The rain stopped and the sun came out just in time for the 5:00pm start of Moral Monday in Charlotte. I guesstimated the crowd at about 2000, and apparently the CMPD agrees.
One of the city’s largest protests – police estimated about 2,000 demonstrators – packed into uptown’s Marshall Park. They sang protest and religious songs, waved signs of discontent and railed against the legislature’s flurry of lawmaking they say is “waging war” on the poor, on voting and abortion rights and on the state’s public education system.Follow me below the fold for a few thoughts and a lot more pictures...
Marshall Park, Charlotte, NC 8/19/13
Along the way we met up with blaze hawkins, twocrows and her son, TexDem, and alicia and the mister. I also spotted eeff across the park, decked out in orange, but we didn't get to meet this time :( All in all a good turnout for Team Kos!
The Rev. Barber wasn't at this event, but there was a diverse and inspiring program of speakers and musicians. My favorite had to be a young science teacher in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School system. He spoke of textbooks that are older than he is, a class of 40 students packed into a classroom with 34 seats, and a passion for teaching bigger than the challenges he faces daily. Now that's what a hero looks like.
A recurring theme, both from the podium and overheard in the crowd, was deep disappointment that Pat McCrory is not a moderate Republican. Keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Dwayne Walker, pastor of Little Rock AME Church in Charlotte, didn't mince words.
“Some of us in Charlotte thought you were a friend of all people. Many considered you a moderate Republican,” Walker said. “Now, Mr. McCrory, you have become the poster boy for the tea party. Even if we can’t change your mind, and even if we can’t change your heart, there is something we can change.
“We can change your address.”
This was met by a round of hearty cheers. See the linked article for more, including an 85YO who voted for McCrory and came with his wife to express his disapproval for his policies.
The event was entirely peaceful. There were no arrests, although earlier arrestees wore green armbands and were recognized during the program. I saw only a handful of uniformed police officers as I wandered around the park taking pictures. First, a few of the crowd.