Local NAACP planning trip to Raleigh for Saturday march

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 6, 2014

A diverse local delegation is gearing up to board buses and join thousands of activists this weekend in Raleigh to demonstrate against actions taken by the N.C. General Assembly — namely legislation they deem regressive, repressive, partial and immoral.
The group will participate in the Historic Thousands on Jones Street People’s Assembly Coalition, or HKonJ, event that will accompany a massive “Moral March on Raleigh” slated for 10:30 a.m.
Representatives from the Salisbury-Rowan Chapter of the NAACP made the announcement Wednesday at Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church.
“We’re here to challenge and protest the regressive legislation that’s affecting the South, and especially with our Gov. McCrory and the (N.C.) General Assembly,” local NAACP President Scott Teamer said.
Two charter buses — one sponsored by the NAACP and the other by the student government association and student NAACP branch at Livingstone College — will leave from Walmart at about 7 a.m. Saturday.
Organizers are asking for more people to join them.
As pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Olen Bruner said it is a travesty that “more than 3,000 people this year may die because the state of North Carolina has refused to participate in the Affordable Care Act.”
“I think it is a travesty when I look at how teachers have not had a pay raise in several years, but yet they expect our children to learn,” Bruner said. “I think that when we as a community elect officials and they do things that are contrary to the general well-being of our society, the citizenry should rise up and protest their actions.”
Donna Prunkl said she’ll be proud to attend Saturday’s march as a “middle-class Caucasian woman.”
“The legislature seems to think that somehow it’s these fringe folks who are marching and speaking,” Prunkl said. “I want them to know that there are a vast number of people like me who are extremely concerned about the repressive legislation that has gone on this past year. We have to find some way to speak up and be noticed.”
Prunkl’s husband, Pete, said the state legislature has passed at least 20 repressive laws since 2011.
Those laws have ruined the state’s reputation as a progressive and fair state, Pete Prunkl said.
“The legislature has failed to expand Medicaid, they have imposed taxes on nonprofit organizations, they’ve allowed guns on playgrounds and made legal abortions more difficult,” he said. “It is a list of shame and disrespect.”
Prunkl added he has a personal reason for joining the march.
“I failed to march with Dr. (Martin Luther) King in the ’60s. I failed to protest the war in Vietnam,” he said. “My inaction put me on the wrong side of history then, and I will not be on the wrong side of history now.”
For more information on how to get involved and travel to Raleigh, contact Teamer at 704-640-0907 or Dr. Clary Phelps of Gethsemane Missionary Baptist Church at 704-633-5057.

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