Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 14, 2013

SALISBURY — The Moral Monday protests in Raleigh that generated international interest in the state’s political landscape — and led to hundreds of arrests — is slated to come to Salisbury on Nov. 18.
Thousands took to the legislature during the summer’s 13 consecutive weeks of protests. Led by N.C. NAACP President Rev. William Barber, protestors targeted issues of unemployment, labor rights, healthcare, education, voting rights and economic justice.
Barber is expected to attend a preliminary rally at Gethsemane Baptist Church at 719 S. Caldwell St. at 5 p.m. About 5:45, officials said, Barber and fellow protestors will march to Varick Auditorium on Livingstone College’s campus at 701 W. Monroe St. for a town hall discussion broadcast hosted live by SiriusXM Progressive Talk radio personality Rev. Mark Thompson. Barber is expected to speak at the event.
Since the session ended, Barber has asked supporters across the state to host Moral Monday events. Some of the highest turnouts have been in metropolitan areas like Charlotte with about 2,000 protestors and Asheville with nearly 5,000 estimated in August.
Local NAACP President Scott Teamer said he’s proud to see the movement head to Salisbury, home to N.C. Rep. Harry Warren, author of the state’s controversial Voter ID bill.
“It’s always good when people of different genders, sex, religion and race can come together,” Teamer said. “The Moral Monday movement is all about taking it home. I’m glad that the Rev. [William] Barber is here, but [Barber] wants to make it clear that leaders come from their own communities.”
Teamer said he hopes the movement spotlights some of Salisbury’s problems, citing discrimination and racial profiling.
“We believe that all citizens should be treated with dignity and respect,” Teamer said, who was arrested at a Moral Monday protest in Raleigh in May. “The Forward Together Moral Monday movement is not a race thing, it’s a right thing.”
Teamer said he’s met dozens of local residents who were unaware of recent legislation — something he hopes a sizable movement will change.
“Moral Monday is a chance to say, ‘Did you know? Did you know what the bill is? Did you know who sponsored this or that?” he said. “People in Rowan County may not know what the people are doing that they voted for.”
Teamer said he didn’t want to estimate how many might turnout for the event, but said the protest will have an impact, regardless of size.
“Ten could change a community,” he said. “The numbers should not be the focus because right is the majority. Jesus wasn’t the majority. If one is right and a hundred or two thousand are wrong, then it ain’t really relevant.”
Protestors will meet at 5 p.m. at Gethsemane Baptist Church at 719 S. Caldwell St. A town hall-style discussion will begin about 6 p.m. at Livingstone College at 701 W. Monroe St.
Contact reporter Nathan Hardin at 704-797-4246.