Moral Mondays and now Truth and Justice Tuesdays

A reader sent me this:

The Moral Monday movement to protest changes in North Carolina public policy that organizers believe are extreme and hurt the state won’t abate in 2014 and will spread to other states, its leader said. Activists from a dozen states attended a meeting in Raleigh earlier this month to learn how to hold similar protests in their states.

“There is no stopping this deep, moral, constitutional critique of public policy,” said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state chapter of the NAACP, which began the protests. “It is a must.”

Among those attending the meeting in Raleigh was Democratic state Sen. Hank Sanders of Alabama, where groups were already holding Truth and Justice Tuesdays based on Moral Mondays. Georgia also plans to demonstrate against laws there.

More than 930 people, including Barber, were arrested during the 2013 legislative session as part of the protests as they moved weekly from the outdoors into the Legislative Building. After the session ended, the NAACP held events across the state, including Asheville, where an estimated 10,000 people showed up. Barber, who was convicted of two counts related to the protest earlier this month, is appealing the District Court judge’s decision.

The protests will continue next year starting with a planned march in downtown Raleigh on Feb. 8 and continuing when the North Carolina General Assembly goes back into session next May 14, Barber said.

The Moral Mondays protests will spread to Atlanta when the legislative session opens in Georgia on Jan. 13, said Tim Franzen, Atlanta economic justice program director for the American Friends Service Committee. “A lot of us are looking at it as a Southern strategy, the kind of Southern strategy that hasn’t existed in many decades,” said Franzen, who also attended the December session in North Carolina.

Art Pope is a conservative activist and wealthy donor who was appointed to a state position in North Carolina. Here’s a great piece from 2011 by Jane Mayer titled “State For Sale”. The state that was sold in 2012 is North Carolina. Art Pope bought it.

Since so many of the Moral Monday citizens were arrested there were public records of the arrests and (one of) Pope’s conservative lobbying groups used those records to create a site to smear the protesters. You can look through that site here. Mr. Pope’s employees had a lot of fun posting the mugshots of their fellow citizens on the smear site.

I’m grateful to the protestors but I’m also grateful to Art Pope for creating and funding such a handy site where these brave folks are all listed in one place.






40 replies
  1. 1
    Summer says:

    Meanwhile in NC, the Civitas Institute filed a Freedom of Information request to get a month’s worth of phone, email, and calendar records of this UNC law professor. But he keeps writing.

    http://www.newsobserver.com/20.....-pain.html

    This post is great news.

  2. 2
    Kay says:

    @Summer:

    It’s a full-bore attack on public education, from K-12 to public colleges and universities. The goal is to privatize…everything, then hand out the contracts to political cronies who will then donate money to buy politicians to continue privatizing. If people thought handing out individual government jobs as political graft was bad, wait until they see how handing out whole government services and sectors for privatization works out. It’ll be an absolute corrupt feeding frenzy. The privatization contracts are much more valuable than any individual state job.

  3. 3
    TAPX486 says:

    As an inmate (I don’t really think citizen applies anymore) of NC, I find this very depressing. A big part of the problem remains with the voters however. As long as they keep voting for weasels like McCrory then this is what happens. After all that has happened at the state and federal level this year the GOP is still a competitive if not dominate party in much of the nation. At the moment they probably will retain control of the US house and will gain control of the Senate. If the electorate continues to vote against their economic interests then so be it. It is a democracy (sort of) after all. So to all of the folks who voted for the GOP starvation agenda you made your bed now sleep in it. If on the other hand you don’t like to see kids go hungry or people die from lack of access to medical care there is a choice. The D’s might not be the ‘answer to a maiden’s prayer’ but they sure beat the GOP

  4. 4
    C.V. Danes says:

    It’s good to see that at least some of the people aren’t going down without a fight.

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay:

    Agreed. How well it will fare, in a state with well-educated blue enclaves, remains to be seen.

    I’m hoping to do some volunteering in NC this election season. In Virginia, Democrats just swept all top offices (thanks, Ken Cuccinelli — Terry Mac could not have done it without you). Mark Warner’s up for re-election, but probably pretty safe.

    So that leaves neighbors NC and (sort of) Kentucky available for some drive-in campaigning.

    North Carolina is too beautiful a state, and has many wonderful people, and does not deserve to be an Art Pope playground.

  6. 6
    Keith G says:

    “Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.”

    -Henry David Thoreau

  7. 7
    burnspbesq says:

    @Summer:

    That’s one Heel this Dookie can get behind.

    Kay Hagan is another.

