June 12, 2013. Thousands of concerned citizens braved threats of severe weather and peacefully assembled at the North Carolina statehouse to speak up and speak out against extreme public policy that will make it harder for those who are sick to get health care; for children to get an education; for the incarcerated, or previously incarcerated, to be redeemed; for people to vote. Clergy from across the state led the sixth wave of “Moral Monday” demonstrations yesterday during a peaceful “Sing-in, Pray-in and Teach-in” inside the North Carolina General Assembly. Representing diverse religious faiths and groups, people gathered with a singular focus of urging legislators to govern for the good of the whole, rather than a select, wealthy few.
“An ecumenical group of faith leaders are encouraging North Carolinians and congregants to join the growing North Carolina Forward Together Movement,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP State Conference. “The faith leaders offered their prophetic voices and witnesses to the movement for a more democratic and just society.”
Nearly 100 people were arrested at the statehouse yesterday while petitioning legislators for a redress of grievances, including veterans, a 7th grade teacher, a Daily Kos blogger and a reporter with the Charlotte Observer. Faith and values reporter Tim Funk was covering the protest when he was handcuffed, arrested and hauled off to the Wake County Detention Center. Click here to learn more: http://bit.ly/11t5XCW.
“The legislature has carefully crafted a number of regressive measures to restrict full participation in North Carolina,” said Penda Hair, Co-Director of Advancement Project. “As a civil rights organization that has been working on the ground with the North Carolina NAACP for the past several months, we are committed to using every tool at our disposal – including legal action – to bring greater accountability to the legislature.”
“Over the past two weeks, we traveled the breadth of this state and one thing is certain: the people are overwhelmed by the extremism of the NC General Assembly and Governor,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President of the NC NAACP. “By the end, thousands of concerned North Carolinians, mothers, fathers, workers, grandparents, students, business people, educators and others came to the tour stops because the state they love is under attack by Tea Party-backed regressive forces who are committed to expanding the prosperity of the few at the expense of the many.”
The new wave comes days after Bishops of five major denominations in North Carolina publicly endorsed Moral Mondays, including the Episcopalian, Catholic, Lutheran, United Methodist and Presbyterian churches. On Monday, a group of rabbis also publicly supported the Moral Monday protests, after their attempts to meet with legislative leadership were rebuffed. The nonviolent civil disobedience follows a 26-county Forward Together Local Organizing Tour that touched communities in all corners of the state.