Blasting what one of their leaders called an “evil spirit residing in the heart” of the N.C. General Assembly, organizers formally announced plans Friday for a “Moral Monday” protest in Charlotte later this month.
The Aug. 19 rally at Marshall Park will be the latest in a string of Moral Monday protests that began in Raleigh last spring, and the second since the General Assembly adjourned in July.
This week more than 5,000 demonstrators gathered for a Moral Monday protest in Asheville. Organizers declined to say how many they expect in Charlotte.
The protests, which resulted in more than 900 arrests in Raleigh, have gained national attention. Local NAACP President Kojo Nantambu said no civil disobedience is planned for the Charlotte protest.
Nantambu did not hold back in describing what he called the “merciless and deliberate destruction of democracy” by a Republican-controlled legislature possessed of an “evil spirit.”
Calling out Gov. Pat McCrory, House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate GOP Leader Phil Berger, he cited what he called their “immoral policies” in areas such as taxes, unemployment benefits, education and voting.
State Republican Party spokesman Mike Rusher said, “It’s a little hard to understand the motives of a collection of anti-Republican groups that don’t really stand for anything in particular.”
“One thing they have demonstrated,” he added, “is that their main goal is to attack and eviscerate our Republican leadership without offering any real solutions to the problems that face North Carolinians. That’s not ‘moral.’ ”
The NAACP has been the main organizer of Moral Mondays. Nantambu was joined at Friday’s news conference by a coalition of progressive groups including the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Association of Educators, Democracy North Carolina and Greenpeace.
Luis Rodriguez, an organizer with Action NC, said North Carolinians affected by General Assembly policies are the new “moral majority.”
“They have clearly lost the moral high ground and lost their way,” he said of legislators.
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