Group gathers after protest arrest

June 22, 2010 6:19:31 PM PDT
Less than a week after getting arrested at a Wake County school board meeting, members of the state chapter of the NAACP came together.The civil rights group held a community gathering at a Raleigh church in an effort to build more support for the organization's fight against what it says is re-segregation in Wake County.

Those fighting against the end of busing for economic diversity in schools, took their message to the pulpit Monday night, saying if they have to get arrested to get their message out, so be it.

One of the ones arrested last week at the Wake County school board meeting was a parent of three boys who came through the Wake County Public Schools.

"We cannot afford to stand idly by and allow the school board to do what they want to do, when they want to do, with our children," Mary Williams said.

Dr. Tim Tyson, who was also arrested along with the president of the North Carolina NAACP Rev. William Barber and Rev. Nancy Petty, talked about the years of bureaucrats his mother put up with.

"It is my turn now to put up with these idiotic bureaucrats," Tyson said.

On Tuesday, Barber released a letter to the public that he wrote to area clergy and the community explaining his recent arrest.

Barber says the arrest on June 15 for civil disobedience was in protest the school system's anti-diversity policy.

In a letter he wrote from jail, Barber says like Reverend Martin Luther King Junior did during his non-violent civil rights protests the group had exhausted all other means to be heard.

Barber writes "there is a role for everyone in this moral and political struggle, whether that is praying for justice, gathering information, speaking out to our churches and communities, organizing our precincts, marching in the streets, or even going to jail."

Click here to read the full letter.

Wake school board member John Tedesco responded to the Barber's letter Tuesday evening, by saying he takes issues with comparison to Dr. King.

"Just an audacity to try and compare themselves to beloved leaders like Dr. King for the, whatever it was, six minutes they were in jail," Tedesco said.

He went on to say the more he is persecuted, the more he feels like that he's on the right track.

The NAACP has planned a mass demonstration in the streets of Raleigh to protest what they called the "re-segregation of Wake County schools."

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