By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
May 20, 2014
Less than a week after lawmakers returned to Raleigh for the short session, the so-called Moral Monday protestors walked through the Legislative Building en masse and in silence, having taped their own mouths shut in response to new rules that limit disturbances inside the General Assembly.
Although the group of protestors, which Capitol police estimated at about 1,500, marched silently in pairs while inside, once out of doors, their leader, the Rev. William Barber made it clear that future protests wouldn’t be as quiet and orderly.
“We’re not going to have people telling us we can’t come in our own house,” the NAACP state president, whose group sang, chanted and protested loudly last year, told the media on Monday. “We can’t stand for that. Tyranny must be challenged.”
Although they mostly centered on voting rights, Medicaid and public education, the protests which started last spring, have covered virtually anything that Republicans have done since gaining control of both chambers and the Governor’s office. Protestors have attacked laws aimed at improving safety at abortion clinics and those reducing state debt.
But on Monday, Barber’s group wasn’t the only one speaking out. Carolina Rising, a self-defined “citizen engagement organization” held a press conference to point to policies they believe are leading the Tar Heel state in the right direction.
“While we know the Monday protesters and their complaints will garner significant attention, the voices of other people across North Carolina are worth listening to as well,” said the group’s president, Dallas Woodhouse. “Since the protesters left Raleigh, the policies they complain about have started working and people are benefiting.”
He cited a decreasing unemployment rate, tax relief and tax reform among other positive policies implemented by the GOP-led Legislature.
Dr. Mark Creech said, “I don’t doubt the sincerity of the ‘Moral Monday’ protestors, but I believe they have it wrong. They supposedly advocate for more public assistance for the underprivileged. Yet they fail to recognize the public treasury is not a breast that fills itself with milk. Nothing enters the treasury to be allocated to one group that’s not put there by the force of law from another group. That action by government does not promote equality as they claim. The law can’t be an instrument of equalization if it takes by force from one in order to give to another. It only becomes an instrument of legal plunder. And, that’s not moral – that’s immoral. We’ve done it that way for years and now we are moving away from that in our state. Naturally, they scream because they’re being pulled away from the public tit. I recognize these are strong words. I recognize they are offensive to some. Yet I feel that we have lost our way to a true understanding of traditional American values and strong language is warranted.”