Yesterday, we were proud to stand with progressive allies across the state at the largest Moral Monday protest yet.
This week marked the fifth “moral monday” protest. Moral Mondays, spearheaded by the North Carolina NAACP, are planned acts of civil disobedience. Concerned citizens enter the General Assembly building on Jones Street and when law enforcement agents ask them to leave, they refuse. Following in a long tradition of nonviolent civil disobedience that extends back to Martin Luther King Jr., to Ghandi, to Henry David Thoreau, North Carolinians are willingly heading to prison on behalf of their principles.
Those of us that work for organizations that engage in policy work and political organizing on a daily basis (like NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, for example), can at times become disillusioned and/or deflated when things don’t go our way. And with an anti-choice majority in the Senate and the Legislature, things are not going our way on a regular basis. On bad days, it’s easy to feel that our work is meaningless, or unappreciated. And that’s precisely why the Moral Monday movement is so important.
Yesterday, I stood on Halifax Mall with over 1000 of my fellow North Carolinians who, like me, feel our legislature has gone too far. I ran into neighbors and old friends and felt the amazing sense of recognition you feel when you find yourself among like-minded people. More than that, I felt like I was part of something bigger than me, or my organization. I felt like I was part of a movement for change that is spurred by regular people who have had enough of legislation that does not reflect their values or beliefs. And that’s a powerful feeling.
North Carolina voters are not just unhappy with the NC General Assembly, they are standing up for their beliefs. Last night, over 150 people were arrested for those beliefs. And the moral monday movement is not going anywhere.
In spite of their dismissal of Moral Mondays, last night, the extremists at the NCGA were not able to conduct business as usual, which is what civil disobedience is all about.
Today, we feel grateful to live and work in North Carolina, and proud to be a part of the Moral Monday movement.