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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.

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As the video at the end of this release from the NC NAACP, explains, today’s Moral Monday protest will go on despite attempts by the McCrory administration to keep it out of sight.

Moral Monday Service of Redemption

Today at 4:00 PM on Halifax Mall — behind the NC General Assembly, 16 W. Jones St., Raleigh

RALEIGH – On November 26th, the NC NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement delivered a letter to Gov. McCrory signed by 3,000 people of good will calling on him to convene a Special Redemption Session of the legislature by December 23rd to rescind the laws that deny Medicaid to nearly 500,000 North Carolinians and unemployment benefits to 170,000 families. Since that letter was delivered, over 5,000 more people have signed on.

On Monday, December 23rd, the NC NAACP and the Forward Together Moral Movement will hold a Moral Monday Service of Redemption beginning at 4:00 pm at Halifax Mall in downtown Raleigh. Read More

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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.

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Art Pope 3The North Carolina NAACP and other activist groups will commence a series of informational pickets today to shine more light on the rather amazing breadth and depth of the influence of state budget director, Art Pope. The pickets will take place today at 4:00 p.m. outside two of the chain stores owned by Pope’s Variety Wholesalers, Maxway and Rose’s.

The Maxway event will take place at 1905 Poole Rd. in Raleigh. The Rose’s event will take place  at University Mall, 201-C36 Estes Dr. Chapel Hill.

According to an announcement:

“The informational picket campaign is a statewide effort to raise awareness and demand that Budget Director Pope call for a reversal of extremist laws and policies passed in the 2013 Legislative Session and support the request for a Special Redemption Session of the North Carolina General Assembly to reverse course on two extremist policies, the denial of Medicaid and emergency unemployment benefits that will harm the most vulnerable members of our state.”

Learn more at the event’s Facebook page by clicking here.

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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