On Monday August 5 from 5-6:30 p.m., a coalition of WNC groups will host Mountain Moral Monday, a non-partisan event to highlight the abuse of power and cruel policies coming out of the N.C. statehouse. The event will take place at Pack Square Park and will feature Rev. Dr. William Barber, President of the NC NAACP, the grassroots leader responsible for shining a national spotlight on what the New York Times has called “The Decline of NC.”
“For the past 12 weeks, people from all walks of life and from all around the state have gathered in Raleigh to protest the frenzy of extremism that has gripped our state government,” said Valerie Hoh, a Mountain Moral Monday spokesperson and member of Save Our Water WNC. “This event will give people in our part of the state a chance to stand up for justice, democracy and moderation.”
Since April, 821 people have been arrested in the Raleigh “Moral Monday” demonstrations, including 68 people from WNC. Those 68 people will be honored at the event along with any others arrested for non-violent civil disobedience in the state capitol.
The Aug. 5 event will not involve civil disobedience. However, it will allow WNC residents to add their voices to the thousands of protesters who have joined Rev. Barber to bring national attention to the draconian laws being passed by the current state legislature. Ideological radicals have reversed years of progress in education, health care, voting rights, women’s rights, racial justice, environmental protection, and local decision-making.
In our part of the state, legislators associated with the pro-privatization, pro-corporatization group ALEC (the American Legislative Exchange Council) took the shocking step of having the state seize Asheville’s award-winning public water system without compensation. Locals fear this is the first step in privatizing one of the purest watersheds in the country.
“I’ve never been in trouble a day in my life,” said Heather Rayburn, a Buncombe County native arrested for non-violent civil disobedience on July 15. “But policies are being made behind closed doors with no public process – policies that will do irreparable harm to our state. Policies are being passed that will mean the difference between life and death to real people. I had to stand up.”
Any organization, including non-profits and worship communities, wishing to endorse the Mountain Moral Monday should contact us at email@example.com.
And here’s a good story by Slate that offers a deeper look at the Moral Monday protests.