By Jesse Wood
By NAACP estimates, 80,000 people attended the 11th annual Moral March on Raleigh on Saturday. A small group of those marchers were from Boone as the Watauga County chapter of the NAACP bussed in locals and App State students.
“It was huge, huge crowd,” said Lonnie Webster, a photographer based in Blowing Rock. “I got up in a parking deck to photograph and saw them coming three or four blocks and it still streamed all the way back and filled that whole area back around the auditorium up there.”
About 10 days ago, the Watauga chapter of the NAACP held a press conference at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church announcing the buses heading to Raleigh for the march being available to locals and college students.
Rev. Dr. William Barber II, the N.C. NAACP president, released a statement at the press conference noting the various themes of the march, such as protesting the appeal of Obamacare; the “legislative tyranny” of the GOP-led N.C. General Assembly; “racist and unconstitutional gerrymandering” in the state; protesting HB2; and Donald Trump.
Sue Counts, a former candidate for N.C. House of Representatives of Boone, rode one of the two buses affiliated with the Watauga chapter of the NAACP to Raleigh on Saturday. She counted about 100 folks from the High Country at the event.
The sign Counts held stated, “Stand for Love and Justice.”
“It was a tremendous experience. It felt very energizing, very positive. It’s just what I needed to really get me in a good place and Rev. Barber, his talk was just out of this world,” Counts said. “It was a very, very great day.”
While tens of thousands of people marched in Raleigh for the Moral March and HKonJ People’s Assembly, N.C. GOP Director Dallas Woodhouse told WRAL during the march that this support of the Moral March isn’t representative of the state.
“It is a far left agenda that would massively raise taxes on the citizens of North Carolina, increase regulations and hurt job creation in North Carolina,” Woodhouse said.
Check out photos of the march taken by Lonnie Webster.