Nearly 50 Activists Arrested in North Carolina Protest

Changes in policies by "right-wing" legislature are fueling acts of civil disobedience.

Posted: 05/13/2013 06:43 PM EDT

The campaign of civil disobedience against changes in state polices in North Carolina continued Monday evening with nearly 29 activists arrested for participating in protests at the state’s General Assembly.

The protests, which were dubbed “Moral Monday,” were led by the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP and drew more than 300 participants. They consisted of mass prayer, singing and speeches on how recent policies enacted by the state will impact poor and working-class residents.

The protesters included leaders of labor unions, ministers, college students, professors and veterans. The protesters are seeking to call attention to a number of policies either being considered or that have been put in place by Pat McCrory, the Republican governor of the state.  

They say they are angered by the cut in the payroll tax credit for more than 900,000 poor and working people in North Carolina as well as a rejection of federal funding to expand Medicaid coverage for more than 500,000 residents who don’t have health insurance.

Another bill, lowering the income requirement for North Carolina’s pre-kindergarten program, would make the preschool program cut the program for nearly 30,000 children who would have previously qualified.

"The leadership of the General Assembly and the Governor ran on a platform of jobs and economic growth, but are now governing directly against those goals," said the Rev. William J. Barber II, president of the North Carolina NAACP.

"Their economic and tax policies will transfer more wealth to rich, right-wing entities and people, while hurting the same poor and working class people they need to get elected. This must be exposed as not only morally indefensible, but constitutionally inconsistent and economically insane."

Last week, Barber announced a 25-county tour to raise awareness of the policies of the governor.

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(Photo: Davis Turner/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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