This past Saturday, to kick off this years Moral Monday rally attended by over 80,ooo people was held in Raleigh, North Carolina to protest the extremist right-wing policies of the current government in the state.
Members and staff from UFCW Locals 1208 and 400 took part in this march for social justice and workers rights.
An article from The Nation explained the march’s historical significance:
“On February 1, 1960, four black students at North Carolina A&T kicked off the 1960s civil rights movement by trying to eat at a segregated lunch counter at Woolworth’s in downtown Greensboro. Two months later, young activists founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee at Shaw University in Raleigh, which would transform the South through sit-ins, Freedom Rides and voter registration drives.
So it was fitting that North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement held a massive “Moral March” in Raleigh…which began at Shaw University, exactly fifty-four years after North Carolina’s trailblazing role in the civil rights movement.”
These thousands of activists from all races and backgrounds made their way to the state capitol, to protest such injustices as the elimination of the earned-income tax credit for 900,000 North Carolinians, “refused Medicaid coverage for 500,000, ended federal unemployment benefits for 170,000; cut pre-K for 30,000 kids while shifting $90 million from public education to voucher schools; slashed taxes for the top 5 percent while raising taxes on the bottom 95 percent; axed public financing of judicial races; prohibited death row inmates from challenging racially discriminatory verdicts; passed one of the country’s most draconian anti-choice laws; and enacted the country’s worst voter suppression law, which mandates strict voter ID, cuts early voting and eliminates same-day registration, among other things.”
All of these violations are what began the Moral Monday movement. Outraged, the people of North Carolina have been fighting to reinstate their rights and overturn laws that threaten equality for all. According to The Nation, “when nearly 1,000 activists were arrested for nonviolent civil disobedience inside the North Carolina General Assembly… rallies were held in more than thirty cities across the state and the approval ratings of North Carolina Republicans fell into the toilet.”
At last weekends Moral March, the activists rallied in full force, with a sampling of signs that read: “OMG, GOP, WTF. It’s 2014, not 1954!!!” and “Welcome to North Carolina. Turn Your Watch Back 50 Years!” referring to a pre-Civil Rights era state.
The movement has prompted similar actions in cities across the country, and is being touted as part of the next civil rights movement. The thousands of people who have come together against these extreme policies has transformed the state’s politics, as well as built “a multiracial, multi-issue movement centered around social justice such as the South hadn’t seen since the 1960s.”
The Moral March proves that the movement will only continue to grow, the rallies will only swell in number, and will rest only when justice is restored.