Clergy among dozens arrested on final day of ‘Ferguson October’ protests – The Guardian

Police arrested more than 50 people, including members of the clergy and the radical intellectual and activist Cornel West, during a day of civil disobedience protests on Monday over the killing in Ferguson of an unarmed 18-year-old African American man, Michael Brown, by a white police officer two months ago.

Several hundred people marched on Ferguson police station for a “Moral Monday” protest on the final day of a “Weekend of Resistance” that brought activists from across the US to demand that Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, be put on trial and to protest over broader issues of racial profiling and use of excessive force by police officers in other places. (Source: Read more)

See related:

Michael Brown Incident

Why Labor Day Should Be a Moral Monday by Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II And Richard Trumka

BY: THE REV. DR. WILLIAM J. BARBER II AND RICHARD TRUMKA

September 1, 2014

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II is president of the North Carolina state conference of the NAACP. Richard Trumka is president of the AFL-CIO.

To read the article online in The Root click HERE.

On Labor Day we honor America’s working families. These families build our country, serving as the engine that keeps our country on its path toward a just, sustainable democracy. But in 2014, we urge that Labor Day also be a Moral Monday.

The people of North Carolina have established Moral Monday protests as a powerful tool for coming together to convey their demands to their General Assembly, and in doing so, they have introduced many to the power of collective action. We urge the nation to take up that mantle.

While our country celebrates workers today, poor and working families are under attack the other 364 days of the year. Wages remain at poverty levels as corporate profits skyrocket. The average CEO makes 774 times more than a minimum wage worker and 331 times more than the average employee. Corporations have turned to temporary and minimum wage workers to silence their employees’ voices. States, counties and cities across the nation are dismantling collective bargaining and other rights that would give workers the chance to challenge these regressive trends.

Today we live in a political climate that treats people as disposable things, and corporations as people. Although Wall Street has moved past the Great Recession, most of us are still struggling to make ends meet. In the richest nation in the history of the world, people who work 40 hours each week should be able to put food on their tables and take their children to the doctor.

But the extremists haven’t stopped with labor rights. We know that the same people attacking workers are attacking the pillars of justice in America, ranging from our sacred right to vote to our birthright of public education. Meanwhile, they are privatizing schools and prisons, polluting the environment, attacking LGBTQ and women’s rights, racializing the criminal-justice system, and denying the American dream to immigrants and their children.

Their agenda amounts to a sinister form of “Grand Theft Democracy.” And when officials at any level try to roll back our human rights, it is constitutionally inconsistent, morally indefensible, historically insensitive and economically insane.

Labor Day has always had a patriotic and economic message. But we believe that everything that has ever changed America and the world for the better has inherently carried a moral message, too. The long fight for labor rights, voting rights, educational equality and quality health care for all is not a partisan struggle. It is a moral fight for the soul of the nation.

We are calling for people to organize by building on the most sacred values of our faith traditions.Isaiah 10:1-2 is as clear as the bell of freedom: “Woe to those who make unjust laws, to those who issue oppressive decrees; to deprive the poor of their rights and withhold justice from the oppressed of my people, making widows their prey and robbing the fatherless.”

In turn, our nation’s founding documents demand that we establish justice and commit to the ideal that all men and women are created equal and should be treated as such, whether by their government or in their workplace.

There is a way forward.

To read the rest of the article, click HERE.

Join Our Mailing List

Video/Photos: Moral Monday At The North Carolina General Assembly Jones Street Halifax Mall June 23, 2014 The DCN Was There

The DCN was here. Watch the video and enjoy!

Click on photo to view more photos

image

Click on photo to watch video

image

Judge strikes down some Legislative Building rules – News & Observer

RALEIGH, N.C. — Protesters, lobbyists and lawmakers alike should soon be free to put signs on sticks and talk, shout, or sing as loud as they’d like in the halls of the Legislative Building.

A Superior Court judge in Wake County on Friday struck down some of the new rules for the Legislative Building that were enacted last month following dozens of "Moral Monday" protests that resulted in the arrests of more than 900 people.

Judge Carl Fox said some of the rules the Legislative Services Commission adopted last month for the building where the General Assembly meets are overly broad and vague, including one that prohibited sounds that hindered someone’s ability to have a conversation in a "normal tone of voice" and one that banned signs attached to sticks. It’s uncertain when Fox will sign the ruling and whether it will apply to next week’s "Moral Monday" rally.  (Source: Read more)

Join Us for Moral Monday in Raleigh This Monday, June 2 Where We Will Stand Up for Environmental and Health Justice!