    P.S. Eat mor Aggie!

  8. 8
    Betsy says:

    NC is a purple state. It got bought. I want you all reading this to remember that. It can happen in other purple states.

    Thanks for this, Kay.

  9. 9
    Kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I wonder about it too.

    I lived in Wilmington, NC for a time and I recall they were enormously proud of their public universities. I worked for this wealthy southerner who drank too much and “ran” the family greenhouse business, which was really more of a family hobby. Anyway, he hired me to actually run it. We spent a ridiculous amount of time together, partly because he kept losing his driver’s license for various infractions so I drove him around as part of my duties. He wasn’t at all a wingnut or plutocrat, although he self-identified as “conservative”.

  10. 10
    Davo says:

    As a loyal democratic voter, stuck in Raliegh, full of shame and embarrassment… Thank you for helping to bring and keep this petrie dish of wingnut bullshit in the national dialogue.

  11. 11
    Summer says:

    @Kay: I agree, Kay. And as one who has worked for a private university in a corrupt society, I’m fairly frightened by the prospect of their success.

    Campaign finance reform. Everything comes from that.

  12. 12
    Gene108 says:

    Kay, the Jane Mayer article is a post-mortem review of how Republican leaders, like Ed Gillespie, decided to leverage the Citizen’s United decision to flip state legislatures in 2010; it is not foreshadowing Art Pope’s role in the 2012 election per se.

    It is a good long read on the fact that despite general Republican stupidity there are some very smart and ruthless people with the ability to shape elections still alive and kicking.

    Also worth reading up on Operation Red State, which the article refers to (the use of CU in 2010) because it got a bit of attention by the MSM in 2010, but I do not think Democrats really picked up on it as a threat.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    @Summer:

    Barber’s story is itself compelling, because he changed position on “social issues” in response to his realization that there were immediate economic threats and he needed/wanted this BROAD coalition. That’s a great story! Pope must be furious, them seizing the high moral ground and all :)

  14. 14
    kc says:

    Thanks, Kay. I’m happy to see that the movement is spreading, though I doubt appeals to morality will work at all on modern conservatives, who seem to all think that poor people deserve their fate.

  15. 15
    Gene108 says:

    @TAPX486:

    The sad fact is a lot of our fellow voters approve of what Republicans are doing.

    There is no way around this.

    Why?

    I do not really know, but it is what it is. I do not see any way to change the minds of existing voters.

    The only hope is getting more people believing there vote matters and turning them out every election.

  16. 16
    Gene108 says:

    @Kay:

    I grew up in NC.

    North Carolinians are proud of the fact they live in a better run state than South Carolina. They also view it as a blot on their good name of “Carolina” that they have to share it with those bums in SC.

  17. 17
    TAPX486 says:

    @Gene108: yep. as long as an election can be decided by a committed reactionary 19% of the electorate there isn’t much that can be done. The solution of course is to get 20% of the progressive electorate to turn out. As long as an ‘Obama doesn’t walk on water so I won’t vote’ mind set results in progressives staying home we will continue to have 2010 type elections

  18. 18
    kc says:

    @Gene108:

    North Carolinians are proud of the fact they live in a better run state than South Carolina. They also view it as a blot on their good name of “Carolina” that they have to share it with those bums in SC.

    Well, then, they’d better stop sinking to our level (SC native here).

  19. 19
    Mike in NC says:

    @Kay:

    The goal is to privatize…everything, then hand out the contracts to political cronies who will then donate money to buy politicians to continue privatizing.

    Indeed. North Carolina has a modest (4 locations, started in the 1970s) and popular state aquarium system to educate kids and promote conservation and push other wicked commie ideas. Thanks to the GOP, they’re jacking up attendance fees some 50% in 2014, and the ultimate goal is of course to sell them off for a profit to private buyers.

    We don’t need no stinkin’ fish tanks!

  20. 20
    gbear says:

    Just wanted to highlight a story in the Minneapolis paper about a Catholic Church whistleblower being named the person of the year by The National Catholic Reporter. She kept trying to report abuse by priests to Archbishop John Nienstedt (who put a lot of money and effort into blocking the same-sex marriage movement in MN) and he kept telling her to shut up, so she quit and went public with the info. I hope this does a lot of damage to Niestedt and forces him out of the church and the public eye.

    http://www.startribune.com/loc.....91491.html

  21. 21
    Glidwrith says:

    @Gene108: Agreed. Some might be salvaged, but the toxic 18% heartily approve of all of it. Just finished the familial Xmas visit in which I was informed that black men don’t like to wear condoms and leave babies littered all over the landscape. There are reasons I live as far away from them as possible.

