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 Hundreds gathered in a candlelight vigil outside the North Carolina Capitol building Monday evening calling on Governor Pat McCroary to accept defeat. (Photo: Priya/Twitter)

Hundreds gathered in a candlelight vigil outside the North Carolina Capitol building Monday evening calling on Governor Pat McCroary to accept defeat. (Photo: Priya/Twitter)

Moral Monday Movement Vows to Defend Victory Over Right-Wing Governor

State-level battle offers a glimpse into how a resistance movement could blossom under a GOP-led Congress and a President Donald Trump

Lauren McCauley

Vowing mass civil disobedience if North Carolina's Republican governor attempts to thwart the will of the people and "steal this election," hundreds gathered in a candlelight vigil outside the North Carolina Capitol building Monday evening.

Governor Pat McCrory, who lost in the November election to Attorney General Roy Cooper by roughly 9,700 votes but has refused to concede, has been the subject of demonstrations throughout his tenure. His policies have crippled public education, anti-poverty, and health programs, while he oversaw some of the most blatant state-sanctioned discrimination efforts, in the form of the anti-LGBTQ "hate bill" HB2 as well as the state's discriminatory voter ID law.

Addressing McCrory before the crowd on Monday, Rev. William Barber, head of the state NAACP and leader of the Moral Monday movement, declared: "[A]fter four years the people took your report card and failed you."

In the run up to November's election, North Carolina was the site of a fierce voter suppression effort. Meanwhile, the state GOP was caught celebrating low early voting turnout by African Americans. 

"The ways of the Old South are changing here," Barber continued. "Governor, you might as well change with it."

But, as the News & Observer explained, McCrory has refused to accept his loss. Rather,

McCrory and other Republican officials have alleged potential voting irregularities across the state. They have homed in on Durham County, where the count of 94,000 votes was delayed on election night because of a computer malfunction, and Bladen County, where it appears volunteers helped people fill out ballots without disclosing they had done that.  McCrory has said he will not call for a statewide recount if a hand count of ballots in Durham is conducted. 

"If you try to steal this election, we will have mass civil disobedience," Barber vowed.

For many, the battle raging between North Carolina's Republican old guard, which held complete control for the past four years, and the growing coalition of minority, labor, and religious groups offers a glimpse into how a resistance movement could blossom under a GOP-led Congress and a President Donald Trump.

"Four years ago, when Republicans took control of N.C. government, the progressive movement here was weak and despairing," "Now, it's found a voice, and it's a powerful one. That's not a North Carolina phenomenon, by the way."

As the demonstrators made clear on Monday evening, they would not be governed by "hate and fear," but would persevere in the name of "justice and equality."


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