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Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:02 PM

Our message to North Carolina's GOP: 'Moral Mondays' are here to stay

http://m.guardiannews.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/10/north-carolina-gop-moral-mondays.

Our message to North Carolina's GOP: 'Moral Mondays' are here to stay

Since extreme conservatives took over the Republican party in the state capitol, nonviolent direct action became our only
option

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'Moral Monday' protesters crowd the gallery in the legislative general assembly building in Raleigh, North Carolina.

by William J Barber

We have been pleased by the number of people showing up at the statehouse in Raleigh, North Carolina every Monday, sacrificing their freedom and their bodies to protest the regressive agenda of the extreme right. But we are not surprised.

We have worked since 2005, when 20,000 civil rights warriors across the state elected me to lead the NC NAACP, the largest NAACP conference in the American south. Since 2007, we have mobilized thousands of whites, blacks and Latinos; gay and straight, to come to the statehouse to show their support for a progressive 14-point "people's agenda" that is rooted in anti-racism, anti-poverty, and anti-war. We organize every day. We do this with tens of thousands of volunteers and only a handful of staff.

When far-right extremists took over the Grand Old Party and turned it into a joyless, humorless, mean-spirited vehicle to line the pockets of the super-rich, we already had experience bringing people to Jones Street, where the state capitol is located, and advocating for the poor and vulnerable. It is not surprising, then, that a couple of months ago, when we called for moral witnesses based on Gandhi and Dr King's brilliant examples of nonviolent direct action, we had 17 ministers and other leaders answer the call and participate in the first inaugural "Moral Monday".

We were pleased, but not shocked, when 29 additional North Carolinians came the second Monday; 49 the third, 59 the fourth, and 151 last Monday, 3 June. Each week, the number of supporters multiplies; from about 300 the first week to more than 4,000 on 3 June.

The appeal for each Moral Monday has been the same: urging legislators to govern for the good of the whole, rather than for the wealthy. We didn't come to this decision lightly. In fact, we made several attempts to meet with the far-right legislative leadership. Governor Pat McCrory invited us to his house for a 20-minute chat. We said we wanted to work with him to be sure he governed for the good of the whole, as the US constitution requires him to do. But it was clear he was marching to the beat of a different drummer.

Since then, we have tried repeatedly to meet with legislative leaders. No luck. Once they refused to meet and refused to stop their destructive campaign, we had no choice but to commit our constitutional responsibility to instruct our legislators by engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience.

Week after week, North Carolinians from all walks of life have come to Raleigh to exercise their constitutional right to "instruct" their representatives. Instead, they were arrested for trespassing in the "people's house". To date, over 300 people have been arrested and thousands have lifted their voices in opposition to the avalanche of extreme public policies. The measures include:

• Cutting the payroll tax credit for over 900,000 poor and working people

• Slashing state unemployment benefits and rejecting federally-funded Emergency Unemployment Compensation to 170,000 laid-off workers

• Rejecting federal funds to expand Medicaid to cover 500,000 North Carolinians without health insurance

In sum, the NC general assembly is making it harder for those who are sick to get healthcare; for children to get an education; for the incarcerated to be redeemed; for people to vote. At the same time, they make it easier for the rich to get richer; for the sick to get sicker; for private schools to profit while cutting funds for public schools; to implement the flawed death penalty; and to get guns.

But as Paul said, in the book of 2 Corinthians 4:8:

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair."

We have the cause of justice on our side and we will continue to move forward together and not one step back. In the words of Penda Hair, co-director at Advancement Project:

"We are prepared to fight these ugly attacks on the poor, on public education, and on the voting rights of minorities, aged, and students with every organizing and legal strategy at our disposal."

We are building a movement, not just a moment. As our coalition and supporters grow, we will continue to shine a spotlight on injustice and go back home to our respective communities and organize against the regressive agenda of North Carolina's legislative leadership.

