In January, Tea Party Republican candidates in North Carolina took control of both chambers of the General Assembly and the Governor's office.
According AddictingInfo.org, the Tea Party Republicans have proposed cutting $200 million in funding for state universities, getting rid of Sunday voting, ending same-day voters’ registration, loosening rules on fracking, refusing federal dollars to expand Medicaid for the poor and establishing an official state religion.
In response, civil rights organizations have begun "Moral Mondays," which is a protest against the Tea Party Republican policies at the state capitol in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Last Monday, 17 people were arrested.
Today, 30 protesters, including members of the NAACP, several professors from Duke University and the University of North Carolina and Charles Van Der Horst (a pioneer in AIDS research and preventative medicine) were arrested for trespassing and disorderly conduct.
According to the News Observer, the protesters “hope to persuade others to rise up with them and raise their voices to a future that might bring a political shift in 2014.”
“We want them to look the people in the eye, the people who won’t get Medicaid, the children who won’t get early childhood education, and tell them what they’re doing, said protester Rev. William Barber. “We say, ‘If your policy is so good, then look those people in the eye and tell them why you’re doing what you’re doing.’ ”
“These people don’t believe in the sanctity of life. They believe in protecting their own wealth and their own power,” said Dr. Van Der Horst, who slammed “pro-life” legislators who want to cut early childhood education programs and access to Medicare.
Dallas Woodhouse, North Carolina director for Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy organization inspired by the Tea Party movement, which used to support political protest back in 2010 by the Tea Party, opposed this protest.
“I think mass arrest and claims of tyranny tend to get tuned out,” said Woodhouse. “It is one thing to advance your free-speech rights. It is another to try to block the business of the General Assembly.”