North Carolina educators angry at recent legislation that phases out tenure, cuts extra pay for advanced teaching degrees, cuts teacher assistant jobs, and cuts money for instructional supplies and more planned to send Gov. Pat McCrory a sack of coal for Christmas. In August, when women's health advocates angry over new abortion restriction protested in front of the governor's mansion, McCrory tried to placate them with a plate of cookies.
Despite recent attempts by the state of North Carolina to marginalize them, Moral Monday protests will continue into 2014. Over 930 people volunteered to be arrested in civil disobedience against extreme legislation passed by the GOP-led legislature in 2013. New voting restrictions have been described as the most restrictive in the nation.
The Nation's John Nichols declared the 10,000-strong Mountain Moral Monday protest in Asheville, NC on August 5 the Most Valuable Protest of 2013.
On Christmas, the Associated Press reported that Moral Monday protests will spread across the South in 2014:
Activists from a dozen states attended a meeting in Raleigh earlier this month to learn how to hold similar protests in their states.
"There is no stopping this deep, moral, constitutional critique of public policy," said the Rev. William Barber, president of the state chapter of the NAACP, which began the protests. "It is a must."
Awarded the Paul Wellstone Citizen Leadership Award in November, Barber will lead a workshop in Atlanta in advance of protests there when Georgia's legislative session opens on Jan. 13. Alabama's legislative session resumes Jan. 14. Expected protests there are patterned after North Carolina's Moral Monday model, according to AP reporting. Opponents know that "a future is coming that cannot be denied," Barber says.
Although North Carolina's next legislative session doesn't begin until mid-May, planning is underway by groups representing immigrants' rights, women's rights, labor and workers, LGBT, health care, environmental, faith and religion, college students, voting rights and economic justice to gather again in Raleigh much sooner. On Saturday, February 8th, "all roads lead to North Carolina," Barber told an audience in Washington when he invited the country to a nonpartisan, mass people's assembly to send a signal to Raleigh and to the rest of the nation that "we are not going backwards."