WAKE COUNTY - NAACP state chapter president Reverend William Barber and 11 other Moral Monday protesters were back in court Tuesday on charges of disrupting lawmakers during an April rally inside the state Legislative Building.
The group was the first of more than 900 people arrested during the weekly Moral Monday peaceful protests against legislation passed by Republican-controlled General Assembly during the summer.
The protesters were charged with trespassing, failing to disperse and violating Legislative Building rules.
One day of testimony in the trials of Rev. William Barber and the other 11 protesters was held in October, and the trials are expected to continue Wednesday, multiple news outlets reported.
General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver took to the witness stand Tuesday morning, explaining the rules about gatherings at the Legislative Building, WRAL reported. Defense attorneys argued that the rules, which were drafted in 1987, are vague and can be interpreted differently.
A handful of protesters have been convicted and are appealing, and a few others were acquitted. Charges against dozens of protesters were dropped after they agreed to perform community service under a deal offered by Wake County prosecutors.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/naacps-william-barber-back-court-moral-monday-charges/
RALEIGH – Moral Monday returned to Raleigh this week, as close to 150 people gathered for a somber march around N.C. Governor’s Pat McCrory’s Mansion to protest what they call restrictive voting laws passed by the Republican-led legislature.
The Governor was out-of-town, but still the demonstration went on.
UNC junior Dylan Su-Chun Mott spoke at the rally Monday, representing the university group, Student Power.
“There are a lot of regressive actions being taken toward students in general to break up really a liberal, or progressive, voting block in this state,” Mott said.
The protesters marched down Wilmington Street in Raleigh, stopping traffic, and then circled once around the Governor’s Mansion. The Associated Press reported that McCrory was attending a Republican Governors Association meeting in Charleston, S.C.
The protesters carried with them several empty caskets to remember the four little girls killed in the bombing of a Birmingham, Ala., church 50 years ago this week. The rally ended with a candle vigil in Halifax Mall.
Reverend William Barber, NAACP state chapter president and Moral Monday leader, said the blood of those “young martyrs” helped make voting possible for everyone. He said those rights should not be restricted.
“The same blood says you can turn around. You may not, but you can,” Barber said. “You could engage in virtue of repentance, Governor. You could undo what you have done. You could hear the cries of the blood and say that you were wrong. If you did that, this same blood could unite us.”
Chapel Hill native Morgan McDonnell, a freshman at N.C. State, has been to four Moral Mondays. She said election law changes, such as the requirement for photo identification and the end to same-day voter registration, purposely makes it harder for college students and other groups to vote.
“Like Reverend Barber said, just because the Governor is not here, doesn’t mean the problem is not here,” McDonnell said. “If I could speak to Governor McCrory, I would ask him why is he doing this. There are a lot of people who would like to ask him a lot of questions.”
The turnout for Monday’s protest was much smaller than the hundreds or thousands that typically rallied during the legislative session over the summer from late April until July. Those weekly protests resulted in more than 930 arrests inside the General Assembly.
“It is a lot smaller than other Moral Mondays, but I am so happy to see people out here,” McDonnell said. “It just feels really good to know that other people care about my future as well.”
While the weekly protests in Raleigh were on a hiatus, the movement went on the road, holding rallies in cities across North Carolina.
Ann Humphreys, a Carrboro resident and Moral Monday regular, said she feels encouraged that the peaceful protests are continuing.
Another NAACP protest was held simultaneously in Rockingham County Monday evening.
“I want to see it build. I’m so grateful that the momentum has continued,” Humphreys said. “I was amazed by how [the Moral Monday protests] built over the summer months and how much happened in such a short time.”
The NAACP issued a call to action for college students in the state to get involved with civil engagement and also announced that plans for future Moral Mondays were in the works.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/32758/
RALEIGH – The N.C. NAACP’s Moral Monday protests return to Raleigh this week after holding the peaceful demonstrations in other cities across the state.
This time, college students will lead the rally to protest of legislation passed by the Republican-led legislature and Governor Pat McCrory, which they say hurts education and voting rights.
