Thousands attend Mountain Moral Monday, protests spread to Chicago and Oakland

Asheville police estimate 8,000 to 10,000 people attended Mountain Moral Monday, the first in a series of regional Moral Monday demonstrations. Here’s an aerial shot of the crowd:

 

In other Moral Monday news, protests were held in Chicago and Oakland this week. Six people were arrested for civil disobedience at an anti-ALEC ‘Moral Monday’ sit-in in Chicago, while Oakland protesters held the first of a series of monthly ‘Moral Monday’ peace and justice rallies.

Via eNews Park Forest:

The Chicago Moral Monday Coalition takes its name from the series of ongoing weekly protests in North Carolina.

“Over the last three months, more than 900 North Carolinians have been arrested, and thousands upon thousands more have rallied to support them. Our brothers and sisters in Raleigh have been protesting cuts to public education and assaults on labor, attacks on Medicaid, unemployment and other social programs, and disenfranchisement through restrictive voter ID laws,” said Chicago Moral Monday Coalition member Rev Marilyn Pagán-Banks, United Church of Christ.

“While Moral Monday activists and community members have been targeting their state legislators, most of these new laws were originally written by ALEC. As North Carolinians take their protest to Ashville today to follow their congresspeople home after the end of the legislative session, we join them in solidarity as we take the Moral Monday protest to the authors of these and other immoral laws in Chicago,” said Rev Pagán-Banks.

eNews Park Forest – Clergy, unions, community organizers take over Palmer House Hilton Lobby, demanding hotel rescind invitation to ALEC

Video of the Chicago protest:

More information about Oakland Moral Mondays can be found on the Moral Mondays Bay Area facebook page and the Oakland Moral Monday Rally for Peace and Justice facebook event page.

 

News roundup:

News & Observer – Moral Monday’ protest in Asheville brings out thousands

“You can’t do wrong in Raleigh and then hide back home,” said the Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP.

Several dozen of the more than 930 people – including at least 68 from Western North Carolina – arrested during the 13 weeks of protests in Raleigh were brought on the stage in Asheville as the crowd chanted “Thank you.”

Blue Ridge Now – County residents add voices to Moral Monday protest

“I’m frustrated that the state Republican Party has changed so much,” the Hendersonville resident said. “I actually campaigned for Sen. (Tom) Apodaca and (Rep.) Chuck McGrady. Years ago, I thought that Apodaca was going to bring a liberal or moderate flavor to the Republican Party, but he has not done that.”

Citizen-Times – Protest packs Asheville

“It’s nothing like being in the mountains with folks who know how to fight,” Barber said.

Organizers vowed the event is the start of rallies that will be held in all North Carolina congressional districts to protest legislation they say has disenfranchised voters, taken away women’s rights and hurt people who are already down on their luck, among other things.

Mountain Xpress – ‘We fight’: Moral Monday brings thousands to downtown Asheville to protest legislature

“We know what it’s like to have those in power tell you you should wait an undetermined period of time for equal protection under the law; we can’t wait and we won’t,” she said. “We are part of every single community represented here. When you attack any community, you attack us. When you attack us, you attack every community.”

WRAL – NAACP, others seek sit-down with McCrory

NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber asked McCrory in a letter last Thursday to veto House Bill 589, the elections omnibus that includes voter ID and host of other major changes to state voting and campaign laws.

“We understand you are presently considering the Bill, to make what will be a historic decision to sign or veto it,” Barber says in the letter “As you know, we, and perhaps 80% of North Carolina voters believe it to be one of the most restrictive and regressive attacks on minority, elderly and young people’s voting rights seen in this nation since the end of Reconstruction and the implementation of Jim Crow at the turn of the 20th Century.”

WUNC – As Moral Monday goes on the road, a new question surfaces: can this movement last?

“Well I think the most critical moment in generating that coalition was his endorsement of gay rights,” remarked Chafe, who teaches history and social change. He’s been arrested himself in Moral Monday protests. Chafe says Barber’s endorsement of marriage equality – as a Black minister – in the run up to the Amendment One vote last year broadened his base substantially.

Salon – Reconstruction 3.0: Can Moral Monday help counteract SCOTUS?

“I felt a moral obligation to all of those people in the civil rights movement who had put their lives and jobs on the line,” Mrs. Ritter explained. “I wanted them to know that what they did mattered.” She joined her many colleagues in Monday protests at North Carolina’s capitol building and went proudly to jail.

 

Related stories:

Mountain Moral Monday livestream

Moral Monday heads to Asheville

Moral Monday July 29th: March & Interfaith Social Justice Rally

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