  22. 22
    Mike in NC says:

    @Gene108:

    North Carolinians are proud of the fact they live in a better run state than South Carolina. They also view it as a blot on their good name of “Carolina” that they have to share it with those bums in SC.

    SC Governor Nikki Haley is one of several politicians there that are still pending ethics investigations for various reasons. She took time out to show reporters and supporters the new Beretta handgun that her husband thoughtfully gave her for Christmas. No mention was made if she wears it around the state capital.

  23. 23

    @TAPX486:

    Part of the reason people voted for McCrony (or just stayed home) is that his opponent was Walter Dalton who (a) barely seemed to be campaigning at all and (b) still had the stink of the feckless and floundering Bev Perdue all over him. It is of such weak Dem candidates and campaigns that debacles like this are made.

    All that said, Mike Easley’s helicopter rides seem like pretty small potatoes compared with the open cronyism and corruption that characterizes the current regime from top to bottom.

  24. 24
    Kay says:

    @Gene108:

    I definitely got that they were better than South Carolina :)

    I love that stuff, so I was listening for it. It’s true in all states, I think, some variation on that.

    The guy who owned the greenhouse had an elderly aunt I used to, um, LISTEN TO (I don’t think you can call one-way a conversation) and she had this whole theory how people from the coastal areas were different (and better!) than people from the mountain part of the state. The mountain part of the state of course feels the same way about the lowlander beach bums, I later learned.

  25. 25
    jayboat says:

    I grew up in North Carolina and still think of it as my home state, although I haven’t been there but a few times in the last 10 years. Very sad to see what has happened. When does the backlash come for all this blatant idiocy? Until we really and truly start holding the media responsible for doing their damned jobs, this will only get worse.

    It’s a shame that ignorance isn’t painful.

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gene108:
    @Kay:

    North Carolinians are proud of the fact they live in a better run state than South Carolina. They also view it as a blot on their good name of “Carolina” that they have to share it with those bums in SC.

    Meh. I had this wonderful prof of American Intellectual History (yes) who was lecturing us about how colonial Virginians regarded the North Carolinians at their southern border as “stump jumpers.”

    Carolinas are Carolinas.

    Why yes. It was a public Virginia college.

  27. 27
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Civitas is a filthy, filthy operation. Art Pope has a stench around him.

    I sorta kinda understand the desire from rank-and-file state GOPers to settle scores: NC’s Dem political hierarchy got pretty complacent and self-serving in recent years, like the blue-dog Dems of many states. But what NC got instead is a fucked-up political experiment, combined with some wicked gerrymandering.

    @kc:

    North Carolinians are proud of the fact they live in a better run state than South Carolina.

    That 225-year losing streak in “Worst Carolina of the Year” is precious, and under threat.

  28. 28
    Cacti says:

    I lived in NC for about 11 years and still have family there. It’s been sad to watch the place transform into upper-South Carolina.

  29. 29
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @jayboat:

    When does the backlash come for all this blatant idiocy?

    There are plenty of GOP voters who still in the “just desserts” stage, and will support anything that makes Dems suffer even if it hurts themselves. They haven’t yet worked out that instead of getting retributive good ol’ boy politics, they’ve actually elected a bunch of shock-doctrine radicals who are going to sell off public assets, seize the authority of municipalities, and shit all over the few modest things that distinguish NC from Other Carolina.

    The Raleigh News and Observer is doing good reporting on McCrory’s cronies, but most NC media basically ignores state politics.

  30. 30
    cleek says:

    i saw a truck today with a little window sticker that said “MORE ART / LESS POPE”.

    probably very confusing to people outside of NC.

  31. 31
    cleek says:

    @jayboat:

    When does the backlash come for all this blatant idiocy?

    11 months from now. hopefully.

  32. 32
    TAPX486 says:

    @J.D. Rhoades: True but Martin Luther is reputed to have said he would rather be ruled by an honest Turk (i.e. Muslim) than a crooked Christian. I’ll take a weak D any day over the GOP which seems to be intent on returning to the age of Dickinson London.

  33. 33
    Mike E says:

    @TAPX486: Yep, I’ll be G’ingOTV, join in or leave already.

    Rank and file Repubs voters are pissed off at the bait’n switch they got hoodwinked into and vengeance will be theirs. NC is like no other electorate, and I’m getting tired pointing this out. I’ll shut up now and get to work.