Protesters are set to meet at 4:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church on Wilmington St. in downtown Raleigh and will then head to the Governor’s Mansion at 5:30 following a rally led by students of the organizations such as NC NAACP Youth & College Division, NC Student Power Union, Cause and NC Vote Defenders.
“Young people have always been an active and important part of the Forward Together Movement,” said Reverend William Barber, NAACP State Chapter President and Moral Monday movement leader, in a statement. “As school begins across the state, they will continue to organize and build this movement in response to the immoral and unconstitutional attacks on student voting rights and public education. This is a Movement, not a moment!”
The Moral Monday demonstrations, which were held over the summer in Raleigh, saw more than 900 arrests in the General Assembly.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/moral-monday-returns-to-raleigh/
Pictured: Moral Monday March on July 29
CHAPEL HILL – Events have been taking place in the nation’s capitol and across the country to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Here in North Carolina, the state NAACP’s “Taking the Dream Home” Rally, happening simultaneously in all 13 congressional districts on Wednesday, is coming to Chapel Hill.
Attorney and activist Tye Hunter of Chapel Hill is speaking at the rally in front of the Peace & Justice Plaza on Franklin Street. Hunter will be joined by other speakers such as former state senator Ellie Kinnaird, Dr. Bill Turner, and Paige Johnson of Planned Parenthood.
“We hope to be and certainly the NAACP hopes to be a continuation of that struggle which started a long time ago and has made some progress but still has a lot of progress to make.” Hunter says.
Hunter explains the rally is also a continuation of the Moral Monday protests, led by NAACP State Chapter President Reverend William Barber. The series of demonstrations, which happened over the summer in Raleigh, and then in cities across North Carolina, saw more than 900 arrests in the General Assembly. Hunter was arrested during the second Moral Monday on May 6.
Thousands gathered at those rallies, and he hopes the same energy will carry over to Wednesday’s event.
“I think it is just very important that we continue,” he says. “This is what Reverend Barber always says, that ‘we are a movement and not a moment.’”
Hunter says his talk will center on criminal justice in North Carolina, specifically the repeal of the Racial Justice Act. The 2009 law allowed convicted murderers to reduce a death sentence to life in prison if they could prove that race played a major role in their cases, but was overturned in June. Hunter says statistical data proved that it was necessary to maintain fairness
“It’s pretty outrageous that the legislature’s reaction to all that is to say, ‘Well, let’s do away with that [the Racial Justice Act],’” Hunter says. “So we found we had a problem and the legislature said let’s do away with it.’”
Other topics slated for discussion include voting rights and economic justice. For more information about the rally happening at 5:30 p.m. in front of the Courthouse on Franklin Street, click here.http://chapelboro.com/news/news-around-time/ch-hosting-rally-to-commemorate-march-on-washington/
RALEIGH – Protesters are set to gather for the 12th Moral Monday in Raleigh to rally for voter rights. 101 people were arrested last week, bringing the running total to more than 800 since the peaceful demonstrations began in late April. Though the arrest totals fluctuate from week to week, the number of protest attendees continues to grow.
Movement leader and NAACP State Chapter President Reverend William Barber says Republican lawmakers are purposefully passing legislation to make it harder for people to vote.
Senate Republicans unveiled a new voter ID bill last week that would limit the forms of photo identification accepted at the polls. The new measure would require voters to show one of seven types of photo identification issued by the government, such as driver’s licenses, passports, non-driver IDs and military or veteran cards. It’s more restrictive than the House version as it would eliminate cards from UNC system colleges, state community colleges, local governments, private employers and law enforcement agencies as acceptable forms of photo identification.
If passed, it would take full effect in the 2016 elections. However, the House isn’t expected to agree to the changes. This will likely cause last-minute debate as lawmakers hope to adjourn session by the end of next week.
Moral Monday meets at 5 p.m. on the lawn of Halifax Mall.http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/12th-moral-monday-to-focus-on-voter-rights/
RALEIGH – It was ladies’ day at the 11th Moral Monday in Raleigh rallying for women’s rights. 101 people were arrested, bringing the running total to more than 800. The protesters, normally focused on the Republican-led policies of the General Assembly, took a pause to remember Trayvon Martin. The 17-year-old was fatally shot by George Zimmerman, a Florida man who claimed self defense and was acquitted Saturday.
