Dozens of demonstrators clinked and banged pots, pans and spoons outside of the North Carolina General Assembly’s offices in Raleigh on Wednesday morning, protesting recent state laws, as senators and representatives met for their first day in session this year.
The demonstration, in which people held signs protesting issues such as a Voter ID law passed last year, low teacher pay, and low unemployment benefits, served as a prelude for a series of demonstrations set for Mondays while lawmakers are in session.
“Folks are coming out today to sound off for workers' rights, for public education, for equality and democracy,” said Jeremy Sprinkle, a spokesman for the North Carolina chapter of the AFL-CIO union federation.
The issues being protested reflected some of the broad ranging and contentious laws general assembly members will consider this summer, including raising teacher pay, implementation of the Affordable Care Act and clean up coal ash ponds across the state.
“All of us are affected by the policies coming out of this legislature,” said Nick Wood, an organizer with the environmental advocacy group NC WARN.