The number of North Carolina citizens arrested while praying and demonstrating at the General Assembly has risen to 153. The peaceful pray-ins, which have become known as “Moral Mondays” lead to the arrest of 57 people of all races, economic backgrounds, and ages. Many of those arrested were North Carolina seniors. Over 500 of their fellow North Carolinians were outside in the largest show of support for the demonstrations to date.
The Moral Monday demonstrations are beginning to get to Republican lawmakers who apparently do not like being challenged. Freshman Guilford County Republican John Blust(R-NC7) heckled protesters saying, “People have the right to voice their opinions, but they don’t have the right to force them on others.” before disappearing down a staff-only hallway. Apparently Blust does not have a firm understanding of irony considering the personally intrusive nature of current Republican initiatives from Amendment One to a bill that would force a divorcing couple to stay married longer.
Barbara Parramore, an 80 year-old former educator, was among those arrested. On Tuesday morning Alternet posted her rational for practicing civil disobedience on Jones St. Mrs. Parramore discussed growing up during the Depression and World War II noting:
Back then, neighbors and citizens knew how to care about each other, which brings me to my concern about what is happening right now to families and communities around the state. The list of bills proposed by one or both houses of the North Carolina General Assembly in spring of 2013 is long. Too many of these proposals appear to be poorly thought out. As a citizen who has never missed the opportunity to vote in local, state and national elections, I now have the feeling that my voice is not being considered. Participating in a protest is my way of letting members of the General Assembly know that there are other voices that they need to hear.
You can read her full comments HERE.
According to organizers, the weekly demonstrations will continue after Memorial day and are to include a barn-storming tour around north Carolina led by the NCNAACP which will seek to educate North Carolinians on what they see as a fundamental attack on the legacy of our state. This movement is growing every week and points to an interesting summer here in the Tarheel state.Rev. William Barber