  34. 34
    Shakezula says:

    Do the Pope Smear critters follow tradition and accuse the MM people of attending Commie Training Camps and holding orgies?

  35. 35
    Ben Cisco says:

    The Charlotte Observer comments section on any story remotely pointing to the Pope State Regency would be filled with diatribes punching hippies and thanking this foul lot for “saving” the state. Not so much so now that they’ve gone to FaceyBinder-only commenting, but still.

    Even feed hogs don’t actively slit their own throats..

  36. 36

    @Betsy:

    NC is a purple state. It got bought. I want you all reading this to remember that. It can happen is happening in other purple states.

    FTFY. I can’t think of what else to call the situation in Detroit.

  37. 37
    Libby's person says:

    I plan to be in Raleigh on February 8 for the first Moral Monday protest of 2014, and I’ll attend as many of them as possible. Around 10,000 people (a realistic estimate, not an overly optimistic one) attended the last one, at the end of the legislative session. (The friendliest, nicest angry mob it’s ever been my privilege to be a part of!) The growing crowds week after week were starting to have an impact then; there are a LOT of us in NC who are determined to recapture that momentum and make sure that people in NC and elsewhere know what’s going on, and who is responsible for it.

  38. 38
    James E Powell says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Wisconsin, also too.

  39. 39
    VidaLoca says:

    @J.D. Rhoades:

    Part of the reason people voted for McCrony (or just stayed home) is that his opponent was Walter Dalton who (a) barely seemed to be campaigning at all and (b) still had the stink of the feckless and floundering Bev Perdue all over him. It is of such weak Dem candidates and campaigns that debacles like this are made.

    This is literally, and word-for-word, what happened to us in Wisconsin:

    Part of the reason people voted for Walker (or just stayed home) is that his opponent — not once but twice! — was Tom Barrett who (a) barely seemed to be campaigning at all and (b) still had the stink of the feckless and floundering Jim Doyle all over him. It is of such weak Dem candidates and campaigns that debacles like this are made.

    I’ll add another related point, in response to the comment above about “economic interests” of working-class voters who vote for Republicans. I will lay good odds that I can walk into any small-town bar (or city bar where there are cities) between central Ozaukee County (just north of Milwaukee) all the way up to the Michigan border and get the same refrain from 6-7 of every 10 guys I talk to: “My property taxes just went down this year and that’s thanks to Scott Walker. Scott Walker just cut my property taxes twenty dollars. Yes he did. He promised he’d cut my taxes and he did. That’s what Republicans do, they follow through on their promises. Did Jim Doyle ever cut my property taxes? No. Fucking Democrats, they never follow through on shit. Scott Walker keeps his promises. Twenty dollars, swear to god.” I did this some of this research back in my younger days: you literally hear this a lot.

    Now, Doyle may actually have cut this chump’s taxes at some point but sadly the chump can’t remember much longer than it takes to drink his next beer. So that’s water over the dam. What our chump is right about is that Doyle and the Democrats ran the state for 8 years and I would be very hard pressed to name one fucking thing that working-class people have to show for it. And, more importantly, so would our chump. Whereas everyone, including our chump, can point to what Walker and the Republicans have done. And our chump thinks he’s up $20 so life is good. He is correct about 2 things:
    1.Walker is following through on his promises.
    2.The Democrats didn’t do shit when they could have done shit.

    So our chump, in his mind, is benefiting from the Republicans. Who pays? Poor people of color in Milwaukee pay the most, that’s who. Does our chump care? No he does not care. He might care more if he realized that he’s actually losing a lot too, but that fact is not immediately apparent. Nevertheless, it’s important for activists to understand that this is not stupid or irrational if we’re going to do anything about addressing it because it ferdamsure isn’t going to address itself and saying “well, they voted for Walker, fuck ’em” is only a way of washing our hands while we’re blaming the victims.

    What you have here in Wisconsin is a united front between the right wing of the Republican party and a large sector of de-classed working-class white people, and what holds the united front together is white privilege: the costs always get externalized onto poorest people in the state and the Republicans successfully display this as a feature, not a bug, of their rule.

    If the Democrats want to win here (and I’ll take a random guess, if they want to win in North Carolina too) they’ll have to confront the privilege that lies at the heart of the Republicans’ rule. Then, they’ll have to start organizing seriously to turn their program into a social force. Until they do, “It is of such weak Dem candidates and campaigns that debacles like this are made.”

  40. 40
    kc says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    That 225-year losing streak in “Worst Carolina of the Year” is precious, and under threat.

    I’d always thought I could emigrate to NC if things got much worse here. But now . . .

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