If you opened a restaurant and were greeted to positive reviews and growing crowds of customers, what would you do as a good businessman?
Things aren’t much different in the protest business for organizers of the North Carolina “Moral Monday” protests against the Republican-backed legislative agenda that would hurt the poor, middle class, students, and environment.
Consequently, the planners of Moral Mondays have announced they will expand their presence at the state capitol and begin a new protest called “Witness Wednesdays.” This coming Wednesday, demonstration organizers say they will return to the state capitol to continue their push against the conservative slate of proposed laws.
Comparing the actions of state leaders to the “George Wallaces of the 21st century,” Rev. William Barber II (pictured with cane), said the Monday and Wednesday protests are designed to keep people informed about the high stakes at risk in North Carolina and beyond.
“We had been successful in creating a new electorate with new progressive voting laws. We put holes in the solid South and created a new coalition and that’s why we are seeing this attack,” said Barber, head of the NAACP State Conference and a leader in the protest movement.
Barber said this first Wednesday protest, which is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights worker Medgar Evers, will highlight voter registration efforts to be conducted throughout the state during the summer.
A multi-racial coalition of clergy, students, civil rights advocates, and everyday people have been staging protests outside the statehouse in Raleigh for the past six weeks.
The crowds have grown from a few dozen the first week to a few thousand this past Monday.
The demonstrations, which have gained national news media attention and a strong online viewership, have been accompanied by pre-planned arrests after acts of civil disobedience. Those numbers have also swelled over the past six weeks.
Because the Conservative legislative agenda weakens access to health care, restricts voting rights, eases restrictions on the death penalty, reduces funding for the state university system, increases taxes on staple items like food, and weakens environmental laws.
Watch MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry feature the North Carolina protests here:
Dr. Charles Vander Hoff, a University of North Carolina professor and AIDS researcher, was arrested last month during a protest, and he took action because the proposals are “attacking every group.”
Vander Hoff added that cuts to Medicaid means some women in North Carolina won’t have access to prenatal care and early childhood care.
“I just couldn’t stay quiet anymore. They are hurting my patients,” Vander Hoff said.