Mountain Moral Monday attracts thousands
Yasmine Regester | 8/8/2013, 9:48 a.m.
By Yasmine Regester
Although the legislative session is over in Raleigh, North
Carolina residents continued to take to the streets this time
in Asheville on August 5, for “Mountain Moral Monday.” The
state’s residents are protesting the state legislature’s cuts
to education, voting rights, unemployment benefits and
The Asheville Police Department estimates that 5,000 people
attended the rally at Pack Square Park in downtown Asheville,
but say that number nearly doubled by the protest’s end.
“For the past 12 weeks, people from all walks of life and from
all around the state have gathered in Raleigh to protest the
frenzy of extremism that has gripped our state government,”
said Valerie Hoh, a Mountain Moral Monday spokesperson and
member of Save Our Water Western N.C. “This event gives people
in our part of the state a chance to stand up for justice,
democracy and moderation.”
Another issue brought to the protest’s forefront was the
privatization of a watershed in Western North Carolina.
Legislators have been accused of associating with the pro-
privatization, pro-corporatization group called the American
Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is taking steps to
have the state seize Asheville’s public water system without
the city receiving compensation. Locals fear this is the first
step in privatizing one of the purest watersheds in the
This marked the 13th Moral Monday protest led by the N.C.
NAACP and The Forward Together Movement.
Since April, more than 900 people have been arrested in the
Raleigh “Moral Monday” demonstrations, including 68 people
from Western North Carolina. Although no arrests were made in
Asheville, those 68 people who reside in the city were honored
at Monday’s event along with others arrested for non-violent
civil disobedience at the state capitol.
“We suspended Moral Mondays in Raleigh to follow the
legislators home,” said Rev. Dr. William Barber, president of
the N.C. NAACP. “The extremists who passed the devastating
legislation in North Carolina will have to face an educated
citizenry, who will not allow them to lie and say they
governed for the good of the whole. Across the state, people
will know that their ultra-conservative rightwing legislators
passed legislation that is extreme, immoral and a violation of
our deepest moral and constitutional values.”
To keep the pressure on legislators during the off-season, the
NAACP and other support groups plan to convene Moral Monday
protests in all 13 North Carolina Congressional districts over
the next few weeks.