NAACP State Chapter President and “Civil Disobedience” leader Reverend William Barber explained that he planned to miss Monday’s protest but returned early from the NAACP National Convention after hearing the Zimmerman verdict.
UNC alum Rachael Debnam was there to rally for women’s rights, and also felt a sense of sadness over Zimmerman’s acquittal.
“I find the ruling very frustrating. I feel like it encourages racial profiling. I’m also a teacher, and I think we need to teach our children to think critically and not make snap judgments. The ruling to me says it’s okay to do that, and that’s not a lesson that I am okay with teaching our young people,” Debnam said.
Thousands wore pink as they gathered on the lawn of Halifax Mall. Many carried signs in protest of the state House of Representatives passing tighter abortion regulations in a less than transparent manner.
Barber was the only male speaker at the event, sharing the stage with speakers from N.C. Women United, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, and N.C. MomsRising.
“The sisters are here, the sisters have been here, and I want everyone to know it’s a pro-choice decision,” Barber said.
UNC alum and teacher Alan Carter attended Moral Monday in protest of cuts to education, but he also champions the efforts of pro-choice activists.
“The same people who come out against abortion are often the same people against stuff like sex education and providing coverage for contraception. At that point, I think it’s pretty clear that you are against women making decisions for controlling their own reproductive health,” Cater said.
Anna Currie of the United Church of Chapel Hill said she wasn’t happy with the abortion regulations that were pushed through the General Assembly so quickly by tacking the restrictions onto unrelated bills.
“First of all the process was terrible because none of us knew about it. But, I was one of the ones who fought for women’s rights. I just say get the government out of our body. That’s my decision, my body, and it should be between myself, my family and my doctors and that’s it,” Currie said.
Fellow UCCH member Sharon Hanson held a pink sign which read, “Women Remember in November.”
“Remember who to vote for and who to not vote for in November,” Hanson said.
The UCCH congregation has been attending the Moral Monday protests each week since the beginning of the movement.
“I just want to support the people that are willing to do civil disobedience. I am so impressed with those people. I would love to do it myself, but my health doesn’t allow it,” Tony Armer, a UCCH member, said.
The protests have gained national attention as well. CNN sent a camera crew to this week’s Moral Monday. The New York Times published an editorial last week on the state GOP’s policies with the headline: “The Decline of North Carolina.” N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory responded with a letter to the editor of the newspaper, defending the right-leaning policies, saying, “This focus on pragmatic problem-solving is now fueling North Carolina’s comeback to prosperity as well.”http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/11th-moral-mond-rallies-for-womens-rights-trayvon-martin/
RALEIGH – The 11th Moral Monday is set for 5 p.m in Raleigh at Halifax Mall. More than 700 people have been arrested during the weekly protests against the Republican-led General Assembly. Monday’s rally will focus on women’s rights, just days after the state House of Representatives passed a controversial bill tightening abortion restrictions.
It was estimated that last week’s demonstration was the largest crowd so far, though the number of arrests were down from the previous week.
The Moral Monday Protests have gained the attention of national news media outlets such as MSNBC and Fox News. The New York Times published an editorial last week with the headline “The Decline of North Carolina” concerning recent legislation passed by the state and the resulting protests.
Rally leader and NAACP State Chapter President Reverend William Barber announced that voting rights will headline the Moral Monday on July 22. He’s also said the NAACP, on August 28, will hold demonstrations in each of North Carolina’s 13 Congressional Districts in honor of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
RALEIGH – Nearly 675 people have been arrested so far in the weekly Moral Monday demonstrations against the Republican-led North Carolina General Assembly. Heading into the 10th Moral Monday, protesters will likely be even more exasperated due to the Senate passing House Bill 695 last week.
The legislation requires tighter abortion restrictions in the state, which opponents say drastically diminishes a woman’s reproductive freedom. The bill, which was pushed through the Senate in less than 24 hours with little public notice, returns to the House for a final vote Tuesday morning.