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Reply Our message to North Carolina's GOP: 'Moral Mondays' are here to stay (Original post)
G_j Jun 2013 OP
G_j Jun 2013 #1
marions ghost Jun 2013 #3
KoKo Jun 2013 #2
G_j Jun 2013 #5
Triana Jun 2013 #4
G_j Jun 2013 #6
Scuba Jun 2013 #7
G_j Jun 2013 #8
LineNew Reply K
G_j Jun 2013 #9
annabanana Jun 2013 #10

Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:20 PM

1. “Open Letter,” Melissa Harris-Perry

In her “Open Letter,” Melissa Harris-Perry asks what North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory meant when he said he was glad “Moral Monday” protests were non-violent.
On Monday, 151 people were arrested as part of the latest “Moral Monday”–an ongoing grassroots movement against a radical right-wing agenda in the North Carolina’s Republican-led General Assembly. These courageous individuals are practicing non-violent civil disobedience, but one North Carolina man is not moved by their efforts. My letter this week is to him:

Dear Gov. Pat McCrory,

It’s me, Melissa.
Now I can only imagine that running a state can’t be easy – and when you add pesky demonstrators to the mix your job becomes harder. Harder because you have a growing group of people not willing to stand by idly and watch the erosion of their hard fought freedoms. Harder because you can’t be bothered with hearing their grievances or even meeting with them.
On Tuesday, you told reporters that you were “very pleased that it’s been non-violent.”

Say word, governor? Really? Who did you think would be posing a risk of violence? The clergy in their collars? The disabled in their wheelchairs? The elderly who were just present to observe?

Or were you expecting them to pull out knives and shank each other just because the lead organizers are from the state chapter of the NAACP and the Advancement Project? Let me remind you, governor, that your state has a long history of non-violent protests by black and brown folks, including one of the most famous by some civilized students at a lunch counter in a place called Greensboro.

Governor, if you would bother to meet with your constituents, maybe you would learn why they are gathering every week.

Here’s the point–you may be a Republican governor but you represent all of the people of the great state of North Carolina not just the members of your party, not just those who agree with you. When you refuse to meet with concerned, organized, vocal citizens, you show a callous disregard for what democracy is supposed to be. The way I see it, you have a choice of what kind of southern governor you want to be.
You can go down in history like Gov. Terry Sanford who fought to expand civil rights for all North Carolinians. Or you can go down like Gov. Orval Faubus, the man who ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the Little Rock Nine from entering school in 1957. Because the movement is growing.

And if you thought you had your hands full with “Moral Mondays”–get ready for “Witness Wednesdays.” You may want the protesters to go away governor, but they are just getting started. And so are we.

Sincerely,
Melissa

http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/03/23/my-open-letter-to-the-steubenville-survivor/

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Response to G_j (Reply #1)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:40 PM

3. Melissa on Saturday June 8:

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/46979745/vp/52143190#52143190

Excellent coverage and background.

keep on it Melissa!

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 08:35 PM

2. WooHOO! Ain't it Grand to see what NC is doing...and all on THEIR OWN!

....! It is GOOD!

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Response to KoKo (Reply #2)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 10:54 PM

5. I know

I just found out the local NAACP has a bus running from here. Maybe next week.

http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130610/NEWS/306100015/Locals-join-Moral-Monday-protests

Locals join 'Moral Monday' protests
Events continue to grow in size, number of arrests

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Mon Jun 10, 2013, 09:03 PM

4. YES! Very proud of these people.

 

Rev Barber tells where the Tealiban shit in the buckwheat & rubs their skanky, extremist, crooked noses in it. And he brings all his friends, too.

This is exactly the response I'd hoped for after hearing McCrory's arrogant remarks about these protests. GOOD stuff.

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 05:08 AM

6. Moral Monday protesters return to General Assembly, 60 arrested

http://www.wrbl.com/story/22552730/moral-monday-protesters-return-to-general-assembly?clienttype=generic&smartdevicecgbypass


More than 60 people were arrested during the latest Moral Monday demonstration at the North Carolina legislative building.

Many in the group of more than 60 arrested Monday at the Republican-controlled General Assembly were clergy. The arrests bring the total over six rounds of near-weekly demonstrations to more than 350.

More than 100 at last week's demonstration of 1,600 people.

During this week's protest, Congressman G.K. Butterfield showed up to support the effort.

"We are here today to express our views," Butterfield said. "This is the way we petition our government and we're going to so it very forcefully, not only today but every Monday going forward until we are heard."

..more..

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 06:02 AM

7. Thank you protesters!!!

 

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Tue Jun 11, 2013, 10:17 AM

9. K

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Response to G_j (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 12:30 PM

10. HEY! kick!

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