This morning, before the General Assembly opened for the short session at noon,

about 100 Moral Monday protesters, many of them grandmothers, gathered in front

of the legislative building on Jones Street for a press conference.

Reverend William Barber, head of the NC NAACP spoke, as did

Minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove of St. John’s Missionary

Baptist Church, and Bishop Darrin Moore of A.M.E. Zion church.

“We are the sons and daughters of Fannie Lou Hammer. We are the legacy,” Reverend

Barber bellowed.

“Next week we reclaim the General Assembly. It’s our house. Whether we’ll be arrested, that’s

up to them, not us. We’re calling on everyone that comes to bring a placard.”

Moral Monday is set to re-ignite this coming Monday, with a protest on Jones Street

at 5 o clock.

In response to a question about the most important issue facing the General

Assembly during the short session, Reverend Barber responded,

“We don’t want to separate our issues. We want to show the intersectionality of these issues—

women’s rights, worker’s rights, voter disenfranchisement, Art Pope. 945 people went

to jail challenging the laws of a Southern state We are gonna stay unified.”

“Not one piece of legislation passed last year has stood up for average people. It is immoral

to constantly stand against the most vulnerable,” Bishop Darrin Moore said.

The AFL-CIO had organized a pots & spoons protest across the street, modeled after the

radical caceralozos that have swept through Latin America in the past decade. About 60 or

70 Raging Grannies, union members, and activists banged on pots and pans, the noise piercing

the legislative building where lawmakers had begun to gather.

Across the street, a small gathering of representatives from Americans for Prosperity NC and

Carolina Rising handed out earplugs in counter-protest.

“While the opponents of tax reform, educational freedom, and job creation are angrily banging on pots like young children, members of our legislature, their staff, and others are trying to keep North Carolina moving towards a brighter future,” said Donald Bryson, Deputy State Director of Americans for Prosperity.

“We want to encourage them to ignore the noise and stay on track. They’ve got important work to do expanding educational freedom so more children can go to quality schools, passing budget reform, and cutting the red tape that prevents job creation. If the AFL-CIO is really concerned about workers, then they should be celebrating the job creation going on in North Carolina – not protesting the policies that let it happen.”

Dallas Woodhouse, a former state director for Americans for Prosperity NC and now head of a group called Carolina Rising said, “There’s a lot of noise out here—these policies are working. We’re getting people back to work.”