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Pierce writes: "Somewhere around 100,000 people got together in Raleigh this weekend in order to petition the newly insane state of North Carolina to stop being insane any more."

Somewhere between 80 to 100,000 people from 32 states turned out to protest four years of drastic state Republican initiatives in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Saturday. (photo: Planned Parenthood)
Somewhere between 80 to 100,000 people from 32 states turned out to protest four years of drastic state Republican initiatives in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Saturday. (photo: Planned Parenthood)

The Massive Protest You Missed This Weekend

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

10 February 14


omewhere around 100,000 people got together in Raleigh this weekend in order to petition the newly insane state of North Carolina to stop being insane any more. You can be forgiven if you missed the whole thing because so did the entire courtier press, which was too busy rubbing its hands in greasy glee over the possibility that we might all get to talk about Monica Lewinsky again. After all, it wasn't like Sarah Palin once again had attempted on Facebook to get from a subject to a verb without turning an ankle.

They were there to hear The Rev. William Barber of the state NAACP. At the end of the street in front of an American flag that snapped over the old State Capitol building, Barber preache..his voice thundering through speakers.
"We are people, we are natives and immigrants, we are business leaders and workers and unemployed, we are doctors and the uninsured, we are gay, we are straight, we are student, we are parents, we are retirees," Barber said. "We are North Carolina. We are America. And we are here, and we ain't going nowhere."

And what was the response of the local Republican party? Let's talk to the man whose family owns it.

"Make no mistake, tomorrow's event is a political rally," Pope said, "and the national left-wing groups like and Planned Parenthood have been recruiting liberal activists from across the country to attend the rally. "They support Rev. Barber's radical left-wing agenda to fully implement 'Obamacare,' raise taxes and take us back to the days of double-digit unemployment," he added. The NAACP has called on Republican leaders to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act and to rescind deep budget cuts to education and social services. Republicans say the latter would require a tax increase, which they argue would slow the state's economic recovery. "Barber's use of inflammatory, divisive and offensive rhetoric has no place in the public arena of ideas," Pope said. "We need to have a respectful, political discourse here in North Carolina."

Nothing says respectful discourse to me like calling an appeal for voting rights "radical" and "left-wing." Nothing says respectful discourse to me like trying to get an anchor whose opinions you don't like fired from his job. Claude is a cousin of Art Pope, the wingnut sugar daddy who bought the N.C. Republican party lock, stock, and vestigial conscience, and who has financed the gradual transformation of The Smart Carolina into a functional twin of its idiot cousin to the south. And, no, that is not respectful because Art Pope is worthy of all the scorn we traditionally heap on the grifting class. William Barber is right to yell into his ear, and into that of his cousin.

Another ad depicted Heagarty, who has dark hair and a dark complexion, as Hispanic. (He is Caucasian.) The ad was sponsored by the North Carolina Republican Party, to which Pope had contributed in 2008. Heagarty said, "They slapped a sombrero on a photo of me, and wrote, ‘Mucho Taxo! Adios, Señor!' " He said, "If you put all of the Pope groups together, they and the North Carolina G.O.P. spent more to defeat me than the guy who actually won." He fell silent, then added, "For an individual to have so much power is frightening. The government of North Carolina is for sale."

I'm sure, very soon, we'll start hearing about how the Moral Monday movement has no "focus," no "single message." Nevertheless, at the moment, this seems to me to be a considerable example of what we used to call a "news story." People are pushing back against what is, for all intents and purposes, the establishment of a one-party oligarchy operating at the whim of one man. At least Huey Long had to stand for election once in a while. Now, thanks to Citizens United, you don't even have to bother. your social media marketing partner


