RALEIGH – North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has said he is not backing down to the Moral Monday protesters, whose numbers are now peaking in the thousands. An increasing number of people from Orange County have been joining the effort, some getting arrest, including local leaders.
McCrory told the Associated Press that “Outsiders are coming in and they’re going to try to do to us what they did to Scott Walker [the Governor] in Wisconsin.”
Reverend William Barber, the NC president of the NAACP, has been the central figure in the movement against the state General Assembly. Barber says he won’t relent, though McCrory has denounced his efforts.
“The bottom line is that we are going to win. It is going to be tough but right will always win. The constitution still stands and our morals still stand. They have stood against many tests and many tyrants,” Barber said.
As he spoke to activists who gathered for a second time this week in front of the General Assembly for the NAACP’s Witness Wednesday, he laughed at the notion that the protesters aren’t from North Carolina.
Laurel Ashton is the co-chair of the Labor Committee for the Chapel Hill Carrboro chapter of the NAACP.
“They are falling back in the tactics of George Wallace in the 1960s. He called Martin Luther King Jr. an outsider. And now, they are just using the same rhetoric, digging themselves into a deeper hole,” Ashton said.
Witness Wednesday commemorated the 50th anniversary of the assignation of civil rights activists Medgar Evers, while also continuing their fight against the Republican-led state government.
Eight people were arrested inside the state building, including Durham City Council member Steve Schewel.
Fellow NAACP member and lawyer Al McSurley was there for Witness Wednesday, and many Moral Monday before. He’s watched the protesting grow from a grassroots effort, to a statewide movement.
“I have never seen, in all my time, as exciting of a deep, and broad-based fusion in a movement—that is with black, white, Latino, gay, straight, religious, atheist, all holding hands and marching together. We never had anything like this in the sixties,” Al McSurley said.
Barber said next week’s Moral Monday will focus on environmental issues, and the following with highlight labor rights.