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While it’s obvious that spokespeople for political parties have a job to do — namely to defend their politicians at all costs — they are also usually better served by grounding their comments in at least some small measure of reality. On this count, state GOP chair Claude Pope swung and missed today with his almost comically off-base broadsides against Rev. William Barber and tomorrow’s Moral March on Raleigh.

As someone who has had the privilege of knowing Barber and working with him frequently in recent years, I can assure Pope and anyone else who cares that he and and the movement he leads are anything but “partisan,” “left-wing,” or “radical.”

First off, as Pope seems to have conveniently forgotten, the HK on J movement was birthed during a period in which Democrats controlled all the main arms of state government.  In those days, the protests were directed against the Democrats in power.  And Pope can rest assured that were the Democrats to somehow regain power in the state, the movement would continue. Indeed, I’ve personally watched Barber chase off politicians who’ve tried to use events in which he was involved for partisan purposes.

This brings us to point #2, which is that the agenda advanced by the HK on J/Moral March movement is actually quite mainstream. If Pope would just check it out and consider it honestly in its historical context — something he’s likely never done — he’d discover that many of the ideas have long been supported by leaders of both parties and huge majorities of average Americans. Heck, go back a few years, and many of these ideas (things like health care for all, environmental justice and affordable housing) were supported (and even launched) by conservatives.

The bottom line: The HK on J/Moral March movement is about many things, but mostly it’s about mainstream, American values that are supported by large majorities of average folks — especially people of low and moderate income who have watched in dismay as their government has been hijacked by corporate plutocrats. Moreover, its leaders are more than happy (thrilled, even) to work with politicians of any party who are willing to sit down and discuss genuine societal progress.

Moral March on RaleighDespite the forecast of gray winter skies and perhaps some spotty rain, Saturday’s Moral March on Raleigh is looking increasingly as if it will be the biggest one yet. March organizers report that:

  • several thousand people have already committed  to attending on several different websites and Facebook pages — far more than 2013;
  • the number of buses and large vans already reserved for Saturday is nearly three times the number reserved last year; and Read More

A new press release from the North Carolina NAACP:

NC NAACP Releases Letter Calling on Sen. Richard Burr to Stop Blocking a Vote on Ms. Jennifer May-Parker’s Candidacy to Fill an Open Seat on the U.S. District Court for Eastern North Carolina

RALEIGH – The North Carolina NAACP released a letter today urging Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) to stop blocking the congressional confirmation vote of Ms. Jennifer May-Parker for the U.S. district court judgeship in Eastern North Carolina.

Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II and the state conference also call upon the NC NAACP’s partner organizations and other people of conscience to contact Sen. Burr and let him know that they oppose his continued efforts to obstruct the appointment of a well-qualified African-American attorney to the court seat.

“The North Carolina NAACP, the people of North Carolina, say today that we will never stand by as justice is delayed,” Dr. Barber said on Jan. 25 when he announced the initiative. “Because justice delayed is justice denied.” Read More

Moral MondaysICYMI, an editorial in this morning’s edition of the Greensboro News & Record calls for the dismissal of charges against all Moral Monday protesters and a coherent rewrite of the the rules regulating protests in the state Legislative Building:

“This has been bungled from the start. Demonstrators who gathered in the second-floor lobby of the Legislative Building on Monday evenings last year never should have been arrested. They were expressing their disapproval of Republican policies but did not impede legislators from going about their business. If they had become overly disruptive, they could have been escorted out of the building. At no time did they attempt to occupy the facility beyond the hours when it’s normally open to the public.

Instead, over the course of the General Assembly session, 945 people were taken into custody and charged with trespassing, failing to disperse and violating building rules…. Read More

A judge agreed with the state chapter of the NAACP today that the final Moral Monday protest of the year can be held on the grounds of the State Capitol.

The McCrory Administration had denied an earlier application to hold the protest there, instead offering up the Halifax Mall space behind the N.C. General Assembly in downtown Raleigh. The NAACP sought court intervention, arguing that the permit denial was violating the group’s First Amendment rights.

In a ruling in court this afternoon, just a few hours before the protest is scheduled to begin, Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour ruled the McCrory administration improperly denied the initial permit and ruled that the protest could be moved to the State Capitol grounds, according to WRAL.

For a detailed run-down of the court hearing and the legal issues at stake, read this story by WRAL’s Mark Binker.

In a tweet, the N.C. NAACP indicated the rally would begin at the Halifax Mall and then move to the Capitol grounds.