'Moral Mondays' gain national attention
The Moral Monday movement is beginning to gain national attention after a year of consistent protests in North Carolina that are now spreading to other states dominated by conservative agendas.
The year-old Moral Monday movement reached the pages of the New York Times for the first time today after 39 protesters were arrested in Georgia yesterday.
The movement advocating for civil rights like equality of public education, marriage equality, access to health care and voting rights began in North Carolina and has since emerged in South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Wisconsin. The effort to dissent in the conservative stronghold of Southern states has been called "Liberal Lunacy" by Georgia Republican spokesman Ryan Mahoney and "Moron Monday" by North Carolina State Senator Thom Goolsby. Georgia State Senator Frank Gin said that the protesters were "fecal matter."
Conservative efforts to discredit the movement characterize it as a "fringe liberal agenda" of "radical left-wing liberals," but the efforts of Moral Mondays have so far been focused on not instituting radical change, but maintaining civil rights as states continue to pass legislation such as voter ID laws and refusal to expand Medicaid.
— Moral Monday GA (@MoralMondayGA) March 18, 2014
While the New York Times characterized Moral Mondays as a "budding movement," protests have consistently rattled Raleigh since last April, with nearly 1,000 arrests during the summer. In February, a rally brought more than 80,000 to the North Carolina statehouse.
Yesterday, 39 protesters were arrested in the Georgia state capitol for disrupting the Senate with demands to expand Medicaid to ensure health insurance for thousands in the state. One of the 39 arrested was Rev. Raphael Warnock of Ebenezer Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr. was baptized, ordained and served as a pastor.