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North Carolina protests against HB2

By Charla Schlueter |
May 15, 2016
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Asheville, NC protest against HB2
Asheville, NC protest against HB2 (Fight Back! News/Staff)

Asheville NC - Dozens of people came out to protest Governor Pat McCory’s bigotry law HB2, May 14. They gathered at Memorial Stadium and marched to a Town Mountain Mansion where McCory meets for an annual open house in Asheville.

“HB2 is one of the most asinine laws we have seen in this country since the Jim Crow,” remarked community activist Tiffany Wilkins. Not only does it criminalize trans people who use the restroom of their gender, it also broadly forbids any discrimination claims to be made at the state level and puts a cap on minimum wage at the state’s unlivable $7.25 per hour.

Over 50 people gathered outside of the mansion carrying signs and chanting things such as, “No hate in our state!” and “When civil rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up fight back!”

Meanwhile a dozen more protesters went inside to confront McCory and the local county commissioners about the hate law, many wearing shirts saying “This is what trans look like.” Gabe, a local transgendered high schooler at Asheville High came personally to tell McCory how sacred he is and hard it is for him being forced legally to use the woman’s restroom.

McCory quickly left, leaving his Republican county commissioner to take the heat about the oppressive law. Mike Fryar, a Buncombe County commissioner “assured” protesters he understood their outrage, because he too experienced oppression from being bald. When an activist from the crowd challenged him that he would never be asked to not eat in a restaurant or refused service for his baldness he responded, “I think that if we just stop talking about the issue people won’t find it one.”

An activist from Black Lives Matter said to this, “You are asking me not to take part in the democratic process of the United States and to just be silent?”

But if Pat McCory thinks he can silence the people he has another thing coming. Citizens are outraged. “In one fell swoop they back tracked us 40 years of progress,” local teacher Melissa Buchanan said. But people are not just sitting back watching. Protests with hundreds of participants have spread like wildfire across North Carolina, from the Raleigh, to Charlotte, and even little towns like Hendersonville, people are standing up for civil rights saying, ‘This is not us!’”

Governor Pat McCory and his republican henchmen shoved HB2 down the throats of the people of North Carolina. Hundreds of protesters have been arrested. Most recently over 50 were arrested staging sit-ins at Raleigh’s capitol building and for refusing to leave House Speaker Tim Moore’s office.

This bill criminalizes and further marginalizes the trans community, it take away what fragile protection they had previously under the law. The Federal Department of Justice has declared that HB2 violates the Civil Rights Act and has given the North Carolina state government an ultimatum: change course or lose federal funding to the state’s public institutions.

We need to keep organizing and fight for equality. It was not about water fountains then and it is not about bathrooms now.

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