that bothers me the most is his completely wrongful misguided "interpretation " of Biblical doctrine, which is in fact easily proveable to be in DIRECT CONFLICT to that which is clearly written in the Bible. He will answer to God for that.

  • Jack Jones Feb 16, 2015
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    "Democrat socialists"? Did you really spew that phrase? LMAO

  • Arlington Stringham Feb 15, 2015
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    The last election simply proved that districts have been gerrymandered to favor Republicans, and that Tillis/ Berger were effective in suppressing the vote
    The NC GA has 120 seats. Its not mathematically possible to gerrymander 120 seats.

    And the NC Democrats were awash with cash from California and NYC millionaires giving money to the Hagan campaign. They employed endless minions of door to door zombies.

    And of course there were the flyers threating lynchings if people didnt vote Democrat.

    The Democrat-Socialists pullout all the stops and still got shellacked. Its time to take a second look at the far leftist Obama/Pelosi policies that NC Democrats are forced to support.

  • Jack Jones Feb 14, 2015
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    Perhaps reading more would be beneficial and enlightening. Every American does not have the same rights (marriage), and new legislation continues to redistribute wealth from the middle-class up to the richest.

  • Alan Baker Feb 14, 2015
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    This isn't even a slightly absurd statement; the NC Republican Party did in fact shift the borders of many districts to their visible benefit in 2011. (Any second now there will be a shrill voice whining "But the Democrats did it fiiiiiirst!!!" and they're right too. Childish, because this kind of gerrymandering hurts faith in the democratic process for both parties, but right.) There are lawsuits in process to contest the changes but it could take years to settle whether they were in fact legal. Non-partisan redistricting is the only real answer, but that's going to take even longer.

  • Wayne R. Douglas Feb 14, 2015
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    Are you serious? Are you delusional?

  • Dolly Butler Feb 14, 2015
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    Rev. Barber is a Leader of Many. We are grateful to have such a Leader in North Carolina.

  • Harvey Smith Feb 14, 2015
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    With the demographic shift in America HKonJ is a reflection of America's bright future and not so good future for the hate filled neo confederates