Letters, Aug. 19
Moral Monday event drew many
To the editor:
A contingent of voters from Haywood County attended the Moral Monday demonstration in Asheville together with an estimated crowd of between 5,000 and 6,000, according to police. It appeared that every county in Western North Carolina had voters present. There were hundreds of signs, some of them original and some expressing strongly held opinions on a wide variety of issues. The size of the crowd was impressive and conveyed the depth of feeling and the importance people feel about protesting the radical and backward policies of the Republican Party.
The crowd was very enthusiastic without any conduct that could earn an arrest.
The keynote speaker was the Rev. W. William Barber from the NAACP.
Supported by a number of speakers concentrating on specific issues. The proposed take over of Asheville’s water supply was obviously a sore point, women’s rights, health care, Medicaid and the proposed new election laws all were major issues.
One speaker asked where the logic was in the closure of women’s health and well being, when in the next breath, they deny health care to 500,000 people in North Carolina by their actions on Medicaid.
Prior to Rev. Barber’s speech and part of the warm up, was a spirited rendering of “This is Your Land, This is My Land” sung by Cecil Bothwell and a stage full of people who have been arrested in Raleigh. They received a huge ovation from the crowd.
The Rev. Barber certainly lived up to his reputation making point after point of injustice of many of the laws the Republican have passed in Raleigh. He recalled the early days of the Civil Rights Movement and the involvement of the NAACP and compared it to what has been happening in Raleigh this year. The issue of voters having to acquire government issued ID in order to vote came in for scathing criticism and he suspected that it might be illegal. He is a formidable speaker with the ability to reach out to and inspire his audience and we will surely hear a lot more from him in the future.
If this huge crowd is indicative of the seriousness of the Moral Monday protests, then it shows that a significant section of North Carolinians have grave concerns about the direction this administration is taking.