UNC Student Arrested During Protest: “We Felt Like We Had No Other Option”
CHAPEL HILL –Two UNC students were arrested Wednesday in Raleigh during in a protest of more than 350 people. The group rallied against a recent wave of controversial state legislation.
“In this moment, we felt like we had no other option,” said UNC senior Zaina Alsous.
The group, NC Student Power Union, mobilized hundreds of college students from 10 universities across the state on May Day.
Alsous and fellow UNC student Carissa Morrison were both charged with disorderly conduct. Morrison was also charged with misdemeanor assault on a government official. Five students in total were taken into custody.
The rally began at the NC State Bell Tower and ended at the NC State Legislature. Protestors held a banner that read: “We Demand a Future! Stop budget cuts! Stop racist voter laws! Stop attacks on workers!”
This coming just two days after 17 people were arresting during an NAACP demonstration against a House-supported voter ID bill.
“We hope that other community members will see what is going on and express their discontent as well. We know that these policies are incredibly unpopular,” Alsous said.
North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed budget cuts to the UNC System total more than $140 million.
“I don’t know any college who wants to pay more for tuition, who wants to lose their financial aid, and with these budget cuts, more than 8,000 students would lose financial aid,” Alsous said.
Art Pope is McCrory’s budget director –Alsous believes with the proposed budget cuts, affordable and accessible higher education is being put at risk.
“We’ve had call-in days where hundreds of calls have been made to Pope and well as Governor McCrory urging them to stop attacking public education. And we’ve never gotten a response,” Alsous said.
Alsous said the protests will continue throughout the summer.