As the legislature’s finally ended its long session, opponents of the GOP-dominated General Assembly are taking the Moral Monday protests across the state, including to the core of Asheville tomorrow.
Mountain Moral Monday kicks off at 5 p.m. in Pack Square, featuring comments by state NAACP President Rev. William Barber, who’s emerged as one of the leaders of Moral Mondays, along with a number of local activists and leaders. According to a statement from the organizers, the protests are “a nonpartisan event to highlight the abuse of power and cruel policies coming out of the N.C. statehouse.”
Some Western North Carolina residents have already made the trip to Raleigh to participate in Moral Mondays, and some (over 70, according to organizers) have been arrested in civil-disobedience actions during the protest. A coalition of WNC groups — including Mountain Voices Alliance, the Sierra Club, the local NAACP, and the Campaign for Southern Equality, among other — are sponsoring the rally.
“Here in North Carolina, we are living through a time when the civil rights of many people, including the LGBT community, are being infringed upon,” the announcement from the CSE reads, explaining their reasons for joining the protest. “Debilitating cuts to public education and a statewide HIV treatment program jeopardize the well-being and health of people across our state.”
So far, over 2,000 people have signed up to attend on the group’s Facebook page, where the organizers also declare their hope that more than that number will show up in person tomorrow.
Here’s the list of speakers for the main rally, and the topics they’ll address:
Labor – Mark Case, WNC Central Labor Council
Health Care – Errington Thompson, MD, Surgeon, Asheville
Local Control – Barry Summers, Save Our Water WNC
Immigration – Bacilio Castro, WNC Workers Center
LGBT Issues – Jasmine Beach-Ferrara, Campaign for Southern Equality
Environment – Julie Mayfield, Western North Carolina Alliance & Ken Brame, WNC Sierra Club
Women – Terry Van Duyn, Community Activist
Education – Dawn Rookey, 2012 Buncombe County Schools Foundation Teacher of the Year
Poverty – Bethany Dalton, Community Activist
ALEC/Pope/Next steps – Heather Rayburn, Mountain Voices Alliance