May 22, 2014
Maybe the North Carolina legislature is channeling North Korea.
Legislators are trying to stop the message of "Moral Mondays" by passing a rule that calls for the arrest of anyone who "might pose an imminent threat of a disturbance," even if that person hasn't done anything. The Legislative Services Commission, which hasn't changed its rules in 27 years, and in fact hasn't even met in the last 15 years, decided it had to act to keep Moral Monday supporters out of the building as the new legislative session was set to begin.
That means in the state legislative building, where in theory elected officials are supposed to meet with and serve their constituents, some constituents aren't welcome. What does the commission consider a disturbance? Any noise at a level beyond ordinary conversation. And any staff member can order a constituent to leave, or face arrest. Read more here.
This attack on democracy hasn't discouraged the thousands of activists committed to "Moral Mondays" and to restoring fairness to North Carolina.
This week, thousands of activists entered the legislative building and marched in a silent protest, with tape over their mouths.
Moral Monday activists are members of unions, faith groups, the NAACP and other civil rights organizations, students, community groups and more. They are protesting the legislature's radical right actions to suppress citizens' rights to vote, restrict unemployment insurance, attack women's rights and leave hundreds of thousands of working and poor people without medical assistance by refusing to expand Medicaid.
Thousands of "Moral Monday" activists carry out their silent protest at the North Carolina legislative building.
Photo credit: RaleighNewsObserver.com.