Moral Monday protests returned to the NC Capitol on the evening of May 20th, 2014. A variety of social justice organizations including the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and churches of all religions and denominations, were well represented in a crowd estimated by Capitol police to be around 1500.
Speakers began addressing the gathered crowd around 5 o'clock and represented a spectrum of political issues including racial and gender equality, income and wealth inequality, reforms to unemployment and public education, and environmental concerns. However, supporters of all these various organizations were brought together by the notion that the actions of the current Republican controlled legislature do not reflect the moral values that they claim to support.
The main address speaker was Reverend William Barber, the president of the NC chapter of the NAACP. Rev. Barber asserted that at this particular gathering, there would be no actions of civil disobedience, but only out of protest of the recent changes to the rules regarding protests in the Legislative building. Barber further insisted that this would be "the only time" that civil disobedience would not be an option for the protesters.
In response to the message of Rev. Barber, demonstrators walked two-by-two from the podium in Halifax mall, into the Legislative building, and out of the other side. This was all done with tape on the mouth of all the protesters, to show their dissent regarding the new extreme rules regarding protests on the Legislative building. As there was no arrests, protesters were able to make there way through the Legislative building and out the other side in complete silence.
Rev. Barber stated that the protests are scheduled to continue, with increased ferocity next Tuesday (May 27). Citing the words of Henry David Thoreau, "If I repent of anything, it is very likely to be my good behavior," Barber inspired the thousands of protesters who are willing to continue fighting for their rights, including the now threatened freedom of speech, for weeks to come.
Here's a link to a photoblog of the protest submitted by Jake Gellar-Goad