Moral Mondays

Photo: The Rev. William Barber outside the North Carolina State Capitol building.
Jorge Valencia

A judge gave permission Monday to a group that’s been protesting new North Carolina laws to rally on the grounds of the state Capitol building.

Wake County Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour’s decision reversed denial of a permit  earlier this month.  It served as a preamble for the new year of protests, that have become known as Moral Monday, against the Republican-controlled state legislature.

Just hours after the decision, the Rev. William Barber, one of the key Moral Monday organizers, spoke to dozens of people on a courtyard outside the Capitol, mapping out 2014.

They are both named David. Dave Otto is a photographer, David C. Taylor is a painter. Together, they are providing some of the most stunning visual images related to the Moral Monday protests.

David Taylor went to one protest by himself. "I just kind of wanted to be a part of it, but I felt like an outsider. I didn’t know where the event was, I wasn't sure how to get close to the speaker. I didn’t even take my camera."

Protesters crowd the capitol for a Moral Mondays protest.
Matthew Lenard

More Moral Monday protesters will have their cases heard in court today.

Earlier this year, more than 900 people were arrested for protesting at the North Carolina legislature. The Wake County District Attorney’s office has given them the choice of paying a fine and performing community service or facing a judge. Many of them have chosen to go to court. And while they’ve been charged with the same crimes under similar circumstances, they’re getting different outcomes.

Police stand outside the capitol during a Moral Mondays protest.
Matthew Lenard

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver testified recently that law enforcement officers collected intelligence on participants in Moral Monday protests. Police officials say the measures were necessary to ensure public safety. Critics say the move went too far.

Dale Herman
Leoneda Inge

The people who were arrested at the Moral Monday protests at the state legislature will be recognized Thursday at the annual NAACP state convention.

More than 900 people were arrested during the Moral Monday protests against Republican policy in Raleigh.  One of them was Gann Herman.

“We are part of a growing coalition.  We come from a lot of different organizations and churches," said Gann Herman.

Her husband Dale Herman was also arrested.  He only demonstrated in anti-war demonstrations before this.

Moral Monday
Jessica Jones

The first Moral Monday activist to be tried has been found guilty by a Raleigh court.

Wake County District Court Judge Joy Hamilton found Saladin Muammad guilty on three counts Friday afternoon. They were misdemeanor charges for trespassing, failing to disperse and violating building rules at a protest on May thirteenth.

Another protester, Patrick O'Neill, said he wasn't surprised at today's guilty charge. But Muammad and his attorney plan to appeal, and O'Neill thinks that could have a better result.

Rev. William Barber
North Carolina NAACP

Today is the first Monday in thirteen weeks without an NAACP led Moral Monday rally outside the Capitol in Raleigh. But the protests aren’t over. Rev. William Barber, leader of the North Carolina NAACP, says he’s taking Moral Monday on the road, all throughout the state. The road trip starts today in Asheville.

The coalition that Rev. Barber has built over the last few months is entering a new phase, and will be tested. Can it last? And can it win elections? 

NC General Assembly, Moral Mondays
Jessica Jones

Organizers of the "Moral Monday" protests held one of their largest marches at the legislature Monday.

Police watching the rally estimated there were between 4,000 and 5,000 protesters there. Many were teachers, who were wearing red clothing.

Transcript

CELESTE HEADLEE, HOST:

As you heard, North Carolina's legislature has passed some tighter voting restrictions. But that's just one of the issues that's been driving Moral Mondays. Moral Mondays is a series of demonstrations by religious and progressive activists taking place at North Carolina's state capital.

Protesters crowd the capitol for a Moral Mondays protest.
Matthew Lenard

It seems like a long time ago, but it’s really been just seven months since newly-inaugurated Governor Pat McCrory sounded this hopeful tone:

“North Carolina’s greatest strength and asset remains its people,” he said during his inauguration speech.

“On those main streets across this state, it’s the people that count and that make a difference. People will come from different backgrounds but share a common set of principles. Self-starters and hard workers.”

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