A challenger of the Moral Monday protests, Francis De Luca, president of the conservative think tank group, the Civitas Institute, recently published an article asserting that the Civil Disobedience leader and NAACP state chapter president Reverend William Barber is profiting from the protests.
The headline, which appeared on the Civitias website, read “William Barber Rakes in Taxpayer Dollars – Leads — Moral (no it is) — Money Mondays!”
Barber fired back and denied the claims, saying that De Luca was “desperate to do something to rally their shrinking army” and divert attention away from the issues the NAACP is fighting against.
You can read Barber’s full response below.
Adding another twist in the plot, ministers active in the Moral Monday protests have called off behind-the-scenes talks with Republican legislators, saying one lawmaker broke their agreement when he disclosed the discussions.
The Charlotte Observer reported that Republican Sen. Jeff Tarte of Cornelius initiated talks to try to find common ground between protesters and the General Assembly. A group of 10 lawmakers and about a dozen ministers met twice.
Tarte then talked about the secret meetings to a reporter after being asked his opinion of the weekly protests. Eight ministers responded by signing a statement saying they’re ending the talks because Tarte broke the agreed upon condition to keep them under wraps.
Moral Monday is set for 5 p.m. on the lawn of Halifax Mall across from the General Assembly.
Barber’s Statement in Full:
Statement by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II on July 4, 2013 On Last Week’s Attacks by the Civitas Institute
Pastor, Greenleaf Christian Church (DOC), Goldsboro, NC
President, N.C. Conference of NAACP Branches
Chair of the Board, Rebuilding Broken Places, Inc.
While my large extended family, my wonderful church members, and tens of thousands of friends from Moral Mondays celebrated our nation’s birthday, I was obliged to step away from precious time with my immediate family to write this statement in response to an attack launched last week against my church members and myself. Let me talk about the context of the attacks and then refute them with the facts.
On July 1, 2013, North Carolina became the first state in the nation to cut unemployment insurance payments to 170,000 down-on-their-luck job seekers. Unemployment insurance is a lifeline that can be the difference between eating and starving, shelter and homelessness, hope and despair. The current leadership of the General Assembly and the Governor cut this lifeline, knowing that extending the benefits would have been of zero cost to North Carolina and would have helped save tens of thousands of families from financial ruin.
The N.C. Budget Director, Mr. Art Pope, who is responsible for advising the government in making these moral budget decisions did not say a word about this act of cold disdain toward our neighbors looking for work. Mr. Pope has, I understand, temporarily relinquished direct control over Civitas and his other right-wing outfits, in order to serve as the Budget Director of North Carolina. The man Mr. Pope hired to run Civitas, one of his main propaganda outfits, was responsible for the most recent attach against my church and myself. We wonder whether Mr. Pope had time to approve the attack.
Mr. Francis De Luca was apparently upset by the largest turnout yet for Moral Monday on June 24, where thousands of women and workers made a powerful moral and constitutional critique of the extreme right-wing policies of the General Assembly and the Governor. As I write, thousands of people have attended Moral Mondays and nearly 700 people of all backgrounds and political affiliations have chosen to engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. Because they are without a doubt upset by the fact that an opinion poll shows less than one in five North Carolinians approve of the General Assembly, Civitas and those it supports have engaged in political hysteria calling us among other things “outside agitators” and “morons.”
In the face of a sustained and viable critique further energized last Monday, the same week, the 28th of June, Mr. De Luca, decided to make it Immoral Friday and launched a personal attack against me on the Civitas website, stating in no uncertain terms that I was personally “raking in” great sums of money while leading the “Moral Mondays” protests against the policies of his financial backer, Mr. Pope, and his political allies, Messrs. Tillis, Berger and McCrory. Since it is impossible for Civitas and its Tea Party allies to answer the moral-constitutional critique, they desperately resort to the Old South tactics of the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission.
Tea Party extremists, who take their marching orders and daily talking points by Mr. Pope’s network of propagandists such as Mr. De Luca, are obviously beside themselves with anger. Every Monday, the people come from all over the state to protest their mean policies. The people coming to Moral Mondays follow Article 1 Section 12 of our state constitution and their deepest moral values. Their instruction has been quite direct: Stop the mean, absurd and self-defeating policies of extremism.
