For Immediate Release
Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 919-833-6678
STATEMENT BY JAMES ANDREWS, PRESIDENT, NORTH CAROLINA STATE AFL-CIO
Why I have chosen civil disobedience on this Moral Monday
RALEIGH, N.C. (June 24, 2013) – The North Carolina State AFL-CIO proudly stands in solidarity with the North Carolina NAACP, the entire H.K. on J. coalition, and the thousands of North Carolinians who have taken part in Moral Mondays over the past two months.
Personally, I’m honored today to join almost 500 protesters who have gone before me as I petition my legislature through nonviolent civil disobedience. The reasons I am taking this action are rooted in my life’s work, my Christian background, and my love of family and community.
I joined the struggle for workers’ rights years ago during the civil rights movement. I learned early on that both movements are one and the same. Indeed, our opponents have always been cut from the same cloth.
Today I stand against cruel cuts to unemployment benefits. And I am ashamed that the Governor and General Assembly now seem to be content to let 70,000 of their constituents – my fellow North Carolinians – fall off of the “unemployment cliff” on July 1, the date when their federal benefits will prematurely expire because of those rash cuts.
My Christian background compels me to put my faith into action as I witness public policies enacted that are unjust, mean-spirited, and that benefit a privileged few at the expense of the rest.
It is an outright shame to deny healthcare to 500,000 low-income North Carolinians – many of them children and people with disabilities – because of a political vendetta.
It is equally immoral to raise taxes on 900,000 hard-working, low-income families while ending an estate tax that affected just 23 multi-millionaires.
I act today because I am a taxpayer and a grandfather of children in public schools. This General Assembly has made it harder for my grandkids and others’ to get the quality public education they need to become productive adults, able to pursue their own happiness. That is why I stand in opposition to vouchers, which transfer public money to private schools and against larger class sizes with fewer teaching assistants and more underpaid teachers.
Today I stand in opposition to the immoral acts taken against the people of North Carolina by those who claim to govern in their name.
Well, not in my name do this General Assembly and Governor act. Not with my consent do they undermine North Carolina and her hard-working families.
I am not intimidated by bullies. And I will not be obedient in the face of injustice.
The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is the largest association of local unions and union councils in North Carolina, representing over one-hundred thousand union members, fighting for good jobs, safe workplaces, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and quality public services on behalf of ALL working families. PO Box 10805, Raleigh, NC 27605.