RALEIGH – 49 people were arrested Monday during an NAACP rally outside the chamber of the NC General Assembly. It’s the third consecutive week of protests and now, close to 100 people have been arrested.
“There are so many things that are being attacked that we feel it’s important that more and more people need to show up to say that they are appalled by what is going on,” said protester Lynn Harmon of Chapel Hill.
NAACP state chapter president Rev. William Barber led an estimated 175 activists for “Moral Monday”—speaking out against what they say is a regressive agenda against voting rights, social welfare programs, and education. They believe this legislation will hurt the poor and minority groups.
“The state government is destroying the fabric of support for poor people in this state,” Harmon said. “I’ve been here now for 45 years and it’s like we’re just stepping backwards.”
The protesters split into two groups—those who planned to be arrested and their supporters.
Those who planned to be arrested led the way into the Legislative Building, singing and chanting. The police warned those who had been arrested during previous NAACP prostests there that they would be arrested again for trespassing.
Chapel Hill resident Marion Hirsch’s daughter Sara was arrested Monday night.
“I support her completely. It’s not the first time she’s been arrested for an issue of conscience. I’m also here to support the other protestors,” Hirsch said.
The NAACP originally organized the protests—but the movement has grown. Social groups representing various issues and activists from a wide-range of backgrounds are protesting along side the civil rights group.
Chapel Hillians of faith from congregations like the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist and the United Church of Chapel Hill also made the trek to Raleigh.
“I’m very concerned about this legislature and the good things that have been put into place that I see disappearing now,” said Linda Textoris of Binkley Baptist Church in Chapel Hill.
A crowd remained outside the side of the Legislature, cheering as two prison buses carried arrested protesters away.
Barber vows that this “wave of civil disobedience” will continue—protesters said they plan to be back next week.