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For 'Moral Monday' Organizers, A National Vision

'As North Carolina goes, so goes the nation'

- Common Dreams staff

Protestors Michael McLean (blue) and William Haney (plaid) cheer with thousands of other protestors gathered outside the General Assembly this summer. (Photo: H. Scott Hoffmann/News & Record)As the far-right legislative agenda spreads, so does the "moral" response.

North Carolina residents are gearing up for a February 8 "Moral March" they say will be the state's largest yet as Georgia residents plan to take up "Moral Monday" mobilizations in their own state.

Organized by the NAACP, Historic Thousands on Jones Street, and a host of labor and community organizations, North Carolina's rally is being billed as an "anti-racism, anti-poverty, pro-labor, deeply moral, forward together moral movement" according to a promotional flyer.

"We're saying to people of conscience that if you believe that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, show up," North Carolina NAACP president Rev. William Barber told reporters in a Wednesday conference call, according to BET. "If you understand that what happens in North Carolina has implications for the future of the nation, show up."

The march aims to build on the mass "Moral Monday" protests that shook the state last year, mobilizing thousands and leading to at least 900 arrests in acts of civil disobedience.

Protesters will take on the onslaught of far-right reforms in a state that has been dominated by the GOP since 2010. This includes a repeal of the state's Racial Justice Act, which makes it illegal to pursue the death penalty based on racial bias, as well as a flurry of measures to erode workers' rights, social programs, early voting, and school resources.

Civil rights advocates say that this fight is not North Carolina's alone.

"As North Carolina goes, so goes the nation. This is not simply a local movement. It's one that's catching hold across the country and we expect to see things improve over the next year as we begin prepare for the November elections," declared NAACP national board member Carolyn Quilloin Coleman.

It appears that others are heeding their call.

On January 13, Georgia residents will converge at a state legislative session to stage a "Moral Monday" mobilizations of their own to protest a flurry of far-right state reforms, including blocking Medicaid expansion in the state, restrictions of voting rights, and school privatization.

Georgia resident and activist with the American Friends Service Committee, Occupy Atlanta, and Occupy Homes Tim Franzen told The GA Voice he is thrilled that the Moral Monday protests are coming to his state.

“We've been really inspired and it's like nothing we've seen since the civil rights movement,” he said. “It has forced people in North Carolina and all over the country to look at state budgets not as a random shopping list but as a list of our moral priorities.”

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