Last week, apparently they could take it no longer. They were desperate to do something to rally their shrinking army, to bolster the spirits of the dour-faced legislators who we see sneaking around the General Assembly, averting their eyes from the thousands of people who are protesting their policies.
Now if Mr. De Luca, using Mr. Pope’s money and network, were just attacking me, I would take comfort in the scripture’s reminder to the victims of such attacks:
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you,
and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven:
for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. Matthew 5:10-12
But Mr. De Luca and, we suspect, others in the highest levels of the Pope network, did not limit his attack to just myself. Instead they chose to insinuate the noble efforts of our church members and other supporters were working with me on what Mr. De Luca’s concocted “scam.” Because the attack was caused by my actions, I am obligated to fend off the wolves from my flock and set the record straight.
Greenleaf’s Church’s History, Character, and Missions: The church I pastor is made up of laborers, mothers, fathers, senior citizens, young people, veterans, active duty members of the air force stationed in Wayne County, teachers, carpenters, disabled, white and black people. Our church has always been involved in community ministries, long before the congregation called me to serve them.
Greenleaf Christian Church, a member of the Disciples of Christ denomination, is a congregational church (http://www.disciples.org/). Greenleaf was founded by former slaves after liberation by the Army of the United States of America in 1865. After 130 years of struggle to maintain and develop a strong church in Goldsboro, in 1995, the congregation took a long hard look at our surrounding community and asked ourselves, “Why are we here? What should we do about the context in which our church sits?”
Our answers to these questions led our church, located at 2110 N. William Street in Goldsboro, to invest over $1 million of our hard-earned wages to purchase land and a building that was an eyesore across the street from our church. We combined our investment with grants and private business investments to create a not-for-profit corporation, which we named Rebuilding Broken Places. We dedicated it to the social, educational and economic needs of our community.
The Corporation’s Board is diverse. No member, including me, receives any compensation. We don’t receive a single dime from the services we provide to our community. NO money comes into the coffers of our church. RBPCDC is audited annually by a highly respected auditing firm. Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and those who have given up on politics, have generously supported our efforts. Private businesses and banks have supported our efforts to revitalize the community. We welcome visitors to share their thoughts, work, and generosity with us as we do what we believe is our moral duty: to look out for the least of these. Theologically we believe people of faith must do this by developing opportunity and community uplift as well by denouncing policies that contradict a commitment to justice, fairness, and the ethic of love for all. And we invite others to come and see what we have tried to do. It has always been public. In fact our vision will be featured in two weeks at the General Convention of the Christian Church.
Since its founding over 16 years ago, Rebuilding Broken Places CDC, a separate entity from the church but inspired by the church, has initiated or inspired millions of dollars of developments, creating jobs and expanding the property tax base of Goldsboro and Wayne County. Through our FAITH FORCE INITIATIVE (Faithfully Asserting Initiative to Help Families Organize Resources for Community Economic Development), RBPCDC has participated in building through partnerships with families, nonprofits, government, developers, and banks more than 60 affordable single family homes for people of low to moderate income. Our Greenleaf Grace Village is a 41 unit home for low-income seniors. And we built and run a 90-student preschool academy.
Also out of the Rebuilding Broken Places center, flows several of our many community programs including:
We are now envisioning and developing a Second Chance program facility for training formerly incarcerated men and women in culinary arts, landscaping and tech jobs. Our Rebuilding Broken Places website has more information.
These are the facts, Mr. De Luca. I regret you did not take the time to investigate your subject.
But, propagandists are not interested in facts. They have an agenda. Their agenda is absurd, harmful, unconstitutional, immoral, and takes our state toward an economic and social disaster. They promote this agenda while deflecting the public’s attention away from acts such as abandoning our current highly effective earned income tax credits for low-income families, rejecting federal Medicaid funds for seniors, who soon will have to choose between a meal and their medicines, and cutting off unemployment insurance payments. They are trying to further tilt the playing field toward the rich, making it harder for the poor, the out-of work, seniors and minorities to participate in our democracy through voting. Since they cannot defend their record, they resort to personal attacks on their critics. But they will not attack my church members or our supporters without a response. Whether or not they were approved or condoned by Mr. Pope, the financial backer of Civitas, these attacks are pitiful.