All North Carolina NAACP members, Forward Together Moral Movement supporters, HKonJ coalition partners and people troubled by the ‘Carolina setback’ we are seeing in our state are invited to

 

Moral Monday for

– Environmental and Health Justice –

This Monday

 

Monday, June 2, 2014

 

3 pm

Pre-Rally Meeting

Pullen Memorial Baptist Church

1801 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC

 

5 pm

Rally and Action

Halifax Mall

(behind the General Assembly – see map HERE)

16 West Jones St, Raleigh, NC

 

As Article XI, Section 4 of the North Carolina constitution states, "beneficent provision for the poor, the unfortunate, and the orphan is one of the first duties of a civilized and Christian state." Speaker Tillis’ and Senate Leader Berger’s policies have broken with this fundamental principle of governance.

 

This Monday in Raleigh, we will join together once again to remind them that their moral responsibility to care for the least of these calls upon them to stand up for environmental justice and for health care access for all North Carolinians.

 

 

Want to help spread the word?

 

Forward this email to your friends, family and neighbors. Better yet, send them a personalized email asking them to stand with you on Monday!

Tweet about Monday with the hashtags #MoralMonday

and #ForwardTogether. Make sure to tag us @ncnaacp!

Post about your reason for going to Moral Monday on Facebook:

"I will be at Moral Monday because _______.

#MoralMonday #ForwardTogether

 

 

Don’t forget to RSVP on Facebook and check out the flyer below!

 

  

Forward Together, Not One Step Back!

 

Join Our Mailing List

 

 

Forward email

NCNAACP | P.O. Box 335 | Durham | NC | 27701

 

Legislative protesters tape mouths to avoid arrests – NC Capitols

Raleigh, N.C. — Protesters returned to the General Assembly Monday evening, but in accordance with new rules regarding decorum in the Legislative Building, they avoided causing a disturbance.

Hundreds of people in the "Moral Monday" movement put tape across their mouths so they couldn’t be accused of being loud enough to disrupt conversations, which is one of the standards set last week by a legislative committee for asking people to leave the Legislative Building and arresting them if they don’t comply. (Source: Read more)

See related:

New legislative building rules do little to deter Moral Monday protesters

Knight acquitted of charges stemming from legislative protest – Rocky Mount Telegram

Rocky Mount Councilman Andre Knight was one of seven Moral Monday protestors found not guilty of trespassing charges Wednesday in N.C. District Court in Raleigh.

The charges stemmed from a June 12 “Witness Wednesday” protest at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, named in honor of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

“The state never offered any evidence on who the owner of the property is that the defendants were allegedly trespassing on,” said John McWilliam, attorney for the defendants. “I think we, the people, own the legislative building and therefore cannot be considered trespassers.” (Source: Read more)

See related:

More NC General Assembly Moral Monday protesters not guilty – News & Observer

Rocky Mount NC – ANDRE KNIGHT FOUND NOT GUILTY IN STATE TRESPASSING CHARGES

More NC General Assembly Moral Monday protesters not guilty – News & Observer

Response: Rocky Mount Mayor Pro-tem Rev. Andre Knight President Rocky Mount NAACP charges were dismissed!

RALEIGH — An attorney representing protesters arrested at the N.C. Legislative Building in June, attempted to call the leaders of both General Assembly chambers on Wednesday as witnesses in the trial of seven people.

John McWilliam, a Raleigh attorney representing some of the demonstrators arrested June 12, said he issued subpoenas for N.C. House Speaker Thom Tillis and Senate President Phil Berger to find out more about the enforcement of the building rules his clients had been accused of violating.

A lawyer from the office of Roy Cooper, the N.C. attorney general, successfully quashed the subpoenas for the Republicans at the helm of the state House and Senate. (Source: Read more)

See related:

Rocky Mount NC – ANDRE KNIGHT FOUND NOT GUILTY IN STATE TRESPASSING CHARGES

Cease prosecuting Moral Monday arrests – News & Observer

Response: The Moral Monday Protesters are made up of black, brown, white and other folks who are morally conscious of what is going on. This is a powerful movement and I support it 1000%. It is sad that a white majority in the NC General Assembly feel they are hurting black folks when all folks are suffering. But the main thing is all of this bullmanure is happening across the nation simply because they have not gotten over having a black President. Hell “Our” President has won 2 elections so damn they may as well accept the fact that we have a black President and get their panties out of a wad. It does not matter if it is a waste of time, they are trying to send a message to the NAACP to sit down, shut up and stop bringing folks from all races to their house when it is the people’s house.

With each new case, with each new ruling, the ridiculous prosecutions of Moral Monday protesters who rattled the last session of the N.C. General Assembly look like wasted time and money.

