11:33 am
Mon August 26, 2013

Protestors Give Voice to North Carolina Struggles

The Moral Monday social movement is coming to the Triad - with a twist. 

In 1963, hundreds of thousands of people from across the country rally in Washington, D.C. Many from the Triad joined the demonstrations to gain more national rights for African Americans.
Credit wikimedia

It will become Moral Wednesday, as leaders from the Triad chapters of the NAACP are hosting public gatherings downtown. In Winston-Salem, the rally will be at Corpening Plaza at 231 West First Street. In Greensboro, the demonstration will be in a large, open area between Arlington, Lee and Elm Streets. Reverend Nelson Johnson is Executive Director of the Beloved Community Center. This Greensboro non-profit will co-host Wednesday's event with the local NAACP chapter. He says this is an opportunity for people to speak out against some of the bills passed this session by the General Assembly in Raleigh. "It's focused on those most basic issues for life, income for the unemployed, opposing higher taxes for some 900,000 people while the rich get tax credits. Also, trying to stand with our teachers and increase the quality of education in our state," explains Reverend Nelson, "The most important is the attack on democracy itself under the guise of voter fraud. There is no evidence of that." According to Reverend Nelson, people are being mobilized on August 28 because of its historical significance. In 1963, about a quarter of a million people from all over the country marched on Washington, D.C.. They demonstrated on behalf of African Americans and demanded the federal government do more to generate jobs, better pay and to secure voting rights.   After the big event, Reverend Nelson says the real work begins. "We need to immediately seize onto the energy, to deepen the relationship between voting and the issues and to get people enthusiastic about voting," he emphasizes. "Then set up structures that hold our elected officials accountable and hold ourselves accountable to doing the work community ought to be doing." Reverend Nelson also stresses this and other social change events will mirror the non-violence posture used during the original Civil Rights movement. People should expect a lot of singing, personal testimonials and prayer. Also during the Winston-Salem rally, Forsyth County teachers will wear red shirts in an effort to draw public attention to their concerns about recent state budget cuts to education.