For the thousands who turned out for Moral Monday in Charlotte’s Marshall Park, every protester had one thing in common: Making their frustration with Raleigh and their voices heard.
Monday’s protest is the latest stop for the movement that has drawn thousands of people to weekly demonstrations in Raleigh.
Charlotte had its turn and people came from every walk of life.
Cynthia Lank, of Charlotte, came with her two daughters.
“I’m just furious,” she exclaimed. “I am so frustrated with what has gone on in our legislature this year. I’m furious for our students, for women, for people, for old people, for sick people. I just feel like the state of North Carolina has taken a huge step backwards.”
Iola Gardner, another protester who came straight from work, agreed.
“With all the changes in the general assembly, it’s just ridiculous,” she said. “I’m here for education, I’m for the suppress the vote — people need to know what’s going on.”
For the Rev. William Barber, the protests are part of a major North Carolina movement, uniting coalitions fighting for social, economic and environmental justice over what he calls Republican legislators’ divisive measures.
As president of the North Carolina chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Barber is now coordinating demonstrations in the state’s 13 Congressional districts.
The General Assembly’s GOP lawmakers have implemented a conservative platform over the last six months.
The sharp rightward turn prompted weekly protests at the legislative building, leading to about 930 arrests.
Megan Lank, who came with her mom Cynthia, talked about the shame she felt for her home state.
“I was born and raised here,” she said. “I came up through public education. It’s appalling to see all these things I value and have been taught to value just being sort of demolished.”
Demonstrations were also carried out in the North Carolina communities of Burnsville and Manteo.