We in the Moral Monday Movement had planned to walk through the General Assembly Building Monday afternoon and deliver letters to legislators asking them to reconsider the harmful laws they passed last year.
They knew we were coming, so they locked all the doors. Members of the House were in the building, but they didn’t want any contact with us, so we marched around the building.
Rev. William Barber said he saw legislators in the building and waved to them, but he got no response.
So the 100 or so people carrying letters asking the members of the legislature to expand Medicaid, force Duke Energy to clean up its coal ash mess and stop fracking tucked the letters into the door handles. We walked up the hill to the state house, but the governor wasn’t there, so 11 brave souls sat down to wait for him. After a couple hours, they were handcuffed, given citations and released.
Look, I’m not a fan of theatrics, but we need to show the people of this state that their elected representatives are unresponsive to the people.
I have tried repeatedly to meet with several leaders, but because I’m not in their districts, they dismiss my requests. Tim Moffitt, my representative, is the only Republican who will meet with me. I can’t sway him even a tiny bit, but at least he doesn’t run away when he sees me coming.
We in the Moral Mondays crowd only ask that leaders meet with us to discuss issues, and they have refused. They have run away from us, locked us up and locked us out. They have called us names and said insulting things about us.
We are not going to back down.
After we were locked out of the GA Building, and after the 11 were released, we marched around the state house seven times — our symbolic Jericho.
A couple hundred of us were back on Wednesday to talk to legislators about Medicaid Expansion.
My first stop was Tim Moffitt, who, as usual, welcomed me into his office. We always are civil, even though we disagree. He said he thought the liberals were being hypocritical by demonstrating now, since we didn’t do this while Democrats were in power.
I explained to him that HKonJ has been demonstrating on Jones Street for years — long before 2010 — but the Democrats were willing to meet with us and talk to us. Sometimes, we even managed to move them to action. So far, Speaker Thom Tillis has refused to talk to us and has in fact, run away from us. The governor won’t met with us. So far, all he has done is offer us cookies, as though we’re a bunch of preschoolers who don’t understand the issues.
If we could meet with these leaders, we certainly wouldn’t go to these lengths.
I don’t give a damn what party these people belong to; they have politicized things that should have nothing to do with politics.
This movement isn’t about right versus left; it’s about right versus wrong.
It’s wrong to deny access to health care for 500,000 people and to let some 2,400 of them die each year. It’s wrong to disenfranchise voters as the new law does. It’s wrong to cut Medicaid, to cut food stamps and unemployment. It’s wrong to allow big energy giants to poison our water, land and air.
Still, they lock us out, lock us up and run from us when we try to speak to them. They mock us, but there is fear in their voices and in their eyes.
We stand for economic and social justice and we will not back down.