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HCUCCers Seeking Justice Chose Arrest at Moral Monday June 3, 2013

After a break for Memorial Day, the Moral Mondays movement for justice in Raleigh picked up serious steam in its 5th wave on June 3, 2013. The crowd of general supporters that day was estimated at 1,600. And that day 151 people chose to be arrested for the cause of justice on June 3, 2013 via nonviolent civil disobedience by gathering inside the people’s house – the General Assembly building, and singing, chanting, praying, and sharing why individuals chose arrest. That made for 306 total arrests up through the June 3rd event.

The Rev Dr William Barber and the NC NAACP have done an excellent job at organizing these events, drawing wonderfully diverse supporters from all demographic groups, and reminding participants it is the legislation we are angry about. A preparatory session for those choosing arrest was held earlier in the day to explain the expected process and to emphasize the importance of being respectful and cordial toward all police and security officers. In turn, the police and security remained remarkably respectful and even cordial to arrestees.

The premise of Moral Mondays is that citizens of all stripes need to band together to oppose the alarming series of regressive legislation in North Carolina since 2012, which will cause harm to: our Earth, healthcare, education, voting rights, racial justice, reproductive rights, the unemployed, the poorer citizens, undocumented immigrants, whistleblowers, civil liberties, religious liberty, affordable loans, organized labor, and local governance.

This time we had High Country UCC representation in the Moral Mondays ranks: including Cath Hopkins (co-chair for HCUCC Peace and Justice) who chose arrest, while Brendan Byers (intern for HCUCC P & J) served the critical role of supportive witness. Cath discovered just how much comfort and strength can be gained through eye contact with a caring person like Brendan in that role. Another highlight was the 3pm inspirational preparatory gathering with Rev Barber prior to the main event at 5pm. He has a true gift for uniting and empowering people from all walks of life around the causes of love and justice.

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In addition, we had the support of two new friends from Community UCC in Raleigh, Jane Smith and Joan McAllister. Jane Smith was part of the group who waited in the dark outside the General Assembly until 10pm when Beth and I were brought out and put on the final bus heading to jail. They seemed full of energy as we were flagging, and chanted “THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU” with such strength many of us were close to tears and all of us were buoyed. In addition, Joan McAllister provided safe transport and sanctuary at 4:00am when I got finished at the jail.

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If you have questions about what it was like June 3rd, email Cath at: CathsNaturePhotos@yahoo.com

This is a link to our HCUCC June Newsletter article about the June 3, 2013 Moral Monday event