Mr. Pope’s right-wing attack machine’s desperation is showing. Mr. Pope, Mr. De Luca, Gov. McCrory, Mr. Tillis, and Mr. Berger and every politician regardless of party would do well to listen to what the Holy Scriptures have said for the past three thousand years; what our constitution has required of us for the past 150 years; and what we have been reminding North Carolina for the past nine Mondays, about public morality. We invite them to join us on Moral Monday 10. And when their wrecking crew finally decides to go home, leaving our state in a mess, we invite them to listen to us when we go tell it on the mountain, in the temples, in the churches, in the mosques, in every community meeting and rally across the state of North Carolina until all God’s people get the message of Isaiah 10–no matter how many pitiful attacks they make:
Woe to those who make unjust laws,
To those who issue oppressive decrees,
To deprive the poor of their rights
And withhold justice from the oppressed of my people,
Making widows their prey
And robbing the fatherless.
RALEIGH: The North Carolina NAACP’s Moral Monday protests began with just 17 arrests in the first rally in late April. Now nearly 600 have been arrested speaking out against the right-leaning NC General Assembly. New and seasoned protesters are preparing to converge in Raleigh once again for this week’s “Mass” Moral Monday. It’s the ninth protest so far taking place at 5 p.m. across from the General Assembly.
WCHL compiled a timeline of events since the first Moral Monday Movement to document the details of each week:
April 22: The Beginning of the “Civil Disobedience”
April 29: Week One
- 17 arrested
May 6: Week Two
- 30 arrested
- Running Total: 47
May 13: Week Three
- 49 arrested
- Running Total: 96
Chapel Hillians of faith from the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, Binkley Baptist Church, and the United Church of Chapel Hill made the trek to Raleigh. This was when the name “Moral Monday” was introduced.
May 20: Week Four
- 57 arrested
- Running Total: 153
May 29: NAACP Rally Tour comes to Chapel Hill
May 27: The NAACP took a pause for Memorial Day
June 2: The 100th anniversary of the controversial confederate monument known as “Silent Sam”
June 3: Week Five
- 151 arrested; *most arrested in a single Moral Monday
- Running Total: 304
June 7: Sen. Thom Goolsby, R- New Hanover, wrote an op-ed published in the Chatham Journal titled, “Moron Monday shows radical Left just doesn’t get it”
June 8: The Civitas Institute published a database of all those arrested during Moral Mondays
June 10: Week Six
- 84 arrests
- Running Total: 388
June 10: Reports surfaced of NC Lawmakers calling the Moral Monday protesters “outsiders”
June 12: First Witness Wednesday
June 17: Week Seven
- 84 arrested
- Running Total: 472
June 24: Arrestees from first Moral Monday on April 29 appear in court
June 24: Week Eight
- 120 Arrested
- Running Total: 592
CHAPEL HILL – The 100th anniversary of the controversial monument known as “Silent Sam” is Sunday, and North Carolina NAACP President Reverend William Barber is set to join the “Real Silent Sam Committee” to speak-out against what they say the statue represents.
The program will takes place at 4:00 pm at the foot of the monument on UNC’s campus.
This falls on the eve of the fifth NAACP “Moral Monday” Protest, taking place outside the General Assembly in Raleigh.
The Real Silent Sam Committee has campaigned over the past two years to replace the current plaque with one that tells what they call “the true history of the confederate soldier.” The committee says the confederate monument, unveiled on June 2, 1913, celebrates a time of white supremacy and Jim Crow Laws.
Barber said in a statement: “To have a confederate soldier at the gateway of our flagship university represents a vestige of the Old South that must be put to rest forever.”http://chapelboro.com/news/state-government/nc-naacp-president-to-speak-at-silent-sam-100th-anniversary-sunday/