Moral Monday movement for justice in North Carolina

In February, a broad, diverse coalition of thousands of social justice activists mobilized by the Moral Monday Movement rallied in downtown Raleigh. NC. PHOTO/UNITED WORKERS

In February, a broad, diverse coalition of thousands of social justice activists mobilized by the Moral Monday Movement rallied in downtown Raleigh. NC.
PHOTO/UNITED WORKERS

The People’s Tribune interviews Melissa Hassard who is active in North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement.

People’s Tribune: Melissa, where is the Moral Monday movement at today?
Melissa Hassard: The almost 1,000 arrests for civil disobedience from last summer are now going to trial.  Two retired judges were brought back to handle all of the Moral Monday cases, and they are returning mixed verdicts.  While most arrestees have had their charges dismissed, some have been found guilty.

Marches and events are being held throughout the state.  The NAACP participated in the protest at the governor’s mansion on coal ash. There was a Fayetteville Moral Monday and the next is in Iredell County.  When the legislature meets in May, there will be another in Raleigh. The NAACP has also been working on legal and political action responses to the Dan River Duke Energy mess, school vouchers, and voter suppression.

PT: How is the movement building unity to support its goals?

MH: It is deeply moving to see so many groups coming together to support each others’ interests.  Represented are citizens from every socio-economic status, every race and creed.  My favorite protest sign so far:  “There are so many issues I couldn’t pick just one.”  Rev. Barber talks about justice, love for each other, respect.  The crowd is absolutely in accord.

But so far the large numbers, marches, rallies, protests, calls, e-mails and noise have not swayed the Tea Party-led North Carolina General Assembly.  So now the work begins for a large voter turnout this year in elections.  The base is energized.

PT: Discuss the unity between the state government and the giant corporations.

MH: Governor Pat McCrory worked for Duke Energy for 28 years.  Since he took office, the state’s environmental agency has blocked lawsuits over Duke’s 32 coal ash ponds, before the coal ash spill that dumped 39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River.

PT: What are the people’s demands?

MH: That’s tough to say without some broad-sweeping idea like “justice.”  Over 500,000 North Carolinians lost their federal long-term unemployment. That means 500,000 people are no longer receiving federal assistance because of a decision at the state level.  North Carolina was the only state to discontinue longterm unemployment insurance.  Additionally, 250,000 cannot get Medicaid because the federal offer to expand Medicaid was rejected. Rev. Barber asked the Governor to reverse his decision and expand Medicaid.  It looks like that’s not going to happen, though.

There are a lot of issues going on within the state, from all that I’ve previously mentioned to new legislation affecting our teachers to the Duke Energy coal ash spill in the Dan River.  You could say the people are demanding a lot these days.

PT: What is the next step?

MH: Next is a massive initiative to register voters and make sure voters have their state-issued ID, which is now a requirement to vote because of the new anti-voter laws that passed last summer.  There will be a 50th Anniversary of “Freedom Summer” initiative which will be heavy on the voter registration front.  And the coal ash spill has become a tremendous issue — there will likely be an NAACP event in Eden at the Dan spill site.

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3 thoughts on “Moral Monday movement for justice in North Carolina

  1. MY GENERATION
    FROM MY BOOK: THE PARTY OF SCROOGE:

    There were many great boomers so this rant was mainly for the Republicans, CEO’s and the Rich that are out to destroy America. We have to add in Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan and Rand Paul (Ayn Rand disciples). Those three are just plain horrible humans and godless.

    Can anyone name anything that the Conservatives are doing to move the Country Forward. All their Policies are written by the ALEC Corporation and pushed by the U S Chamber of Commerce. Not a single one is good for the working people of this Country. Privatizing what is owned and paid for by the People is not moving Forward it is moving back to the Dark Ages of Dickens (Scrooge the one before the ghosts gave him a second chance, time for the ghost to visit this current bunch that call themselves Republicans / Tea Party / Libertarian.

    MY GENERATION

    I was born in 1946 and I am a Baby Boomer. We were the Hippies, rock and roll and we will change the world. We listen to JFK and joined the Peace Corps, we saw man walk on the Moon the world was ours to make better.

    “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”
    John F. Kennedy

    “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable… Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals”
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total; of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.”
    Robert Kennedy

    John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, died so that we would have a better country and now the Right Wing extremist want to end everything they stood for.

    Makes this election is so important because what they stood for is what makes America the envy of the World.

    My generation, where are we taking this country?

    My parent’s generation was called the “Greatest”:

    They gave us so many things:
    **They fought to give us unions: — 40 hour work week — Benefits — Vacations — Safety at the work place and many, many other wonderful things that improve the quality of our worker’s and family’s lives.
    **They gave us women’s rights that gave women the right to vote.
    **They ended children being exploited in the work force.
    **They gave us a education system better than any in the world.
    **They fought a war that kept the world free.
    **They gave us Social Security.
    **They gave us Medicare and many safety nets.
    **They gave us Civil Rights.
    **They gave us the science and technology to go to the moon.
    **They gave us technology for the Internet and Freedom to express ourselves.
    **They gave us laws to protect the air and the water.

    We have a party called the Republicans that is run by people from My Generation. Add in a mixture of the GEN X (the me generation) names you might know are Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Rand Paul and the one and only Sarah Palin.

    Note about the Gen X generation is that for at least the republicans they belief in I got mine and the hell with you via (Ayn Rand).

    Paul Ryan budget is all about just that, another word for it is Austerity.

    **They want to control women at every level from jobs to contraception
    **They want to destroy the unions.
    **They want to suppress as many voters and they can.
    **They want to end child labor laws and again exploit children.
    **They want to end the Public Education System.
    **They want to start a WAR in IRAN after they started a illegal war in IRAQ
    **They want to Privatize Social Security
    **They want to destroy Medicare and all the Safety Nets.
    **They want to roll back Civil Rights.
    **They want to end real Science and use right wing ideology
    **They want to end the freedom of the Internet.
    **They want to end the EPA and protection of the Air and water.

    Many times I have heard that there is no difference in the parties to this I came up with this Quote:

    “When we encounter those that say there is no difference in the Parties, one simply puts that nothing that the Democrats support hurts or tries to control people, everything that the GOP supports hurts or tries to control people”

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