Feb 13, 2014
Last weekend, 100,000 people turned out for the Moral March in Raleigh, North Carolina. The event marked a year of “Moral Monday” protests, organized by the “Move Forward Together Movement,” a coalition of 150 groups put together by the North Carolina NAACP and including CWA and other unions and progressive voices.
Governor Pat McCrory, elected in 2012, and his allies in the state legislature have taken an extreme right turn, with the financial help of wealthy right wing donor Art Pope. Legislators and the governor mounted a harsh attack on voting rights, voting to restrict early voting, limit registration and eliminate many polling places, especially on college campuses with a large African American population.
In fact, 945 persons have been arrested over the past year for trying to register voters.
The legislature also has eliminated the Earned Income Tax Credit for for 900,000 poor working families while giving the wealthiest taxpayers a tax break, and cut unemployment benefits, among other attacks on working families.
Over the past year, the Moral Monday protests have been growing, despite the governor’s attack on them as “unacceptable” and “unlawful demonstrations.” It’s not surprising that the weekend protest drew such a huge crowd, up from a 15,000 person event a year ago. McCrory’s approval rating is just 37 percent and voters dislike the General Assembly even more, giving legislators a 32 percent approval rating, according to a new poll by High Point University.
The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber heads the North Carolina NAACP and has been the driving force behind the Moral Monday movement. Barber makes it clear that this is no partisan political fight, but a “moral versus immoral battle.”