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The editorial staff of the Greensboro News & Record issued a strong condemnation of yesterday’s convictions in Wake County District Court of 12 Moral Monday protesters including state NAACP leader, Rev. William Barber. According to the N&R:

“Wake County District Court Judge Joy Hamilton brushed aside constitutional claims Wednesday and convicted a dozen Moral Monday demonstrators of trespassing and violating legislative building rules. The defendants should prevail on appeal….

There should have been no arrests. The protests were peaceful. Participants didn’t damage property or attempt to occupy the premises or stop lawmakers from entering their chambers and conducting business. They were expressing their views — and, yes, praying — inside a government building at a time when it was open to the public….

The problem is that the exercise of rights is sometimes disorderly. The people’s right to gather in public places means their presence must be tolerated by government officials who would prefer they go away.

Moral Monday protesters did not go away. All North Carolinians, no matter their political views, should stand with them, because all hold the same rights. The courts should defend them.”

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.

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. Read More

About 150 demonstrators marched around the Governor’s mansion and rallied on Halifax Mall this afternoon marking their 18th Moral Monday protest for the year.

Governor Pat McCrory was in Charleston, South Carolina at the time of the demonstration, attending a summit of the Republican Governors Association.

NC NAACP President Rev. William Barber said young and old alike were there to speak out against changes to the state’s election law and cuts to public education.
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