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Good day and welcome to DKos Adheville. This is the weekly DKos Asheville open thread where we try to get together every Saturday, and then drift in and out throughout the day.  We hope this group serves to reinvigorate us locally and regionally here on Daily Kos, building on the sense of community that's grown through our online engagement. DKos Asheville can give us all a better sense of connection, a better understanding of who we stand with, work with, and share with in the political process. We hope, through this community, that we can do a better job of leveraging our orange passion for progressive politics to help elect more and better Democrats.

Jump below the fold for awesome PROTEST news.

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The 2013 Monsanto protest in downtown Asheville
A large protest is starting now in downtown Asheville. It is a March against Monsanto and GMO foods. We have a vibrant and active progressive community here and food is one of those things that make Asheville special. World class natural food restaurants are everywhere and our diverse culture is served well by food consciousness.
The 2014 March Against Monsanto and Asheville GMO-Free Street Festival is slated for Saturday, May 24, at Pack Square beginning at noon. The gathering is a demonstration against Monsanto and genetically modified organisms — foods whose ingredients were created through gene-splicing the DNA from a variety of plants and animals. In America, GMO labeling is not required by law, though the nonprofit Non-GMO Project estimates that 80 percent of conventional processed foods contain GMOs. Monsanto is a leading producer of genetically modified seeds, as well as the Roundup brand of herbicide.

For the local nonprofits GMO Free WNC and Do Not Alter, which are organizing the protest along with community volunteers, the event is about promoting public awareness of GMOs and petitioning for labeling, but it’s also about thinking to the next stage. “We want GMOs labeled, [so that] we’ll be able to vote with our wallets and boycott them” says Louise Health, a lead volunteer. “And, in the end, we want them banned. We want GMOs out of the Blue Ridge Mountains, out of North Carolina and out of our farms.”

North Carolina's famous Moral Monday movement kicked off this Monday with a strong presence in Raleigh. To express their anger at new rules designed to stop the protests from happening, demonstrators marched through the Capitol building with tape over their mouths. That was a one time strategy, expect something different this coming week.  
A "silent" demonstrator in Raleigh on Monday
RALEIGH — Demonstrators trying to raise a ruckus about the North Carolina legislature’s swing to the political right put tape across their mouths and paraded quietly through the statehouse Monday.Days after the Legislative Services Commission changed the rules for North Carolina’s Legislative Building, demonstrators who sang, chanted and protested loudly last year changed their tactics, too.

Protesters were still outspoken outside about the effects of policies and laws adopted last year, when Republicans wielded power from both legislative chambers and the governor’s office.But inside the building where those laws were made, protesters marched two by two in an eerie silence through the facility and out the back door toward Halifax Mall. There was no civil disobedience. Capitol police estimated the crowd to include about 1,500 people. NAACP representatives put the crowd size closer to 5,000.

Protesters in Raleigh on Monday
Thanks for stopping by DKos Asheville. The weather here is picture perfect and it is a great day for protest. I'll try to post photos of today's downtown rally as they come in.
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