Local 1199 members came from New York to be arrested, and at least 1,000 teachers mobilized for the final Monday. (Photo by Ajamu Dillahunt.)
From Southern Studies:
Since April North Carolina has made national and international news with a remarkable social movement that has gathered thousands to protest, with nearly 1,000 arrests for civil disobedience.
The Forward Together Movement, led by the North Carolina NAACP, showed up at the General Assembly in Raleigh for 13 consecutive Mondays while the Republican/Tea Party-controlled legislature was in session.
Although 17 clergy members made up the first wave of arrestees, the activists who formed the backbone of the actions were part of the six-year-old, NAACP-led HKonJ Coalition (Historic Thousands on Jones St. — site of the legislature), which had mobilized thousands to the Capitol every February for a 14-point progressive agenda.
It includes civil rights, labor, environmental, and other social and economic justice groups. With each Moral Monday, more groups and thousands of individuals joined the ranks.
Each week displayed a different theme. After a rally, those who intended to risk arrest and their supporters entered the legislative building and stood outside the Senate chambers singing, chanting, and praying. When they refused to disperse, they were arrested.
The NAACP leads the Forward Together Movement, but has mobilized thousands of white middle-class residents in addition to its historic Black constituency. Those who filled the grounds outside the General Assembly and those who entered the building to be arrested were majority white, as is the state as a whole.