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More than 200 people gathered May 13 to support the 49 people arrested for peaceably protesting at the N.C General Assembly building in Raleigh, North Carolina.
People gathered May 13 to support the 49 people arrested for peaceably protesting
 at the N.C General Assembly building in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Restricting our civil rights is immoral.

Restricting the right to vote is immoral.

Taking from the poor to give to the rich is immoral.

De facto segregation is immoral.

For too long the word "morality" has been attached to reactionary themes touted by right-wing hypocrites.

In North Carolina, a broad coalition of activists are taking back that word and once again calling on the moral authority of our great leaders of the past, forging a step forward into a brighter future for the poor, for people of color, for LBGT citizens, for women, the elderly, veterans and our children.

As Reverend Doctor William Barber II, head of the North Carolina NAACP, has said, "This is about right and wrong."

People in this movement have gathered each Monday to do civil disobedience, to be arrested, and support those being arrested, in the cause of justice.  

Moral Monday rally poster
The next big Moral Monday protest is tomorrow. If you are in North Carolina, and can be there, please swell the ranks of those who have been attending. Most readers here are not. That doesn't mean there is nothing we can do.
We can offer our support—spiritual, ideological and monetary.

We can form similar ''Forward Together, Not One Step Back" groups in our own communities as well, since the combined forces of ALEC, right-wing Republican legislators and the tea party are wreaking havoc with our rights across the United States.

Coalition building is our strength as Democrats. Let us use that strength to forge stronger ties across issues.

Because all of our issues are related. No one issue can be resolved without addressing those that are intertwined and interconnected.  

Follow me below the fold for more.

This growing movement has been covered in diaries here over the last few months. Check out the reports from MsSpentyouth:

N.C. Moral Monday #4: 57 arrests at N.C. General Assembly today; 153 arrests so far

N.C. civil disobedience: Nearly 100 arrested so far for protesting ALEC-ification of state

Black Kos featured the movement last Tuesday.  

Nothing could be more powerful, however, than the testimony of those people who have been taking part—some for the first time in their lives, others as veterans of the civil rights, anti-war, environmental and justice movements.

As part of their new project, "The Story of America: A Nation Divided", Annabel Park and Eric Byler, co-producers of 9500 Liberty, have collected extraordinary footage and interviews. Pay them a visit online, watch and share the videos, tell your stories or post messages of support.

I was moved by the narrative of this young woman from Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Molly McDonough turned 18 a few days after the 2012 election. She was arrested during a demonstration at the North Carolina state capitol to ensure that her right to vote is protected. Among a slew of new laws intended to restrict voting rights in North Carolina is an astonishingly cynical law aimed to limit the vote of college students. The parents of students who vote in North Carolina will be penalized on their tax returns, unless the students return home to cast their ballots.

So, if Molly feels more connected to the community surrounding North Carolina State University than she does to the community in which she grew up, or, if she does not have a car and traveling is difficult, or, if she has classes on that day and making a trip across the state would mean missing one of them, her parents will be penalized if she decides to exercise her Constitutional right to vote.

In this video she talks about her experience being arrested at the North Carolina state capitol.

Much of what we see happening in the South is a move to push back against what became the keystone of the right wing and racists. That "Southern Strategy," which has been a boot on the neck of so many, will one day only be an ugly memory.  

For those who bash the south, perhaps it is time for you to look at it from a new perspective. For it gave birth to the civil rights movement, and will play a huge part in moving us forward once again.  

This is something I believe deeply.

Listen to Rev. Barber, head of the NC NAACP who places this brilliantly in an historical context in the "Old South vs. New South: The 3rd Reconstruction."

Rev. Dr. William Barber provides a seven minute reframing of American history that is surprisingly, even shockingly timely in the context of America's present-day battle over voting rights.

In his view, we are currently going through the third reconstruction. The first Reconstruction took place after the Civil War. Fusion politics — a governing coalition including Lincoln Republicans, freedmen and former slaves, and populists — made it possible for former slaves to become business, community, and political leaders. But fusion politics was snuffed out by a violent backlash, and replaced by Jim Crow laws that blocked African Americans from voting through poll taxes, impossible "tests," and terrorism.

In the 1960s, there was another attempt at reconstruction, better known as the Civil Rights Movement. The progress we made was met with another violent backlash, culminating in the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Dr. Barber identifies the possibility of a third reconstruction, one that could actually succeed, with the launch of Barack Obama's campaign for president in 2008. Once again, this attempt at fusion politics has been met with a hateful backlash. The backlash against integration, equality, and trans-racial governing coalitions has, in all three instances, included attacks on voting rights of African Americans and other minorities. Rev. Barber believes that change is inevitable because of demographic shifts in America and the effectiveness of fusion politics.

Pass this brief primer on history on to your friends and social networks.

Become a part of the new reconstruction.  

Fight voter repression, and support the groups and organizations who are already engaged in the battle.

Whether it is a state group like Democracy North Carolina, or national organizations like the NAACP, the ACLU, or America Votes ... the future is ours if we take action and keep moving forward.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 06:30 AM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community, Barriers and Bridges, House of LIGHTS, and DKos Asheville.

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