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Rev. barber 2Invoking the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I have a dream” speech to “go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana,” North Carolina NAACP President William Barber urged civil rights advocates around the country to “go back to North Carolina” at press event today in Durham. Speaking as the nation prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington, Barber told the assembled audience that “North Carolina is our Selma of today” in the nation’s centuries-old battle for civil rights.

In a wide-ranging talk that focused mostly on the activities of local boards of elections to restrict college student voting in the aftermath of the passage of the so-called “Monster” voter suppression bill, Barber announced that the NAACP would be sponsoring 13 separate Forward Together Movement rallies next Wednesday August 28 (the actual 50th anniversary of the ’63 march) in each of the state’s 13 congressional districts – see below for details.

He also announced along with NAACP attorney Jamie Phillips that the NAACP had established a new toll-free hotline that North Carolinians can call with concerns about voting and voting rights. The number is Read More

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Take a few minutes this morning to listen to Gov. Pat McCrory, in an interview with WUNC, respond to criticisms about the voter identification law he just signed and other controversial actions coming out of his office and the Republican-led legislature.

The 12-minute interview conducted by Frank Stasio (host of the Triangle-area NPR station’s “The State of Things“) delves into many topics, from recent legislation targeting abortion clinics, the decision to not expand Medicaid in the state and the elections bill signed yesterday and already being challenged in court on allegations of violating voters’ civil rights.

To listen to the interview by “State of Things” host Frank Stasio, click on the audio link on the WUNC news story about the voter ID bill.

In the WUNC interview, McCrory again compared the voter identification bill to measures that require identification to collect public benefits and buy some varieties of over-the-counter cold medicine that’s used to make meth. He used that comparison in the minute and a half Youtube video he put released Monday afternoon for the bill signing in lieu of a press conference.

“Nobody talked about disenfranchising people to buy Sudafed,” McCrory said in the interview with Stasio. “I frankly think our right to vote deserves similar protections.”

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Rev. barber 2The impact of the Moral Mondays phenomenon continues to expand and impact the national political and policy scene.

Today, the Campaign for America’s Future, a progressive national nonprofit based in Washington DC announced that it would honor North Carolina NAACP President and Moral Mondays leader Rev. William Barber at a November 6 awards gala at Washington’s Arena Stage theatre.  Barber will be presented the Paul Wellstone Citizen Leadership Award.

The event will feature a keynote speech by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

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If yesterday’s Mountain Moral Monday is any indication, North Carolina’s conservative political leadership may be beginning to feel a little uneasy about the movement they have awakened in this state.

When thousands of people turn out in the dog days of summer to protest the actions of lawmakers who’ve already adjourned for the year, you have to believe that this new movement for change really is here to stay. Moreover, as this story makes clear, the movement appears to be spreading beyond North Carolina.

 

 

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Alex Kotch, who blogs at Progresivo and has offered some contributions here at The Pulse has an amusing take on some recent criticisms leveled at the Moral Mondays protests:

Fox News finally came out with their story on Moral Mondays this week, reporting that protestors “claim” the poor are harmed by legislation passed by conservatives, interviewing state Sen. Thom Goolsby but failing to mention that he called his own constituents “morons,” and giving NC GOP Chairman Claude Pope another chance to put down the protestors, this time comparing them to a losing football team:

“Would the losing team of the Super Bowl go protest the winning team’s locker room because they lost the game and they fumbled the ball? Come on! They are wasting taxpayer resources.”

That’s not the first time a conservative has made an unsavory sports comparison. But let’s clean up that analogy a little bit. Here’s something more accurate: Read More