There were 945 arrests in the course of protests, peacefully conducted, in the Legislative Building over a woefully misguided and mean-spirited agenda pushed by right-wing Republican legislative leaders. The protesters’ cause was just: They opposed cuts to public education, voter suppression laws, tax cuts for the wealthy, reductions in unemployment benefits and the refusal to expand Medicaid. (Source)

Raleigh NC – The Collapse of the State’s Case Against Moral Monday Protesters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 22, 2014

 

For More Information:  Laurel Ashton, Field Secretary, 828 713 3864

                     Atty. Jamie Cole, Public Policy Coordinator, 919 682 4700                        

The Collapse of the State’s Case Against Moral Monday Protesters

 

RALEIGH – This morning, January 22nd, in Wake County District Court, after failing to get a conviction on any of the defendants it accused and tried, the District Attorney’s office announced it was dismissing all charges against 57 protesters who were arrested and charged with three separate offenses on May 20, 2013, when they tried to petition the government and instruct their representatives about their grievances against the cruel and unconstitutional  policies that the NC General Assembly was putting in our state law books.

 

The volunteer lawyers representing the Moral Monday arrestees are working with the District Attorney’s office this afternoon to be sure all 57 of those who were arrested will have their cases dismissed and their records expunged.

 

Since the District Attorney has begun trying the Moral Monday cases, the record of conviction has cast doubt on whether any of these cases should have been tried in the first place. The first trial, against labor activist Saladin Mohammed, resulted in the Court finding him guilty on all three charges. The Court sentenced him to a $100 fine and court costs of $180. Since then, over the past several months, 43 more people have been tried. Ms. Vicki Ryder and her husband Doug Ryder were acquitted. The DA’s office tried 13 out of the 17 defendants who were arrested during the first Moral Monday, including NC NAACP President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, under antiquated and ambiguous rules that even the Chief of the General Assembly police department has repeatedly testified he is not sure what they mean.  The Court dismissed two of the charges against them and found them guilty of trespassing. They received the same sentence as Mr. Mohammad, who was found guilty of three charges.

 

As of today, there have been approximately 31 acquittals and 13 more convictions. The specially-appointed Judge, former chief District Court Judge for Wake County has ruled that portions of the legislative rules, specifically the rule prohibiting political signs in the General Assembly, are unconstitutional.  This means that one third of all the charges are no longer prosecutable. And today the Wake County District Attorney announced their office is dismissing the charges against all 57 of the Moral Monday defendants who were arrested at the General Assembly on May 20, 2013.

 

"The NC NAACP wants to publicly thank the more than 120 triangle area lawyers who have volunteered their time and expertise to be sure the North Carolina Constitution is respected in these important cases," said Rev. Dr. Barber. "This Saturday night, we will be honoring all of these volunteer attorneys for their great work at our Annual Winter Conference at 7:00 p.m. at 4400 Old Poole Road, Raleigh NC.  They will each receive a part of our annual Humanitarian Award." The media is invited.

 

The more than 940 Moral Witnesses, who were handcuffed and bused off to jail, and then made to sit in courtrooms for hours along with their lawyers, will be honored guests at the 8th Annual Moral March on Raleigh HKonJ People’s Assembly, on Saturday, February 8th.  Everyone who wants to see what democracy looks like is invited to meet us at Shaw University at 9:30 a.m. and march to the State Capitol as part of the Forward Together Moral Movement. We will go Forward Together, Not One Step Back. 

 

###

 

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. The NC Conference of NAACP Branches is 70 years old this year and is made up of over 100 Adult, Youth and College NAACP units across the state, convenes the more than 150 members of the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) Peoples Assembly Coalition, and is the architect of the Moral Monday & Forward Together Movement.  

Join Our Mailing List

 

 

 

Judge dismisses 2 ‘Moral Monday’ cases after daylong trial – News & Observer

Note: Oops Saladin is a black man and the 2 that were found not guilty were white. Oh well.

After presiding over the first three trials of “Moral Monday” protesters, the judge who heard the cases left a mixed message.

Judge Joy Hamilton, a former Wake County district judge who was appointed by the state to preside over some 920 cases, found the first protester guilty on Oct. 4 of all three charges – second-degree trespass, failure to disperse and violating N.C. Legislative Building rules. Saladin Muhammad of Rocky Mount has appealed his case to Wake County Superior Court.

On Friday, with different defense attorneys making arguments, Hamilton dismissed the same charges against Douglass Ryder, 66, and Vicki Ryder, 71, the Durham-based husband and wife among the dozens arrested on May 6.

Hamilton did not offer her grounds for dismissing the charges at the Friday hearing, leaving a legal quandary for the assistant district attorney assigned to prosecute the hundreds of cases yet to be heard and the defense attorneys whose clients have not had their day in court. (More)

Police were on lookout for anarchists at Moral Monday protests – Rocky Mount Telegram

RALEIGH — The first trial of a “Moral Monday” protester revealed far more than the guilty verdicts that have shaken attorneys and demonstrators still awaiting their court dates.

General Assembly Police Chief Jeff Weaver testified to a murmur of disbelief among the many lawyers attending the Wake County District Court hearing that his 18-officer department had people in this region they labeled “anarchists” and collected intelligence on them. (More)