Raleigh, NC – "Whose house? Our house!" That was the chant voiced by over 5000 North Carolinians who came to Raleigh June 24 to protest the right-wing agenda and unjust laws being passed by the Republican-controlled North Carolina legislature.
The June 24 rally was the eighth wave of Moral Monday protests organized by Reverend William Barber and the North Carolina NAACP. It was largest so far. The wave of protests began on April 29, with a protest of about 100 people and 15 arrests. Since then, protests of thousands and arrests of 80 to 100 people are a common occurrence on any given Monday afternoon in Raleigh. 120 people were arrested for civil disobedience June 24, bringing the total to over 600 arrests in these waves of demonstrations.
The focus of the June 24 protest was labor, women and economic justice. United Electrical Workers Local 150, the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, Southern Workers Assembly, SEIU, Communication Workers of America and NC Association of Educators were among the unions represented at the protest. The AFL-CIO issued a call for all unions to mobilize for the demonstration. NC AFL-CIO president James Andrews joined the group of protesters who were arrested for civil disobedience.
Speakers denounced the legislature's attacks on workers' rights, as well as the right-wing attacks on women. "When it comes to control of a woman's body, who decides? She decides, not politicians!" said one speaker to loud applause from the crowd.
People need to protest, said Linda Suggs, a member of Black Workers for Justice and the Alliance for Retired Americans. "Unjust policies are being passed day by day, minute by minute, hour by hour. But we are not taking it lying down, no way!"