North Carolina lawmakers want to use a new gag rule to silence growing Moral Monday protests over their extremist agenda that has attacked voting rights, education, the environment, unemployed workers, health care and women's rights.
The “imminent disturbance” rule allows police to arrest anyone who poses a threat to create a disturbance through chants, singing or anything that might interfere with normal conversation levels at the State Legislative Building in Raleigh. In other words, just the possibility of an “imminent disturbance” could put the civil rights, union, student, environmental and other activists in jeopardy of arrest.
But as this new AFL-CIO video shows, “the greatest moments of America’s history were borne of ‘imminent disturbance’,” from the Boston Tea Party to the women’s suffrage movement to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and more.
Silence the people and you’ve silenced America.
AFL-CIO Communications Director Eric Hauser said:
We stand together with the thousands who have spoken out against these reprehensible rules, and call on North Carolina’s leaders to reverse course and restore the basic rights we fight for every day
For more information, text DISTURB to 235246 (data and message rates may apply).
In a related development, members of the Moral Monday movement staged a special lobby day at the State Legislative Building Tuesday urging lawmakers to “repent for their immoral actions last summer and to repeal these disastrous laws that are hurting our state’s most vulnerable.”
When House Speaker Thom Tillis (R)—who is also running for the U.S. Senate—refused to meet with them, more than a dozen staged a sit-in in his office at about noon. After legislative police ordered the sit-in’s supporters and a large group of media to leave the area that evening, they arrested 14 of the protesters at about 1:45 a.m. Wednesday, according to news reports.
Moral Monday demonstrators inside House Speaker Thom Tillis' office pic.twitter.com/bHfk1dVzWh— Andy Mattison (@AndynewsAndy) May 27, 2014
The Rev. William Barber, president of the North Carolina NAACP and one of the founders of the Moral Monday movement, said the Moral Monday protests will continue:
Speaker Thom Tillis and his aides have refused to engage in a serious discussion over the deep and weighty issues, and now they are playing a waiting game in hopes that we will lose heart, pack up and go home. But we are not here to play games. These are serious, life-and-death questions. Where can the unemployed go for help? Where can those hardworking North Carolinians without health care access go? Where can those who have been disenfranchised go?