MsSpentyouth's blog

Moral Monday #6: 84 arrested; 388 arrests so far

Hundreds of supporters crowded the third-story balcony above the 84 participants in civil disobedience plus media covering the prohibited peaceful gathering at the NCGA on June 10, 2013.

The start to yesterday's Moral Monday at the N.C. General Assembly in Raleigh was delayed a bit because of tornado warnings and a sudden spate of harsh weather, but pouring rain didn't dampen the spirits of the many hundreds of protesters who gathered at the Halifax Mall behind the General Assembly building to speak out against the raft of odious bills being pushed through the state legislature by the Republican supermajority.

The total number of arrests in six waves of what the NAACP-North Carolina has dubbed "Moral Monday" was brought to 388 by the 84 people (myself and a couple other Kossacks, including the fantastic joank, who was also celebrating her birthday through civil disobedience) who entered the General Assembly to sing songs of resistance, to pray in front of the doors of the second-story N.C. House chambers, and to hold up protest signs (which are prohibited in the building) and refusing to disperse. Click here for the News & Observer's photos of the arrests.

Kim Yaman is arrested for civil disobedience for peacefully assembling with others at the N.C. General Assembly on June 10, 2013. Photo by News&Observer.

This week, however, an 85th arrest was made: Charlotte Observer religion reporter Tim Funk was handcuffed and detained by G.A. and Raleigh police officers for "failure for disperse." Funk was visibly wearing media credentials and was interviewing Charlotte-area clergy attending the protest and arrests.

We saw Funk amongst us, along with other journalists, and he was clearly taking notes in a notebook, interviewing clergy, not singing or praying, carrying no signs, and holding up his media credentials and explaining his role to the G.A. police officers when they made the dispersal announcements. Those of us near him also explained to officers that Funk was not a green armband (designating civil-disobedience participants) and was not among our group. Nonetheless,

Funk, who was wearing Charlotte Observer identification, was handcuffed and taken along with the arrested protesters to the Wake County magistrate’s office to be arraigned on misdemeanor charges of trespassing and failure to disperse.

Jeff Weaver, police chief for the General Assembly Police in Raleigh who oversaw the arrests, told The Associated Press that Funk did not heed a warning from officers to disperse before the arrests began.

Funk was taken to the Wake County Detention Center with the 84 civil disobedience arrestees and processed for charges, then released around 11 p.m. with the fourth busload of arrestees.

Moral Mondays at the NCGA: 57 arrested May 20; total 153 arrested in 4 Mondays

Members of the N.C. Legislative Black Caucus show their support for protesters and those arrested for walking into "The People's House" (N.C. General Assembly) and refusing to leave.

First busload of arrestees is driven to Raleigh Correction Center past the hundreds of protesters on the street.

Supported by a crowd of more than 500 people filling the mall area outside the N.C. General Assembly in Raleigh, 57 people were arrested for civil disobedience at the legislative building this afternoon and evening -- arrests of people peaceably assembled and singing songs of peace and unity to protest the ALEC-ification of our state. This brings the total number of civil-disobedience arrests so far to 153, including 17 arrests April 29, 30 arrests on May 6, 49 arrests on May 13, and 57 arrests today (May 20).

N.C. civil disobedience: Nearly 100 arrested so far for protesting ALEC-ification of state

More than 200 people gathered May 13 to support the 49 people arrested for peaceably protesting at the N.C General Assembly building in Raleigh, North Carolina.
More than 200 people gathered May 13 to support the 49 people arrested for peaceably protesting at the N.C General Assembly building in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Garrison Keillor opens his monologues with "It's been a quiet week in Lake Wobegon." But North Carolina is not a quiet town on the prairie, and we are no longer being quiet.

This week in North Carolina started with 49 arrests at the N.C. General Assembly -- arrests of people peaceably assembled and singing songs of peace and unity to protest the ALEC-ification of our state. This brings the total number of civil-disobedience arrests so far to 96, including 17 arrests April 29, 30 arrests on May 6, and 49 arrests on May 13.

