NAACP responds to revelations of spying, “anarchist” claims
In case you missed it, here is the official NAACP response to the revelations from earlier this week that Raleigh police spied on Moral Monday protester planning sessions:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
10 October 2013
NC NAACP Responds to Raleigh Police Surveillance of Moral Monday Mobilization Sessions
DURHAM – It is deeply concerning that the Speaker of the House, Thom Tillis and Senate Pro Temp, Phil Berger created a climate of hostility and suspicion around Moral Monday protesters. It is our understanding that they or their staff ordered the arrests. They chose to criminalize legitimate peaceful protest. Now they are suggesting that they had knowledge of so called anarchists. This claim strikes us as strange since our staff and team were in constant talks with the capital police and we were never informed of so called anarchists. To say things of this nature could be construed as an attempt to mar the image of the protesters and to change the message of the movement. The fact is North Carolina citizens followed their first amendment rights and their rights under the North Carolina State Constitution, Article 1, Section 12 by seeking redress of their grievances regarding the extreme and regressive policies passed by elected officials this year. North Carolinians of all socio economic backgrounds, colors and creeds operated under the best of the moral – non violent tradition when they came together.
For the past seven years, the NC NAACP, along with its HKONJ partners, has conducted spirited demonstrations in Raleigh which sought to convince the North Carolina General Assembly to enact progressive legislation designed to broaden and encourage the right to vote, improve the State’s educational program, strengthen the safety net for poor and impoverished communities, encourage minority economic development and to protect the right s of public and private workers. During those demonstrations, which have been attended by up to 18,000 people, the NC NAACP has cultivated and enjoyed an excellent working relationship with the Raleigh Police Department, its leaders and officers. On a consistent basis, we have commended police officers for the professional conduct and demeanor which they have exhibited.
During the 13 “Moral Monday” demonstrations which were conducted in Raleigh, we were also impressed with the professional conduct and demeanor of Raleigh Police Officers which allowed us to expand on the great working relationship which we have enjoyed with them. During those demonstrations and the officers’ handling of the arrests of over 960 individual, we regularly told our partners and fellow demonstrators that police officers were not antagonistic toward us and were not our enemies. Throughout the planning and execution of “Moral Monday” events, we felt safe working with these officers and never experienced a negative incident with any of them.
We were never aware that Raleigh Police Officers were conducting surveillance of our demonstration plans, but were not surprised that they had officers who attended some of our mobilization sessions which were conducted in public at several churches in Raleigh. At no point during our mobilization or the resulting demonstrations did we seek to exclude any member of the public from our activities and that included Raleigh Police officers. At every point, we welcomed members of the public and every police officer who chose to attend any of our peaceful and open “Moral Monday” events and/or to participate in them. All of our efforts were transparent and we had nothing to hide from anyone.