Rev. William J. Barber II (Photo: Up w/Steve Kornacki via MSNBC)
The head of the NAACP in North Carolina said that the protests against a number of policies by the state’s Republican legislature and governor will continue on Monday and even intensify in coming weeks in response to budget cuts and proposed changes to voting laws.
So far, more than 100 people have been arrested for protesting at the state capital against a wide number of policy decisions by the North Carolina General Assembly. The arrests are designed to raise awareness of everything from cuts in preschool funding to restrictions on voting periods.
“We’re going to continue our acts of civil disobedience because the General Assembly has made a cruel attack on the most vulnerable people in this state,” said the Rev. William J. Barber II, the president of the state NAACP, in an interview with BET.com. “They are doing everything to make things difficult for people who are already having challenges making ends meet.”
By getting arrested at the General Assembly, the protesters are seeking to call attention to a number of policies put in place by Gov. Pat McCrory. 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.
The protests, which are known as Moral Mondays, involve a wide range of North Carolinians, from students and professors to community activists and labor union leaders.
Barber and the NAACP have announced plans for an escalation of the protests in the coming weeks, outlining a 25-county tour to raise awareness of McCrory’s policies.
“We have to continue this,” Barber said. “This is a movement, not just a one-day event. We’re going to work to guarantee that this state knows how regressive this legislature is. That way, when 2014 comes, the people of this state can vote in an appropriate way.”
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