Sign up today: Building a voter-protection coalition in North Carolina

Crossposted at

Are you interested in opposing the odious bills in North Carolina aimed at preventing people from voting?

We're putting together a coalition of activists and citizen lobbyists to protect voting rights and are seeking phonebankers and citizen lobbyists.

If you live in the Raleigh area and would like to visit key lawmakers to earn their support for voter protection, let me know and we can get started next week.

Even if you don't live in capital area of North Carolina, you can get involved by joining our phone banks. Just zap me an e with your contact information. We'll have phone lists ready later this weekend and are setting up physical sites for phone banks starting Tuesday, April 16.

New groups in NC tackle gun violence

The past three months have been busy ones for North Carolinians concerned about the scope of gun violence in the United States.

In January, for instance, a few Apex and Cary residents gathered to discuss the issues involved and coalesced into the Kitchen Table Group. About 15 members of the group met in mid-February with a representative from U.S. Sen. Richard Burr's office to discuss their perspectives and suggestions. Later that afternoon, about a dozen of us traveled to Dunn to meet with representatives from U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers. A month later, the Kitchen Table Group, led by Nancy van Dijk of Cary, has grown to more than 350 members and counting.

Us vs. Blue Cross in tug o'war over Kay Hagan, who's cut volunteer legs out from under us

Crossposted at DailyKos.comhref>

Just as did millions of other North Carolinianshref>, last week I received the four-color, glossy mailing from Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina that featured a preprinted postcard addressed to Sen. Kay Hagan letting her know how much we Blue Cross Blue Shield subscribers hate the idea of a public option.

As did thousands of others, href>I marked up the wording on the postcard and took advantage of BCBS's generous offer to pay my postage to let my senator know how fully I support a public health-insurance option.

Oct. 11 Phone Bank: "Just a Spoonful of Sugar" making health care palatable for all

What?> Phone Bank: "Just a Spoonful of Sugar" - Let's Make Health-care Access Palatable for ALL!

When? Sun., Oct. 11, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Where? Organizing for America's Raleigh HQ (Raleigh, NC), 130 East Morgan Street in downtown Raleigh, NC 27601
Who? Patty Williams, MsSpentyouth, and Organizing for America
How? Sign up at

WHAT ARE WE DOING? We're having fun, noshing great food, phone banking for better health-care coverage, and, above all, supporting Kim Yaman (aka MsSpentyouth here at Blue NC and DailyKos) as she fights the restrictions of her health insurance to get treatment for Cushing's disease.

WHAT DO I BRING?: A healthy appetite for health-care reform and a dish to share.

    Obama documentary sparks voter-registration action at Galaxy Cinema in Cary

    Progressive blogging convention Netroots Nation '08 provided an awesome panel discussion on creating political community around film, featuring some megawatt all-stars who've done exactly that: Wendy Cohen of Participant Media, Jim Gilliam of Brave New Films, Jacob Soboroff of "Why Tuesday?", and Tracy Fleischman of Live from Main Street.

    If you're in the Cary area tomorrow (August 9), you have the opportunity to see me put my Netroots Nation money where my mouth is as Galaxy Cinema in Cary hosts a screening of the documentary "Senator Obama Goes to Africa," a postfilm discussion with Obama campaign staffers, and a big voter-registration drive based out of the theater lobby.

    Youth for Obama Voter Awareness and Action

    [cross-posted at www.dailykos.comhref>]

    11 a.m.-1 p.m.: Voter Awareness Rally
    1-3 p.m.: Voter Registration Drive
    Saturday, April 5
    Galaxy Cinema in Cary, North Carolina

    If you're going to be 18 by November 4, you're eligible to vote. But even if you're not going to be 18 this year, you can get involved in this historic campaign to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.

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