Raleigh, N.C., is bracing for what is expected to be a large-scale demonstration by civil rights leaders and others over policies of the Republican-led state house, the Associated Press reports.
The rally is expected to top the turnout of last year, when more than 900 people were arrested during the annual march during some dozen "Moral Mondays" protests while the legislature was session, the AP says.
By 11 a.m. EST, about 20,000 people were already gathered at the march, reports David Swerdlick, an associate editor at The Root. Organizers say it’s the largest civil rights gathering in the South in years, he said.
The state NAACP, led by the Rev. William Barber, and like-minded groups have been leading “Moral Mondays” protests in Raleigh in an effort to take aim at Republican Gov. Pat McCrory over laws that they say are especially harmful to the poor and minority community.
The measures include a refusal to expand Medicaid under the federal health care law, a reduction in unemployment benefits, an elections-overhaul law that requires photo identification to vote in person, the elimination of the earned income tax credit and taxpayer-funded grants for low-income children to attend private K-12 schools.
Nearly 200 organizations are joining the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in the "Moral March on Raleigh," a new name for the "Historic Thousands on Jones Street," as it was originally called, the AP reports. Jones Street referred to the street where the legislative building stands and the usual terminus of the march, the report says.
Read more at the News & Observer.