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Moral Monday protest demands Justice for Trayvon Martin; stands with NC women

By Sarah Buchner |
July 18, 2013
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Raleigh, NC - On Monday, July 15, over 1500 rallied at the capitol again for the 11th installment of Moral Monday, chanting, “Forward together, not one step back!” Organized by the NAACP (http://www.naacpnc.org/), this week’s rally was focused on demanding an end to the Republican legislature’s attacks on women and demanding an end to racial oppression.

Hundreds of people held signs saying “Justice for Trayvon!” and “Stop the war on Black America!” One young woman gave a passionate speech, “All of us here are resisting a system of white supremacy that killed Trayvon Martin. This system - that demands no remorse or empathy from racist murders, that kills and incarcerates and brutalizes bodies of color - is in action in our state right now. We can see it in the repeal of the Racial Justice Act, the racists’ redistricting plans, in the voter ID laws and the end of unemployment benefits.”

Holly Jorden, a high school teacher from Durham declared, “I teach hundreds of kids like Trayvon every day, and the message about themselves that this verdict sends absolutely breaks my heart. Now society is not just sending a negative message to Black boys - it’s doing the same thing to Latina girls, Native girls, Asian girls, white girls and the many Black girls that I teach. These young women are being told who they are and are not - what they can and cannot become. When the legislature takes away a woman’s freedom to control her own body, when they limit her vote, when they take away unemployment benefits and her access to health care when they take money away from her schools, they are telling that woman she is unworthy. They are telling her that her needs and voice do not matter.”

The July 15 rally came on the heels of a devastating week for women’s rights in North Carolina, where the legislature snuck anti-abortion language at the last minute into an anti-sharia law bill (HB 695 http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/House/PDF/H695v4.pdf) and then onto a motorcycle safety bill (SB 353 http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/Senate/PDF/S353v3.pdf). This will result in only one clinic, located in Asheville, that would meet the proposed guidelines for the entire state of North Carolina.

Leading up to 7:00 p.m. session, when the House legislators convened to continue their agenda against workers, women, African Americans, Latinos and others, the crowd marched out into the street behind the radical drum line, Cakalak Thunder, shouting “Whose house? Our house!” Those entering the General Assembly risked arrest.

According to the General Assembly’s police chief, 101 new protesters were arrested for acts of civil disobedience, bringing the total to over 850 since the first Moral Monday. The 12th Moral Monday on July 22 will focus on the extreme attacks on voting rights by the leadership in the North Carolina General Assembly.

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