Sunday, June 16, 2013

Seventh Moral Monday Lifts Up Health and Environmental Justice


16 June 2013

For More Information:            Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, President, 919-394-8137

                                                Mrs. Amina J. Turner, Executive Director, 919-682-4700

For Media Assistance:             Rob Stephens, Field Secretary, 336-577-9335


Emboldened by Divisive Language of Ultra-Conservative Leadership

RALEIGH - The Seventh Moral Monday, on June 17, 2013, will focus on the deadly attacks against the environment and health care system.  "A group of people committed to an ideologically extreme and immoral agenda have turned our legislature into a house of disdain for the poor and vulnerable of North Carolina," said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the NC NAACP.  "They have rammed through a slash and burn program that virtually all scientists believe will lead to the disastrous consequences for the health of our planet and our people." 

            People from all over North Carolina will gather outside the NC General Assembly on Halifax Mall, 300 N. Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC for a rally at 5:00 pm.  Some will remain on the Mall protesting the attack on our environment and our health care system.  Some -- after much prayer and consulting their own consciences -- will walk into the People's House and exercise their constitutional right to instruct their legislators and petition them for redress of their grievances. 

BACKGROUND: During last week's Sixth Moral Monday, 84 people tried to bring their concerns to their legislators, but were arrested, apparently by the order of the two men who control the People's House, Thom Tillis and Phil Berger.  Two days later, at the Wednesday Witness, they apparently ordered the arrest of eight more people -- three local elected officials, four NAACP branch presidents, the 1st Vice President of the NC NAACP, three people with disabilities, a grandfather and his 19-year old grandson. The eight witnesses were arrested for holding small photos of civil rights martyrs Medgar Evers and the four Sunday School girls who were blown up by the Klan, in the bloody 1963 struggle to win the precious right to vote - only 50 years ago.  The NAACP reports that over 400 people have been arrested in the six Moral Mondays, Wednesday Witness and a protest led by students on May Day of this year. What began as a few dozen supporters on the first wave of Moral Mondays has grown to thousands coming out during the past few weeks to demand an end to the extreme attacks on civil, labor and human rights.

            "This General Assembly rejected our own tax dollars coming back to North Carolina, because it is associated with their despised "Obamacare." Their resentment of the President is so deep, so irrational, that they want to deny health care to over 500,000 poor and working people in North Carolina.  Their love for private corporate monopolies, on the other hand is so great, they want to poison the air we breathe, the soil we farm in, our beautiful rivers and bays and streams and roll back critical environmental protections," said Rev. Barber.

            "Poisoning God's creation is not only a sin, it also causes more people to get sick.  We will have to care for them in our emergency rooms, our jails, and our prisons," Rev. Barber continued.  "Countless North Carolinians are one accident or health problem away from poverty. Our children have the God-given right to grow up in a healthy place-whether they are the children of Republicans, Democrats, rich, poor, white, black or Latino."

            "We will continue to demand an end to the Tea Party, cookie-cutter legislation created by outside dumb down-tanks," Rev. Barber said. "We cannot help but smile at the ridiculous rhetoric spewing from their propaganda ministers, calling us "morons" and "outsiders."  But it is tragic that they would pull language from racist, segregationist southern leaders like Governor George Wallace to discredit a moral and diverse movement for more democracy and justice than they would care for. Or terms like "moron" which were the same they used to justify the brutal eugenics program. If they would take off their blinders, pull out their ear plugs, and take a moment to meet with us, they would see we are white, black, Latino, young, old, clergy, workers, veterans, professors, students, elected officials, people with disabilities, and that we love North Carolina, our home. We will continue to pray for the Governor and Legislative leadership to turn from their immoral public policy and begin to govern for the good of the whole, not of the few."


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.


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