SPOKANE, Washington, Feb 03 (IPS) - Moral Monday, the populist movement in North Carolina that saw a diverse coalition of thousands of progressive activists descend upon the state legislature, is now spreading throughout the U.S. South.
â€œI think itâ€™s a sign the body politic is healthy in the U.S. One of the cheap benefits of U.S. citizenship is the right to petition your government and protest unjust laws. I think itâ€™s a sign of health, I expect that it will spread,â€ Janice Mathis, vice president of the Citizenship Education Fund, told IPS.
Moral Monday was first formed in North Carolina in April 2013. More than 800 people have been arrested in Moral Monday protests that have involved entering the State Capitol. Weekly attendance in North Carolina has been estimated at around 2,500 people.
North Carolinaâ€™s Moral Mondays have focused on opposing Republican redistricting and other voting changes, cuts to public education and social programmes, proposed changes that would increase the sales tax, challenges to abortion rights, and other issues.
So far this year, Moral Monday protests have started in Georgia, and â€œTruthful Tuesdayâ€ protests have been formed in South Carolina.
In Georgiaâ€™s second Moral Monday protest on Jan. 28, 10 activists were arrested for demanding to speak to the Republican governor, Nathan Deal, about expanding Medicaid in Georgia.
[caption id="attachment_131129" align="aligncenter" width="531"] When Gov. Deal did not show up to receive the letter, the 10 quietly sat and waited for him. After 5pm, the Capitol police came in and informed the group that if they did not leave, they would be arrested. They refused to leave without giving the letter to the governor. Credit: Courtesy of Gloria Tatum, Atlanta Progressive News