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Home > impact on women / resistance > USA: In Their Own Words: The Purpose Of The Moral March In Raleigh

USA: In Their Own Words: The Purpose Of The Moral March In Raleigh

Monday 10 February 2014, by siawi3

Candid Slice
Source: Portside, February 8, 2014


February 6, 2014

If you live in Raleigh - heck, I’ll venture even further and say if you live in the United States - you’ve probably seen the Moral Monday Movement all over the news. It’s been a powerful symbol for people all over the country who hope to see change, and it’s happening right here in our backyards.

Churches, colleges, politicians, and civilians have risen up, and it’s almost impossible to not have a stance, for better or worse, on the sheer stubbornness of these protestors. I, for one, am proud to see something this inspiring happening in North Carolina.

So most of you have probably already heard about Moral Mondays and the upcoming Moral March through local news sources. But those news channels just scratched the surface. I wanted to dig deep and hear the real voices of everyday people marching here in Raleigh. Their stories are what make the sum of the marching crowd inspiring. They are the Moral March. And you have a chance to join them - to join us - this Saturday.

[SEE ALSO:My Vote Used to Change the World: A Tarheel Gen-Xer’s Voting Narrative]

As of right now, thousands are signed up to join. Hundreds are driving and flying in from out of town, and an entire system has been set up to find volunteers to help house them. This is the true power of a movement, and whether you agree or disagree with the principles, you have to admit that these people, with their incredible willpower and willingness to do whatever it takes to try and improve our state, are impressive.

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Listen here.
(You’ll recognize some of these names and voices from Candid Slice’s initial interviews of Moral Monday Arrestees. Other names and voices are brand new. Each is important. Thank you all.)

Bibi Bowman:

I’m volunteering during the march in whatever capacity is needed of me, most likely among the many marshals. As to my continued involvement: I am only one, but I am one of many, and I cannot NOT add my voice to the voice of all of us together, because together we will accomplish what alone no one of us can.

Michael Gross:
I’m marching because I love my students. I’m marching because I believe in decency and humanity. I’m marching because I must. I’m marching because I have too much self-respect not to.

Cath Hopkins:
As someone who long avoided the political arena altogether and spent years living by choice in isolation from people, I have been startled to find myself catapulted into social activism by outrage at the unjust, unkind, and short sighted legislation passed by the state of North Carolina over the last two years. As someone who has directly experienced the pain of marginalization by the privileged classes, I can no longer sit idly in the face of such fundamental absence of justice, dignity, and compassion. We all need quality education, healthcare, Earth-care, housing, livable wages or support, marriage equality, equality of civil rights, and accessible voting. This is why I march.

Steve Knight:
I’m marching as a faith community leader because the policies of this administration are disproportionately hurting the poorest and most vulnerable in our state. These are not bad politicians, but they are bad policies. And these are not bad legislators, but this is bad legislation. Jesus compels me to love my neighbor as myself, and so I cannot sit idly by while the rights and the social safety net of my neighbors is stripped away.

Sandra Adams:
I am marching because I am disgusted with the right wing extremism that has taken over this state. I am particularly incensed at the disregard for the poor and the sick who are being denied Medicare; the unemployed who have lost benefits; and the teachers who are being so maltreated by the State of North Carolina, which clearly does not value them or their skills and dedication.

Arleigh Birchler:
I am not as noble as the rest of you. I have wanted to attend HKonJ for many years to show my support, but never managed to do it. Being involved with Moral Monday this past year was very good for me. I met a lot of good people. I was arrested on the first day I went and just kept going back after that. I support all of the causes, but the most important to me is the systematic dismantling of protection for North Carolina’s Natural Heritage, including the quality of the air, water, and soil.

Jennifer Weaver:
I’m marching because North Carolinians of all stripes and walks have worked too hard for too many years to let allow our beloved state to backtrack to the bad old days. We remember, and we are not going back.

Vivian Brenner:
I am marching because I cannot sit back and watch the General Assembly hurt NC any more. The laws that were passed in 2013 are solely for the benefit of the wealthy and not for the rest of the humans who live work and raise families here. I could not live with myself if I did not stand up and vociferously voice my feelings about public education, voting rights, children, health care, and all the other things that have to do with being US citizens. We have a duty, an obligation, to right the wrongs and to demand a just government for all.

Peter Choyce:
I’m a disabled person, marching because simply ART POPE cannot purchase OUR GOVERNMENT! It’s our government that keeps me alive!!!

Jen Geurin Ferrell:
I’ll admit this time last year I didn’t know what the HKonJ movement or march was. I live in the suburbs of Apex with twin pre-schoolers and we’re busy. I’m always thinking about their best interests first and when they were in school last yr that became action in the form of visiting NCGA legislators.

I saw first hand with my own eyes and heard with my own ears bogus ALEC legislation what would lead to the Moral Monday movement. Unlike others who inevitably will, I don’t see the HKonJ as a super liberal or black/white movement. I see it as a people movement for fairness, justice, basic human rights.

I’ll march, continue paying attention, and share with others what’s going on around us because I don’t want anyone to wake up saying “Wait, what? What’s happened here?!” We need to be able to talk about important policy issues, without the clouded judgment of bought and paid for legislators, and move forward on them.

A good number of our legislators spurred me to engage in civil disobedience with almost 1k others, run for local office, lose narrowly, but resolve myself to continue fighting and organizing for other great candidates who will represent us ALL.

When you have thousands of others behind you, it also reminds you it’s the RIGHT and JUST thing to do. Consider walking/marching with US, with your fellow North Carolinians from across the state. Don’t just sit back and watch us take this on, become involved in any small way.

And finally, an impassioned plea from a graduate of Shaw University, to her fellow and future grads. North Carolina’s future.

Edith Lee Thorpe:

I am looking for my local, North Carolina, Shaw University Sisters, Cousins, Sisters In Christ, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Beta Rho Sorors, my girls (and men folk!!!) to join me on this Saturday for HKonJ in Raleigh. We want to show the NC Governor and Legislators that we are still here in solidarity, still aware that their policies are pitted against education, the middle class and poor, which includes people of color - and that we are demanding they vote to extend unemployment insurance, reasonably fund education and retract all policies against women and children. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to STAND UP rather than complain about it. Will you be there, Raleigh?

“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
Martin Luther King,Jr.