CHAPEL HILL – Chapel Hill people are protesting alongside the NAACP activists in the on-going rallies in Raleigh outside the NC General Assembly.

 NC Senator Ellie Kinnaird took part in the protests on Monday where 49 people were arrested.

“These tactics have to take place because the legislature is simply not listening,” Senator Kinnaird said.

The democrat is in her 9th term in the state Senate, representing Chatham and Orange Counties.

Ellie Kinnaird

Sen. Kinnaird

She openly shares she is not pleased with the job the General Assembly is doing.

“We have done such damage to the people who are poor, middle class or marginal.”

NC NAACP chapter president Rev. William Barber led an estimated 175 activists outside the state Legislature for “Moral Monday”—speaking out against what they say is a regressive agenda against voting rights, social programs, and education.

It’s the third consecutive week of protests in Raleigh and 96 people have been arrested so far—local people included in those numbers.

Chapel Hillians of faith made the trek to Raleigh—representing congregations from the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, the United Church of Chapel Hill, and Binkley Baptist Church.

“I joined them last night, I was very proud to do that. These are very solid people. There were lots of ministers, lots of church members, and lots of very committed advocacy workers for various social justice organizations,” Kinnaird said. “We aslo have people who are working with-in the Legislature—lobbyists for the NC Justice Center, for the mentally ill, for poor people—who are working day-in and day-out.”

The NAACP originally organized the protests—but the movement has grown to include activists from diverse backgrounds.

“It’s going to get larger and larger as more people are willing to use those tactics of civil disobedience.”

Barber vows that this “wave of civil disobedience” will continue—protesters said they plan to be back next week.

“When they are taken-in by the police and are before protesting in large amounts— people will start to ask, ‘Why are they protesting? Why are they there week after week?’’ Kinnaird said.

She spoke with protesters outside the General Assembly. Kinnaird then moved inside the building, watching as those who planned to be arrested rallied outside chamber doors while the House of Representatives met.

NC Senator Earline Parmon of Forsyth County, who has attended previous NAACP protests, joined Kinnaird Monday.

“I remember the protests of the 1960s and ‘70s,” Kinnaird said. “It was an exciting time because we felt like we changed the nation. And we feel that these protests can change our state.”

Kinnaird says she hopes the protests will spark dialogue for change and have an impact on the next election.


Pictures from Moral Monday Protest: