Friday, July 12, 2013

Bought And Paid For Positions

Democracy Now! has footage of speakers at what is becoming widely known as North Carolina's "Moral Mondays," demonstrations at the state capitol against a Republican led agenda and lock-down on (what is supposed to be, but increasingly isn't) the People's government. the video shown below, Terry Van Duyn of Asheville, North Carolina, also spotted among arrested protesters led onto a bus, says to the crowd, "How many of our legislators think that they have bought and paid for their positions - and they don't have to listen to us anymore?  And I'm here to tell them - this is not their house!  This is our house!"

Wayne Bostick, a North Carolina resident who is unemployed, tells the crowd, "I stand here with you today to let our terminator legislators know that their day of recall will come.  And I hope that you show them the same apathy at the voting polls that they have shown us here in North Carolina!"  

Speakers urge "all good women" to stand up and speak out, and also declare that the extremist legislative agenda has "not divided us, but united us."  

"Some of us are here because of women's rights," says one woman at the podium.  "Some of us are here because of unemployment - or fracking.  But no matter what the issue - we are standing together!"

 A protester carries a cutout of millionaire Art Pope, who serves as Gov. Pat McCrory's budget director, at the June 3 Moral Monday demonstration.

Protesters in the video can be seen holding signs about issues like unemployment, healthcare and expansion of Medicaid, the environment, immigration, and notably, women's reproductive rights - and as a grassroots movement spreads to Texas in response to lawmakers' more recent efforts to close women's clinics in that state.  

Over the past 10 weeks, over 700 people have been arrested on Moral Monday, protests organized by the NAACP and what is described by leadership as growing out of eight years of shared organizing with the Historic Thousands On Jones Street as well as Planned Parenthood.

In the video, Rev. William Barber, President of the North Carolina NAACP speaks about the moral imperative behind the Monday actions - i.e. actions neither Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, but based on an understanding of what is moral or immoral - and as the North Carolina legislature recently cut 500,000 people from Medicaid, and denied unemployment to 170,000 people who lost their jobs.

Rev Barber says, "[...] we’ve known for quite some time that the real fight in this country is at the state capitols, particularly in the South, because in the state capitols, that’s where election laws are passed, educational laws, labor rights. All of those issues grow out of legislation that come through state capitols. And this particular Legislature is really a reaction to our success." 

Photo credits/top, via, photographer: Travis Long, Moral Monday protesters arrested at the North Carolina legislature in May, 2013/bottom, via indyweek, photographer: D.I. Anderson, "A protester carries a cutout of millionaire Art Pope, who serves as Gov. Pat McCrory's budget director, at the June 3 Moral Monday demonstration."

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