By Jesse Wood
Feb. 10, 2014. On Saturday, locals joined tens of thousands of others who descended on Raleigh for the “Moral March,” protesting state policies enacted under Republican leadership.
While this year’s march has been dubbed the “Moral March” since the “Moral Monday” movement took shape last year, the event actually began in 2006 as the “Historic Thousands on Jones St. People’s Assembly Coalition.” That event also formed under the leadership of Rev. William Barber, who is the unofficial leader of the “Moral Monday” movement.
One Wataugan who marched to the capitol was Marjorie McKinney, a 71-year-old retiree that attended the “Moral Monday” events last summer.
“I think it was the most incredible group of people I have ever been with. The mood of the people was really uplifting,” McKinney said, adding that many people became somewhat frustrated because the march came to a standstill “because so many people packed in the street that they couldn’t move.”
Barber initially predicted that 25,000 people would attend when applying for the assembly permit, but after the event on Saturday, organizers claimed between 80,000 and 100,000 people attended.
Topics or policies that marchers were protesting against included: “voter suppression,” “economic injustice,” and “education inequality,” among others. Those speaking at the march spoke about Medicaid expansion, LGBT rights and other topics as well. See agenda here.
“There were probably a lot of folks concerned about one major issue, but all were there because they were concerned for the state,” McKinney said.
Conservative organization N.C. Values Coalition called the march “anything but moral” and said the busing in of out-of-state individuals led to high attendance.
“The so-called ‘moral march on Raleigh’ is anything but moral. It is spearheaded by groups that support abortion and homosexual marriage,” Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the N.C. Values Coalition, said in a release.
Photos by Lonnie Webster below.