June 7, 2013
“Mega” rally on June 3rd not the last
About 1,600 protesters from across North Carolina rallied outside the state legislative building last Monday, June 3rd for the fifth and largest yet weekly gathering of people opposed to the regressive and resentful policies coming out of our state legislature.
Among those present were over 150 individuals of good conscience – representing a cross-section of North Carolina – who chose civil disobedience and arrest to make their point that Republicans in the current General Assembly are ignoring their constitutional duty to govern for the good of the whole and instead choosing to enact extreme and immoral laws.
In calling on GOP lawmakers to heed Moral Monday protesters in and editorial this week, the News & Observer offered several examples of why protests and arrests are building:
GOP lawmakers have charged on with an agenda that has laid waste to constructive policies, cut unemployment benefits at a time when that will hurt the state’s economy and its people, passed on expanding Medicaid care for lower-income families, cut public education, moved toward giving public money to private schools through vouchers and embraced a Voter ID law to curb potential Democratic votes. One Republican even moved toward establishing a state religion.
From the video’s description:
Its extreme and immoral to make laws that make it harder for some to vote and impossible for others.
Its extreme and immoral in a state with 1.6 million poor and 600,000 children to callously cut Medicaid for more than 500,000 people, many of them disabled children.
Its extreme and immoral to raise taxes on 900,000 poor and working class citizens in order to cut taxes for the 23 wealthiest families and to propose tax restructuring that raises taxes on poor and working people and undermines the governments ability to invest fully in public education infrastructure and protection of our environment through green economy.
Its extreme and immoral to end unemployment benefits for 165,000 people who have lost jobs through no fault of their own.
Its extreme and immoral to eliminate preschool for more than 30,000 poor children. And further defund public education and promote charter school and private school voucher programs that will deconstruct and re-segregate our schools.
As Rev. William Barber, president of the NC NAACP, explains in the video, anyone asking him or other Moral Monday protesters when they will stop is asking the wrong question:
“Don’t ask us when we’ll stop. Ask [Thom] Tillis and [Phil] Berger and the man in the Governor’s mansion, ‘When will they stop?’
When will they stop hurting children?
When will they stop hurting the sick?
When will they stop hurting our public schools?
When will they stop hurting our economics?
Because if they stop, we’ll stop. But we can’t stop as long as people are getting hurt.
Those who died to make this country free, they didn’t stop. And so we’re gonna walk forward together as long as there’s strength in our body and hope in our spirit.”