RALEIGH- The NAACP’s Moral Monday Protests return Monday evening at 5 p.m. outside the N.C. General Assembly. State chapter president William Barber says this will be the biggest rally yet—promising more arrests than ever before.
So far, 153 people have been arrested during the previous 4 weeks of protests, targeting the policies of the Republican-led legislature. Many Chapel Hillians are included in those arrests.
Working inside the chamber of the legislature this week is Verla Insko, the state representative for Orange County.
“The demonstrations are growing,” Insko said. “I think if it is just Raleigh or just the Triangle, it won’t have very much impact. I think a lot of people across the state just don’t know what’s going on.”
She’s voiced her own concerns over the recently released Senate budget, calling for cuts to education and health care.
This week the House begins writing its budget—which Insko says will be less harsh than the Senate’s spending plan. But she still warns it will make significant cuts.
Insko says to make an impact on the state leaders, protesters needs to take their efforts to a grass-roots level to generate coverage beyond the Triangle.
“If people start busting in from the more rural parts of the state—especially the more eastern parts of the state where there are some many poor people who will be hurt by this legislation, then their representatives will begin to listen more closely,” Insko said. “The smaller newspapers are not covering this—I think that’s something that we need to make sure that smaller newspapers are actually picking up on this.”
The NAACP last week launched a 25- county tour of North Carolina, spreading the word of their defiance against legislation which they say hurts voting rights, social welfare programs, and education.
The tour, called “Forward Together,” runs through this Friday.
The tour made a stop in Chapel Hill last Wednesday—about 130 local people from various backgrounds gathered outside the Courthouse on Franklin Street. But there were no arrests, only songs of protests and a speech by state NAACP Vice President Curtis Gatewood. NAACP Chapel-Hill-Carrboro chapter president Minister Robert Campbell and vice president Bishop Larry Reid were there, along with Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton and members of the Raging Grannies. Chilton says he will be at Monday’s protest in Raleigh.
“People need to know whether they agree or disagree with the issues—they need to be better informed,” Insko said.