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+77 # ligonlaw 2014-02-10 21:24
The North Carolina GOP has a broad-based agenda. It is anti-labor, anti-education, against providing unemployment insurance, against a minimum wage, opposed to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The Governor worked for Duke Energy for 28 years and has undermined clean water and clean air efforts, raised taxes on the poor, provided tax breaks for the richest 23 families, supported anti-abortion legislation when he promised not to, supported a state prayer and supported establishing Christian prayer service in public schools. The unrestricted influence of big money has taken over the State of North Carolina. The only place left for the people is the street.
+50 # Eldon J. Bloedorn 2014-02-10 23:50
Interesting post. I listened to a speaker some time ago. He said, "in the not too distant future, the minorities will be the majority." Which was a reminder to me of what I already knew. I was not aware of the "massive protest" referred to in this article. And, I am happy for knowing it was a success. It would appear to me, I'm 73 years old, that the minorities will be making the Progressive changes needed in this country. Kicking people around on many issues, one in particular, making it more difficult to allow minorities to vote, has some huge future consequences for the Republican Party.
+20 # mozartssister 2014-02-11 07:54
They're slowly bringing about what they've wanted all these long years: the return of slavery.
+10 # JSRaleigh 2014-02-11 12:49
Quoting mozartssister:
They're slowly bringing about what they've wanted all these long years: the return of slavery.

A significant portion of North Carolina's GOP are carpet baggers as well as being tea baggers.
+34 # soularddave 2014-02-11 00:09
Claude Pope sounds desperate to keep his "base" riled up against those who will be moving against him and his clan of followers. His comments hit the hot buttons of those who will follow him. They will follow out of desperation because their political demise is neigh.
+29 # seeuingoa 2014-02-11 01:00
Next time you demonstrate,
don´t forget to bring a whistle
so we can all be whistle-blowers .
+14 # Glen 2014-02-11 07:50
Whistles - good idea. Whistles have been used in music, parades, in emergencies, and so much more. I'd love to be your whistle blower type, but will do it with my high decibel whistle to seriously annoy those we protest against. Would that we all truly could be a whistle blower, but who would accept our reports?
+30 # RLF 2014-02-11 06:28
I'm sure they will have loads of luck like the protestors in Wisconsin. The politicians don't get paid by protestors and don't care how long they do stay in office depends on them pleasing those that give them money. They should be boycotting the businesses that give to reps. in their state also.
+10 # john.schoonover 2014-02-11 16:26
When it becomes impossible to have grievances redressed by legislative means, the legislation will be crafted in the streets.

A recent example is that Brazilians removed the turnstiles from the Rio transport system when their demand for free public transport was met with a price hike.
+16 # tswhiskers 2014-02-11 14:38
Indeed, Barber's use of "inflammatory, divisive and offensive rhetoric" is exactly what's needed to bring NC out from under the thumb of Pat McCrory and his Duke Power minions. I don't suppose we could ever get up the political muscle to impeach him, but he deserves it, not least for the fact that he was able to weakening 3, THREE, citizen efforts to bring Duke Power to court for causing 3 environmental disasters involving coal ash pollution at different rivers in the state. Only the most recent disaster at the Dan River has made the news. In the first disaster Duke had to pay a fine of only $99,000. with no promise to prevent future pollution. Please let the 2012 election in NC be a wake up call to all of us. Let us encourage friends and family to pay attention to state and local politics. If we North Carolinians had surely we would not now have a totally Republican state govt. In less than 3 months McCrory and the state legislature have proved to be harmful to NC, politically, economically and now environmentally .
+5 # DPM 2014-02-11 21:42
Up with the protesters! Down with the "establishment" elite!
+1 # economagic 2014-02-11 22:20
All good, and a great rally--I was there. But where on earth did you get 100,000? The figure of 80,000 apparently came from Dr. Barber's office on the basis of the number of buses and their riders. A marshal who was standing near the starting line suggested 50,000. I didn't have a very good vantage point, but I'm skeptical about even that number. It was a good crowd, and there is no need to exaggerate the number. If there is solid evidence for any number above 50,000 let's see it.
+1 # Kootenay Coyote 2014-02-19 11:27
Government officials routinely underestimate protest censuses - Cf. Washington, Nov. 11/69.
+5 # brux 2014-02-13 01:25
Americans should be demanding that the mainstream media be broken up, fined and put out of business for incompetence. They are not working to keep us informed, they are working to lie and to keep news from us.

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