Don’t let #NCGA silence the people!
New rules adopted recently by a special legislative committee of the North Carolina General Assembly are an attempt to silence Moral Monday and protests of lawmakers’ extremist legislative agenda that – on top of everything done last year, including cutting unemployment benefits and making it harder to vote – now threatens to bankrupt our cities, hide air pollution from the public, fire teaching assistants, and kick the elderly, blind, and disabled off Medicaid.
WRAL reported on the changes:
Under the new rules, any group making enough noise to interfere with conversation at normal conversational levels is creating a “disturbance.” Singing, clapping, shouting and using a bullhorn are offered as examples of disturbing behavior. All were common during Moral Monday protests in the building last summer.
The new rules also allow police or staff to order people to leave the building if they think those people pose an “imminent threat” of a disturbance, even if they haven’t done anything. If the visitors don’t leave, they can be arrested and charged with a misdemeanor. The term “imminent threat” isn’t defined in the rules. [emphasis added]
“It is deeply concerning we are changing the rules in which the people can enter the people’s house,” said Sen. Josh Stein. “It was done without any public comment, or any opportunity for this full chamber to consider those rules.”
This week AFL-CIO released a powerful new video that calls the effort by the Republican majority in the NCGA to silence its opposition “un-American”.
“We stand together with the thousands who have spoken out against these reprehensible rules, and call on North Carolina’s leaders to reverse course and restore the basic rights we fight for every day,” said AFL-CIO Communications Director Eric Hauser.
Citing the Boston Tea Party, the Bread and Roses Strike, Women’s Suffrage, and the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the video narrator points out that, “The greatest moments in America’s history were borne of ‘imminent disturbance’.”
“Silence the people, and you’ve silenced America. North Carolina’s new rule banning ‘imminent disturbance’ is un-American.”
Make yourself heard! Text DISTURB to 235246.