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Sue Sturgis over at the Institute for Southern Studies has a new story out about the Pope-Civitas Institute’s latest intimidation tactic toward legislative protesters.

“The John W. Pope Civitas Institute, a conservative think tank based in Raleigh, N.C., has launched a database targeting people who’ve been arrested as part of the Moral Monday nonviolent protests at the state legislature.

The Civitas Institute was founded by conservative mega-donor and discount-retail mogul Art Pope, now the North Carolina budget director under Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, and it was named for Pope’s father. The nonprofit gets about 94 percent of its funding from the family foundation Pope chairs. That raises questions about the ethics of a public official who’s been a target of the protests being involved in an apparent effort to target the protesters for harassment — or worse.”

No word yet on whether the effort is being coordinated with the group’s chief funder (i.e. the state budget ), legislative leaders or other far right groups, but as Sturgis reports, the tactic is reminiscent of the one’s used by the reactionary opponents of the Civil Rights movement, so nothing would come as a surprise.

Read the entire story by clicking here.

 

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 Pat McCrory 4The momentum of protests against the reactionary policy choices of the General Assembly and Governor McCrory continues to grow and evolve. The latest example: today’s “Witness Wednesday” event at which eight courageous North Carolinians — two whom are wheelchair bound and one of whom walks with a cane — were arrested and handcuffed outside the state Senate chamber while another 150 or so supporters watched and sang hymns from inside the rotunda of the Legislative Building.

The hymn singing served as an especially poignant counterpoint to the droning and disingenuous explanation of the regressive House budget bill that Appropriations subcommittee chairs were providing on the House floor at the same time.  Sounds of the singing reached lawmakers and observers in the House gallery as a kind of muffled roar for several minutes that was occasionally punctuated by fleeting seconds of unfiltered sound every time a door was opened. 

The protests inside the Legislative Building were preceded by an energetic rally out front at which Read More